Babolat ™ Propulse Blast Ladies All Court Tennis Shoe
Babolat is a French company that has been around since 1875. Over the past 25 years, their outdoor court shoes have consistently improved in quality.
In part, this is because they have partnered with Michelin — also a French company — to develop one of the best out-soles for tennis and pickleball.
Traditionally, tennis players have had to choose between durability without comfort (Adidas) and comfort without durability (Nike). In the past decade, however, Babolat and Michelin have combined to develop a sole that offers sufficient durability with reasonable comfort. This blend gives up a bit on the durability side, but it adds comfort to every step the athlete will take in their shoes. At the same time, this blend ensures that athletes will get sufficient mileage before having to buy a new pair of shoes.
This court shoe is in our Adult Recreation category. Shoes in this category are suitable for continuous adult recreational use over prolonged periods of time. On average, players tend to move about 3 kph while playing doubles racquet sports and about 4 kph while playing singles. So you can get an idea of how long this shoe should last by figuring out how many hours you play per week on average. Please note: this is an average. Some players are extremely hard on shoes and will have to take that into account.
This shoe features an upgraded insole that is better than we expect to see in comparable shoes. As with all athletic shoes, players should monitor wear on their insoles over time and expect to replace the insoles at about the halfway point in the life of the shoe.
We describe this shoe as a B width with a standard toe taper. B-width is standard-width for ladies shoes. Standard taper shoes tend to fit younger athletes better than older athletes because forefeet tend to widen over time.
As always, the best advice we can give you is to come into our store for a fitting before buying any new court shoes. As we age and as we engage/disengage in athletics, our feet change shape. On average, a player’s foot size increases by one and one-half sizes between the ages of 16 and 60. During this period, feet also widen by one to two widths. As a result, we have learned that the most common cause of foot pain in our athletes is that they are wearing shoes that are too small. Because their feet have changed so gradually over time, they have not noticed it. By coming in for a fitting, players can be sure they are buying the right size and shape for their feet right now.
The Outer Sole
The outer sole of this shoe is a hard non-marking synthetic rubber (Michelin DIN 35). This type of sole offers reasonable durability on acrylic tennis/pickleball courts and reasonable traction on most common surfaces — except hardwood and polished concrete. Although wear patterns will vary from athlete to athlete, we rate this sole at 500-750 km.
We rate the platform of this shoe as recreational, which is is our middle rating for court shoe platforms. The platform on this shoe is wide enough for most recreational players, but may not be wide enough for aggressive athletes playing a high levels.
This shoe features a high cushioning EVA heel pad for an enhanced ride. However, this is an athletic shoe for younger players not a highly cushioned “comfort” shoe for older athletes.
The upper on this shoe combines polyurethane and fabric. Two reinforced straps provide structural support in the mid-foot. This combination of materials offers moderate support for recreational athletes and is more than enough support for most pickleball players.
The Lacing system
The lacing system on this shoe features six pairs of eyelets plus an additional lace-lock eyelet for those who need it. The bottom two eyelets are punched through fabric. The second and third are fabric eyelets which are book-ended above and below by single reinforced eyelets. As a result, we cannot recommend this shoe to players who pull hard on their laces and tie their shoes usually tight. The laces are half round, which is ideal for court shoes.