Travel Tuesday: Allbirds Wool Runner-Up Mizzles Review

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A few months back, I reviewed the Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles, pondering if they might make a good go-to travel shoe thanks to their comfortable materials and water-repellent treatment. Well, despite not being able to fully test that theory by taking the shoes on any real trips, I recently purchased another pair of Mizzles — this time opting for the Runner-Up high-top model. Like their low-top counterparts, I figured that Wool Runner-Up Mizzles would be great for travel but also perfect for cold and wet weather at home.

So what do I think of the Wool Runner-Up Mizzles so far and how do they compare to other Allbirds options? Let’s take a closer look at the water-resistant shoes:

Medjool Allbirds Wool Runner-Up Mizzles
Medjool Allbirds Wool Runner-Up Mizzles

What are Allbirds Mizzles?

Mizzles are Allbirds’ line of water-repellant shoes that marry the company’s natural materials with a treatment that allows them to wick away wetness. In this review, I’ll be looking specifically at the Wool Runner-Up Mizzles, which is their high-top model. For a broader look at Allbirds Mizzles, I’d recommend checking out my previous review.

Color choices and ordering

Admittedly, one of the reasons I decided to order a pair of Wool Runner-Up Mizzles now instead of waiting until travel once again seems possible has to do with the colors that are currently being offered. Specifically, I was taken with the limited edition Medjool option, which is a unique cross between red, maroon, and purple — with the emphasis between those three seemingly shifting depending on the lighting. Thus, when I saw that my size was back in stock after showing as unavailable during my previous checks, I decided it was time.

On that note, while these and many other colors aside from the standard three options are listed as “Limited Edition.” I’m not clear on what that means. Also, as I mentioned, you may see that several sizes are sold out when you view them but they may be restocked. Still, I wouldn’t expect these particular colors to last forever.

In any case, to their credit, Allbirds has rolled out several more color options since I first reviewed the Mizzle line. Obviously this strategy helped win me over and I suspect I’m not alone. Plus, with the creative choices they’ve exemplified so far, I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Price

As it happens, I was actually considering purchasing Runner-Ups when I first decided to try out Mizzles. However, in the end, it was the difference in price that pushed me toward the low-top versions instead. Currently, the regular Wool Runners (as in non-water resistant) are $95, with the Wool Runner Mizzles going for $115 and then the Wool Runner-Up Mizzles fetching $135.

It’s hard to say that this isn’t a bit steep. At the same time, it’s definitely not unheard of in the sneaker world. The good news is that, as I found with my other pair of Allbirds, they seem to hold up pretty well. Of course, I haven’t had either pair for very long, so it’s hard to say how long that trend will continue.

Fit

When I reviewed the regular Wool Runner Mizzles, I mentioned how they required some breaking in as they were a bit tight at first. Well, I had no such issue with the Runner-Ups and the “ceiling” of the shoe didn’t feel as claustrophobic as my initial experience with other Mizzles. Meanwhile, before trying on the shoes for myself, I was a little concerned that the high top could cut into or at least irritate my Achilles when I wore them. Thankfully, this fear was unfounded as the shoe’s cuff is soft while offering some support.

Allbirds Runner-Up Mizzles on a mat
Allbirds Runner-Up Mizzles on a mat

My experience with the Runner-Ups

Soon after my Runner-Up Mizzles arrives, we had a pretty rainy week here in the Ozarks. Luckily, my shoes seemed up for the challenge and were unphased when I’d wear them out. Similarly, when I went for a walk in the falling snow last night, my feet managed to stay nice and warm, while drying them off afterward required little more than a quick wipe.

Another notable aspect of the Wool Runner-Up compared to the normal Wool Runner is the high-top aspect, which helps stand up to puddles and other water hazards. Furthermore, thanks to the design and soft material, you could even stuff the cuff of your jeans into the shoes to further guard against water sneaking in. All said, I found my Runner-Up Mizzles worked as intended while looking stylish along the way.

Other options

Funny enough, a short time after I ordered my Runner-Ups, Allbirds introduced yet another water-resistant shoe model. In this case, the Wool Dasher Mizzles are running shoes that still offer protection from the rain. Since, as I mentioned in my previous post, I wouldn’t recommend using the slightly-wrongly-named Wool Runners for jogging, I found this development to be exciting and fascinating. Of course, it also made me wonder whether I had yet again ordered the wrong pair of shoes — especially since they’re both the same price.

Ultimately, I’m still very interested in the Dashers and, more specifically, the Wool Dasher Mizzles, the Runner-Ups made more sense for me at this time. While the running shoes may be a bit more supportive for the amount of walking I tend to do while traveling, I find the Wool Runners and Wool Runner-Ups to be comfortable enough. In other words, I do not regret my decision to go with the high-tops and feel even more justified in my choice as winter falls upon us.

Aurora Allbirds Runner-Up Mizzles
Aurora Allbirds Runner-Up Mizzles

If I had to do it over again, I probably would have gone for the Allbirds Wool Runner-Ups Mizzles to begin with (although, at the time, I wouldn’t have been able to nab the color I ended up getting). This isn’t to say that I don’t like my regular Wool Runner Mizzles, but I feel like that high-tops make a little more sense given their overall purpose, making them worth the upgraded price. That said, if high-tops aren’t your thing or you want to save $20, I do still think that the regular Runner Mizzles are a good option. Meanwhile, I am also interested in trying the Wool Dasher Mizzles to see how they perform — although it will be a while before I’m ready to shell out another $135 for a pair of shoes.

Needless to say, I’m definitely looking forward to taking my Allbirds Mizzles on the road and seeing how they hold up to real-world conditions. Until then, I’m happy to use them here at home, keeping my feet warm and dry during what promises to be a cold and potentially snowy winter.

Originally published at Money@30.

Kyle is author of “The E-Ticket Life” and “Write, Print, Publish, Promote” as well as a regular contributor to Dyer News, Moneyat30, and The Laughing Place.

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