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July 14, 2020

Deckers x Lab KO-Z Snpr Low Wedge and X-Scape NBK Low Shoe Review

Seven days a week you can find me working out in my Hoka One One sneakers. Whether it's a bike ride, a walk, kickboxing workout, weight lifting, or HIIT session, I always look to my Hoka One One Cliftons for maximum cushioning and superior comfort. So when Deckers (the parent company of beloved footwear brands Hoka One One, UGG, Teva, Koolabura by UGG, and Sanuk) reached out to me to introduce their new Deckers x Lab label, I was intrigued. I've nurtured a passion for footwear since my days in elementary school, when purple Converse Chucks were my go-to shoes. Fast forward to adulthood, where comfort and quality take precedence, and Hoka One One dominates my activewear.

A little background information about Deckers x Lab:

Deckers Lab is the brainchild of Jean-Luc Diard, the founder of Hoka One One. Deckers calls Deckers x Lab "a label rather than a brand", therefore, they are not limited to one type of product or application. Innovation in comfort and performance is a key value of the brand. If you're familiar with Hoka One One, Teva, or UGG, then you know that comfort is their specialty.

I received two pairs of Deckers x Lab shoes: the X-Scape NBK Low (a sleek and modern-looking sneaker) and the KO-Z SNPR Low Wedge (a slip-on sneaker and recovery shoe hybird).

X-Scape NBK Low

While unboxing, I was immediately impressed with the packaging and attention to detail. The box is minimal on the outside, yet printed with eye-catching industrial-style details on the inside. 

the X-Scape NBK low sneaker in white/light grey

Appearance and Performance

The X-Scape NBK low (retail $160) is a performance sneaker with the look of a lifestyle sneaker, and the feel of UGG slippers. I wore these out grocery shopping, for a HIIT workout, and for a walk in the park (with a mask of course). While the ball-of-foot cushioning does not match my Hoka One One Cliftons, these are excellent for walking, low impact exercise, and everyday wear. The neutral grey and white colors are both classic and versatile, and match a lot of my activewear. Note the lack of conspicuous logos/branding, giving these sneakers a high end feel with a slightly industrial-meets-quiet luxury vibe. The underfoot geometry specs are actually printed on the outsole. Every part of this shoe demonstrates comfort and attention to detail, from the padding in the heel counter lining to the printed honeycomb soles, and the perforated uppers.

Decker Lab X-Scape NBK low soles

Materials and Fit 

The X-Scape NBK low is made of nubuck leather lined with looped wool (like terry cloth but softer) for amazing warmth and comfort. I wore them both barefoot and with thick socks on a warm summer day. I'm pleased to report that there was no breaking in and no blisters. They fit well both with socks and without, but I think they feel better barefoot because of the soft, breathable materials. The insoles are removable and there's an internal H brace support. Once you put these on, you won't want to take them off. Deckers x Lab managed to merge the comfort of their UGG slippers with their Hoka One One sneakers for the best of both worlds. The icing on the cake - these have the signature Hoka One One Meta-Rocker construction, which propels the foot forward and makes walking a breeze. I envision wearing these with both activewear and casual everyday looks, since the silhouette and color scheme are versatile. 

KO-Z SNPR Low Wedge

Appearance and Performance

The KO-Z SNPR low wedge (retail $120) is a slip-on sneaker with all the easy vibes of a slipper. It's the perfect shoe for travel, since it's effortless to slip on and off. The toe shape is part ankle boot, part sleek sneaker. Like the X-Scape NBK low, it also has a looped wool removable insole. The neutral colors blend with a lot of my wardrobe, and while slip-on styles are not my favorites, this one has the added benefit of a wedge which adds about 2" of height. Just like your favorite UGG boots, this shoe has a water repellent treatment, making it perfect for the fall and winter months. In true Deckers Hoka One One form, there is Meta-Rocker geometry which makes them so easy to wear and so hard to take off.

Deckers Lab KO-Z SNPR low wedge

Materials and Fit 

The KO-Z SNPR low wedge is made of EcoTan cow suede, with a wool interior, EVA foam midsole, and a rubber sponge outsole. Comfort is a consideration of every part of this shoe, form the way your foot feel against the insole to the way it propels your foot forward and cushions the impact. As far as fit, I found these to run narrow when the insole is in place and I wore them without socks. For a looser fit, I removed the insole and it was perfect. So if you have wide feet, I recommend going up in size. Fortunately, these do come in half sizes. 

Deckers Lab KO-Z SNPR low wedge

Deckers Lab KO-Z Low Wedge

There are currently six styles of shoes for Men and six for Women on the Deckers x Lab site. As they expand the label, I'll be keeping my eye on new styles and future innovations.

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made.

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