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Deckers X Lab X-SCAPE NBK 2.0 Review: Lighter Comfort
By David Salas and Andrea Myers

We've been big fans of Deckers X Lab and their innovation team. The brand has focused on creating new, highly comfortable street stylings. We've reviewed a lot of their designs in the past, but over 2023 they've shifted more into the innovation front with limited release footwear. The NBK 2.0, however, is a throwback to their original designs, providing a comfortable sneaker design that is a little less dramatic and just plain comfortable. David and Andrea offer their brief thoughts on the latest out of Deckers X Lab.

Deckers X Lab X-SCAPE NBK 2.0

David Salas, Contributor The Deckers X Lab X-SCAPE series was a team favorite when it came to standing around and recovering all day. The NBK 2.0 built upon the previous model by taking some inspiration from newer generation racing shoes and foam properties. The NBK 2.0 dropped 90g of weight and maintained a very balanced profile of resilient cushioning. It is aimed at being a "Go To" shoe for lifestyle wear, recovery, and even a little movement if you need to.

The fit of the NBK 2.0 improved from the first version as well. The heel, midfoot, and forefoot are all relatively spacious and held together by a really well done lacing system. The eyelets are integrated with thicker wrap like pieces of the upper that really pull everything together. The laces themselves are a little long but I can look past this. The upper uses a leather material that can run a tad warm but does does a good job of holding the foot with decent comfort.

The foam and performance of the shoe is quite nice. The reduction of weight is certainly noticeable and the midsole resilience is appreciated. This is a foam that has some give and cushioning to it, but retains its shape really well. The shoe has some gentle sole flaring and a wide base that feels good to stand and walk in. The heel cup has a more fortified piece of foam that wraps around the the softer foam and integrates with the heel counter. You certainly feel more connected to the shoe in this second iteration. The outsole traction is pretty good and will serve most of your daily needs. It isn't for technical terrain but if you need to get into a little dirt it'll suffice. The firmer foam piece in the heel does extend into a heel flare. I feel like it is nice for posterior balance and weight shifting, but can catch on things from time to time.

Being in the clinic I have definitely caught the heel on the bottom of the rolling stools a few times. I think the shoe would benefit from making the heel flare a tad bit smaller, given the rest of the shoe is constructed quite well. From a recovery performance standpoint I do feel that this foam and construction does seem to feel nice for beat up feet. The shoe has a supportive feel to it and the wide base makes you feel like you aren't on stilts. The previous model was a favorite of mine for clinic and theme parks. I have not had the opportunity to take this newer model to a theme park but I imagine it would do just fine. The Deckers X Lab X-SCAPE NBK 2.0 is definitely an upgrade from the first version.

Andrea Myers, Senior Contributor:
Like David, I loved the original Deckers X Lab X-SCAPE line and they remain some of my favorite casual sneakers. If I had any complaint about the original, it would be its weight, which definitely felt a little heavy at the end of a long day on my feet. The 2.0 has lost an incredible amount of weight - 90g as noted above, which is over 3 oz. Deckers has succeeded in making my favorite casual shoe even better.

The NBK continues to fit true to size, but the upper material feels a little thinner and the cutout panels around the eyelets feel like they help the shoe conform to my foot a little better. There is sufficient width in the toe box and it is easy to lock the laces down without any discomfort on the dorsum of my foot. The extremely padded heel collar is a little excessive, but is not as irritating as the even larger heel collar in v1. The thick Exponent HR midsole provides exceptional cushioning and strikes a nice balance between compliance and resilience. I do not like super soft casual shoes, and the NBK 2.0 cushioning is perfect for a day of being on my feet, even if my legs and feet are tired from training. I received the pink colorway, which is a neutral enough shade of pink that it goes with almost anything. This is a fantastic update from Deckers and I will definitely be getting plenty of use from the NBK 2.0.


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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Deckers X-Lab for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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