A crossover shoe for Mother Earth

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.3 oz. (292 g.) for a US M9/US W7.5
  • If the Lorax ran, he’d run in Allbirds
  • Petroleum midsoles are so last year
  • Still waiting on some fixes in version 3.0
  • Launching on February 22 for $128

MERCER: The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is a solid update to the original Dasher, coming in with a new lug pattern and some changes in the foam that are ready for some leisurely morning runs before daycare drop off.

Going into this review, I was apprehensive about how my legs would respond to these shoes, especially this deep into the indoor track season. I didn’t want to get shin splints, but I can safely say that doing some easy, easy running in these was pretty fun.

RUBY: It’s not often that I get to try a new brand. Being someone passionate about sustainability and the environment, I jumped at the opportunity to give Allbirds a chance. Opening the box, full of curiosity and not at all sure what to expect, I was impressed by the quality of materials and attention to every detail from packaging to the eucalyptus fiber knit upper. Allbirds has really tried to create the right amount of nothing (in an environmental impact sense) with its SweetFoam sugarcane midsole and natural rubber outsole.

The Tree Dasher 2 looks and feels similar to Allbirds’ original Tree Dasher while coming in around a third of an ounce lighter. Compare the 10.3 oz for a US M9 with the 10.2 oz Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22, the 10.7 oz Saucony Triumph 19, or the 10.3 oz Nike Zoom Vomero 16, and the Dasher 2.0 is on par with its competitors in the easy run shoe niche.

The Good

MERCER: This shoe gave me massive Brooks Levitate Stealthfit vibes — similar foam durometer and a sweet and simple knit upper — everything you need in a shoe.

After a few weeks of running in Lightstrike and FF Blast+ and other super foams, it was going to be interesting to see how Carbon Negative EVA held up, and boy, it did. The ride reminded me of those everyday trainers like the New Balance Fresh Foam 880 or Brooks Ghost, and it had just enough cushion underfoot. The sculpting of the shoe adds some inherent stability, which we all need in life.

The longest I took this shoe was 3-ish miles at a comfortable jog, and this is where that shoe excels. The farthest I would willingly run in these is about 5 miles, and that’s pushing it just a bit.

One of the other significant updates was the outsole. Allbirds added a whole lot of tread on the bottom for some pretty insane grip on most surfaces.

RUBY: What a good-looking shoe! Allbirds is out here making other brands and their eye-watering, fluorescent-colored sneakers look bad. Launching in three limited edition colors (Rad Rust, Natural Black, and Hazy Cocoa), the Tree Dasher 2 has style and substance. The eucalyptus fiber upper is comfortable and well-made, refined without loud logos or overlays.

Given its subtle tones and premium look and feel, the Tree Dasher 2 stands out for its versatility. It’s a great crossover run-walk-casual shoe, capable of handling long days on your feet alongside easy runs and gym sessions. Honestly, you could consider Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 the 2-in-1 shampoo-conditioner of the shoe world!

Instead of adopting traditional petroleum-based foam, the Tree Dasher 2 rides on a bed of Allbirds’ signature SweetFoam. It’s made with sugarcane for far less environmental impact. Given how stable and sturdy the midsole feels, it’s surprising other brands haven’t made the switch to more environmentally friendly materials. Just a heads up, I found this shoe did require a little bit of breaking in — the feel underfoot certainly improved after a couple of miles, providing a more cushioned and plush ride.

So far, I haven’t noticed any issues with durability, so Allbirds’ green approach seems to be working well. Even better, if they get dirty, simply machine wash on cold with a mild detergent and leave to air dry.

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allbirds dasher 2 outsole

The Bad

MERCER: The Eucalyptus upper is downright bad. There’s just no reality where I could achieve a good fit on this upper. I found myself sloshing around and I have wider feet. I can’t imagine our man Thomas wearing this shoe.

Also, the upper is thicker than an ugly sweater. If Allbirds shaved some of it off, they could probably get under 10 oz, which would be a pretty good accomplishment.

RUBY: Much like Adrienne mentioned in our review of the original Tree Dasher, the fit lets this shoe down. I expected Allbirds to make significant revisions to the upper and lockdown feel in the Tree Dasher 2, but perhaps we’ll have to wait for the Dasher 3. Without an extra eyelet to tie a runner’s knot, the seamless one-piece upper needs to fit snuggly and embrace the foot in a warm hug. While the fit was fine for casual walking and low-impact movements, the shortcomings are immediately noticeable when running.

My ankles and the outsides of my feet felt unstable and loose, and each stride felt like a game of ankle-injury Russian roulette. The laces appear more of a decorative add-on than a functional element: no matter how hard I pulled the laces, the upper fit didn’t change. No doubt, this shoe is best suited to a slower speed, and I’d be spinning about running faster than 5km pace and stick to smooth surfaces like roads or treadmills.

With pretty standard-shaped feet, not particularly wide or narrow, I usually wear a US Women’s 9.5 without any issues. The Tree Dasher 2, however, was not quite a goldilocks fit. Despite the upper feeling loose when running, the length came short. Consider sizing up by a half size, especially if you’re between sizes.

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allbirds dasher 2 in hand

Allbirds Dasher 2.0 Conclusion

MERCER: The perfect fit for this shoe is the runner who wants a good walking shoe that they can use to run a mile or two. Overall, I think it’s incredible what Allbirds is doing for the environment and inspiring innovation. All they have to do now is fix the upper, and I’m sold.

RUBY: It’s no marathon shoe, but the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 does have its niche. A sturdy and stylish casual option also capable of going the distance of a short easy run, this shoe makes the perfect travel companion, especially if you’re taking hand luggage only. Without room to pack separate dress shoes and trainers, the Tree Dasher 2 is your solution to getting in the miles away from home. The same can be said for those run commuters or lunchtime runners. Allbirds has created a premium sneaker neat enough to pass as a work shoe.

For newer runners skeptical about investing in a shoe for running, the Dasher 2 is a great compromise, suitable for getting out for a few miles a couple of times a week, hitting the gym, and day-to-day.

If you care about sustainability and making environmentally friendly choices, then the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is the way to go. Allbirds hasn’t nailed it yet for my personal needs, but they haven’t missed the mark either. It’s much like early ON Running and Under Armor models. The Allbirds running range is certainly worth keeping your eye on — with each iteration of the Dasher, Allbirds is closing the performance gap on their competitors, having left many of them miles behind as far as sustainability is concerned.

You can pick up the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 for $135 straight from Allbirds by using the shop link below.

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Robbe kneeling tying laces

Ruby is a student-athlete at Tennessee Tech University, where she’s captain of the women’s cross country and track teams, running at a near-elite level in distances from the 3000m to the half-marathon. She is a double major in Exercise Physiology and in Psychology.

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