Allbirds is moving into the performance footwear sector with the release of its first running shoe, the “Dasher”. Made from eucalyptus, sugarcane, and merino wool, it’s a completely sustainable performance shoe. Running shoes are traditionally made of plastic, which takes a huge toll on the environment, but Allbirds’ new running shoes “have the potential to suck more carbon out of the atmosphere than they take to produce.” Priced at $125, the Dasher will come in four different colors and be available for men and women. Sustainable fashion continues to gain momentum, according to a Gartner report, and with a lower price point than traditional high-performing running shoes, the Dasher could appeal to a wider consumer base.
Allbirds has traditionally kept to the casual shoe space, but with the release of its first athletic shoe, the sustainable brand could soar into a new sector of success. As athleisure continues to grow in popularity—thanks to brands like Nike and Lululemon—Allbirds’ modern, performance-enhancing shoes will be up against stiff competition in the crowded market. To promote the Dasher, Allbirds is hosting a 5K run challenge from May 7 to 14 in which the brand will donate $1 to World Central Kitchen for every run logged, with a goal of raising $50,000. The charity challenge follows other relief efforts, including the brand giving away $500,000 worth of shoes to healthcare workers and rolling out a “Buy One, Donate One” promotion in which every pair of shoes purchased enables another pair donated to frontline workers.
Many brands have put product releases on hold during the Coronavirus pandemic, but as at-home exercising continues to rise, Allbirds could connect with customers looking for a comfortable and sustainable performance shoe to wear during lockdown and beyond.