Propulse 4 Review (One Week)
I'll preface this with saying I double socked at all times, both for style points and for comfort. I only double sock with Barricade 7's, as they are uncomfortable. 4.3's fit like a glove. That being said, double socked, the pp4's felt really nice. Almost strangely nice. The shoe isn't exceptionally light, as I personally couldn't feel the difference of 1.5 ounces or whatever, but I did feel lighter on my toes and I could bounce more on them and contort my foot without any pain, as I get from the B7's. No blistering for me!
One thing I'm very happy with is the lateral stability. At the playtest, we did side to side plyometric drills, and I could really lock in my foot on those sharp turns. This carried on with the rest of my playing. I could easily change direction and even lunge for a ball I would've normally slipped away from. Very very good thing for me. There is supple support with the shoe as is, and the straps help people lock in the heel if there is slippage, or if there is extra breathing room up top. Overall, very pleased with the support I got.
Average. Nothing insane to boast, nor was it a sauna with two socks on. There is a lot of mesh on the shoe, though, so some people will feel the extra ventilation. Nothing exceptional for me, however.
The caveat of many good shoes - durability. I've heard stories about propulse's wearing out in a matter of a month, yet some swear it lasts ages. Sole durability is very relative to the player you are and how much you do move your feet. For me, I wear through barricades and courtballistecs in about 2.5/3 months, and vapors in about a month. Average wear and tear on the sole, for just a week. Keep in mind I've put in about 15 hours in these shoes. Another part of durability is the side durability. I drag my left foot when I slide, especially I drag it on the inside area. 9 times out of 10, this is the first part of the shoe to really suffer any damage, and this was apparent when the strap system broke apart. The friction of the court had literally destroyed it. Totally a personal issue, however! I doubt many of you suffer from the same issues. For me, durability of the inside median shoe is always a difficulty, and this proved similar to the competition.
I'm the youngest TT-TW playtester for this shoe, I believe, and I play about 4.5-5.0, where I can beat a 4.5 and put up a good hustle against a 5.0 and get a set or two or three. Keep in mind that I am from Orange County, where a 4.5 can be similar to a 5, and a 5 is like a 5.5 or low 6. I am 16 years old and play Varsity Singles tennis in High School. I am a junior, and have been on varsity for 3 years. I usually play with the CB4.3's and now recently (unfortunately) the B7's. I've never used Babolat shoes prior to this experience. I was pleasantly surprised. As of now - would I switch to the propulse 4? Probably not. I still love the comfort and durability that the CB's have given me over the years. It's a personal affair, yet the PP4's are SOLID, solid shoes and you should seriously give them a shot!