I have always had an issue finding casual daytime walking shoes for both at home and for travel that weren’t goofy.
For years, I’ve had a challenge, just thinking past which type of shoe I could pair with shorts, a dress, pants or really any daytime outfit where I might be running errands and then wind up seeing friends at a restaurant, bar or party.
For women, I think we have some blocks in the road when it comes to comfortable daytime shoes that double as ‘cute’ and ‘chic’ at brunch, and then equally acceptable when out the same night.
Then there’s taking trips. When you pack, you want to make sure you check all the boxes of all the things you have to do on any given vacation or business trip, condensing many different occasions for shoes into just two pairs in your suitcase.
That’s why I’m reviewing the Allbirds Wool Pipers shoe for women, a cozy and pretty attractive daytime walking shoe that, for me, has done the job of checking several boxes at one time.
Here, I answer some frequently-asked questions that I myself had searched for answers to, before landing this shoe in my lap.
While reading this article, remember to use this link for a free pair of socks with your purchase of Allbirds shoes or Allbirds apparel. This offer will automatically be applied at checkout if socks are added to your cart.
Disclosure: We’d like to thank Allbirds for providing us with these shoes and with the Allbirds Men’s Wool Mizzles to jumpstart these Allbirds reviews on our website.
What kind of style are the Allbirds Women’s Wool Pipers?
These walking shoes are a simple classic flat lace-up shoe that Allbirds refers to as the “evolution of a classic.”
It’s true: I can picture earlier versions of a shoe like this worn with big skirts in the 1960s, and with jeans in the decades that came after. There’s nothing like a simple flat shoe that laces up and is ready for walking.
A style like this is timeless, and it’s a shoe I could’ve done well with had I found it earlier due to its endless uses and versatility for different occasions and outfits.
It’s also a great shoe to take on a trip during fall, winter or spring. You can add this shoe to your packing list.
Taking a look at the color choices for this Allbirds shoe
You’ll see on the Allbirds website that the Wool Pipers come in a variety of colors, from basic and timeless white, gray and black, to limited edition colors like garden blue, brick orange, “Lichen,” “Blue Ride” and “Ironbark.”
I like shoes that can be worn with a variety of pants colors, and I find myself wearing mostly denim and black on my bottoms. I chose the classic Dapple Grey with White Sole, as it reminds me of a cozy wool blanket but it’s also light-colored enough to transition back into spring after winter.
Overall, Allbirds has a good color selection that would keep anyone happy. I recommend thinking about the colors you usually wear on your bottoms, and if you’re looking for a statement shoe, or something that’ll blend in and be a classic.
What’s the material on the Allbirds shoes for women?
The Allbirds Women’s Pipers come in both “wool” (merino wool) and “tree” (eucalyptus tree fiber) varieties, so there’s one for each half of your year if you live in a climate that’s hot in summer and cold in winter (take NYC, Chicago or London, for example).
In the summer, I tend to default to Birkenstock sandals, literally all the time, and I wear them until it gets too cold. If there’s going to be a cooler night and I need a transitional shoe, I opt for my Sperrys.
The Allbirds Wool Pipers are fine to put on as soon as autumn hits and your feet start to feel a breeze and a chill. They would be too warm and sweaty for summer. Likewise, the Tree Pipers would not provide enough warmth for winter if you really plan to be out more than five minutes, especially without socks. That’s my take on both materials from Allbirds right now.
Do Women’s Allbirds fit true to size? (an Allbirds sizing review)
This is a topic I had to look into when I was looking into which size I was going to be in Allbirds. Here is the story.
I got Allbirds in 2018 back when they were new(ish), or rather, newer, as a company. Allbirds didn’t have any brick-and-mortar stores at the time, and there was virtually no way to figure out what size I would be in their shoes. For the Allbirds tree runners, I did not know if I should “size up” or “size down.”
I estimated my Allbirds sizing based on which size I am all the time, which is a 5.5-6.5, and I ordered the Allbirds tree runners in a size 6.
It turned out that they were pretty cozy during the first try-on, and after wearing them while sightseeing in Ireland, I found that they were too snug and were bad for my feet, giving me some tightness and aching.
Before getting my Allbirds Women’s Wool Pipers, I decided to go to the Allbirds retail store in SoHo, New York City. It was there that I tried on both a women’s size 6 and size 7 in the wool Pipers, and in true surprise, walked out of there confident that I should size up.
How do the Allbirds Women’s Wool Pipers fit?
Because you can tie Allbirds either in a super loose fit or a tighter and snugger fit, I tie my Wool Pipers on the tighter side, and there’s a lot of room for my toes.
This is why reviews online for anyone who asks if Allbirds have a true size fit say that you should size up, if you’re in between sizes, or even if you plan on wearing socks with your Allbirds.
With the size 7 (my sized-up size), I can wear my Wool Pipers with socks and tie them on the looser side, in winter, and I can wear them without socks because the inside is so cozy, and I can just tie them tightly, in fall and spring.
Do the Allbirds Wool Pipers fit wide feet?
If you have wide feet, I wouldn’t turn completely away from the Wool Pipers. I’d try to find a retail store where you could do a try-on, or order them in the mail on the Allbirds website to give it a shot. You can always return them if you find that your wide feet are not a match for the build of the shoe.
In reading some reviews of the Wool Pipers for women on the Allbirds website, you’ll see that some women who report having a wide foot size also say that the Wool Pipers fit just right.
I tend to think I have narrow feet, so what I mentioned about tying my Allbirds tightly with no socks and loosely with socks is going to be my best recommendation.
Do Allbirds stretch?
I’d say they stretch somewhat. Allbirds claims that the shoes are “flexible” and “conform to your movements,” so the stretch is the aim. I would not say that they’re rigid in any way — definitely not.
Because Allbirds are made of merino wool with a sugarcane insole, the natural materials do ‘give,’ somewhat.
Can you wear the Allbirds Wool Pipers in the summer?
That’s a good question I’d like to pick apart because the fact that the Allbirds Wool Pipers are made of merino wool makes them less ideal for a hot summer day.
In fact, I would most definitely not wear my Wool Pipers on a hot summer day, as I feel my feet overheat very easily. On any day past 70 degrees F, you can find me wearing sandals and I don’t put sneakers back on until mid-September (basically until I really have to).
But then, as soon as temperatures dip below 65 degrees, my circulation issues cause my feet to get cold, FAST, so I always seek out cool walking shoes that keep my feet cozy and warm if I don’t feel like wearing boots. This is where a merino wool walking shoe like the Wool Pipers is a good bet.
Can you wear the Allbirds Wool or Tree Pipers for running?
I would not recommend wearing the Wool Pipers for running. These are flat walking shoes and would not do you any good (they’d probably hurt you) to use them for exercise or impact activities.
The Wool Pipers are flat casual walking shoes. The good news is that you can wear them to work, hanging out, doing errands or dress them up with a dress or nice pants and they look cute.
Like I touched on above, they’re a great thing to have when you need to pack minimalistically for a trip, but they are not for working out.
Are Allbirds okay for flat feet?
Here’s where I have to be a bit honest, because I have flat feet and my right foot is ‘more flat’ than my left.
In wearing the Allbirds Tree Runners, I definitely felt a strain on my flat feet while walking around during travel. I had packed the Allbirds Tree Runners as a choice of a walking shoe for travel, but after a day out in Dublin, my feet were sore.
I think what I could have done was acknowledge that Allbirds shoe insoles are very flat and rather thin, so supportive arch inserts would’ve done the trick.
In trying out the Wool Pipers, the variable is that I have a size up, so there’s less tightness from end to end, and I have more space for trying arch insoles for flat foot comfort.
Do Allbirds ship free?
Yep, Allbirds ship for free from their website for any order more than $50, and if you buy a single pair of any Allbirds shoes, you’ll score free shipping.
You can return any shoe in 30 days with “no questions asked,” and the website says that lightly-worn shoes get donated to Soles4Souls, an organization that helps lift people out of poverty. Pretty cool.
Are the Allbirds Wool and Tree Pipers washable?
Yes, and in fact, all Allbirds products are machine-washable, which is huge for us now that we moved to an apartment with a washer-dryer in our unit because we can do dedicated shoe loads for washing.
Do note, however, that Allbirds shoes shouldn’t be washed in a regular rough cycle. Allbirds recommends that you put them in a delicates bag and then do a delicates load, with the laces taken out.
Then, let them hang dry or sit dry instead of putting them in the dryer (don’t do that with your Allbirds shoes!). They should be air-dried, along with the insoles and laces.
Are Allbirds Wool Pipers worth it?
The price tag may turn away some consumers looking for a cheap shoe, but the fact is that with Allbirds, you’re paying for a product that sports a carbon-neutral product.
Allbirds is a certified B Corporation, which is a certification of social and environmental performance, so Allbirds boasts this as being like a nutrition label for your closet.
For many of us, we have no idea which types of effects our product purchases have on the planet, so with Allbirds, they’re pretty transparent about how much carbon offset their production has (none) and they have a list of sustainable practices that is attractive for our generation.
Where to buy Allbirds Women’s shoes
You can buy Allbirds shoes at any Allbirds retail store location, and they now have locations all across the world from NYC, San Francisco and Los Angeles to Amsterdam, Shanghai and Tokyo. Seems like these stores sprouted up pretty fast since the company got its start.
If you’re not near an Allbirds retail store location or even if you are, and you just don’t want to leave your couch, you can get them easily on Allbirds.com.
Last updated on October 21st, 2021