Adidas Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e Running Shoes


Allbirds and Adidas make running shoes. In many ways, they are directly competitive companies. It’s refreshing in that regard that the two were able to come together for a common good. The Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e running shoes combine one company’s vast experience in performance running with another company’s mastery of sustainable materials. The result is a pair of running shoes whose production requires less than 3 kilograms of carbon emissions, the lowest level ever recorded by Adidas.

The goal is top notch and worth celebrating, but the shoes also have to be good for running. Does it matter how much carbon emissions are reduced if nobody wants the product? Making shoddy shoes that no one buys is stressing the planet even more than it saves.

Fortunately, the Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e shoes perform well, overall. I have some doubts about their long term durability. These running shoes are definitely firm and primarily meant for faster runs, but in that context, I like what they offer.



  • Comfortable fit in all aspects
  • Midsole provides a balance of rebound and stiffness

The inconvenients:

  • The laces are fragile
  • The thin upper might not survive as long as the midsole

Shop at Adidas.

Shoe Specifications

These running shoes only consume 2.94 kilograms of carbon emissions to produce each pair.
Tyler Hayes

Overall the shoe is very standard, with a regular fit, lace up closure and textile upper. The midsole is made from 17% sugarcane-derived materials and the upper includes recycled materials.

The rubber outsole is a bit odd. It feels smooth, but it doesn’t feel slick or slippery while running. The most notable spec for me was the weight of 5.4 ounces.

Sustainable materials

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94kg Co2e
The outsole feels smooth and slippery, but I had no issues with traction.
Tyler Hayes

After trying these shoes, I think the most interesting part is their materials. If you didn’t already know that reducing carbon emissions was their goal, I don’t think there’s much to reveal that – these running shoes don’t feel compromised. Nonetheless, some of their material choices might stand out as unique.

The stem, for example, is very thin. There are many thin uppers on the shoes. Typically, they serve a cool and breezy feeling on your foot. In this case, the rod is thin to reduce the amount of material used. It is flexible enough not to stand on its own.

Out of the box, these shoes are remarkably light, a little unbelievably in fact. The tongue is a puffy foam that feels nice to the touch but feels cheap, like it’s a second thought. The midsole is firm yet pliable. The laces are the trickiest I’ve ever gotten my hands on.

Looking at the shoes from afar, it’s less obvious that there isn’t much between your foot and the pavement. Up close, however, it is much easier to see that the excess has been cut off from the product.

The minimal material is less about support, or even comfort, and more about durability. I’ve had a lot of running shoes that developed holes in the toe box. So that gives me pause here.

The running performance

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94kg Co2e
The laces might not look particularly delicate, but they do feel flimsy when tying them.
Tyler Hayes

When the rubber meets the road, the most important aspect is the performance of these running shoes. Right off the bat, the incredible lightweight feel really helps give them a boost. My legs, free of almost any weight, seemed to move higher than normal. This slightly unexpected initial feeling dissipated after several runs, but I never stopped feeling nimble in these shoes.

In my experience, it takes at least 10 miles to get a feel for new running shoes. Most have a honeymoon phase, which was also true for the Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e shoes. I felt fast with almost no side effects during this first phase. After those 10 miles or so, out of three runs, the soles of my feet felt some discomfort that wasn’t present when running in other shoes.

After 25 miles, I mostly got used to the minimal cushioning provided by the midsole foam. I don’t know enough about barefoot running to make the comparison here, but these shoes are the closest my feet have felt on the road. This forms a real connection with the cement under your feet that helps encourage maintaining a faster pace.

If you travel regularly, these might be perfect for on-the-go. Shoes don’t take up much space and won’t add much weight to a bag. You probably won’t travel long distances on a business trip.

Personally, I found 3-4 miles to be the most I really wanted to run in these shoes at a time. I had no problem putting them on day after day and starting again: this 30+ minute run got closer to rush hour without becoming uncomfortable.

Should I buy the Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e?

Adidas Adizero X Allbirds 2.94kg Co2e
Adidas and Allbirds have teamed up to create earth-friendly performance running shoes.
Tyler Hayes

Even without the context of trying to produce more durable running shoes, I think the Adizero x Allbirds 2.94 Kg CO2e offer enough performance to justify their creation. You won’t want to run a half marathon in these, and probably not even a 10k, but they’re incredibly light and work well for quick runs over shorter distances.

My biggest hesitation is that the combination of premium price and fine materials might wear out much sooner than other similar running shoes. Having to produce twice as many shoes because the materials don’t hold up doesn’t seem smart for the planet either.

To be clear, durability was not a factor in my 25+ miles with these shoes. Every time I lace them up, I hold my breath in anticipation of the laces snapping, but they haven’t yet. Maybe they will never break. The mission is great here, and the product is worthy of consideration. I just hope this is just the beginning of the project and not the finish line.

Shop at Adidas for $120.

Newsweek may earn a commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products that we support. We participate in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn commissions on editorially selected products purchased through our links to retailer sites.


Comments are closed.