by Ronnie Charrier
One of my favorites parts of flying business class is that moment when you can take off your shoes, kick your feet up, and relax. Many airlines will even provide higher end passengers with luxurious socks and slippers to make the journey even more comfortable. The discomfort, even with business class travel, lies in the several hours before you get to this point, when you’re walking around the airport or standing in line with your bag - your feet take a beating! But what if you could have that level of comfort while you’re walking to and from the plane?
Let me introduce you to Allbirds Loungers, which are about as close as you can come to wearing slippers, while still looking dressy enough for the airport lounges (for more on how to access any airport lounge in any airport, see my recent article on travel rewards programs).
Allbirds is the passion project of Tim Brown, a former player on New Zealand’s national soccer team. During his professional playing days he would get free shoes all the time, with many companies hoping for his endorsement. And while free shoes are great, he couldn’t help but notice the proliferation of bright colors, distracting logos and synthetic materials, and he wondered if there was another way. Brown set out to make a shoe that was “simple, beautiful, and made from natural materials.” After a successful Kickstarter campaign raised more than $100,000 for the original Wool Runners (“so soft you can wear them sockless”), word of Brown’s brand spread around the internet like wildfire. When they launched their new Wool Loungers earlier this yeat, they really shook up the market for travel shoes.
The key to their success (and softness) is the pure merino wool upper - no leather, and no synthetics. Merino wool has long been a staple for adventure clothing: it is naturally durable, water-resistant, temperature regulating, and reduces odor. Plus, shoes made entirely of wool can be thrown in the wash just like any other clothing item. One aspect that I find appealing is the simplicity of the shoe’s aesthetic. The tiny logo is barely visible - but the shoes speak for themselves with their distinctive design. A number of people see mine and say “are those Allbirds?”
The one caveat to consider is that these shoes really are what they say they are: loungers; best for casual wear and light walking. Their ultra-comfy build means they don’t have a lot of ankle support and the traction on them isn’t suitable for sprinting (you certainly wouldn’t want to take them hiking either). However, they’re perfect for those long travel days, taking you from your house, through the TSA line, and onto the plane, all without stinking up your suitcase at the end of the day.
Allbirds are available online, for just $95, with a 30 day, no-questions-asked exchange policy. Women’s shoes come in whole sizes 5-10, in six stylish colors: “classics” in grey and black and “limited edition” in moss, plum, navy and pine. Men’s sizes run 8-14, in “classic grey” and black options and “limited edition” moss and plum colors.
A lot's been happening around here.
A company has created off-grid dwellings that can be assembled in a week like 'Ikea furniture', meaning your favorite location can now be your new dream home.
This morning, I left the compound without my husband for the first time. I covered my clothes and skin with a black, floor length cloak, which I'm required by law to wear whenever I'm in public. I have no driver's license or insurance, so I can't go into the city, or to the cafe, or even to the grocery store, unless a man drives me.
Known for its stunning landscapes, incredible hiking, and friendly citizens, New Zealand should be atop every traveler's bucket list.
Dubbed "the world's most comfortable shoe", find out what all the fuss is about and why you just might need to add these to your travel bag.
Why be stuck with the outdated model of a mummy bag and sleep pad when you can have a system that lets you move naturally under the comforter — just like your bed at home?
Rule 2: You own at least four times as many possessions as you think you do
Brand new to the world of traveling on points and miles? Here are the best credit cards to help you on your way to big bonuses that will help you see the world on a budget—maybe even for free!
What's the difference between Americans and Australians? It may be subtle sometimes, but other times it's like we're from different planets. Here's a quick explainer using GIFs.
These adorable pups might not be the best sniffers, but they're great cuddlers and they're being given away for FREE!