Sustainable Fashion

I Didn’t Think It Was Possible, But Podiatrists Love These Cloud-Like Shoes Just as Much as I Do

Abbey Stone

Photo: Allbirds; Graphics: W+G Creative

Ever since March, I’ve been committed to only wearing clothes that feel like a hug. The world is scary and dangerous-feeling enough—why add injury to insult by wearing jeans that pinch and shoes that rub? No thank you, hard pants; it’s the sweats and tees lifestyle for me.

For padding about my 660-square-foot apartment, slippers are queen. But when I’m forced to venture outside (the dog has to be walked twice a day, whether she and I like it or not), it’s time for a costume change. Switching from indoor to outdoor shoes doesn’t have to mean sacrificing that wrapped-in-a-cloud feeling my tootsies have come to expect, however, now that I’ve discovered Allbirds’s Wool Loungers.

I’ve been a fan of Allbirds for years—ever since I spotted the original Wool Runners in my Instagram feed (and immediately added them to my Christmas list) in 2016. I wore those bad boys until I put a hole through the back of the heel (which took years, I should add).

My new fling, the Loungers, are a laceless, slip-on take on my first love. They’re made from ethically sourced Merino wool, which is a dreamy miracle fabric that manages to be soft as new-fallen snow and strong enough to take on the serious odors my feet generate.

allbirds wool loungers

Shop now: Allbirds Wool Loungers, $95

I’m not the only one captivated by the Loungers, it seems. When team Well+Good dialed up Velimir Petkov, DPM, a podiatrist at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey, to see if the shoes got the expert’s stamp of approval, he said: “They are a great choice for a shoe that checks all the boxes: suitable for everyday walking, occasional running, and standing on your feel for a moderate amount of time. They provide sufficient shock absorption and great arch support.” And then, the coup de grâce: “We wear them in our office during business hours.” I’m not sure there’s a better endorsement from a doc than hearing that they swear by something themselves.

Dr. Petkov also points out Allbirds’s dedication to sustainable materials. In addition to the aforementioned Merino wool, “the insole is covered in layers of castor bean oil that produces less carbon compared to petroleum-based foam,” Dr. Petkov says. According to the Allbirds website, “Our Wool Lounger is carbon neutral thanks to sustainable practices, like using natural materials and buying offsets.”

Which means, you can feel as good about your purchase as your feet do inside the shoes’ warm wool embrace.

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