Merino Shoes Vs. Allbirds: Helpful Comparison Guide

Despite the fact that both shoe brands use the same material, merino wool, these two footwear companies make different types and styles of shoes. Allbirds, for years, has been the go-to company for most people whenever they want Merino Shoes.

However, Merino Shoes, even though they are a new brand in the footwear market, they are gaining lots of popularity because of the level of comfort and quality they provide their customers.

Are you torn between the all-popular Allbirds or the newbie Merino Shoes? Below is a head to head comparison of these two footwear brands.

merino shoes vs allbirds
designmilk from USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Merinos

Back in 2017, when Merino was launched in San Diego, the brand started a mission of making the comfiest shoes on the planet.

5 years later, it seems that they have succeeded in their mission and there is a lot we can expect from these guys.

Using the highest quality merino wool, Merino Shoes are fine-tuned to look and feel like nothing you have ever worn before.

Merino sources the finest Australian merino wool. And indeed, merino wool is one of the best materials when it comes to the manufacture of comfortable shoes. This brand ensures that their merino wool is sourced directly from certified farmers.

From this brand, you can get a wide range of merino wool shoes. Which come in different colors and sizes. Also, because merino wool stretches easily, these shoes are breathable and fit perfectly.

One thing you have to know about Merino Shoes is that they utilize a classic minimalist design. As a result, their shoes are ultra-casual.

Allbirds

This brand has been around a little longer than Merino Shoes. It was founded in 2014 and the brand’s objective was also similar to the above company.

I have to hand it down to Allbird’s marketing technique. They made a shoe so comfortable to the point that they didn’t have to spend lots of money on marketing, it actually marketed itself.

My first encounter with Allbirds was in 2016 with one of my friends. She praised these shoes so much that someone would think she had been paid to do so.

They did look comfy. But, for a pair of runners, they didn’t look that stylish when you compare them to other brands like ASICS and Brooks.

Anyway, I didn’t really give them much concern till I started seeing everyone with a pair. I was interested and got mine too. To date, these are the comfiest shoes I have ever worn.

Allbirds is from New Zealand. And if you know a thing or two about wool, then you will know this country has the best. Compared to other shoe brands, Allbirds put so much effort into sustainability.

Their shoes are made of quality merino wool alongside other recycled materials. I recently came across their ‘Tree Runners’ which are made of eucalyptus pulp. How awesome is that?

At Allbirds, the shoes can be sourced directly from their site. You can also check out some of their physical stores which are quite a few.

Differences:

  • Years of Experience

Though it may not seem like much, the experience is key when you are comparing between two shoe brands. Allbirds have more experience with merino wool, as a result, their shoes are more likely to have better features.

  • Popularity

How you use this factor is entirely up to your preference. Merino Shoes aren’t as popular as Allbirds. However, they aren’t really that different.

If you are the kind of person who enjoys wearing unique shoes then Merino Shoes should be your number one choice.

If you are into trends and love having popular shoes on your feet, everyone will know you are rocking a pair of Allbirds.

  • Merino Make More Shoe Varieties

Though a newbie, this is a brand that is dedicated to changing the footwear market. Merino make more shoe varieties than their popular counterparts.

For instance, I wanted to gift my dad a pair of a slip-on. Allbirds didn’t have these and in my search, that’s how I discovered Merino Shoes. It’s been a year and he really loves them. It’s his favorite pair of indoor shoes.

  • Allbirds Don’t Look as Great as Merino

Allbirds may have been in the game for longer, but their shoes don’t look better than Merino. In my opinion, I love how classic Merino look.

They also come in a wide range of colors and designs. This however doesn’t mean that Allbirds look terrible.

Similarities:

Both shoes are;

  • Immediately Comfortable and Soft

These shoes don’t even need a break-in period. From the minute you slip your feet inside, you will realize that they are immediately soft and comfortable. Merino and Allbirds feel soft when worn on your feet. The feeling is superb.

  • Extremely Lightweight

Unlike leather, merino wool is super lightweight. These are the kind of shoes you can go traveling with and not feel a thing. My pair of Allbirds runners weighed only 170z.

Merino also weigh nearly the same. Lightweight shoes are amazing. You can bring them with you anywhere without adding any weight to your luggage.

  • Can Be Worn With Or Without Socks

Whether you love to wear shoes with or without socks, both these brands can offer you an equal amount of comfort. Wool stretches to conform to your shoe size and shape.

Therefore, irrespective of what your socks preference is, these shoes have got you covered. I love wearing my merino wool shoes without socks because I enjoy the soft feeling on my feet.

  • Fit Perfectly and Offer Adequate Arch Support

When a shoe is made out of merino wool, size should never be an issue. But the rule of going a size up always remains.

When getting a pair from either brand, I recommend you go half a size up so that you get well-fitting shoes. The wool material stretches easily and will fit you irrespective of whether your feet are wide or narrow.

Both shoe brands offer an adequate amount of padding on their soles and offer enough bounce as well as shock absorption.

Please note that Allbirds and Merino Shoes are strictly casual walking shoes. Even those called runners shouldn’t be used for running, lest you risk falling and getting injured.

What’s Better about Merino Shoes?

Other than Merino having more shoe designs and colors, they do have plenty of advantages that make it a better shoe brand. For one, I like how great they look.

Even after years of use, your Merino will always look as good as new. Especially if you take proper care of them. They also fit perfectly and are VERY comfortable.

The soles grip well and can be used on a wide range of light terrains. The wool fabric makes it a great shoe to wear without socks. The soles are also adequately padded and offer enough arch support.

What’s Better about Allbirds?

This is a shoe that can stay warm in the cold and cool in the heat. That’s why a lot of urban dwellers love wearing Allbirds when heading out.

The wool is perfect when it gets cold and you can even substitute Allbirds as your house shoes. Be as it may Allbirds aren’t air conditioning machines when it gets very hot, your feet may be sweaty. So, wear them with socks.

Another great feature that I love about Allbirds is how light they are. These are the best shoes to wear for long walks or when traveling.

Who Should Get Merino Shoes and Why?

Are you looking for a new pair of work from home shoes that you can casually wear to the park or beach? Then Merino should be your number one choice.

For those who don’t love walking indoors barefoot, these comfy and soft shoes can see you through cold winters. They look great and are quite comfortable.

The soles grip gently on the ground and you won’t slip easily as is the case with other merino wool shoes.

Merino Shoes fit easily and are very lightweight. Provided you go half a size up, you don’t have to worry about them running small or anything of that sort.

Merino Shoes have plenty of positive reviews online. And for a shoe that is highly spoken of, you can be assured of getting lots of positive experiences from it.

Who Should Get Allbirds and Why?

Do your feet sweat a lot? Allbirds are odor-resistant and quite breathable. You can wear these comfortable shoes without socks and you don’t have to worry about feet odor.

They are super easy to clean and you can just toss them in the washing machine. You can also get a replacement of the insoles for a relatively low price.

Allbirds are durable and stretch with time. I have been wearing my wool runners for a couple of months and they are still in great shape.

However, I don’t wear them that often. I mostly wear them when visiting friends, or when walking around the neighborhood.

There is a valid reason as to why these shoes are so popular. They are comfortable, durable, and made using sustainable materials.

These are the best shoes to buy if you are looking to explore cities or when running simple errands.

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