Adidas Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e Running Shoes

Both Allbirds and Adidas produce running shoes. In many ways, they are directly competing companies. It’s refreshing in this regard that the two were able to come together for a common good. The Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e running shoes combine a company’s vast experience in high-performance running with another company’s mastery of sustainable materials. The result is a pair of running shoes that require less than 3 kilograms of carbon emissions to produce, the lowest ever for Adidas.

The goal is top-notch and worth celebrating, but the shoes also have to be good for running. Does it matter how much carbon emissions are reduced if no one wants the product? Making shoddy shoes that nobody buys puts even more stress on the planet than it saves.

Fortunately, the Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e shoes perform well overall. I have some hesitation about their long-term durability. These running shoes are definitely solid and primarily meant for faster runs, but in that context, I love what they offer.

TL; DR

Professionals:

  • Comfortable fit in all aspects
  • The midsole offers a balance between rebound and stiffness

against:

  • The laces feel brittle
  • The thin upper may not survive as much as the midsole

Buy from Adidas.

Shoe specifications

These running shoes only require 2.94 kilograms of carbon emissions to produce each pair.
TYLER HAYES

Overall the shoe is very standard, with a regular fit, lace-up closure and textile upper. The midsole is made with 17% of material derived from sugar cane and the upper includes recycled materials.

The rubber sole is a bit curious. It looks smooth, but doesn’t feel smooth or slippery when running. The most obvious specification to me was the 5.4 ounce weight.

Sustainable materials

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94 Kg Co2e
The sole feels smooth and slippery, but I didn’t have any problems with traction.
TYLER HAYES

After trying these shoes, I think the most interesting part is their material. If you didn’t already know that reducing carbon emissions was their goal, I don’t think there’s much that gives it away – these running shoes don’t feel compromised. However, some of their material choices may be unique.

The upper, for example, is very thin. There are a lot of thin uppers on shoes out there. They typically serve a cooler, breezy feel on your foot. In this case, the upper is thin to reduce the amount of material used. It is flexible enough not to stand on its own.

Out of the box, these shoes are remarkably light, actually slightly incredible. The tongue is a swollen foam that feels good but looks cheap, like it was a second thought. The midsole is solid yet flexible. The laces are the most delicate I’ve ever gotten my hands on.

Seeing the shoes from a distance, it is less obvious that there is not much between the foot and the floor. Up close, however, it is much easier to see that the excess has been cut off from the product.

Minimal material is less of a concern for support, or even comfort, and more of a concern when it comes to durability. I’ve had a lot of running shoes that have developed holes in the toe area. So, this gives me a break here.

Race performance

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94 Kg Co2e
The laces may not look particularly delicate, but they feel fragile as you tie them.
TYLER HAYES

When the rubber meets the road, the most important aspect is the performance of these running shoes. Outside the gate, the incredible feeling of lightness really helps give them their push. My legs, unencumbered by almost any weight, seemed to move higher than normal. That initial, slightly unexpected feeling mostly faded after multiple runs, but I never stopped feeling nimble in these shoes.

In my experience, it takes at least 10 miles to get a feel for new running shoes. Most have a honeymoon phase, which was also true of the 2.94kg CO2e Adizero x Allbirds shoes. I felt fast with almost no side effects during that first phase. After those 10 miles or so, over three runs, the soles of my feet felt some discomfort that wasn’t present when running with other shoes.

After 25 miles, I mostly got used to the minimal cushioning provided by the midsole foam. I’m not familiar enough with barefoot running to make the comparison here, but these shoes are the closest to the road my feet have felt. This forms a true connection with the concrete beneath your feet which helps maintain a faster pace.

If you travel regularly, these may be perfect to take with you. Shoes don’t take up a lot of space and don’t add a lot of weight to a bag. You probably won’t run long distances on a business trip.

Personally, I found that 3 to 4 miles was the most I really wanted to run in these shoes at once. I had no problem wearing them day after day and doing it again – that 30+ minute ride approached rush hour without becoming uncomfortable.

Should you buy Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e?

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94 Kg Co2e
Adidas and Allbirds have teamed up to create planet-friendly, high-performance running shoes.
TYLER HAYES

Even without trying to produce more sustainable running shoes, I think the Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e provide enough performance to justify creating them. You won’t want to run a half marathon with these, and probably not a 10K either, but they are incredibly light and work well for fast runs at shorter distances.

My biggest hesitation is that the combination of premium price and thin materials could wear out much sooner than other similar running shoes. Even the need to produce twice as many shoes because the materials don’t hold up doesn’t seem like a good idea for the planet.

To be clear, durability wasn’t a factor in my 25+ miles in these shoes. Every time I tie them, I hold my breath waiting for the laces to break, but they haven’t yet. Maybe they will never break. The mission is big here and the product is worthy of consideration. I just hope this is simply the start of the project and not the finish line.

Buy from Adidas for $ 120.

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