AUSTEN ALLRED is a pretty typical tech guy. The CEO of BloomTech, a school for coders, he owns a Tesla and a bunch of Patagonia fleeces. Until Covid, he lived in an affluent San Francisco neighborhood (he’s now based in Ephraim, Utah). The other thing the 32-year-old has in common with fellow keyboard jockeys? His Allbirds sneakers are gathering dust.
Pre-pandemic, Allbirds were the dominant shoes among the clients of San Francisco dating coach Eddie Hernandez, including many tech professionals. Now, he said, they’re the fifth or sixth footwear choice of men looking for love. Silicon Valley personal brander and stylist Victoria Hitchcock, most of whose 100 clients are dot-com types, has observed a similar disappearing act. Though she says she’s never advised anyone to buy Allbirds, about 40 of her clients sported them in 2019, she recalled. Now? Only 10 do.