Why Are Allbirds So Expensive? (Explained)

In short: Allbirds shoes are so expensive because it costs money to produce shoes made with top-quality sustainable materials. Copycat shoes cost less because you simply are not getting either the “world’s most comfortable” shoes or a pair of eco-friendly shoes.

Since 2014, the brand that’s known for making “the world’s most comfortable shoes” is showing no signs of slowing down. But the internet-famous Allbirds shoes don’t come cheap.

Indeed, the majority of Allbirds shoes start at $95. While it’s true that their shoes are comfortable, are they worth it? Learn more about why Allbirds shoes are so expensive.

3 reasons why Allbirds are so expensive

At just under $100 for most men’s and women’s styles, Allbirds sneakers are not exactly cheap. However, people still love them anyway. Here are 3 reasons why Allbirds are so expensive:

1. Top-of-the-line materials

A big reason why Allbirds are so expensive is that they use the best materials. Their materials include merino wool, recycled bottles, castor bean oil, and recycled cardboard.

The sole, for example, is made from a proprietary low-density foam that contributes to the shoe’s extremely lightweight feel, its main distinguisher from other typical sneakers.

Allbirds are known for their merino wool material. And this is what they had to say:

“Mother Nature is our muse. Building on her handiwork, we’re finding new uses for materials that exist right in front of us. Like wool from merino sheep, who has the best hair in nature.”

– Allbirds

With fibers that are 20% the diameter of human hair, their superfine merino wool is breathable, temperature-regulating, and moisture-wicking, all without that irritating scratchiness.

Another material that Allbirds use is their tree fiber—TENCEL™ Lyocell. It is sourced from wood grown in South Africa and uses 95% less water which cuts its carbon footprint in half.

Other materials like their sugarcane from Brazil and Allbird’s own sustainable yarn (Trino®), are all made with animal welfare and sustainability in mind (more on this topic below).

It is the use of the best materials, like merino sheep wool and TENCEL, that allows Allbirds to make the most comfortable shoes in the world. And that, unfortunately, does not come cheap.

2. Super comfortable (minimizes odor and controls temperature)

As a result of using the best materials, Allbirds is able to create some of the world’s most comfortable shoes. In fact, their claim to fame is that they make the “most comfortable shoes”.

Allbirds shoes are so soft (thanks to the merino wool), that you can wear them sockless. The Wool Runners, in particular, are super soft and feel almost slipper-like without socks.

However, like all shoes, it is recommended to break in Allbirds shoes and wear them with socks if you are planning to spend the whole day on your feet. The goal is to maximize comfort.

When worn with socks, it was almost impossible to detect any odor despite long days and even moderate exercise. Wool is a natural odor-resistant material, after all.

Interestingly, the Wool Runners also have the ability to keep your feet warm during winter. The Wool Mizzles, for example, features a weather-repellent Puddle Guard to keep your feet dry.

In short, Allbirds shoes are some of the most comfortable around. Thanks to the merino wool material, their shoes hold up well against sweat and bacteria, which helps to minimize odor.

During winter, their shoes will keep your feet warm and cozy. It’s rare to find a pair of shoes with such versatility throughout the seasons, hence the expensive price.

3. Focus on animal welfare and sustainability

Animal welfare and sustainability do not come cheap. Another reason why Allbirds shoes are so expensive is that they go the extra mile to source their materials responsibly.

Some of the sustainable materials Allbirds use include:

  • Recycled bottles – One recycled plastic bottle equals one pair of Allbirds laces.
  • Castor bean oil – Castor bean oil helps increase the natural content in insoles.
  • Recycled cardboard – Their packaging is made from 90% recycled cardboard.

But that’s not all. The main materials used to make Allbirds shoes are sourced using strict standards. Here are some of the materials Allbirds use for animal welfare and sustainability:

1. Merino sheep wool

Allbirds work with leading organizations like ZQ Merino to ensure their merino wool is held to the highest standards of farming, land management, and animal welfare.

In New Zealand, sheep outnumber humans by about six to one. Thanks to their wool, the Allbirds’ process uses 60% less energy than materials used in typical synthetic shoes.

2. Wood from South Africa

Allbirds have a Forest Stewardship Council certification. This means they source materials that meet strict standards to protect forests, and the animals and people who depend on them.

Allbird’s tree fiber—TENCEL™ Lyocell—is mainly sourced from wood grown in South Africa. Compared to materials like cotton, it uses 95% less water and cuts its carbon footprint in half.

3. Sugarcane from Brazil

The sugarcane used to make SweetFoam® is sourced from southern Brazil. It’s a fully renewable resource that grows quickly, removing carbon from the atmosphere in the process.

What makes Allbirds’ sugarcane special is that it relies on rainwater, not irrigation. Their sugarcane is sourced to rigorous standards that protect people and the environment.

4. Allbird’s own sustainable yarn (Trino®)

When Allbirds couldn’t find yarns that met their standards of ultimate comfort and sustainability, they invented their own. Trino® is a material made from a combination of Tree and Merino.

Allbirds created Trino® from a hefty serving of responsibly harvested eucalyptus tree fibers and a handful of ZQ Merino wool, both of which were sourced with strict standards.

Working hand-in-hand with our fiber producers, yarn spinners, and textile makers, Allbirds made sure their high-quality knit was sustainably sourced from top to toe.

Key takeaways

Now you know why Allbirds are so expensive. Their shoes don’t come cheap because they are made with top-notch sustainable materials which makes them supremely comfortable.

Thanks to their dedication to producing comfortable yet sustainable shoes, Allbirds have become successful and popular. And the fruits of their labor are well-justified.