Desperately searching for a pair of travel shoes that are actually as comfortable as it promises to be, and isn’t hideous? And if you’ve narrowed your search to Allbirds vs Rothys, you’re going to love this.
- Allbirds vs Rothys: Brand Comparison Chart
- Brand History
- Breaking It Down: What Do Both Brands Offer?
- Frequently Asked Questions: Allbirds vs Rothys Shoes
- Bestsellers: Which Shoe Should I Get?
- Conclusion: Allbirds vs Rothys – Which Brand Is Best?
Today we’re looking at two contenders – Rothy’s and Allbirds. Or better put, Recycled Plastic Bottles vs Eucalyptus Tree Fiber. Find out which of these hip, Insta-trending competitors comes out on top in this epic battle and comparison of the best casual travel shoe brands.
It’s a close competition, given both have millions of fans, worldwide.
Each has earned its reputation for offering super comfortable, stylish travel footwear, and we’ll be taking you through exactly why they’re some of the most talked-about names in the world of shoes.
Looking at styles, colors, affordability, durability, and more, I’ll help you figure out which pair of shoes best fit your needs.
Allbirds vs Rothys: Brand Comparison Chart
|Collections||Running Shoes, Sneakers, Slip-Ons, Flats, Boat Shoes, High-Tops and more for men AND women||Flats, Sandals, Boots, Sneakers, Bags for various occasions|
|Activity||Casual, Sports, Fashion, Travel||Casual, Sports, Fashion, Travel|
|Bestsellers||Runners, Loungers, Mizzles, Skippers, Breezers, Toppers||The Flat, The Point, The Loafer, The Sneaker, The Mary Jane|
The Story Behind Rothy’s
Based in San Francisco, Rothy’s was founded in 2012 and launched as a shoe company in 2016; since their conception, they have exploded into success, subsequently opening more stores in NYC, Boston, and Washington DC.
Promising to transform your closet with sustainable materials, their initial goal was to create a wearable, fashionable women’s flat, whilst removing much of the wastage that occurs when manufacturing shoes traditionally.
Most recently, in 2020, they’ve broken into the world of handbags, also offering an environmentally friendly, yet trendy, alternative to another prime culprit in the global problem that is fast fashion waste.
The Story Behind Allbirds
Dubbed ‘the world’s most comfortable shoe,’ Allbirds began in New Zealand in 2014, also with a headquarters in San Francisco. After a research grant from the NZ wool industry, following a successful Kickstarter campaign, they launched in 2016.
Though Allbirds only launched with one product, the wildly successful Wool Runner casual sneakers, their repertoire has subsequently expanded in the past five years. And you’ll also find flip flops, socks, shirts, and more in their wide range of apparel.
Back in May of 2020, Allbirds announced an upcoming partnership with multi-million dollar sportswear company Adidas, so you know they’re the real deal. We can’t wait to see what the duo come up with when the collection is released!
Breaking It Down: What Do Both Brands Offer?
Allbirds are perhaps most well known for their original Wool Runners and Loungers, stylishly designed for casual wear all day long. They have since released several more collections, including a series of weather-resistant, washable shoes called Mizzles.
When it comes to colors, most pairs from all ranges are available in ‘Hues’ of White, Blue, Grey, Black, Green, and Red. Other lines are also available in a greater variety of colors, with certain styles having Limited Edition options that are even prettier.
Allbirds also has a range of footwear for men, which Rothy’s does not, which consists of all of their offerings for women, just available in larger, wider sizes. If there’s a man in your life looking for a cool, yet comfy everyday shoe: you may have just found it.
Speaking of Rothy’s, theirs is a range of flats, sandals, boots, and sneakers. From The Loafer, The Mary Jane, and The Square to The Chelsea and The Lace Up, each “the most comfortable shoes in your closet,” with zero break-in period, period.
As for colors and styles, there are a plethora of pumps and comfortable travel shoes in just about every shade of the rainbow. There are also unique patterns and prints to pick from if you prefer to be bolder with your footwear. A pair for every single outfit! Plus Rothy’s have removable insoles.
Using their patented 3D knitting technology, every single spool of Rothy’s signature thread has been created from repurposed plastic water bottles. Likewise, each sustainable outsole is either made from eco-friendly rubber or luxe vegan leather.
Launched in 2019, their brand new Merino styles are made with a combination of sustainable wool and their existing water bottle spun thread, resulting in a luxuriously soft shoe that has structure and integrity. Unfortunately, these are not waterproof!
Rothy’s ‘seamless’ design for every shoe means that you’ll experience immediate comfort, right out of the box, unlike competing brands. With Rothy’s, you’re absolutely getting what you pay for, even if that cost is a little steeper. And those recycled foam insoles are amazing.
All of their shoes and bags are created with care in their sustainable manufacturing workshop. Each and every one of their products is machine washable (on cold), even the shoes made from Merino wool, so there’s no need for tricky maintenance.
Allbirds also utilize superfine merino wool, working with global leaders like ZQ Merino in order to maintain the highest possible standards for animal welfare, farming, and land management more generally.
Sourced from South African farms, requiring 95% less water than materials such as cotton, their TENCEL tree fiber is breathable, comfortable, and smooth to the touch, and all SweetFoam shoe soles are made from sugarcane for the ultimate bounce.
By creating a hybrid with the above materials, each shoe is made of ‘Trino’ (tree plus merino) fibers: soft, odor-resistant, and responsibly harvested. Other materials they utilize include castor bean oil for comfier insoles and recycled bottles for shoelaces!
All of their shoes that are claimed to be ‘water-resistant’ have been coated with Puddle Guard, a breathable, bio-based shield beneath a typical reinforced wool upper. Treated with fluorine-free water repellent, it’ll keep your toes toasty and dry!
When it comes to sizing, Rothy’s are available in accordance with established industry standards, between 5 and 13, with half sizes available. They also have a kids range, which utilizes its own separate size chart. Both can be found here!
If you opt for their popular style ‘The Point’, they advise that many customers prefer to choose half size bigger than their normal footwear, in order to accommodate and allow for plenty of room, given the shape of the toe.
Unfortunately, Allbirds are not quite as accommodating with their size offerings. Some shoes have half sizes available, like their Tree Dashers, but most of their shoes come in whole options, between 5 and 11 respectively.
Their men’s section is a little more forgiving – though it only starts at a size 8! – going all the way up to a 14, though again, half sizes are only available on one or two collections.
According to their website, Rothy’s shoes have been designed in such a way that their structure should accommodate and gently hug your feet, regardless of their shape and width. Wide and narrow alike, everyone can fit in a pair! The thread in the loafers will stretch out a bit over time.
It’s worth noting that their shoes don’t have a break-in period – they will not stretch, but rather mold to the contours of your foot. The fit should be so that they move with your feet – if too snug after a day of wear, it’s recommended you go up half a size.
They can be worn without socks if you’d like, and won’t rub or cause blisters provided you’ve picked the appropriate size.
Their Perfect Fit Guide would argue that Allbirds shoes have been similarly designed to fit your feet in all of the right places, and it is ‘due to this adaptability [they] only offer half sizes,’ though Rothy’s seem to have cracked doing both…
Helpfully, they point out that their men’s sizes are smaller than their women’s by 1.5. For instance, if you wear a women’s 9.5, you’d fit wonderfully in a men’s 8, and vice versa. All sizes have been conveniently adjusted for UK and EU regions!
Most reviewers seem to indicate that their footwear is true to size, so if you find yourself in between sizes and the collection you like doesn’t offer a half, it’s recommended that you size up accordingly to avoid rubbing.
With their most affordable design (The Flip Flop) coming in at $65, and the others ranging between $125 and $165, Rothy’s aren’t exactly a budget-friendly shoe. They will last longer than your average $40 pair, however, so it’s a worthy investment.
Rothy’s handbags vary slightly more in price, depending on the size and style, starting at $95 with The Essential Pouch and ending up at $450 with The Weekender; similar in cost to designer favorites, but far better for the planet in the end, and just as lovely!
Though the starting price for the most affordable Allbirds is a little steeper at $95 for their Wool Loafers, for instance, these are still more budget-friendly than the Rothy’s slip-on would be, making them the better option for those trying to save some cash.
Additionally, their most expensive choices only reach $135, which means there’s less of a cost jump between collections if you’re having trouble deciding which ones are for you. When it comes to apparel, costs fluctuate depending on the items of choice!
Frequently Asked Questions: Allbirds vs Rothys Shoes
Are Rothy’s really worth it?
It depends on who you ask. If you plan to get the most wear out of your pair of Rothy’s, they are worth the price for comfort, durability, and style. And if your job involves a lot standing/walking, you might actually fall in love with these durable shoes.
What shoes are comparable to Rothys?
Are Allbirds REALLY that comfortable?
Yes, Allbirds are comfortable. The soles of these washable shoes are made from tree fibers that are extremely durable and lightweight. It’s almost like you’re walking on a cloud with just the right amount of support.
Does Rothys have arch support?
No, Rothy’s have little to no arch support. So if arch support is the most important thing for you in a pair of shoes, Rothy’s might not be the best for you.
Do Allbirds shoes have good arch support?
Unlike Rothy’s, Allbirds have a 7mm medium contoured arch support that can be removed and replaced with a different insert/orthotics of your choice (source).
Bestsellers: Which Shoe Should I Get?
Not sure what to get? Try one of these Rothy’s bestsellers:
- The Point in Violet Giraffe, $145
- The Merino Point in Camel Herringbone, $175
- The Loafer in Navy Giraffe, $165
- The Flat in Cap Toe Black, $125
- The Sneaker in Sea Green, $125
- The Lace Up in Vanilla, $165
- The Chelsea in Wildcat, $145
Allbirds also has a section on their site dedicated to their fan-favorites. Current bestsellers include:
- Wool Runners in Natural Grey, $95
- Tree Runners in Kauri Marine Blue, $95
- Tree Dashers in Quartz, $125
- Tree Breezers in Heather Black, $95
- Tree Skippers in Charcoal, $95
- Wool Runner Mizzles in Harvest, $115
- Wool Loungers in Natural Grey, $95
Conclusion: Allbirds vs Rothys – Which Brand Is Best?
As you can see, both Allbirds and Rothy’s are million-dollar companies for a reason, with a huge range of styles, colors, and materials to choose from, sourced sustainably with a focus on fashion. It’s so difficult to choose between them!
First things first, if you’re looking for men’s footwear specifically (and don’t want to try and figure out what the equivalent women’s size would be if it exists), then Allbirds is where it’s at, given Rothy’s is aimed at women and children only.
For the best deal price-wise, you’d be better off looking at Allbirds, as they have less of a significant difference between the cost of each collection. They might start a little pricier, but the cheapest item at Rothy’s are flip-flops… hence the $65 price tag.
Similarly, if you need a shoe with more integrity, aim for the Allbirds styles with Puddle Guard, as these will not only wick away more moisture but stop water from penetrating your soles (Nobody wants a squishy and uncomfortable walk).
Both brands utilize Merino wool for the comfiest possible wear, day in day out, though Allbirds’ is more affordable and makes use of the fabric in most of their designs. Whereas only a few Rothy’s styles are available in the woolen style.
In terms of sizing, those who have a more specific measurement or struggle with traditional sizing might have better luck at Rothy’s, as they offer half-sizes on every single style, which will make your life easier.
That being said, if you like to try before you buy, Allbirds offer a 30 day, no questions asked, money-back guarantee (provided the shoes are still in returnable quality of course). Rothy’s also offers a free 30-day return on unused/unwashed items. Hassle-free return is an important factor for many people.
Each company uses recyclable materials for packaging and mailing your shoes out to you. So it’s difficult to pick a winner when it comes to sustainability on that front. The two are clearly committed to environmental wellbeing, which is good to see.
Similarly, both brands have hundreds of colors and combinations between them, so finding a pair of comfy everyday shoes that match your aesthetic has never been easier. Practical and firm or soft and luxurious, whatever you’re looking for Rothy’s and Allbirds got you covered.🤷♀️