Allbirds Trail Runner SWT | 2021 New trail running shoes

The RW to go: Allbirds signature comfortable fit meets a rugged upper and outsole to tackle rugged terrain in the Trail Runner SWT.

Price: $ 138

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Trail Runner SWT

All birds

$ 138.00

  • Made from natural, recycled and biobased materials
  • Soft midsole absorbs shock
  • Heavy and a little awkward

Last year Allbirds launched their first running shoe, the Tree Dasher. The sneaker embodies everything we love about the brand’s walking shoes, ironically called Wool Runners. Like the ingredients in a homemade recipe made from scratch, the components of the shoes are natural, simple, and familiar – the upper materials include merino wool and eucalyptus fibers.

This summer, the brand announced its Run Natural collection. The inevitable follow-up after a line of road shoes and clothing was a more gritty trainer destined for the track. I had the chance to test the new Trail Runner SWT before its release.

Made in a sustainable manner, respectful of the environment

To achieve the desired result, the Allbirds team ran 10 Trail Runner prototypes. Almost all the elements of the shoe are natural, recycled or bio-based. In fact, SWT stands for “sugar cane, wool, tree”. The shoe has the same DNA as its road shoe counterpart. Like the Tree Dasher, the Trail Runner has a SweetFoam sugarcane midsole, which provides generous, but not spongy, cushioning that absorbs blows on the road, and now on the trail as well.

A merino wool and recycled ripstop polyester upper protects your foot. Bio-based nylon eyelets, a bio-based TPU heel counter and laces made from recycled plastic bottles equip the shoe’s durable, but sock-like exterior.

trail runner allbirds swt
The upper is made from merino wool and recycled ripstop polyester.

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I put on the SWT without untying the laces, it’s usually a big “don’ts” for runners. But the ribbed heel collar allows your foot to enter the shoe seamlessly and hugs your ankle securely as you run. The overall fit is accommodating and true to size, which is fortunate as the tightening of those round spaghetti-shaped laces doesn’t really make a difference in terms of locking your foot in. I also noticed the initial stiffness of the rod. My first impression was that these shoes looked like stylish hiking boots; there is a short break-in period, but eventually the rod will give out without losing its fit.

The outsole uses FSC certified natural rubber. Instead of wearing pronounced croc-shaped studs, the bottom of the shoe is adorned with curved shapes that Allbirds say mimic jelly candy. In my brain focused on carbohydrates and snacks during marathon training, however, those surprisingly grippy legs look like puffs of cheese or macaroni. (That’s why I call the Trail Runner SWT my ‘mac’n’cheese’ shoes.) The pattern is inspired by bicycle treads, with the brand projecting the idea of ​​’riding in nature instead of scratch ”.

When to lace up

Similar to the Tree Dasher, I found the Trail Runner slightly heavy during my run, but not bulky. This beefier build didn’t drain the energy of my workout. I hiked rolling hills for a five mile pace at an eight minute pace and felt stable on rocks and other debris.

trail runner allbirds swt
Allbirds opted for a soft, bulbous, curved pattern on the outsole instead of sharp, aggressive studs.

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It is by no means a running shoe nor designed for ultra distance, but the Trail Runner is reliable for easy runs and recovery days. Allbirds’ comfortable padding is irresistible. (I keep the shoes by my front door so I can put them on before running errands.) Certainly, there is room for improvement; like the Tree Dasher, the Trail Runner is responsive, but still a bit clunky. Although initially stiff, the shoe offers enough flex for a quick kick.

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