Allbirds is opening its first Canadian location in Kits today, begging the question: should we just call West 4th “Ecomm Row” now?

The shoe and lifestyle brand has set up shop within a few blocks of Mejuri, Casper, and Warby Parker—brick-and-mortar outlets of brands that all got their start in the direct-to-consumer e-tail game. Not that we’re complaining: the showroom model allows Vancouverites to try on lightweight kicks and shop Allbirds’ clothing line without any shipping delays to worry about.

READ MORE: Mejuri Opens Vancouver Location in Kits

San Francisco-based Allbirds launched as a sustainability-focused online-only footwear brand back in 2014, and the ultra-comfortable sneakers (available in a rotating selection of cute colourways) gained a cult following. The original breathable wool shoe will likely look familiar to anyone who’s done aggressive research into “best travel shoe that’s comfortable but also doesn’t look hideous” prior to an Italian vacay (ahem), but Allbirds’ collection has grown extensively in its relatively short existence. Now, on the walls of the Vancouver shop (the display is made of a cool, modular pegboard), you’ll find the whole gang: the summer-y, mesh-y Tree sneakers; a new line of performance Tree Flyer runners for the 10K set; even light-as-air flip flops made from sustainable sugarcane.

tree flyer allbirdsTree Flyer runners in Buoyant Yellow.

The Tree Flyer runners have the distinction of having the lowest carbon footprint of any performance shoe out there, thanks to an innovative vegetable oil-based polyurethane sole and eucalyptus-fibre upper. It’s material that’s good for the planet, but also nice for the arches. (Given the dreamy, foamy feeling of all the shoes, it’s pretty appropriate that the Kits outpost is dotted with cloud-shaped mirrors.)

allbirds vancouver store

Vancouverites will be particularly intrigued by the water-repellent Mizzle runner (watch your back, Vessi) which features a signature “puddle guard” that pops up to protect the ankle. Though currently stocked in oh-so-West-Coast blacks and greys, head of retail Audrey Miller noted that playful hues are introduced regularly. 

allbirds mizzleAllbirds' water-repellent Mizzles.

Also of interest to the local shoe shopper: free limited edition grass-green shoelaces. “Each location has its own signature colour,” explains Miller. Now that travel is open again, and you’ve got your new fave travel shoes, it seems like a fine time to get out into the world to collect them all, no?

allbirds kitsilano

Allbirds
2262 West 4th Avenue
allbirds.ca  allbirds kits vancouver

READ MORE: Allbirds Are Apparently the Only Shoes You Need to Portage Through Powell River