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September 8, 2020

Deckers x Lab K-ST 21 Low Sneakers Review

Leave it to the team at Deckers x Lab to create a performance athletic shoe that not only turns heads but is so innovative in design and materials that it compares to nothing else on the market. If you haven't heard of Deckers x Lab, it's a new label from Deckers, the parent company of UGG, Teva, Hoka One One, Koolaburra, and Sanuk. (So you know this label will have both comfort and style.) I was sent a pair of the fancy new K-ST 21 Low sneakers by Deckers x Lab and I'll be sharing my thoughts on fit, performance, and style in this review.

Deckers K-ST 21 Low sneakers for women

Appearance and Performance

It's immediately apparent that the K-ST 21 Low looks different from most sneakers due to the extended sole. According to Deckers x Lab, "the plush, angled heel catches you and immediately transfers downward energy into forward momentum.The heel also is the first point of contact to a wide platform (aka sole) resulting in unstoppable stability. The heel immediately rocks you into the midfoot where it is amplified by our who’s-the-nutter-who-came-up-with-this? Carbon Bow Technology™ suspension system. The Carbon Bow transfers the energy into the toe box. This roll completes the rocker, sending you off into your next step." 

Designed to propel your stride, these shoes merge a light, athletic feel with extremely responsive movement. At $199, these are priced higher than most athletic shoes. Are they worth it? I recently wore them for a HIIT workout, inclined treadmill walk, and for an outdoor walk in the park. I noticed that in my HIIT movements, these shoes felt super responsive and helped me to glide through my cardio circuits. As much as I love exercise, performing skaters, jumps squats, plank jacks, and one-armed burpees is rarely enjoyable, but these shoes helped propel me through the most explosive plyo movements. My beloved Hoka One One Cliftons (as amazing as they are) didn't feel this good. Verdict: these are an investment, but if you're an active person looking for an unmatched performance shoe, this is it. The difference between these and most sneakers is dramatic.

Deckers x Lab K-ST 21 Low sneakers for women

I was initially skeptical that the long angled heel would be awkward for walking, but after a walk in the park and a few miles on the treadmill, I quickly appreciated their thoughtful design. I didn't even notice the angled heel when these were on, and they felt better to exercise in than traditional athletic footwear. It's like my feet were gliding. Another advantage of the K-ST 21 Low sneakers was that my feet felt noticeably less fatigued after my workouts. I even spent and extra 15 minutes on the treadmill. (That rarely happens!) There's so much technical design and innovation with the K-ST 21 Low that it helps to read the shoe's description.

According to the Deckers x Lab e-commerce site, features include:

Anatomic, gender specific medium width performance running last

Cordura® ballistic nylon and Matryx® upper for unparalleled durability and light-weight breathable foothold 

Adjusting fit lycra tongue and toe box

Under Foot Geometry: 120 - 80 - 100 mm, 4.5 mm drop, 16.5 - 21mm stack height 

Xponent+ Midsole featuring IM EVA foam and Carbon Bow Technology™ suspension system 

Extended angled heel with Meta-Rocker geometry that delivers an uptempo and propulsive ride

Sticky rubber outsole for active grip

Deckers x Lab K-St 21 low soles

Materials and Fit

I found the K-ST 21 Low to run true to size. I wore them with thin cotton/poly blend socks, thick cotton socks, and also barefoot. All variations were comfortable, with no uncomfortable overheating or slippage. My feet stayed securely in place and there was less strain and impact on the ball of foot area. Just like with the other shoes I reviewed from Deckers x Lab, there's thick padding at the back of the heel which ensures you'll never get blisters when wearing them. There's no break-in period. These shoes are comfortable from the very first step. As far as materials, the uppers are both breathable and lightweight. No sweaty feet here! Bonus - these shoes come with an extra set of insoles. One pair of insoles is PU plush memory foam, and the other is EVA memory foam with low compression for a shock-free experience. 

Deckers x Lab K-ST 21 Low sneakers

Design notes: The geometry specs are printed on the shoe. The angled sole has a smooth, firm feel when pinched with your fingers.

Deckers x Lab K-ST 21 Low sneakers

From a fashion and design perspective, these are futuristic, sleek-looking sneakers. There's a mesh panel on the sides, a bit of animal print texture, and just the right amount of white on the soles to break up the all-black uppers. There's even a gap between the sole and the uppers near the arch of the foot. 

Modern looks, versatility, comfort, and performance-based construction are what the K-ST 21 Low sneakers achieve. They'll pair well with my printed leggings, slim joggers, runner shorts, and my casual fashion looks. I'm looking forward to putting many more miles and powering through many more HIIT workouts in these shoes.

Deckers x Lab K-ST 21 Low sneakers outfit review

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if purchases are made by clicking links. I received these shoes courtesy of Deckers x Lab.

See more from Deckers x Lab and read my other Deckers x Lab shoes review here.

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