The Best Inventions of 2020
Jessica Pettway for TIME; Prop styling by Stephanie L. Yeh
November 19, 2020 8:56 AM EST

Running shoes are incredibly wasteful, relying heavily on oil-based synthetics like plastic. The Allbirds Tree Dasher is made almost entirely from natural materials, with a carbon footprint estimated at almost a third lower than that of the average sneaker. But using eucalyptus, merino wool, castor-bean oil and sugarcane isn’t just about “stuffing nature into a performance shoe and hoping that it doesn’t degrade the performance,” says Jad Finck, Allbirds’ vice president of innovation and sustainability. Instead, these materials actually boost performance: the eucalyptus fibers are cooling, the wool regulates temperature, and the sugarcane midsole provides performance cushioning. And while the Tree Dasher is not meant for marathons, the shoes— priced at $125—are well suited for a weekend jog or a morning dash to the grocery store. —Sanya Mansoor

Buy now: Allbirds Men’s Tree Dasher, Allbirds Women’s Tree Dasher

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