Product Review

Allbirds Riser Review: Eco-Friendly, Retro-Inspired Sneakers

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  • Allbirds has introduced a classic, lifestyle shoe made with sustainable materials— the Risers.
  • The Allbirds Risers mark the brand’s next venture into vintage-inspired sneakers.
  • Take a look at our first impressions and see how we like to style the Allbirds Risers below.


Allbirds Riser Review: Eco-Friendly, Retro-Inspired Sneakers



Allbirds Riser Review: Eco-Friendly, Retro-Inspired Sneakers


The Allbirds success story began with the practical, eco-friendly Wool Runners. Then they pivoted to performance models, like their collaboration with Adidas on the Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 kg CO2e, which furthered the brand’s popularity. Now, their loyal customer base has allowed Allbirds the space to play with lifestyle designs. With this new phase comes the Allbirds Risers, a retro-inspired everyday sneaker.

The gum soled, sharp edged Risers mark the next step in Allbirds’ exploration of timeless silhouettes. The preceding Allbirds Pacers drew inspiration from the classic tennis shoe. The Allbirds Risers give off a distinct seventies feel, but are made in ways the manufacturers of that era could only imagine. Their creation is another example for Allbirds to point to when showing off their genuine commitment to sustainability.

For its initial release, the Allbirds Riser is available in men’s sizes 8-14 and women’s sizes 5-11. It comes in 4 colorways: Hazy Indigo, Honey Rust, Natural Black, and Natural White.

A close up image of a sneaker.


This label indicates that Allbirds Risers have a carbon footprint of 9.21CO2e.

Gabrielle Chase/Insider


What the Risers bring to the Allbirds design profile

The Risers are as expressive as you could expect from other cut-and-sewn multi material sneakers, such as those made with leather and suede, but are instead built according to Allbirds high standards of sustainability. They’re made with Allbirds’ five hero natural materials — organic cotton canvas, Tencel, Merino wool, Sweetfoam, and natural rubber— to create a multidimensional, super comfortable sneaker.

The Risers maintain the practicality of Allbirds original designs. But the structured heel is the main giveaway that they’ve begun to lean into the retro trend. The Honey Rust colorway, for example, uses a vintage palette unseen in previous styles. Its remaining colorways are more subtle and easy to style, in true Allbirds fashion.

A model wearing sneakers has their legs crossed while sitting in a chair.


The Honey Rust colorway gives the Allbirds Risers a retro feel.



How the Allbirds Risers feel on foot

A woman sits cross legged on a park bench.


The Allbirds Risers are majorly comfortable and can be styled effortlessly.

Gabrielle Chase/Insider


When putting the Allbirds Risers on for the first time, I noticed the extra thick merino wool interior heel padding. My ankles benefited from this extra support while I spent the day walking around Brooklyn on uneven pavement. The soles’ gum exterior provided great traction, while its chunky interior felt supportive and sponge like.

Among our past Allbirds sneaker reviews, the Risers fit my wardrobe the best. They’re modest enough that they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. After a weekend of wearing the Risers, I can see myself choosing them over my other errand-day sneakers because of how comfy they are to walk in.

I ordered true to size and they fit me perfectly, though the drawback of the Risers is that they only come in whole sizes. Allbirds suggests sizing up if you’re in between sizes or have wide feet, but if you come to realize yours aren’t fitting correctly, you can return them for free within 30 days.

A top view of a cardboard box and sneakers.


The Allbirds Risers arrive in minimal packaging.

Gabrielle Chase/Insider


Amir’s review of the Allbirds Riser 

The Allbirds Riser sneakers in blue


The Allbirds Risers are an ideal sneaker for an athleisure outfit.

Amir Ismael/Insider


The new Riser sneaker might just be Allbirds’ most unique sneaker to date. Not only does it live up to the sustainability standards that the brand is so well-known for, but it also speaks to the design cues that I love about retro sneakers.

Its cut-and-sewn panels and mix of materials make it feel like a modern twist on a familiar classic, while accents like the square-shaped midsole give it a distinctive futuristic touch.

For a casual look, I styled the Riser sneakers with a grey sweatsuit and blue knit socks that play into the mix of colors and materials on the shoe. I typically size up with Allbirds that are only available in full sizes, but I found the Risers to be a bit big. You can see some extra space at the heel of the shoe. — Amir Ismael, editor, Insider Reviews

The Allbirds Riser sneakers in blue


The Allbirds Risers have a notable heel that’s unique among other Allbirds sneakers.

Amir Ismael/Insider


The bottom line

The Allbirds Risers are sure to be well received by their customers for their reliability and versatility. With fashion trends moving in a never ending circle, the choice to draw from the past for design inspiration is a smart one, as a comfortable everyday sneaker is something that will never go out of style.

The current trend towards sustainable fashion puts Allbirds ahead of the game when it comes to sensible footwear options. With the Risers, we can see the brand take full advantage of the opportunity to get creative, using the innovative resources at their disposal.


Allbirds Riser Review: Eco-Friendly, Retro-Inspired Sneakers



Allbirds Riser Review: Eco-Friendly, Retro-Inspired Sneakers


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