Merino Shoes vs. Allbirds – Wool Sneakers

Merino Shoes and Allbirds use the same material in their construction- merino wool. Wool is a natural product that originates from sheep. It wicks away moisture, thus, keeps your feet dry and warm.

Technological advancements make it possible for manufactures to creatively knit wool and combine it with other materials to bring forth exciting products. It’s good to note that wool shoes weren’t most people’s favorite until Allbirds gained ground.

Although Allbirds receive a lot of love because of their excellent comfort features Merino Shoes are giving them a run for their money. Both of these wool shoe brands have grown in popularity over the years. Hence, if you’re looking for a compressive comparison between Merino Shoes vs. Allbirds I’ve got you covered.

Also Read: Best Walking Shoes for Sweaty Feet

A Personal Testimony Of Merino Shoes Vs.  Allbirds

Merino Shoes

Merino came to be in 2017 in San Diego Australia.  Their mission was to produce the “most comfortable shoes on Earth” using top-quality merino wool.

True to their word, Merino shoes are some of the most comfortable shoes on the planet. I recently bought a pair of Merino Women’s Lace-Ups. I must confirm that they are comfortable.

Merino shoes are solid and they properly hold the foot in place allowing you to walk comfortably with glove-like comfort.

I particularly loved that the shoes were lightweight and moisture-wicking. This means my feet stayed dry and fresh throughout the day. In addition, if you don’t like wearing socks, these shoes will be perfect for you.

Furthermore, Merino shoes come in various exciting color options and different sizes. The merino wool stretches, thus accommodate different shapes or sizes of feet. They are also highly breathable and comfortable.

Some of the things I didn’t like about merino shoes include their pricing. I felt the shoes were too expensive compared to the Allbirds. For example, the Giesswein runners cost $129.


If you’re looking for a comfortable shoe brand that’s has received massive positive responses from its users, then pick any Allbird shoe. From the beginning, most if not all Allbirds users have defined the brand by its simple design and amazingly comfortable construction.

I acquired my first pair of Allbirds in 2016. I specifically bought the all-famous Allbirds Wool Runners. Oh boy! It was the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn. This made me try out almost all the Allbirds shoes.

To tell you the truth, Allbirds shoes are truly comfortable in all ways you can imagine. However, I didn’t like that they didn’t hold up well. They stayed for a few months or a year and I couldn’t wear them any longer.

Another disadvantage that I have experienced with Allbirds is their sizing; they mostly run a half size small. Thankfully, they have an excellent return policy. Thus, you can easily return and reorder your ideal size.

The negatives aside, I couldn’t imagine that I could actually find shoes that provide both a pillowy or socks-like feel. I didn’t experience any irritation or itching on my feet while on Allbirds. The shoes are also lightweight. Therefore, if you want a comfortable shoe that’s both casual and stylish, I’ll highly recommend Allbirds.

Are Merino Shoes Comfortable? Are they worth it?

Merino shoes are highly comfortable and yes, they are worth it. Merino shoes come in different designs and many color options. Therefore, anyone looking for a pair of comfortable walking shoes will definitely find one that suits them.

Moreover, the padding on the sole is also sufficient to provide ample arch support. The wool material used for the construction of Merino shoes is soft and smooth. You can actually wear these shoes without any socks and still be very comfortable throughout the day.

Other than that, Merino shoes have a longer wear period compared to Allbirds.  They also provide reliable traction on various surfaces.

I’ve worn both the Merino wool runners and the Merino slip-on. Both of these designs are wide and tall at the forefoot (toe areas). Thus, they offer protection against toe humps. Therefore, they are some of the best shoes for bunions.

Is Allbirds Comfortable? Are they worth it?

Yes! Allbirds are comfortable and they’re absolutely worth it.  The insoles of Allbirds feature merino wool fabric that provides a soft feel that makes you like you’re walking on clouds. This wool fabric is also moisture-wicking and helps to inhibit odor.

Other than that, the sole of Allbirds incorporates a low-density foam that ensures the shoes remain lightweight throughout.

I also loved the fact that my Allbirds can regulate heat properly. During the cold season, my feet would remain warm and when it’s hot I’ll have cool and dry feet. However, when it’s very hot, my feet would sweat so I have to wear socks.

Differences between Merino and Allbirds


I felt Merino was a bit expensive compared to Allbirds. For example, I got myself Giesswein runners and slip-ons at a cost of $129 each. On the other hand, my Allbirds costs $95. This means Allbirds is $34 cheaper than Merino.


I must confess that I have wide feet and while wearing Allbirds you can actually see toe humps especially the big toe hump. However, with Merino, I didn’t experience any humps. So that a plus for Merino. If you’re wide footed its important you take note. Nevertheless, my colleague has never experienced any humps.  So I guess it comes down to foot size, shape, and preference.


It’s important to appreciate that unlike Albirds Merino produces more shoe varieties and designs. Allbirds shoes include Tree Dasher, Tree Runner, Wool Runner, and loungers(slip-on design). They include both men’s and women’s shoes.

On the other hand, Merino includes Women’s Slip Ons, Women’s Lace-Ups, Men’s Slip Ons, and Men’s Lace-Ups. Merino incorporates various exciting color options and designs. That is not to say that Allbirds are awful. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Similarities between Merino and Allbirds

Both Have Difficult Sizing Mechanism

It’s tough to select the correct size for both Merino and Allbirds.  It would be better to try them in person first before ordering online.

For instance,  I wear women’s sizes 8.5 to 9. When buying the Allbirds runners and slip-on I choose size 8.5. It was a mistake. I should have gone one size lower. The two shoe designs were too large and long for my liking.

For Merino, I went a half size down and bought 8. The good thing with merino wool is that it stretches and with time, the shoe expanded and accommodated my feet properly.

The bottom line is that both of these brands are not true to size and it’s difficult to size them.


Both the Merino and Allbirds are machine wash friendly. You can also air-dry them. Therefore, care and maintenance for the two are quite easy.

Shockingly Lightweight

Merino wool is lightweight and since both shoes incorporate merino wool in their construction, you’ll love the light feeling on your feet. I remember the first day I wore my Allbirds Wool Runners, I couldn’t imagine that a shoe could be that lightweight, comfortable, and still look durable.

You Can Wear Both without Socks

You can definitely wear Merino and Allbirds sockless. The shoes have interiors that are soft and smooth. Hence, provide additional comfort to the feet. However, if you’re going to be on your foot for long hours it’s advisable that you wear socks for enhanced comfort.


When it comes to choosing between Merino shoes and Allbirds personal preference may play a role. Overall, I felt Allbirds were a great option for me especially the wool runners. However, I would have loved it more if the toe box was wider. Bottom line is that they are comfortable and supportive. Conversely, I felt the Merino shoes were more structured and well designed. I also felt their toe boxes were a bit constrained just like in Allbirds. Overall, both the Merino and Allbirds are comfortable, lightweight, and soft to the feet.

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