Giesswein vs Allbirds: Which Shoes Are Worth Your Money?

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Are you having trouble deciding between Giesswein vs Allbirds? Both brands create popular wool shoes, but which shoes are worth your money?

In this article, we compare Giesswein vs Allbirds, covering brand background, sustainability, how their shoes fit, the quality of the shoes, the styles both brands create, and price.

So let’s jump in and help you decide which shoe brand is right for you.

BrandGiesswein vs allbirdsAllbirds logo
What they make•Wool knit sneakers, running shoes, boots, slip ons, slippersEveryday sneakers, wool sneakers, running shoes, slip ons, flats, slippers
Key Features•Eco-friendly
•Responsibly sourced wool
•Produced in Europe
•Sustainable and eco friendly
•ZQ certified merino wool
•Ethically produced
Machine Washable shoes?
Certified B Corp?
Vegan Styles available?
Price rangefrom $100from $100

Markus and Johannes Giesswein

About Giesswein

Founded in Austria in 1954, Giesswein began specializing in wool hand-knit sweaters.

In 1974 the brand designed its first wool felt slipper.
Fast forward fifty years, and the brand has sold over 50 million wool slippers and expanded its range into wool shoes.

However, the brand is still family-owned and run by third-generation Giesswein family members Markus and Johannes Giesswein.
Giesswein currently produces wool slippers and wool shoes and recently released a range of vegan sneakers.

Giesswein vs allbirds
Giesswein Merino Woolers vs Wool Knit Sneakers

Giesswein currently produce wool slippers, wool shoes, and have recently released a range of vegan sneakers.

About Allbirds

Allbirds is a newer company in comparison with Giesswein.

Allbirds began in 2014 when native New Zealander and former professional footballer Tim Brown wondered why shoe companies didn’t fully utilize merino wool’s moisture-wicking and renewable properties to create stylish and comfortable shoes.

Tim joined forces with San Fransisco-based sustainability engineer Joey Zwilliger, and together they created the Wool Runner, Allbird’s first signature shoe.

Today, Allbirds have expanded its range to include a whole range of wool shoes, eco-friendly running shoes, slip-ons, and boots.

Allbirds Wool runner
Allbirds Wool Runner

Is Giesswein Sustainable?

Giesswein has put environmental sustainability and ethical production at the top of its agenda.

Since 2017, Giessweins manufacturing machines have run solely on 100% renewable resources. In addition, Giesswein operates a zero-waste policy, with all material scraps recycled into new products.

Giesswein recycles up to 90% of the water they use, thanks to a built-in water recycling plant.

Giesswein does not have B Corporation status.

Giesswein unboxing
Giesswein recyclable packaging

Where are Giesswein Wool Shoes made?

Giesswein produces all of its products locally in its Austrian factory in Brixlegg. Keeping production local allows the brand to reduce carbon emissions by limiting unnecessary shipping and transportation.

In addition, under European law, factory workers have access to safe working conditions and are paid a living wage.

Are Allbirds Sustainable?

Allbirds are a sustainable company and aim to create their shoes as eco-friendly as possible.

Allbirds choose sustainable, renewable, and natural materials to make their comfortable shoes, including ZQ certified Merino wool from muesling-free sheep, Natural and renewable Eucalyptus fibers, and a carbon-negative EVA foam sole made from sugarcane.

Allbirds achieved the B Corporation certification in 2016, which indicates the company balances purpose and profit. B Corporation status shows a brand meets high standards in ethical production, responsible sourcing, and sustainability.

Allbirds in box
Allbirds minimal recyclable packaging

Where are Allbirds Shoes made?

Allbirds sources its footwear from audited Vietnam, China, and South Korea factories. In addition, allbirds regularly visit these factories to ensure ethical manufacturing practices.

Allbirds Wool Runners are manufactured in Allbirds South Korean partner factory.

Are Giesswein Sneakers good quality?

We’ve personally tested the Giesswein wool knit sneakers and confirm they are good quality. The wool knit is soft, and the sole is firm with ample flexibility.

Giesswein sustainable sneakers
Our Giesswein Knit Sneakers

However, overall, compared to Allbirds, the Allbirds EVA sole is spongier and more comfortable to walk in and wear all day.

Giesswein vs Allbirds
Giesswein vs allbirds Giesswein review

Other Giesswein customers also agree that Giesswein products are of good quality, giving Giesswein an overall score of 4.62/5 out of over thirteen thousand reviews, with an impressive 92% of customers saying they would recommend Giesswein to a friend.

Are Allbirds Sneakers good quality?

We’ve tested Allbirds Tree Dashers and Allbirds Tree Pipers and love both shoes. Allbirds shoes are high quality, well made, and highly comfortable walking all day.

Sustainable Shoes Allbirds

This is backed up by customer reviews on Allbird’s website, with the Wool Runner shoe receiving n average score of 4.6/5 with over two thousand reviews.

Giesswein vs Allbirds

Drawbacks of Giesswein

A couple of Giesswein shoes that we’ve picked up on and echoed in reviews are that the soles of the wool knit sneakers aren’t great in slippy conditions, ice or snow due to having quite a smooth sole.

If you’re looking for a wool shoe with a good grip, it would be better to go for the Giesswein Wool peak shoe or wool boot with added grip.

Another drawback of Giesswein vs Allbirds is that Giessweins wool shoes are slightly more expensive than Allbirds.

Another drawback is the large logo plastered on the side of most Giessweins shoes like the merino runners and wool peaks. In our opinion, Allbirds have a sleeker and more stylish look.

Drawbacks of Allbirds sneakers

A drawback for Allbirds is that not all styles are waterproof. Allbirds Wool Runners have natural water resistance thanks to the water-resistant properties of wool, but they aren’t entirely waterproof.

If you’re looking for a waterproof wool shoe, the Wool Mizzles is the style to go for, as the Mizzles have an added fluorine-free, water-repellent coating.

How does Giesswein fit?

Giessweins generally fit true to size. Their shoes are made with medium width, and with the flexible properties of wool, however may not be suitable for wider feet.

If you are between two sizes, Giesswein recommend to size down.

Giesswein merino runners review
Giesswein comfortable without socks

How do Allbirds fit?

Allbirds overall fit true to size, however if you’re shopping the allbirds wool runner, reviews say the sizing is on the small size. If you’re a half size, we would definately size up.

Allbirds Tree Dashers worn
Allbirds Tree Pipers

Is Giesswein Vegan?

No Giesswein is not a completely vegan brand as they use wool to create their shoes. However, Giesswein have released a vegan shoe range, which features animal free materials.

Is Allbirds Vegan?

No, at present Allbirds don’t produce any vegan shoe styles.

Giesswein Style Comparison

Below we compare four popular Giesswein wool shoes, for an easy side by side style comparison.

Giesswein vs allbirdsMerino RunnersMerino Wool KnitWool Sneaker High TopWool Sneaker
StyleGiesswein vs Allbirds Merino RunnersGiesswein vs Allbirds Giesswein merino knitGiesswein wool high topWool sneaker Giesswein vs Allbirds
Materials•Stretch 3D Merino Wool uppers
•Flexible EVA sole
•Knitted Merino Wool uppers
•Flexible EVA sole
•Stretch 3D Merino Wool uppers
•Extra grip organic rubber and EVA foam sole
•Knitted Merino Wool uppers
•Flexible EVA sole
Weight (Single shoe size 38)200 g215g 195 g160 g
Machine Washable?
Where to buy?Shop Merino RunnersShop Merino Wool KnitShop Wool Sneaker High TopShop Wool Sneaker

Allbirds Style Comparison

Allbirds logoWool RunnersWool Runner MizzlesWool PipersWool Lounger
StyleAllbirds Wool RunnersWool Runner MizzlesAllbirds wool shoes wool pipersAllbirds wool Lounger
Materials•ZQ certified Merino wool upper
•Recycled plastic laces
•Carbon negative EVA sole
•ZQ certified Merino wool upper
•Recycled plastic laces
•Carbon negative EVA sole
•ZQ Merino wool
•Recycled platic laces
•Carbon negative EVA sole
•ZQ Merino wool
•Carbon negative EVA sole
Machine Washable?
Water resistant?
Where to buy?Shop Wool RunnerShop Wool Runner MizzlesShop Wool PipersShop Wool Lounger

Where to buy Giessweins?

We’ve found Giesswein shoes are available to buy from the following online retailers:

Shop on

Shop on

Shop slippers on

Overall Opinion Giesswein vs Allbirds

Overall, both brands create sustainable and ethical shoes from sustainable materials.

In our opinion, we would personally opt for the Allbirds shoe, having tried both Allbirds and Giessweins. In our opinion, Allbirds are better value for money due to the shoe’s overall comfort, the bounciness in the sole, and the style of the Allbirds sneaker (we wear our tree dahsers almost every day).

However, Giesswein is still a great option, especially because they produce all their shoes locally in Austria. Plus, if you’re looking for a vegan shoe, out of Giesswein vs Allbirds, Giesswein is the brand to go for because they produce a range of vegan-friendly styles.

If you’re still not decided on your next wool shoe, look at our Baabuk vs Allbirds comparison or our handy guide on Allbirds alternatives here.


Bethany Worthington BSc (Hons) (she/her) is the Sustainable Fashion Editor and Co-founder of Ecothes. She has a passion for the environment, and a long love of all things clothing, and combines those two interests with Ecothes. In her free time she loves dancing, hiking in the countryside, and laughing with friends.

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