Published on April 28th, 2011 | by Ruth and Greg0
Futuristic Strides Fall Short, But Babolat’s Racquet Is A Hit
Spring has sprung, and so we’ve been hitting the courts. Which means we’ve also been checking out the latest in tennis gear, from several big names. One of the biggest and best is also one you may not know well- Babolat. We’ve raved about their products before, much of which is endorsed by major tennis celebrities.
Remember when tennis footwear conjured images of immaculate white sneakers? We tried out Babolat’s new Men’s Propulse 3 sneakers in fire-engine red, with white, black and grey accents that look like they’d be at home in the wardrobe of an 80s movie about the future. You know, the kind you kick on before you drive your flying car. The materials are no less futuristic. The grey accents are a pretty hard plastic, and the shoe overall is pretty stiff. Our favorite aesthetic detail is on the back- a Michelin Man. The soles are, in fact, pretty much the same material as your car wheels. Personal tires for your feet? If you’re a less adventurous dresser, the shoes do also come in a version that swaps the red out for white.
On the court, we enjoyed the traction they provided, though we continued to find the weight and stiffness an adjustment. As we’ve worn them more, we were happy to see the stiffness give a bit to a more comfortable fit. However, we’ve also see considerably more signs of wear and tear than we’re used to in athletic shoes, considering the relatively low number of hours we’ve spent on the court thus far. The mesh upper is made of a cellular material designed to stand up to wear, but we think that the rest of the shoe shoe could use some bolstering up as well. At $109 on Amazon they won’t break your bank, but they’re also not at a price point where we want to re-buy them every few months.
While we were trying out the shoes, we also took the new Babolat Pure Storm Team Racquet out for a swing. Babolat makes several models in the Pure Storm line, but this one was intended for the power player. Made from graphite and tungsten, it was light, refreshing, with a dash of lime. Wait, that was the gin and tonics we rewarded ourselves with post-game.
Bottom line, the Pure Storm Team was a great, solid racket, even without extra bells and whistles or modes that some of the rackets we’ve tried out recently have featured. If you’re looking for a solid, versatile racket that balances heft and hits strong, meet Pure Storm Team. We found it on Amazon for $179. Others in the series are also competitively priced, and we’d recommend this racquet for more serious players, rather than beginners or intermediate ones. The basic Pure Storm is a bit easier to get, er, a grip on as it seemed to have a larger sweet spot and a bit more control. The head size is larger than the Pure Storm Tour, though, even though it weighs a full ounce less.