It’s officially cute sneaker season, and that can only mean one thing: Retiring my snow boots and making my boots look like they fit for the first time all year. As someone who lives in Montreal, Canada, where the weather is often unpredictable, I can’t invest in a pair of luxury sneakers for everyday wear, but I’d do anything for journalism.
That’s why I was so excited to test out Allbirds’ new lifestyle shoe: The just-launched The Riser, designed in the brand’s most popular natural materials like canvas, tree fibers, wool, bio-based foam and natural rubber. Find out if this sleek new shoe is right for you.
Available in four different colourways, Allbirds’ latest loafer is designed for all-day wear and is crafted from natural materials like canvas and eucalyptus fibers.
If you’re a fan of Allbirds, the brand’s latest kid’s shoe from the block might be a smart addition to your spring wardrobe: The Riser is a lifestyle shoe designed for all-day comfort that you can easily layer with flowy skirts just as you It can be worn with activewear on the Hot Girl Walk. Its appeal lies in the use of natural materials such as canvas around the forefoot and heel for support, eucalyptus fibers around the laces and tongue for a durable and eco-friendly nylon ripstop alternative, and ethical merino wool for functional design The Elements also provide extra comfort in the heel, and sugarcane-based foam in the midsole provides some oomph to your stride, while natural rubber, sourced from a latex container from a rubber plant, provides just the right amount of traction.
They cost $135 a pair and come in four versatile colorways — honey rust, indigo, natural black, and natural white — and are available in men’s and women’s full sizes 7 to 14 and 5 to 11, respectively choose.
While first impressions are everything, I like to think of myself as judge Paula Abdul, with her skepticism and self-redemption to most things. First off, their look is unmistakably 2023, with the angular heel and sole futuristic vibe mixed in with a bit of dad sneaker vibe to keep them grounded. It’s not something I personally would reach for (I have a hard time taking fashion risks and being too prominent), so these definitely took me out of my comfort zone in a way that I appreciate.
Next, I love that the colorway I chose – Natural White with Blizzard soles – is more of a creamy beige than the standard bone white shoe, which is great for inclement weather or walking through grass and mud Can be a little more forgiving. While I’m personally not a huge fan of the other funkier colorways as my outfits tend to use brighter palettes, they both create a serious style statement while still feeling versatile. Also, unisex looks are very popular for girls who like to shop in the men’s section.
As a relatively short guy at 5’3″, I’ll take any opportunity to get some extra lift. I love how noticeably taller I feel when I wear these sneakers, thanks to their 1.25″ platform (depending on when you measure), and how the heel has a sharp and boxy silhouette, bringing the futuristic theme back Home. I appreciate how the subtle spikes further elongate my legs, making them more flattering than I expected.
I can’t help but admire the brand’s great attention to the fabrics used. Each shoe not only feels luxurious to the touch, but acts as an eco-friendly alternative to other common shoe materials that cause irreparable damage to the planet (no petroleum-based nylon, chemicals, or pesticides were used in making these shoes), and they is carbon neutral).
The outsole is slightly rounded at the toe and heel, reminiscent of some of my favorite running shoes from brands like Lululemon, Hoka, and Reebok, making it easier to propel yourself forward with every stride. I have high insteps, which made it difficult to find the best fit, but I was happy to find that the collar didn’t choke my ankles. Instead, I feel grounded and supported by the shoe.
Since Allbirds’ Tree Flyer sneakers fit like a cushion mixed with a feather, I had high hopes. From the looks of it, their wide toe box looks like it could accommodate a foot like mine, which is on the verge of developing a bunion due to years of high heel wearing, competitive dancing, marathon training, and personal trainer work. If you have a foot shape similar to mine and are used to thickly cushioned shoes, these may not be the case, probably because the thick material of The Riser takes up some space that might otherwise be best for your feet.
After two hours of walking around my house and hanging out at the grocery store (I like to test my shoes, not only in motion, but also using dynamic motions like turns, starts, stops, and stands), the platform heel didn’t provide what I was looking for. Wish for a plush finish. Knowing that most shoes need a break-in period, I wore them at home for three full days, including work, cleaning, and cooking. I’m sorry to say I breathed a sigh of relief when I took them off. While the brand claims the midsole foam conforms to your foot over time, that lifespan is too short for long break-in periods when you have a pair of furry Crocs staring back at you.
Footwear is a personal investment because our feet are all shaped differently and we all use them in different ways, from our gait style to expected activities. While the fabric used in these sneakers is certainly beautiful, their futurism meets retro style, the delicate heel will make any old sneakers you have hanging around the house look tall, and the price is reasonable at $135 a doll, They don’t quite fit my unique purpose or the way I like shoes.
But if you’re lucky enough to try on The Risers and find that they fit your particular foot shape, your styling opportunities are nearly limitless, weather permitting.