Adidas Adizero x Allbirds Running Shoes 2.94 Kg CO2e

Both Allbirds and Adidas make running shoes. In many ways, they are outright competitors. It’s refreshing in this respect that the two of them are able to come together for the greater good. The Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e running shoes combine one company’s performance expertise with another company’s mastery of sustainable materials. The result is a pair of sneakers that require less than 3 kilograms of carbon emissions to produce – the lowest ever produced for Adidas.

The goal is top notch and worth celebrating, but the shoes should also be good for running. Does it matter how much carbon emissions are reduced if no one wants this product? Making inferior shoes that no one buys still puts more pressure on the planet than saving it.

Fortunately, Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e boots perform well – overall. I have some hesitations about its long-term durability. These running shoes are definitely consistent and are primarily meant for fast runs, but in that context, I love what they offer.

tl; DR

Positives:

  • Fits comfortably on all sides
  • The midsole provides a balance between rebound and rigidity

Negatives:

  • Laces look fragile
  • The thin upper may not survive as long as the midsole

Buy from adidas.

Shoe specifications

These running shoes consume only 2.94 kg of carbon emissions to produce each pair.
Tyler Hayes

Overall, the shoe is pretty standard, with a regular fit, lace-up closure and a fabric upper. The midsole is made from 17% sugarcane-derived material, and the upper includes recycled materials.

The rubber outsole is a bit intriguing. It looks smooth, but it doesn’t feel too soft or slippery while running. The most obvious spec to me was the 5.4 ounce weight.

sustainable materials

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94 Kg Co2e
The outsole feels smooth and slippery, but I had no issues with traction.
Tyler Hayes

After trying these shoes, I think the most interesting part is their materials. If you didn’t already know that lowering carbon emissions was their goal, I don’t think there’s much to emptying them—these running shoes don’t feel compromised. But nonetheless, some of their material options may stand out as unique.

The top, for example, is very thin. There are a lot of thin uppers on the shoes outside. They are usually in the service of feeling cooler and more breezy on your feet. In this case, the top is thin to reduce the amount of material used. It’s flexible enough that it doesn’t stay straight on its own.

Out of the box, these shoes are remarkably lightweight—indeed somewhat unbelievably true. The tongue is a puffy foam that has a nice feel but feels cheap, as if it was a second thought. The midsole is solid yet bendable. Laces are the most delicate I’ve ever put my hands on.

When you see the shoe from a distance, it is unclear that there is not much between your foot and the pavement. However, it is much easier to see that the excess of the product has been cut off up close.

Minimum materials are no 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 show holes in the toe area. So, this gives me pause here.

running performance

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94 Kg Co2e
The laces may not look particularly delicate, but they feel weak while tying them.
Tyler Hayes

When rubber meets the road, the most important aspect is how these running shoes perform. Coming out of the gate, the great feel of their really light weight helps give them their strength. My legs, unburdened by almost any weight, seemed to move higher than usual. That initial slightly unexpected feel mostly faded after a few rides, but I never stopped feeling smart with these boots.

In my experience, it takes at least 10 miles to get to know your new running shoes. Most of them are in the honeymoon phase, and this also applies to Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e shoes. I felt fast with almost no side effects during that first phase. After those ten miles or so, across three runs, my balls of feet felt some discomfort that wasn’t there when running in other shoes.

After 25 miles, I’m mostly used to the minimal cushioning that the midsole foam provides. I’m not familiar enough with running barefoot to make the comparison here, but these shoes are the closest my feet have ever felt on the road. This forms real contact with the cement under your feet which helps maintain a faster pace.

If you travel regularly, this could be perfect for packing your luggage. The shoes do not take up much space and will not add much weight to the bag. Chances are you won’t be running long distances on a business trip.

Personally, I found 3 to 4 miles to be the most I wanted to run in these shoes at one time. I had no problem putting it on day in and day out and doing it all over again: This 30+ minute run approached prime time without feeling uncomfortable.

Should You Buy Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e?

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94 Kg Co2e
Adidas and Allbirds come together to create eco-friendly running shoes.
Tyler Hayes

Even without the context of trying to produce more sustainable running shoes, I think Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e provides enough performance to warrant their creation. You wouldn’t want to run a half marathon in these, maybe not even 10km, but they are incredibly light and work well for sprints over shorter distances.

My biggest hesitation is that the combination of premium price and thin materials may wear out much sooner than other similar running shoes. Having to produce twice as many shoes because the materials don’t hold up doesn’t sound smart to the planet either.

To be clear, durability wasn’t a factor at more than 25 miles with these shoes. Every time I tie them, I hold my breath in anticipation of picking up the laces, but they still haven’t. They may never be broken. The job is great here, and the product is worthwhile. I just hope this is just the beginning of the project and not the finish line.

Buy from adidas for $120.

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