In the past couple of years, people have been talking A LOT about two increasingly popular brands – Allbirds and Rothy’s, their comfy shoes, sustainability, versatility, and so on.
Men’s Wool Runners
Best For: Walking, cooler weather, everyday wear
Women’s The Flat
Classic & Elegant
Those shoes are so popular because they’re super comfy in the first place, they’re stylish and made mostly from sustainable materials.
But which one is more comfortable? Versatile? Sustainable?
Are they worth the price?
And finally, which one should you get?
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Allbirds vs Rothy’s – History
When it comes to history both brands were founded in the past 10 years (Rothy’s in 2012; Allbirds in 2014) and they’re dedicated to direct-to-consumer fashion that’s sustainable.
Allbirds stepped onto the big scene with its washable sneakers that could be worn without socks – Wool Runners.
Its founder from New Zealand, Tim Brown was puzzled why a remarkable and sustainable resource such as merino-wool was totally absent in the footwear industry.
He changed that and now merino-wool is Allbirds trademark fiber.
Incredibly comfortable shoes would be the best way to describe Allbirds sneakers.
Rothy’s path was quite similar – they’ve launched washable shoes made with fabric derived from plastic water bottles.
Rothy’s focuses on sustainability… a lot!
All the shoes are made from recycled bottles (they’ve recycled over 125 million single-use bottles for their signature thread) and the packaging the shoes come in is made of 90% recyclable materials.
Super-versatile flats have won the hearts of women worldwide.
Now, both brands have outstanding footwear that’s both super comfortable and versatile.
Differences Between Allbirds and Rothy’s
|Allbirds VS Rothy Shoes Comparison|
|Size||Sports, Fashion, Travel, Casual occasions||Sports, Fashion, Travel, Casual occasions|
|Suitable for||Runners, Mizzles, Skippers, Breezers, Toppers||The Sneaker, The Flat, The Point, The Loafer|
|Best Sellers||Running Shoes, Sneakers, Slip-Ons, Flats, Boat Shoes, High-Tops||Flats, Sandals, Boots, Sneakers, Bags for various occasions|
The Sneaker is the first sneaker-type of shoe Rothy’s has launched. It’s made from recycled foam, while rubber soles are carbon-free.
The Sneaker retails for $125 and it comes in 13 different colors (wow!). Rothy’s has achieved an attempt to make an endlessly wearable and smart sneaker.
It’s sleek, comfy, breathable, and machine washable (hell yeah!).
Just like the famous flats, The Sneaker is knitted from recycled plastic fibers.
Also, they’ve added an upgraded midsole designed for better arch support (thanks Rothy’s team), but they still might not be the best choice for people with flat feet.
Speaking of the flats, they have no arch support therefore some ladies with wide feet have felt discomfort while wearing them.
The style of The Sneaker is extremely versatile – you can wear them as your travel shoes (the main ones), into the office, and on errands.
What I love about it is that it’s comfortable right out of the box. Imagine not getting blisters after buying a new pair of shoes.
Speaking of washing, I mentioned that all Rothy’s shoes are washable. All you have to do is remove the insoles and that plastic arch support and toss them into the washing machine.
Add a bit of detergent and some stain remover and they’ll come out spotless.
Just do not put them into a dryer. You should air dry them.
Overall, The Sneaker is a great shoe! Comfortable, super versatile, and machine washable.
If you ask me, it’s definitely worth the price!
- Machine washable
- Made from recycled materials
- Not that great for people with wide and/or flat feet
Allbirds claims that Wool Runners are the most comfortable shoes. Are they?
Thanks to merino wool, Wool Runners are breathable, lightweight, and temperature-regulating shoes.
If you love going sockless, merino wool helps keep your sneakers odor-resistant (but not forever, based on consumers’ experience).
If we disregard the odor part even after a good amount of walking, they are very comfortable straight out of the box and you can say goodbye to blisters.
I mentioned they are lightweight – they weigh only 17oz (around 200 grams)!
If you’re at the airport you can just toss them into your carry-on luggage without adding any significant weight.
The downside is that Wool Runners come in full sizes only. That’s a bit annoying but their website says that their shoes naturally stretch to fit your foot.
Luckily, you get 30 days to fully test the shoes and their return process is super simple.
Speaking of washing, the process is similar to Rothy’s – remove the insoles, toss them into the washing machine and that’s it.
If you wear them sockless for too long they might start to stink a bit but hand washing the insoles should do the trick.
Overall, Wool Runners are incredibly comfortable, you can wear them anywhere, during hot and cold weather (but not wet), and they are lightweight – perfect for traveling.
They are durable and cool-looking, and it’s always good to know that your shoes are made using sustainable manufacturing processes.
No wonder why Allbirds is valued as a billion-dollar brand now.
- Machine washable
- Machine washable
- Super comfortable
- Shoes come in full sizes only and the colors are quite limited
Okay, it’s go time!
The Sneaker vs Wool Runners. Which one is more comfortable, versatile, sustainable, made from better materials, and finally worth the price?
It’s going to be neck and neck, that’s for sure.
Both pairs of shoes are comfy. Both brands have invested a lot but Allbirds scoops the points here.
Even though Rothy’s did a lot to upgrade The Sneaker, people with flat feet still feel a bit uncomfortable after long walks.
Again, keep in mind that The Sneaker is probably more comfortable than most sneakers you’ll try.
On the other hand, the merino wool fabric in Wool Runners feels like walking on clouds.
Rothy’s are comfortable, just it’s not as soft and cushiony as the merino wool and tree fiber fabric of Allbirds.
Allbirds have equipped all of its shoes with flexible soles so you can walk or run for miles in comfort.
I mentioned that Wool Runners could be worn anywhere, but I have to give the advantage here to Rothy’s.
And not just when it comes to The Sneaker. Their flats are super versatile and all the Rothy’s shoes come in dozens of colors and prints.
You can wear The Sneaker with jeans or joggers and attend casual meetings, go out for lunch, or take walking tours around the city.
Allbirds gets points for style variety: having both a men’s and women’s collection and for offering more unisex styles, but the winner in the versatility category is Rothy’s.
It took me a while to decide on this one.
Rothy’s goes above and beyond when it comes to its fabrics and their sustainability. Their signature fabric is made from single-use plastic water bottles and so far, they have recycled over 120 million plastic bottles.
Well done, Rothy’s!
And, there’s Allbirds… and their merino wool. That “secret” ingredient makes Wool Runners super soft, breathable, and temperature-regulating.
To make them lightweight, engineers at Allbirds use a tree fiber called TENCEL Lyocell.
They didn’t stop there. They’ve combined eucalyptus tree fibers and merino wool and they’ve got Trino, their combo fabric. Shoes made with Trino are water-resistant like Mizzles.
Needless to mention again, all Allbirds shoes are machine-washable.
Tough call, but I’d go with Allbirds here. They took risks with material experimenting and it paid off!
It feels great to know you’re wearing shoes made using sustainable manufacturing processes.
It feels responsible.
Both brands pay a lot of attention to the environment.
Allbirds shoe laces are made from recycled bottles and the packaging is made from 90 percent recycled cardboard. Not to mention the use of eucalyptus tree fabric, merino wool, and Trino.
Allbirds became a Carbon Neutral Business in 2019 and got re-certified as a Public Benefit Corporation.
Their goal is to reduce carbon footprint by 50% by 2025 and 90% by 2030.
Speaking of Rothy’s the following facts speak for themselves:
- They have turned more than 125 million bottles into their signature thread which they use for their products.
- They have repurposed 400,000 pounds of ocean-bound marine plastic using it to knit Rothy’s bags and accessories.
How awesome, responsible, and cool is that?
Each of Rothy’s products is made from recycled, bio-based, and transformed materials – thread from single-use bottles, algae-based foam, hemp fiber, and the marine plastic collected from coastline and waterways.
Because of all this, you’ll agree with me, Rothy’s deserves a win in this category.
Allbirds shoes retail at an average price of $115 per pair of shoes (Wool Runners are $110) while Rothy’s shoes cost $150 per pair, on average (The Sneaker shoes are $125).
Allbirds doesn’t win this category just because the shoes are less expensive; both brands have incredible sustainability practices, and they offer high-quality comfy shoes.
The Winners Is …
Allbirds have definitely more comfortable shoes made with amazing materials such as merino wool and eucalyptus-tree fibers.
I doubted the claim that they are the most comfortable sneakers, but I don’t anymore. They truly are.
I love the fact that you can wear them sockless for hours. Also, you can forget about blisters because they are comfortable right out of the box.
If they get dirty or a bit smelly (there’s no way they won’t after you wear them sockless for a long time) just toss them into the machine and that’s it. It takes around a day to air dry.
Allbirds puts a lot of effort into sustainability practices, therefore it feels great wearing footwear made by an eco-friendly brand.
Last, they cost $110 and they’re totally worth it!
Rothy’s has made a fantastic shoe – The Sneaker. It might not be as comfy as Wool Runners, but it’s more comfortable than most sneakers you’ll wear. People use them as their go-to shoes in everyday life – to run errands, take a dog for a walk, grab lunch, etc.
As I mentioned the only ones who have felt discomfort a bit, are consumers with flat feet.
The Sneaker shoes are so versatile you can wear them almost anywhere. That’s one of their biggest assets. You can combine them with casual outfits and they look great with various jeans and joggers. And not just sneakers but the other Rothy’s shoes as well.
Even though it is slightly more expensive than Wool Runners, The Sneaker is worth the price, no doubt!
Aaaaaand the overall winner iiiiiiisss… Allbirds!
It’s a tight win… It really is!
If you’re in the market for a more casual, super comfy shoe for long walks, Allbirds Wool Runners is your winner.
However, if you’re in need of more versatile styles, Rothy’s should be your go-to for comfortable travel shoes.
Both shoe brands have top-notch sustainability practices and are comfortable, and cool-looking.
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