Babolat Propulse

  • Comfort: The Propulse has minimal cushioning and has succeeded in killing my feet. After a mere ten minutes of light conditioning, my feet begin to yell at me to stop moving. My feet hurt so much that I was forced to change the standard insoles to a gel insole. Even after that my feet still kill me whenever I move for an extended period of time. For match play however, these shoes are alright I guess. The minimal cushioning is definitely not for me but may work for others.
  • Arch Support: The arch support on the Propulse feels a lot higher than it actually is because of the elasticated tongue. As a result, it feels extremely uncomfortable to people with low-medium height arches (like me). I guess the upside to this is that the shoe is extremely supportive in the midsection but I don’t know if it’s worth it.
  • Foot Support & Stability: The Propulse is very stable due to the velcro strap that wraps around the shoe. However, the shoe has poor ankle support and sometimes I feel as if I’m about to twist my ankles (a problem I’ve NEVER had with any other tennis shoe). Additionally, after I changed the insoles for added comfort, I often find myself feeling like my feet are slipping inside my shoe. With the original insole, I didn’t have this problem but I couldn’t stand the pain I felt with the original insoles. The shoe has pretty support because of the strap but it does get in the way when trying to lace up the shoes.
  • Durability: I’ve had the shoe for about 2 weeks and the outsole is already wearing out. There are parts on the outsole that have clearly worn out which is absolutely ridiculous considering I’ve had the shoe for such a short period of time. While the shoe does come with a 6-month outsole durability guarantee, Babolat requires that the shoe have a hole in the bottom of the outsole such that the insoles of the shoe are visible (Adidas and Nike only require bald spots on the outsole, not a hole).
  • Traction: The outsole doesn’t have a trace of a herringbone design but it seems to work fine. The guys at Michelin clearly know what they’re doing and it shows in the traction. However, with such poor durability, I don’t think the awesome traction will hold up much longer.
  • Weight: At about 17 ounces, these shoes aren’t bulky but they aren’t lightweight either. The weight doesn’t really bother me at all and isn’t a concern.

Overall, I really don’t like these shoes. They look awesome and have pretty good traction but the fit is clearly not for me. Also, the laces are way too long for the shoe and have started to fray from me stepping on them while running. The strap gets in the way when lacing the shoes up (as I mentioned above) and the velcro also frays the laces which is really annoying. At $110, the shoes aren’t exactly cheap either (I’m still recovering from the huge hit my wallet took after I bought these shoes). I wouldn’t buy these again. If you’ve spent the time to actually read this, go buy yourself a pair of Adidas Barricade IVs if you can find them (I’ve heard the Barricade Vs are an excellent upgrade to the IVs so if you feel like paying $110 go buy some Barricade Vs).