Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 review TL;DR: lovely running shoes for jogging and walking with sustainability at heart.
Just like every runner, I'm guilty of always chasing PBs, even when I really shouldn't. I head out for a casual run and end up going faster and faster until I complete the whole session just under my lactate threshold heart rate level. This is at least partially due to modern running shoes being so efficient in pushing you forward.
The best running shoes are designed to help you improve cadence and optimise stride. Are you an overpronator? No problem, here are the best stability running shoes that will correct your stride and help you go fast. Prefer trail or tarmac? Put on a pair of lightweight trail running shoes and fly through uneven terrain.
In a world of ever-improving long-distance running shoes, the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 offers a different running experience. It's made in a sustainable way (it's said to be fully carbon neutral) and is best suited for 5K distances and walking. And indeed, I found them almost perfectly suited for these activities.
Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 review: Price and availability
It comes in two classic colourways, Natural Black (Blizzard Sole) and Blizzard (Blizzard Sole), and two limited edition colourways, Rad Rust (Blizzard Sole) and Hazy Cocoa (Hazy Cocoa Sole).
Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 review: Tech
The Tree Dasher 2 features a lighter, more responsive foam than its predecessor, the original Tree Dasher, released two years ago in April 2020. The new Tree Dasher 2 also uses a seamless one-piece upper, lightly padded heel collar and a flexible, cushioned midsole.
Long story short, the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is more flexible and comfortable, as well as being even more sustainable than before you add Allbirds' as a company's efforts to fund high impact carbon projects that offset carbon emissions.
Sustainable materials include FSC-certified TENCEL Lyocell (eucalyptus tree fibre) upper, SweetFoam midsole made with sugarcane-based green EVA, FSC-certified natural rubber outsole, Bio-based nylon eyelets (this used to be made of wool), shoelaces made from recycled plastic bottles, castor bean oil-based insole foam and ZQ merino wool heel lining.
Obviously, we have to accept all this being true at face value as there is no way I can personally verify where materials are sourced from of the practices in Allbirds factories. This is also true for all running shoe manufacturers, not just Allbirds, but in this case, there are a lot of claims about sustainability I can't verify. Just putting it out there.
Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 review: Ergonomics
The step-in comfort of the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is excellent. The lace cage has an optimal length/width that allows wide feet to expand. The laces shouldn't be tightened too much as it puts pressure on the foot's transverse arch. But since the shoes are not meant to be worn tight – remember, the Tree Dasher 2 is for walking/jogging – it's perfectly fine not to strangle your feet with those laces.
Thanks to the knitted material used for the upper, the toe box is generous but doesn't feel loose. The heels are lightly padded and feel secure, although heel lockdown is far from what performance shoes offer. Thankfully, the heels don't wobble or move in and out of the shoes as you run.
In my experience, Allbirds' sizing is on the spot, too, which helps keep your foot in place.
The Tree Dasher 2 has a wide landing platform which is excellent for – err – landing but also makes it easy to take the shoes off without using your hands, making the shoes more accessible, in my opinion. Especially if you use the Tree Dasher 2 for walking and keep the laces relatively loose, you might be able to get in and out of the shoes without much hassle.
As for running, the Tree Dasher 2 is fine. It's best for shorter distances and running slower, which is not everyone's cup of tea. It helped me slow down a bit, and given the generous landing platform; I didn't feel awkward running slow in the shoes either.
Traction is good on the dry tarmac; I haven't had the chance to try the shoes in really wet conditions yet, I will update the review after I splashed around in puddles.
Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 review: Aesthetics
As I was getting the Tree Dasher 2 out of the box, my fiancee exclaimed, "Those look nice!" I agree; the boxy soles definitely make Tree Dasher 2 look peculiar in a good way.
For whatever reason, the shoes remind me of Sketchers shoes – footwear your grandmother would wear – but I won't mind them on my feet. Somehow, Allbirds made the Tree Dasher look fresher and youthful. I wouldn't compare the Tree Dasher to top sneakers from Adidas or Nike, but if you aren't the person who needs to be ultra stylish all the time, the Tree Dasher 2 could work as part of your casual outfit.
And that's before you factor in the limited edition colours, like Red Dust or Hazy Cocoa, that can make any outfit pop. Best of all, these are not any more expensive than standard colourways, so opt-in for those if you need to add a bit of personality to your wardrobe.
Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 review: Verdict
The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is a lovely running/walking shoe for those who are not "in it to win it" but enjoy a more casual pace when out and about.
The shoes are comfortable to slip in and wear, not to mention they also fit right. I appreciated the spacious yet supportive toe box as someone with wide feet.
Better still, the Tree Dasher 2 is more sustainable than its predecessor – although that was pretty sustainable as is – thanks to the updated materials used in the shoes and the more environmentally friendly production methods Allbirds use. No wonder Adidas is so keen on collaborating with them.
For the style-conscious joggers, the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is an excellent choice of footwear that can be used for exercising and as a general-purpose sneaker.
Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 review: Also consider
For those who prefer to have chunky running shoes for big name brands, I can wholeheartedly recommend the adidas Adistar. These shoes are also designed for slow-paced training, have a generous stack height and feature look distinctively Adidas.
The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit proves why the ZoomX it’s one of the best midsole foams on the market, even in 2022: it's super soft yet provides great energy return. Thanks to the combination of the ‘evolved’ Flyknit upper, padded collar and puffy tongue, you're in for a plush ride.