Confession: I’m a fashion writer who simply can’t do heels. Don’t get me wrong — I harbor a deep affection for ultra-tall stilettos and head-turning wedges. I love how sophisticated a good pair of heels makes me feel and how I immediately morph into a more confident, self-assured version of myself when I wear the right pair. But after spending nearly half my life in them, my feet are downright tired. That’s why I recently embarked on a journey to find stylish flats that I can log some serious miles in. Enter: the Allbirds Tree Breezers.
First, a little personal shoe history. Although I find heels notoriously uncomfortable, flats can be just as bad and, in some cases, worse. They often offer little to no support, squeeze your toes in all the wrong places, and can cause serious blistering, especially around the Achilles tendon. I’ve never been able to find flats I can wear for long periods of time that also hold up to the wear and tear that comes from a 45-minute commute to work (you know, back when commuting was a thing).
My first introduction to Allbirds was through its signature Wool Runners, which feel like walking on literal clouds — so when I heard the brand got into the flats game in 2019, I had a hunch my decades-long search would finally come to an end.
First Up: The Basics
Allbirds burst onto the scene five years ago with a somewhat radical concept: a shoe (the Wool Runner) made from superfine New Zealand merino wool. I know what you may be thinking: Wool + feet = lots of sweat and unpleasant smells. The brand, however, purportedly crafted “a revolutionary wool fabric made specifically for footwear” that miraculously keeps both problems in check. You can even wear the Wool Runners sans socks without the risk of them smelling like a gym locker room — seriously.
After stocking up on Allbirds’ debut style, I impatiently waited for the brand to release flats. I knew it was only a matter of time and was pleasantly surprised by what they delivered: a timeless, round-toe ballet flat that truly goes with everything and is available in 19 — yes, 19 — color ways. (And yes, I want them in every single shade.)
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The Tree Breezers are as comfortable as the Wool Runners and arguably even more versatile. The ribbed collar hugs your feet just snugly enough so they don’t slip around, but they’re not so tight that they leave unsightly marks on your skin. The name is a nod to the fact that they’re crafted with super soft eucalyptus tree fiber.
Why I’m Obsessed
This flat is quite literally the shoe I’ve been hunting for since middle school. I’ve put them through the ringer and have worn them on long walks around my neighborhood — no painful blistering, no skin pinching, no toe scrunching, nada.
The comfort level easily rivals that of my favorite sneakers. I also love that they come in so many hues, meaning you can have one for any kind of outfit or occasion. They’re the perfect commuter shoe or flat to stash in your bag when you inevitably need to swap out your heels at the end of the night.
In fact, I wish I’d purchased a pair to wear during my wedding reception — my heels were beautiful but absolutely brutal on my feet, and I eventually went barefoot. Did I mention that they’re machine washable?
If you’ve been on a quest for quintessential everyday flats that you can throw on at a moment’s notice and still look completely put together, these are for you. The sustainable materials are key here, so you can feel good knowing you’re taking care of your feet — and the planet.