Disclosure: The Tree Dasher 2 was purchased with our own money.

Daily Running Co Sustainability Project

This review is part of Daily Running Co’s Sustainability Project where we run in pairs of shoes targeted to reduce our impact on the environment. As part of the Project, we want to assess and determine the experience, feasibility, and learnings from threading lighter as a user. At the end of the project, we will publish a report on our findings.

Introduction – Allbirds & Tree Dasher 2

Allbirds need no introduction when it comes to its success in being the company which disrupted the market with its sustainability drive for its product. It can be said that Allbirds is such a success and leader in the sustainability race that even its competitor is willing to set aside differences and collaborate.

Image 1: Allbirds Tree Dasher 2
Image 2: Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 Heel

The Tree Dasher 2 is not Allbirds only product for running. The company has released its newest product, the Tree Flyers, equipped with a new foam and comes in a lighter package. For the Tree Dasher 2, it is marketed as the everyday running suitable for short distance runs, walks, and light workouts. I could not agree more with the latter two but for the first, I am here to bring you my perspective on it. Can the Tree Dasher 2 be your everyday running shoes?

Runner’s Profile

Prior to the review, it is important to establish my runner profile to better gauge my opinions on the shoes. For example, a lighter runner will experience differently the effects of midsole compared to a heavier runner. I am on the heavy side for a runner (75kg – 80kg) range and stands at 1.75m tall. My average weekly mileage ranges from 25km to 35km. I am a mid-foot/fore-foot strike with a neutral foot. I am normally a US size 11 although it varies depending on brands.

First Impression Review

For the Tree Dasher 2, I went half-size up to accommodate for my wide (2E) feet. In terms of the fit, with a US 11.5, it is perfect as there is no discomfort felt throughout the shoes. As I up the size by half, the length certainly felt slightly longer than my typical US 11. However, it does not cause any issue for me during my runs. In this review, I will assess the Tree Dasher 2 as per any running shoes I have tested previously. I understand the sustainability factor in all of what Allbirds does. But, if it is truly a running shoes, what use does it bring if you cannot properly utilize it.

Here is the specifications of my Tree Dasher 2 in size US 11.5.

  • Price: USD 135
  • Weight: 328 grams (11.57 oz)
  • Stack Height: 16.5mm to 23.5mm (7mm drop)
  • Insole Thickness: 4mm (Castor bean oil-based foam)
  • Forefoot width: 12 cm
  • Midfoot width: 6.5 cm
  • Heel width: 10.5 cm

Five Key Takeaway Pointers

Point 1 – A Comfortable & Functional Upper

The upper, which is made from DSC-certified TENCEL Lyocell (eucalyptus tree fiber), is a single knit upper which wrap comfortably around the feet. The laces work well ever though it is only a limited amount of eyelet. It locks down well and the laces do not come undone. However, the protection for the feet against the laces cannot withstand too much pressure. The ZQ Merino Wool used as the lining in the heel is very comfortable. It feels a little unbelievable as it is the most comfortable heel collar I ever had, without over building the heel collar.

If there is something I wish they can improve from the upper is the pressure point especially at the top. When I put tried to make sure the laces are tight, it does put some pressure onto my foot.

Point 2 – A Supportive, Stable & Well-Cushioned Midsole

The midsole has a supportive cushioning feel. It is not the same squish as the PWRRUN PB or Fuelcell or ZoomX. However, it provides sufficient cushion which compress during the run. To compare it more fairly, Nike SR-02 cushioning in the Rival Fly 3 provided more squish cushioning than the SweetFoam. That said, during my run, the SweetFoam did compressed and provided a very mild rebound when I did pick up the pace. Due to the way the midsole has been sculpted and its wide base, it is a very stable platform.

This midsole is made from sugarcane based green EVA, also known as SweetFoam. The foam was created through a partnership between Allbirds and Braskem, a Brazilian petrochemical company, back in 2018.

If there is something I wish to change from the midsole, that might be shifting some of the midsole around. I think the design of the midsole has its purpose, but would it be possible to slim it down and lessen the weight.  For example, the heel width perhaps can be reduced, comparing it to the other running shoes, it is the widest width with the others being about 8.5mm – 9mm.

Point 3 – An Outsole which Works Well but Puzzling

Tree Dasher 2, made from FSC-certified natural rubber which felt tacky and sticky right out of the box. I had the Tree Dasher 2 on both wet surfaces (after rain) and dry. It worked well in both scenarios. There are, however, some concern with the wear I am seeing in the outsole. I believe, this could be a feature of the Tree Dasher 2 which mold to the way you run.

Image 3: Wear & Tear of the Outsole

In my Tree Dasher 2, the lateral heel area, which I normally see wear, has been chiseled off during my run. I have seen this happen in my Rival Fly 3 as well where there is excessive outsole initially. However, the amount is quite shocking when I saw it. It doesn’t create an issue now but I will monitor it as it gets it too 100km. My prediction for the outsole is that the wear will reduce as the outsole mold to fit my running style.

If there is something I wish to change from the outsole currently, might be the redesign of the outsole. I understand the malleability of the outsole allows for different runners to make the runner shoes match their stride and running style. At the same time, the way the outsole is designed might give it some pop. But if it wears off so early, then perhaps there is a better way to do the outsole.

Point 4 – Heavy, Heavy, Heavy

While the Tree Dasher 2 works pretty well as a runner, there is one big issue – its weight. At 328 grams, in my US 11.5, the Tree Dasher 2 is one of the heaviest in all of my running shoes with the other being the New Balance 880 series. The performance of the running shoes has been compromised by its weight. Initially, I was quite sure about the weight affecting my run during the faster pace trainings which it did. But during longer run, there are moments which I wished the Tree Dasher 2 will be lighter.

The Tree Dasher 2 upper is fairly lightweight and comfortable, as such making it a bottom heavy pair of running shoes. To be fair, I believe the reasons for my complain about the weight is due to its distribution rather than just the number. As such, if there is something I could change it would definitely be the weight and its distribution in the Tree Dasher 2.

Pointer 5 – Threading Lighter for Our Planet

The last thing certainly is to highlight the journey to being a greener runner for the world. Reducing the carbon emissions via new materials and carbon offsetting. The Tree Dasher 2 achieved carbon neutral status by adopting natural materials (e.g., in its outsole) and funding carbon-reduction projects. Without those offsetting projects, the Tree Dasher 2 comes in with a carbon footprint of 10.7kg CO2e.

If there is something I could ask for from Allbirds, it will be to further drive down the carbon footprint of the Tree Dasher series. This new version is about 5% lower than its predecessor but much more could be done. The collaboration with Adidas seen that product achieving 2.94 kg CO2e per pair while Hylo Athletics’s Run 2.0 is 6.56 kg CO2e per pair. It is not easy but it could be worth it.

What’s Next?

The important question remains to be answered as we take the pair of running shoes to 100KM or more: the durability. It is important for us to review the performance and the durability of the running shoes. Both help us to formulate our view on the feasibility of going more sustainable.

We hope you have found our initial review of the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 initial review informative and useful. Do share with your running friends and community if this has been helpful for you or anyone who might benefit from our work! Remember to check out our short clip for a first look at the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 below.

Video 1 : Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 – First Look on Foot

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