Babolat Shoe Review
Tennis experience/background: I first picked up a racquet when I went to tennis camp in 7th grade. I played all four years in high school varsity. I played some doubles, but I mostly played #3 singles. I am now a third year student at Purdue University. I have played on the club team all three years, it also has some very respectable players that could give some D2 players trouble. The last time I shelled out money to be pro-rated, I was at a 4.0 but since then I would self-rate somewhere in-between 4-4.5
Describe your playing style- I used to play mostly on clay and I would consider myself a hardcore counterpuncher, but in the past couple of years I have been playing way more on hard court, thus I would say I have developed a pit of an all court game. I am not as afraid of the net as I used to be, but I will go in to finish a point. I still love just camping on the baseline though and reacting to others shots. I am left handed, full western fh, 2hbh, but I love the slice to mix it up.
Current shoe: Nike zoom Vapor 9 tour
How many hours did you play with the shoe? I played with this shoes for a little more than 23 hours.
Comments on shoe performance
-comfort: the comfort of the shoe was pretty good. It took a little bit of time to get used to as it feels a bit different than other shoes on the market, but overall I would rate comfort as a plus for these shoes. 8/10
-arch support: the arch support of the shoe was one of the best parts of the shoe, I really enjoyed the low to the ground feel of this shoe. 9/10
stability/support: this is where I felt somewhat frustrated with the shoe. Due to the fact that I felt that the shoe ran a bit large, sometimes I felt that my foot would slide around inside the shoe. It was not as snug as I would have liked. I really had to pull very tight on the straps to get them to fell even semi tight. I want my feet to feel like they are locked in with a tennis shoe, the babolat propulse 4 did not do this for me. If I bought a pair of these I would go down a half size next time and I think the problem would be fixed for my feet. 6/10
ventilation: ventilation with this shoe was very good. My feet felt very cool throughout the time that I played in them. The shoe did not have as good as ventilation as say the vapor 9s, but compared to say my old B 7’s it was awesome. I was surprised in the end how a shoe with a 6 month guarantee could have such good ventilation. 8/10
-sole durability: the shoe durability was better than the vapor 9s, by the end of my 20 hours, the shoe was looking to be in pretty good condition on the bottom part of the sole, I was just start to wear through the traction, but they still had plenty of hours left in them. The only part of the shoe where I put a whole it it was the sides, (I do the same thing with my vapors, because I slide.) the material was just not thick enough and the cage part of the shoe eventually blew out, I would have licked it to have a little bit more protection, but then you would have to give up ventilation, so pick your poison I guess. 7/10
toe durability: good enough for me, I don’t beat up on the toes of my shoes that much, I had no problems with the toe durability in my hours, just the normal scuffing, but the rubber stood up to it. 9/10
traction: this was another part of the shoe that I greatly enjoyed. The shoe really gripped the court, but not so much that it hindered changing direction quickly. It was almost as good say to a tank shoe like the barricade 7s. 9/10
-weight: the shoes felt a little heavy compared to my vapors, but compared to the barricades the felt significantly lighter. It just took me a little time to get used to the extra weight, but once I got used to it in the first couple of hours they did not feel that heavy to me. 8/10
General reaction/comments on overall performance: over all I was pretty happy with these shoes, I really liked that the durability was better than the vapors which are costing me a fortune. The only thing I did not like about them was the fit and that I had to always pull the straps so tight. Other than that it was a pretty good shoe in my book. A very solid shoe that held up for the most part to the hours that I put on it, in the future I would just buy a half size smaller. my favorite parts of the shoe where its arch support and traction. It felt on par with barricades, while still having characteristics of a speed shoe. I also enjoyed the cosmetics. The black looked sick with the yellow. It was a bit refreshing from some of nike’s out there color ways, but more importantly that the cosmetics was how the shoe delivered on the court. For the summer season I have a little bit of a choice between these and the vapors. Thinking about making a switch perhaps. 8.5/10 for overall score.
Hats off to babolat for birthing the shoe
Thanks to tw for the chance to playtest,
x2 vcore 89 psycho @ 53/51
hewitt for the win