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Published on April 28th, 2011 | by Ruth and Greg

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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.


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