I Tested Allbird’s Water Repellent Sneakers in the Sleet, Snow, and Rain—And Now They’re My Go-To Winter Shoes
"Sneakers" and "winter" don't exactly go hand-in-hand. Especially if you're like me and live somewhere that often dips below freezing on top of ample snow, sleet, and rain, and tennis shoes aren't exactly your first choice of footwear. Most times, it's snow boots or bust.
What if I told you I found a winter sneaker that actually kept your toes, feet, and ankles snug as a bug? What if I told you these cozy kicks also protected your feet from the elements as you stroll along? Skeptical now, aren't you? I don't blame you. But don't be, because I actually found them, and put them to the test. Can confirm: the Allbirds Wool Runner-Up Mizzles ($138) get the job done.
True to their word, these slightly high-top sneakers are water repellent, warm, and cute. For running errands and casual winter strolls, they’ve become my new go-to.
If you've wandered around any city street, airport, or the alleys of the internet, you've probably crossed paths with a pair of Allbirds. The sustainable sneaker company is renowned for its cushy, cozy shoes made from Merino wool, a superstar textile that's better for the environment and sweet on feet. From its eco-friendly Tree Toppers ($108), which won the hearts of editors back in 2018, to last season's launch of its first active wear line, Allbirds has racked up fans around the globe for its quality, Earth-focused ethos, and minimalist style.
Add me to the running list of Allbirds fans because these water repellant sneakers are my new winter go-to. Trust me—when I got the chance to review the Mizzles, I was doubtful. Again, I live in a place (Lake Placid, NY—look it up!) that's a winter wonderland, for better or for worse. My cold-season uniform is snow boots and a parka, retiring my tennis shoes for at least six months out of the year.
But here I stand—feet dry, toes warm, ankles unscathed—to testify that these sneakers are the shizzle. They're a triple-threat that are cute, comfortable, and functional, and I highly recommend anyone who lives in a wet place get a pair ASAP.
Why I stan these sneaks
Cuteness aside, these things are comfy. I had heard Allbirds take the cake for comfort before, but again, thought it was part of the hype. But upon unboxing, I could tell they were the real deal. They're soft and flexible, like grandma's wool sweaters for you feet.
It was raining when I first decided to give these bad boys a spin. To clarify, it was a soft, steady drizzle, and not a monsoon. I decided to take them for a stroll around the lake, roughly about a 2.7-mile loop on a paved sidewalk. I thought by the first half-mile I'd feel something leak through, but was pleasantly surprised by the end of my walk that my feet were bone dry. The outside was damp, but nothing seeped through onto my socks. Rain test = complete.
Then came the snow, which I thought would be a whole different ball game. Surely my ankles would be freezing, or at least wet, by the end of the same loop. But nope. By the time I got back to my car, my socks and feet were perfectly dry, a bit chillier than the rain, but comfortable nonetheless.
Do I recommend wearing these shoes through a blizzard or torrential downpour? Absolutely not. They're water repellent not waterproof, so your feet will get wet if you push their limit. But I absolutely recommend buying a pair or two if you're someone who needs a sneaker that won't fall apart in the harsh elements. Whether you're commuting to the office in the drizzle, running to the corner store when it's snowing, or going for a jog when the streets are still damp, I know the Mizzles will get you through it. And if the high-top style isn't your thing, shop for another pair below.
Treat your feet to these other Mizzles styles
The original wool runners, just warmer and drier. These shoes hit just below the ankle and look cute with leggings, jeans, skirts—just about anything. And while the sole looks slippery, it’s not, and holds a grip on even the slickest surfaces.
If UGG and Allbirds had a baby, this would be it. This is the fluffy version of the Runner-Up high-top, designed to give you a little extra warmth in the elements. Available in black or this limited-edition pink.
Next time you get caught in the rain mid-run, be prepared. Like the Tree Dasher, these sneaks are light and supportive. Only this time, they’re water repellant, so you can stay dry mile after mile.
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