Deckers X Lab X-Scape Baja Review: Recovery Shoes For Land & Water

Designed as a hybrid sneaker, the X-Scape Baja is great for transitioning between land and water, as well as an everyday running recovery shoe.

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If you’re someone who thrives on the blend of outdoor adventures that span both land and water, the Deckers X Lab X-Scape Baja sneakers might just be what you’ve been looking for.

Designed as a hybrid sneaker, the X-Scape Baja is perfect for the outdoor enthusiasts who find themselves regularly transitioning between wet and dry conditions. Whether you’re someone who enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, time at the beach or by the pool, these sneakers are great for people who live that lifestyle, at home or when on vacation!

Another great use for these shoes is as post-run recovery shoes. Their supportive, cushioned design lends itself well to being a comfortable pair of shoes you can slip on, without socks, to wear after a long or particularly punishing run to give your feet and lower legs some TLC.

Deckers X Lab X SCAPE BAJA review 3

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $69 at Deckers X Lab
  • Sizing and fit: Men’s and women’s full and half-sizes
  • Best for: Casual lifestyle sneakers, or spending time in and around water

Before we jump into the features I like about these shoes if you’re not familiar with Deckers X Lab, learn more about them (and their awesome hiking boots) in our Deckers X Lab Enduro Max GTX Boots review.


Features of the X-Scape Baja shoes that I really like

The first thing I want to call out about these shoes is that they’ve been designed specifically with water activities in mind, and that’s very obvious. Most notably, they feature holes for water drainage and breathability, and the material used in the X-Scape Baja’s construction is waterproof and quick-drying.

It also has a fabric tongue and laces which repel water so you’re not left with soggy laces for hours after getting them wet.

The tongue, laces and holey upper of the Deckers X Lab X SCAPE BAJA water, land and recovery shoes.
The tongue, laces and holey upper of the Deckers X Lab X SCAPE BAJA water, land and recovery shoes.

These are great features that mean if you want some foot protection for a pool, lake or beach vacation, they could be a great, cost-effective option for you (bonus fact: they float!).

However where I, as a runner, find the most use for them, is as a recovery shoe I can wear casually in and around the house, and simple activities such as going out for casual meals and drinks on a hot day when I don’t want to wear shoes and socks… and flip flops seem a bit too casual and unsupportive.

The Bajas sit somewhere in the middle, as they do offer support in the form of an anatomically molded footbed, and provide toe protection you don’t get with flip flops.

The primary material used to make the X-Scapa Bajas is EVA from sugarcane, which is a material we are seeing used increasingly often for water-friendly shoes like these. There are several other shoes on our best recovery shoes for runners buyers guide, including the Kane Revive, for example, that use similar foam.

However, the X-Scape Bajas stand out in that they feel more like shoes when you’re wearing them, most notably they have a tongue, laces, and the upper is softer and more comfortable for wearing as shoes on land, including padding around the heel.

The textured outsole and Swallowtail heel on the Deckers X Lab X SCAPE BAJA shoes.
The textured outsole and Swallowtail heel on the Deckers X Lab X SCAPE BAJA shoes.

When you look closer at them you can also appreciate that they also have good grip on the outsoles (great for standing on slippery, shallow, wet ground), and a decent amount of toe protection for when you kick that rock you didn’t see.

The heels on these Deckers shoes kick out, as pictured, with a groove in between. This is a design that is very ‘Deckers’ – indeed, the name, Swallowtail, is trademarked, and a lot of their footwear has something similar, which is unsurprisingly also something found on a lot of HOKA running shoes.

This design is intended to provide a wide base that captures ground contact early in your stride. I think it also looks pretty cool – certainly different from the average shoe; equally, it could be a feature that not all will like the look of.

Speaking of looks, there’s an image gallery at the end of this review with more photos of these shoes and their unique features.

A closer look at the midsole and heel of the Deckers X Lab X SCAPE BAJA.
A closer look at the midsole and heel of the Deckers X Lab X SCAPE BAJA.

Sustainability is another feature of the X-Scape Baja. The sugarcane-based IM-EVA I mentioned above, that is used for both the midsole and the upper frame, has a lesser environmental impact than plastic-based alternatives, while still being relatively strong and durable – it’s a great material!

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and subscribe to our newsletter for more shoe reviews just like this one, and if you’re familiar with these shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

Features that I feel could be improved

There’s very little to fault with these land / water shoes; for $69, they’re comfortable, light, great in and around water, and look pretty damn cool for everyday casual wear, too – a departure from more bulky slip-on alternatives such as Crocs or the HOKA Ora, for example.

Deckers X Lab X SCAPE BAJA review 12

The only area I’d like to see some changes in is the available color options – currently there are black and white, white and cream options – so no brights. That being said, I really like my black and white Bajas! If you want brights, take a look at the Kane Revive.

Deckers X Lab X-Scape Baja – review summary

At a cost of $69, you’re getting a pretty good deal with these shoes, especially if you can see yourself using the X-Scape Bajas a lot, whether thats in and around the water this summer, or year-round as a pair of post-run recovery shoes or comfortable and stylish house shoes.


X-Scape Baja water shoes – image gallery

Helen
Helenhttps://www.trailandkale.com/
One of Trail & Kale's co-founders, a mom, and guardian of our resident trail dog, Kepler, Helen can be found trail running with Kepler and enjoying road runs with her mini in a jogging stroller, all while testing out the latest running gear for our readers.

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