Over the last decade, I’ve become an accidental expert in Allbirds for travel. By wearing my various pairs around the world–from London to Tokyo and the Sacred Valley to Sacre Coeur–I’ve tested out which models work best on the road. From sneakers to slip-ons and flats, Allbirds has sustainably sourced shoes that are generally pretty easy to pack and stand up to the rigors of travel.
The Best Allbirds for Travel
After walking hundreds of miles in destinations around the world wearing Allbirds, I have some strong opinions about which shoes hold up best to the demands of travel–demands that include comfort, style, and adaptability. These are the models I recommend for women, men, and kids.
Wool Loungers (in women’s and men’s sizes) feel as good as your comfiest sneakers, but just look a little less aggressively athletic, so they’re good for cross-training, and by cross-training I mean going from a cafe to a museum and then for a sightseeing walk and then to a bar.
They also have that Allbirds magic of resisting odors for longer than most (and for being machine washable when the smells eventually win), which makes them extra great for summer travel and barefoot wear. These slip-ons can be dressed up or down, come in women’s and men’s sizing, and there’s usually a limited-edition color option if you won’t want to opt for the standard grays, blacks, and whites.
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This is also a good place to note that the Merino wool material of many Allbirds models stays surprisingly cool and breathable even on sweltering days, and is not itchy at all. I mean clearly, there are days meant for sandals and not sneakers, but for warm-weather walking, they remain a good option.
The Wool Pipers (for women and men) are my most recent pair of Allbirds, purchased in advance of a trip on which I knew I would be walking at least five miles per day but also wanted to look medium chic because, Europe, and summer, and dresses. And they were everything I needed them to be: they felt like sneakers but had a slightly sleeker silhouette, they cradled my sweaty feet unjudgingly and did not stink up my suitcase, and because they didn’t rub or pinch, I could wear them day after day.
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My only complaint was that I had worn them with socks a few times and that created some minor pilling along the inside heel (but I just ruthlessly plucked off those bits and that fixed the problem). And if the thought of wool is just too much, Allbirds also has Tree Pipers (in women’s and men’s sizes), which look the same as the Wool Pipers but are made from eucalyptus fiber.
Women’s Treebreezers Flats
I am not one of those people who can wear flats all the time, so I’m not recommending that these are the only pair of shoes to bring on a walking-intensive vacation. That said, I pack my Tree Breezers nearly every time I go anywhere and here’s why. These are flats that pack nearly flat. They’re also super lightweight, and take up less room than a pair of slippers. For flats, they’re really comfortable, and can handle quite a bit of walking without drama (blisters, foot pain, etc.). They’re also durable, reasonably priced, and can last for years because you can buy replacement insoles for them. They come in some great colors and they are a practical-but-not-dowdy option for nights out that spare you from needing to pack (and wear) heels.
Trail Runner SWT Mizzles
As travel shoes, Allbirds’ Trail Runner SWT Mizzles for women and men are perfect, ready for uneven terrain including cobblestone streets, trails, and patio bars. They’re super grippy with all-weather traction, which makes them good for wet-weather conditions–whether that means winter travel or kicking back on a boat is your call. And truth be told, the limited-edition colors look too good to only be used on the trail. For similarly fun colors but a slightly different weather-resistant silhouette, you can also opt for Wool Dashers Mizzles in men’s and women’s sizes.
Kids’ Smallbirds Wool Loungers
After a summer trip during which I asked my kid to retie her shoes about 7,000 times, I decided that, yes, of course you want your children to learn how to tie a bow, but vacation doesn’t need to be the time to reinforce the skill. Enter Smallbirds Wool Loungers for little kids and big kids. There’s no need to tie these slip-ons, so you can focus on what’s around you rather than on keeping your kid from very nearly eating it on the stairs of the Eiffel Tower (true story).
The other pretty big win with these is that whether with or without socks, blisters aren’t really an issue, which if you’ve needed to do an emergency shop partway through a vacation to buy shoes that don’t rub for your limping child, you will definitely enjoy.