Picking the right shoes to to wear for a long day of traveling may not seem like an important decision, but it's one that you should probably put a lot more thought into. Maybe you instinctively slip on a go-to pair of sneakers or Chucks or a standby pair of business loafers, but are those really going to give your feet the love and comfort they deserve as you schlep through airports, wait in TSA screening lines, sit through long-haul flights, and deal with whatever unforeseen hiccups may pop up along the way? Possibly, but for our money, the best pair of kicks to travel in are the Tree Toppers from Allbirds.
Allbirds made a splash in the shoe market a few years ago when the brand debuted its wool runners, which are designed to be worn with or without socks, are machine washable, and most importantly, make it feel like you’re walking on a cloud (that's only a minor exaggeration). The brand has hung its hat on being insanely comfortable, and it's since extended its lineup to include several other styles including the Tree Toppers, a slightly more refined -- but similarly comfy -- hightop.
So, what makes them so great for traveling? For starters, they feel like you’re wearing a cozy pair of slippers thanks Allbirds’ proprietary merino wool insoles, which are not only ultra-soft, but designed to wick moisture and prevent odors -- something that you (and your seat mates) will certainly appreciate if you’re prone to kicking off your shoes mid-flight. Even if you do start to work up a funky smell after your trip, though, the entire shoe is also machine washable. Beyond that, they’re plush, lightweight, breathable, and easy to quickly take on and off (even while laced), which will spare you the hassle of holding up a security line full of harried air travelers.
One of the other big reasons we appreciate them while traveling is the fact they work just as well if you need to be business casual as they do when paired with a favorite pair of sweats, which is a hugely helpful if you’re sick and tired of high-tailing it from terminal to terminal in dressier kicks (not to mention, fashionably versatile footwear means theoretically having to pack less in your bag).
On top of all that, Tree Toppers are among the most eco-friendly shoes on the market. Allbirds as a brand has been committed to sustainability and responsible production since it launched, but it officially went carbon neutral in 2019, and took its commitment to green manufacturing to another level with these high tops. They’re made with a proprietary knit fabric made from sustainably sourced eucalyptus pulp, the laces are made from 100% recycled polyester, and the outsoles are made of a carbon negative foam.
Just something to think about next time your feet are screaming at you after long day on the road.
Snag a pair for yourself -- in any of the 10 different colorways -- for $115 at Allbirds.