Rothys vs Allbirds: Style Showdown
Rothys designs fashionable, comfortable and washable shoes for women. Rothys values sustainability in their manufacturing process, using materials like plastic water bottles, merino wool, eco-friendly outsoles, recycled foam insoles and recyclable packing.
Allbirds is a footwear and apparel brand for men and women. Mother Nature is their muse as they strive to use materials straight from the Earth in their products to reduce their carbon footprint on the world. Allbirds shoes are made of eco-friendly materials including merino wool, sugarcane, recycled bottles, castor bean oil, and bio-tpu.
In this Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, we’ll see how both brands measures up against each other to help guide your purchase decision.
Rothys vs Allbirds Flats
Rothys offers two versions of traditional flats, The Flat and The Point. These shoes are very similar in make, with the exception of The Point’s sharp, narrow toe box point. The Flat and The Point are made from repurposed single-use water bottles: each bottle is hot washed, sterilized and cut into flakes, pressed into pellets, turned into spools of thread, then dyed and 3D knit into each pair of Rothys shoes. Amazing!
The outsoles of Rothys flats are made from environmentally-friendly recycled carbon-free rubber, while the insoles are made of repurposed plastic from water bottles, recyclable foam and bio-based castor oil. Using the method of 3D knitting, each shoe is cut and shaped exactly the same each time, which gives the results of comfortability and durability. Rothys shoes have no break in period and will mold perfectly to the shape of your foot and heel (so no slipping around).
Rothys offers The Flat in 16 different colors and patterns, while there are 22 options for The Point. The shoes come in attractive jewel tones, basic black and greys, stripes, and animal print. Every pair comes with Rothys’ signature blue halo, which outlines the heel of their shoes. We saved one of the best parts for last: Rothys shoes are easily machine washable!
Allbirds’ version of the flat is the Tree Breezers, featuring a more rounded toe compared to Rothys flats. The Tree Breezers are available in 16 different limited edition colours, and unlike with Rothys, there are no prints or patterns to choose from. The insoles of The Tree Breezers are made of merino wool, which provides softness, moisture wicking and odor reduction. These insoles feel extra cushioning and arch support from the use of castor bean oil and a wool lining topper. The sole of Tree Breezers is designed using SweetFoam™, produced by sugarcane. This material provides bouncy, lightweight comfort.
These shoes get their name from where they come from, trees! Eucalyptus tree fiber is intertwined into shoe material to give a silky-smooth feel and cooling effect, allowing your feet to breathe and remain comfortable. The collar of the Tree Breezers forms a snug, secure fit around the foot, preventing your feet from shifting around. The ribbed knitting structure keeps this from happening while also giving your feet some room. The knitting pattern in the Tree Breezers is more thick and pronounced compared to Rothys flats, but just like Rothys, Allbirds are machine washable.
In this round of the Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, it was a close call. Both brands offer an array of options with shoes made from similar eco-friendly materials. With Allbirds shoes however, you’re limited to singular colors. Rothys shoes come perfectly tailored to the shape of your feet using their 3D knitting technology, while Allbirds shoes may take a couple of weeks to break in. The appearance of the flats for each brand are quite contrasting, as they use distinct knitting techniques. I find The Rothys stitching method results in a more aesthetically pleasing shoe, but this is a personal preference.
Rothys vs Allbirds Loafers
Rothys The Loafer is available in 16 styles including solid colours and patterns like camo, melange, colour grids and animal prints. Like all of Rothys shoes, The Loafer is handcrafted from eco-friendly and sustainable materials, like the plastic water bottles used in Rothys signature thread. The outsoles are made from either carbon-free rubber or luxe vegan leather, while the insoles are made with bio-based castor oil and recycled materials.
The Loafer will comfortably hug the contour of your foot due to the 3D knitting technique used with every Rothys shoe. The seamless construction causes no hard seams or stiff edges that lead to discomfort. The vamp, which is the center part of a shoe upper, sits higher on top of your foot than The Flat or The Point. This gives your toes the perfect balance of snugness and room to move. The shoe is made ready to wear and doesn’t need to be broken in. However, the thread does stretch a little bit over time. The Loafers come with the signature Rothys blue halo, a blue strip that outlines the heel of the shoe. These are also shoes are machine washable.
Allbirds’ take on loafers resulted in two signature lounger designs: the Wool Loungers and Tree Loungers. The Wool Loungers are made from wool of the Merino sheep; the wool is washed, brushed and spun into thread to use for their shoes. Merino wool has useful moisture-wicking, temperature regulating, and breathable qualities without the itchiness. The upper of the wool loungers is soft and scratch free on the inside and sturdy on the outside, creating firm comfort all over. The Wool Loungers have a SweetFoam™ outsole, providing lightweight, bouncy comfort across your whole foot. The insoles include the ingredient castor bean oil, which provides extra cushioning and noticeable arch support.
The exterior of the Tree Loungers is made from eucalyptus tree fiber. After the process of going from tree to thread, the material is used to knit the shoes. Tree knit, mesh-based fabric makes the shoes breathable and soft with ventilating abilities. The Tree Loungers outsoles are made from low-density foam that is extremely comfortable due to cushioning and friction control. The S-curve tread on the sole is designed to copy the anatomical flexibility of your feet, providing equal weight distribution, and a SweetFoam™ outsole makes every step light and bouncy.
Allbirds Wool Loungers are available in five shades, four of which are grey. Depending on which colour you choose, the outsole can come in white, black or grey. The Tree Loungers are much more colorful, offered in maroon, grey, and shades of green and blue, most of which have white outsoles. Both lounger designs are washing machine safe.
When it comes to brands that produce such similar shoes, details matter. A Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review found that both brands use recycled materials, but the latter uses more ingredients for function. Both brands claim to make comfortable shoes with great cushioning, but Allbirds lists more materials to back this up. Unlike Rothys shoes, Allbirds have a lightweight quality that is also appealing. Although the Rothys loafer is offered in a greater variety of colors and patterns, Allbirds wins this round for its attention to specific functional benefits of their shoes.
Rothys vs Allbirds Sneakers
Rothys The Sneaker is more of a slip-on shoe than a traditional sneaker, since it has no laces. The Sneaker has high sidewalls and thick, elevated white soles. The shoe is available in 12 styles, including stripes, melange, camo, and animal print patterns. The signature blue halo is also included on the heel of these shoes. Rothys 3D knitting method creates an exact shape and cut every time, so the shoe fits perfectly to the contour of your foot. The 3D knitting process also creates maximum comfort due to the seamless construction.
The Sneaker is crafted from eco-friendly and sustainable materials. In particular, the bio-based castor oil and recycled foam combination of the insoles create a soft and cushy surface for your feet. There is no break-in period for these shoes, and even though they won’t stretch, the thread will give a bit over time. Since Rothys aspires to be sustainable, these shoes are durable and machine washable.
Compared to Rothys, Allbirds Tree Skippers actually have laces. The upper of these Tree Skippers are made from eucalyptus trees, used as thread and stitched into a mesh knit pattern. The material is smooth, light and delivers breathability with a cooling effect throughout the shoe. A combination of castor bean oil and merino wool offers arch support, cushioning, moisture-wicking and odor control.
The comfort doesn’t stop there! The Tree Skippers soles are made from low-density foam that have a unique S-curve tread array that provides friction control and equal weight distribution. The Tree Skippers only have two eyelets for laces on each side, so they won’t feel tight on your feet like traditional sneakers. The Tree Skippers come in half the variety offered by Rothys, and depending on the colour choice, you can get white, navy or charcoal soles. The insole will always be the classic merino wool grey colour. These shoes are washing machine friendly, but never put them in the dryer.
Overall, Allbirds sneakers offer more to customers compared to Rothys. The outsole on the Tree Skippers provide anatomical flexibility, equal weight distribution and arch support, which are missing in the Rothys version. Rothys sneakers claim to have insoles that provide a soft and cushy surface, whereas Allbirds insoles have moisture-wicking and odor control elements.
A Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review found that, despite Allbirds having a break in period and less colours available, their design is more fit for function. The Tree Skippers also more closely resemble sneakers, although Rothys’ take is still aesthetically pleasing.
It takes a lot of thought, effort and trial and error to faultlessly perfect a design that makes your product stand out against competitors. In this Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, we’ll take a look at the materials and processes that go into creating their shoes.
From materials, to production to how their workers are treated, Rothys chooses to be sustainable. With this focus in mind, they use eco-friendly materials:
- Plastic water bottles: Globally, one million water bottles are sold every minute. Since 91% of the world’s plastic is not recycled, Rothys decided to knit water bottles into the uppers of their shoes to divert waste from landfills. To date, they have converted over 47 million single-use plastic bottles and turned them into thread.
- Merino wool: Rothys’ humanely harvested merino wool comes from an Australian sheep farm and is blended into the Rothys signature thread. Merino wool is a naturally renewable resource that is then crafted at a sustainable italian mill in the Alps, powered by solar panels and hydroelectric turbines. Water used in the shoe making process is taken from the Alps, purified and then returned.
- Eco-friendly outsoles: Rothys shoes are made from one of two outsoles, either containing luxe vegan leather or carbon-free leather.
- Recycled foam insoles: Rothys insoles are made with bio-based castor oil and recycled materials, including bio-based algae.
In addition to using environmentally friendly materials, Rothys uses innovative 3D knitting technology with every pair of shoes they create. This method knits to shape and reduces the amount of fabric used. Their commitment to staying green carries over into the shipping process, in which shoes are shipped directly from their cardboard boxes. Rothys aims to be carbon-neutral through a program called Carbonfree®, which helps them exchange their output for offset credits that benefits rainforests and reduces pollution and biofuels in the US.
Rothys shoes start their design process in San Francisco, where the product team and creative director choose the styles, colours and patterns. Design instructions are sent to their manufacturing workshop in Dongguan, China. Only those who work at Rothys touch the shoes during production, where they use a mix of hand craftsmanship and machine assembly to create their shoes.
Allbirds only uses materials sourced directly from the earth. They aim to design shoes that are simple, with no logos, no senseless details, just made naturally and practically. Some core materials used in Allbirds shoes:
- Merino wool: Sheep outnumber humans about six to one in New Zealand, and all that wool leads to the Allbirds process, using 60% less energy than synthetic materials. The sheep are well taken care of and this is ensured by a leading organization called ZQ Merino.
- Trees: Allbirds’ tree fiber TENCEL™ uses 95% less water compared to traditional materials, cutting the brand’s carbon footprint in half. The South African farms that grow the trees rely on rainfall, rather than irrigation. Allbirds is certified by Forest Stewardship Council®, meaning the materials are sourced from strict standards to animals, forests and people.
- Sugarcane: Allbirds’ SugarForm™ shoe sole is sourced from sugarcane from southern Brazil. Sugarcane is a quickly growing renewable resource that removes carbon from the atmosphere. An organization called Proforest makes sure the sugarcane is sourced to the highest standards.
- Super-yarn: Allbirds created their own super-yarn from eucalyptus tree fibers and merino wool, called Trino™.
- Recycled bottles: One pair of Allbirds laces is made from one plastic water bottle.
- Caster bean oil: Used to increase natural content in Allbirds shoes.
- Recycled cardboard: Allbirds packing is made from 90% recycled cardboard.
Allbirds is a Certified B Corporation, meaning they are recognized to balance purpose with profit. An organization called Soles4Souls® also takes lightly used Allbirds and finds them a new home for communities in need.
Since 2019, Allbirds has gone carbon neutral for their entire supply chain. For every tonne of carbon they emit, they pay to remove a tonne of the substance from the atmosphere. By purchasing credits from verified third-party emissions reduction projects, trees that capture and store carbon are protected, wind energy is built, and harmful greenhouse gases are prevented from entering the atmosphere. Allbirds sources low carbon materials that travel by sea rather than by air, which increases energy efficiency.
The fabric used in Allbirds’ merino collections was crafted in a textile mill near Milan, Italy. This mill is the only one certified by the European Commission for environmental sustainability. Once the textile is made, it is then hand-assembled in their factory in South Korea. For their Tree collections, the fiber used is crafted by Lenzing, a producer based in Austria that received the European Award for sustainable manufacturing from the EU. The knitting and assembly then takes place in their China-based factory.
For this round of the Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, the latter is a clear winner here. While Rothys is certainly invested in sustainability, Allbirds goes above and beyond to become completely carbon neutral. Allbirds is recognized as a Certified B Corporation, and uses fiber produced by an Austrian manufacturer that has been recognized by the EU for sustainability. Both brands certainly have good intentions, but Allbirds is entirely devoted to the environment.
On Trustpilot, there are 34 reviews on Rothys with a 2/5 star rating. One customer commented, “honestly there are no words for the customer service which is a shame because their shoes are really great.” From the reviews I read, it appears as though customers had minor errors in shipping or delivery difficulties. Virtually no customers had problems with the shoes themselves.
In writing this Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, I found common observations on the Rothys website:
- Not for wide feet
- Painful, leaves cuts and blisters
- Washed and air dried like a dream
- Too small, so size up (which the site recommends)
- Super comfortable
- People love their shoes and own many pairs
On sitejabber, Allbirds has 3.5/5 stars out of 74 reviews. One customer said, “the shoes themselves are really very beautiful and clearly well made. Unfortunately, they don’t quite fit my feet, but they were super helpful about the return – the accept them even if you’ve worn them. I have to give them 5 stars purely because their customer service has been absolutely superb. Companies like this deserve to do well. They are making quality products with honest service.”
On the Allbirds website, common comments included in this Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review:
- Fits true to size
- Just as advertised
- Love the way they feel
- Able to wear right out of the box, didn’t need to break them in
- Even larger sizes are too tight
No shoe brand is perfect and there will naturally be negative reviews for each. That being said, Allbirds had higher ratings off of their site. While Rothys customers had issues with customer service, Allbirds excelled in this area. Some customers commented that Rothys were painful, although this could be associated with choosing the wrong size. Either way, in a Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, Allbirds had consistently positive comments.
Shipping & Returns
For all orders, shipments, requests, fees, and processes may vary depending on the location and value of requested orders. For your convenience, this Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review offers a breakdown of the steps you can expect.
- Free shipping on all orders
- U.S. shipping takes 5-9 business days
- UPS Expedited costs $25 and takes 2-3 business days
- UPS Rush costs $35 and takes 1-2 business days
- International orders can take 5-10 business days to arrive
- Exact shipping times will be displayed at checkout
- They don’t offer expedited shipping internationally
- Only ships to the US, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia and Italy
- Free returns on all orders
- You have 30 days to return and exchange unworn items
- To make a return, visit their Returns Centre
- Allow 10-14 days for your refund to show in your account
- Free standard shipping on all orders over $50
- There is a $5 shipping fee for orders under $50
- Standard shipping takes 5-7 business days from the time the order is placed
- Expedited shipping costs $12 and takes 2 business days
- 1-day expedited shipping costs $20+
- Expedited shipping is only available in the US and UK
- Ships to US, Canada, New Zealand, China, UK, the EU
- Allbirds offers a 30 day trial period
- Returns and exchanges are free, even if worn
- All other accessories are final sale and can’t be returned
- To start a return, go to the Return and Exchanges page
A Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review found that both brands have similar delivery times. While Rothys never charges shipping fees and Allbirds does, Allbirds shipping is available to more countries. What really gave Allbirds the win was its return policy. You can actually test out Allbirds shoes wherever you want, as they accept items that are worn, while Rothy is less flexible with returns.
Price & Value
This Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review compares the prices of every product we’ve discussed to help you come to a conclusion:
- The Point: $136-$236
- The Flat: $169-$209
- The Loafer: $223-$263
- The Sneaker: $169-$209
- Tree Breezers: $95
- Tree Loungers: $95
- Wool Loungers: $95
- Tree Skippers: $95
In this Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, it’s clear that the value lies with Allbirds. Not only are they more affordable, they are better for the environment due to Allbirds‘ zero carbon footprint. Both brands produce well-made shoes designed for comfort, yet you can get them for less with Allbirds.
We Choose: Allbirds
To recap this Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, let’s see how each brand stood against the other:
|Shipping & Returns||✓|
|Price & Value||✓|
A Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review found that both brands have incredible intentions when it comes to saving the environment. Allbirds is just operating on a higher level in terms of sustainability. Allbirds is consistently well liked according to reviews, whereas some customers expressed issues with Rothys, whether it be fit for issues with shipping and delivery.
What makes people love Allbirds is the fact that they offer a real 30-day trial period, so you can actually test out the shoes in different environments. Allbirds is more bang for your buck—you’re paying a fair price for top-quality, sustainable, and stylish products while also reducing your own carbon impact on the world. Way to go Allbirds!
After this Rothys vs Allbirds shoes review, explore some other top shoe brands: