Silicon Valley's favorite sneaker comes to New York — with its second store

Key Points
  • Allbirds' second physical storefront opens, in New York's SoHo neighborhood.
  • Its two versions of shoes — with and without laces — run about $95 apiece.
  • Shoppers can get their hands on a pair either through Allbirds' website or from one of its two stores.
Allbirds CEO: Sustainable shoe craze takes run at footwear space
Allbirds CEO: Sustainable shoe craze takes run at footwear space

Will it be the Warby Parker of shoes?

Allbirds has already won over Silicon Valley, where the business is based, with its wool sneakers spotted on the feet of Google co-founder Larry Page, former Twitter chief Dick Costolo and venture capitalists Ben Horowitz and Mary Meeker, to name a few.

And after growing a successful e-commerce platform, Allbirds will test its fate in setting up a second physical storefront to showcase its products. Allbirds' "concept" shop opened Thursday in New York's SoHo neighborhood, bringing the brand to the East Coast.

The direct-to-consumer company, which just debuted last year, opened its first brick-and-mortar location in San Francisco in April.

"The most important thing for us is to have an interaction with every customer we exchange a product with money for," co-founder Joey Zwillinger said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"And we've tried to make it as affordable as we can."

Allbirds' sneakers are made from renewable merino wool, and they're being marketed as "the world's most comfortable shoes."

The company has raised $27.5 million in equity since its inception, from partners including Tiger Global, Elephant, Maveron and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.

Its two versions of shoes — with and without laces — run about $95 apiece. And for now, consumers can get their hands on a pair only through Allbirds' website or at one of its two stores.

The New York location features a life-size hamster wheel, where shoppers can test out running in the sneakers before they buy. Zwillinger said opening the brick-and-mortar shops has allowed Allbirds to create more of an "immersive" experience.

Online retailers moving offline is no new trend, either.

Warby Parker — the start-up that has disrupted the eyeglass retail market — is among the businesses that started as digitally only and opened shops for customers to try the product before they buy. Others include Rent the Runway, Bonobos and UnTUCKit.

At its New York store, Allbirds will be selling shoe laces inspired by the colors of the NYC subway. It will also have on sale an exclusive version of its "Starry Night" shoe.

The Silicon Valley start-up has manged to grow its business organically, without the help of a third-party platform like Amazon. But Zwillinger won't count out the idea of opening up to other outlets some day.