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Babolat Propulse Fury Men's Shoe Review

Babolat Propulse Fury AC Blue/Navy Men's Shoes

Upsides

  • Stability
  • Durability
  • Traction

Downsides

  • Lacks some cushioning in the forefoot
Video Review

Summary

With the Propulse line, Babolat aims to provide players with maximum stability, durability and comfort. On the support and stability front, the Power Belt technology and external shell of the new Propulse Fury locked our playtesters' feet in place for a secure fit and a stable ride. Like Propulse models of the past, this new version maintained the line's reputation as a durable hard-court shoe, and the six-month durability guarantee was icing on the cake. However, when it came to comfort, these shoes did need some adjustments. Even after breaking in their shoes, a couple of the playtesters were left wishing for a bit more cushioning in the forefoot. The more minimal feel in the forefoot did allow our testers to feel connected to their movements and aided in keeping these shoes feeling fluid on the court, especially considering their heavy-duty design. Overall, the Propulse Fury is ideal for aggressive movers who are looking for excellent durability and stability to maximize their potential to run down every ball.

Babolat Propulse Fury Men's Scores

Comfort 3.7
Ventilation 3.7
Arch Support 3.9
Foot Support/Stability 4.3
Overall Sole Durability 4.2
Toe Durability 3.8
Traction 4.2
Weight 3.7
Overall 4.1

Comfort - Score: 3.7

The Propulse Fury required a slight break-in and lacked some cushioning in the forefoot, according to our team. Mark felt the comfort improved as the playtest wore on, though. He explained, "Out of the box, the width of the toe box was pretty middle of the road. In fact, in terms of the overall width, I describe them to be middle of the road from toe to heel. Comfort was decent from the start and definitely improved with wear. Underfoot, the midsole of the Propulse Fury was thin enough to keep me connected to the court and provided the level of comfort that typically comes with a more spartan midsole. I do have relatively high arches, and although the stock insert of the Propulse Fury feels lower than medium, it never negatively affected my ride in these shoes. Lastly, the uppers did offer my feet a high degree of comfort, including the tongue and laces."

As one of our more narrow-footed playtesters, Chris thought these shoes needed a slight break-in and modification. He said, "I found the Propulse Fury shoes to require a bit of a break-in before they became truly comfortable on court. After a few hours of casual wear and one hour of hitting, the shoes felt good to go. During break-in, I also added insoles for a better fit for my high arches and for some additional cushioning under the balls of my feet. From then on I loved how these shoes performed on court. The uppers flexed comfortably, and the tongue offered lots of padding to protect my feet from the laces. My feet never ran too hot, the shoes fit true to size and the width was glove-like enough to secure my narrow feet."

Although Troy found the overall comfort to be solid, he would've preferred plusher cushioning underfoot. He said, "When it came to comfort, I was very pleased with the upper portions and any part that made contact with the top of my feet. The tongue and the ankle collar were very well padded, and I never experienced any rubbing or pinching around my toes, which I appreciated. However, I was slightly disappointed with the minimal cushioning underneath the balls of my feet. When it comes to very lightweight shoes, like the Babolat Jet Mach II, I can understand the midsole feeling very minimal. With shoes such as these Propulse Furys, weighing in at 15.4 ounces, I expect a plusher ride. The arch support felt a bit lower than I would have liked, and the ventilation was average for mid-weight shoes."

Having wider feet, Jason didn't like the Propulse Fury's fit, but he enjoyed the cushioning it provided. He commented, "These shoes offered pretty good underfoot cushioning, and I didn't feel my feet getting too warm during play. However, the shoes were a bad fit for my feet. I was getting pressure on both the lateral and medial sides of my feet near the midfoot section. Because of that, my arches were experiencing some soreness. They felt better after a three to five hour break in, but I was still feeling those pressure points."

Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.3

At 15.4 ounces (size 10.5), the Propulse Fury shoes were very stable. Troy said, "These shoes are designed to offer a high level of support and stability, and I found them to do their job very well. I could lace these shoes up very tightly without any discomfort. The Power Belt technology that is connected to the lacing system grabs my feet and locks them in very securely. There was plenty of rigidity built in from the midfoot shank, and the low-to-the-ground ride allowed me to feel vey connected to the court when changing directions."

With a game style that has him playing longer points, Mark really put these shoes to the test. He commented, "To get the proper fit I did have to use the extra empty eyelets, and I am happy to report that the laces are long enough to accommodate their use. At that point, the overall support of the Babolat Propulse Fury shoes was sufficient, and the lateral side of the upper provided my feet with a high degree of comfort during abrupt directional changes."

Jason said, "Like with previous Propulse shoes, these Furys provided great stability and support. The external strap really helped keep my feet stable when stopping and pushing off laterally. I felt like I could get a nice, locked-in fit by cinching up the laces, which then kept my feet from sliding around within the shoe."

Chris was also impressed in this department. He added, "One of the strong points of the Propulse Fury shoes was the support and stability. The shoes were very rigid laterally, so they resisted twisting very well. The uppers offered lots of support, with the midfoot area feeling especially locked in. These shoes reminded me of an adidas Barricade in the way they offered a rock-solid ride. I was able to sprint around the court at full speed and never have to worry about strains to my feet and ankles."

Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.2

Our playtesters racked up the hours on hard courts to test the durability of the Propulse Furys, and the shoes were up to the challenge. With a six-month durability guarantee, these shoes stand out in this category. Chris explained, "A great choice for frequent players, the Propulse Fury shoes proved to be very durable. Throw in the guarantee, and it allows for lots of long hitting sessions with no durability concerns. I liked the durability at the toe bumper as well. The outsoles wrap up over the tips of the shoes to provide some nice resistance to toe-dragging."

Troy offered some comparisons to other shoe models, saying, "As with previous Babolat shoes I have playtested, the Michelin rubber outsoles held up well on gritty hard courts. The rubber material in the high-wear areas — near the balls of my feet and the toe region — was thicker than other areas of the outsole. This seemed to help extend the life of the outsoles. I wouldn't go so far as to say these shoes are as durable as the Asics Gel Resolution 7 or adidas Barricade 2018, but they were pretty close. I showed minimal balding of the tread after about 15 hours of wear."

Jason didn't put in as many hours as some of our other playtesters, but he found the Propulse Fury to hold up as expected. He said, "I only put about 10 hours on these shoes because of the pain I was getting while playing in them. But those 10 hours didn't put a dent in the outsoles at all. Michelin outsoles have always been durable for me, and I think that holds true for these shoes."

Mark thought the durability was extremely impressive. He said, "I have approximately 20 hours of use in Babolat's latest Propulse Fury shoes, and judging by how much rubber is left around the toe area of my test shoes, I would say that I have at least another 40 hours of hard court play left in them, maybe more. I will probably get through the outsole of the Propulse Fury in time to redeem its sole warranty, but it will likely take four months of consistent hard court play."

Traction - Score: 4.2

The Babolat Propulse Fury provided nice grip, but also enough give to slide into or out of shots on aggressive pivots. Mark found these shoes to be very predictable. He described, "I have always had great success wearing Babolat tennis shoes in terms of predictable starts and stops on a hard court, and the quality of traction was no different with the new Propulse Fury. For this playtest I played on our indoor hard court and local outdoor hard courts, some of which are dirty, and I have to say I was pretty happy with the level of traction."

Troy was pleasantly surprised by the traction levels. He said, "I enjoyed the tread that these Propulse Fury AC shoes offered. The outsoles had a semi-slick feel to them whenever I had to slam on the brakes, which I appreciated. I prefer a little bit of give in the traction, and these shoes felt perfect for that. I am not one to slide into my shots when playing on hard courts, but I could see how these shoes could be a great option for those who do, such as Benoit Paire, who endorses these shoes."

Chris added, "The Michelin outsoles might be unique in design, but they offer universal traction. I liked the level of grip I had when moving around the courts in more upright, classic hitting stances. When scrambling wide and sliding out of a shot, the shoes allowed enough give for an easy slide. I was really happy with the level of grip and found better traction in these shoes compared to the last Propulse shoes I tested."

Jason had a similar experience to the other playtesters. He noted, "The unique outsole pattern did a really good job gripping the hard courts. I was actually getting a bit more grip than I anticipated. It did have some give to it, though, so I could slide a little bit when changing directions."

Weight - Score: 3.7

Weighing more than 15 ounces, the Babolat Propulse Furys provide a very solid and stable feel. Some of our testers hardly noticed the weight, but others, like Jason, observed a heavier feel. He said, "They felt substantial to me, which isn't a bad thing if you're the type of player who's used to this type of shoe. Shoes that are durable and provide plenty of stability and cushioning are naturally going to be weighty. Personally, I prefer lighter weight shoes, and even though these are a bit on the hefty side, at least they don't feel clunky or bulky."

Mark found the shoes to be on the heavier side, but overall he had no issues getting up and going. He commented, "Well, overall weight only tells part of the story, and the Propulse Fury shoes have a sole warranty, so I cannot knock their weight. For shoes that are north of 15 ounces, they are pretty easy to maneuver in."

Troy thought these shoes seemed slightly lighter than the weight indicated. He said, "These shoes felt pretty middle of the road when it came to weight. Based on the fit and the low-to-the-ground ride of these shoes, they felt a bit lighter than the 15.4 ounces on the scale. With that being said, they still felt heavier than my go-to shoes, the Asics Gel Resolution 7, as well as the Nike Air Zoom Cage 3, which offer similar levels of support."

Chris was very impressed by the weight of these shoes. He explained, "I felt like I moved well in these shoes. Considering all of the support, stability and durability on offer, I was impressed the shoes felt so fast. What weight is in the Propulse Fury seemed well hidden and was a not an issue for me."

Overall - Score: 4.1

Likes

Troy - "A high level of support and stability. The uppers are very comfortable, and I like the balance of grip and give that the Michelin outsoles offer."

Mark - "The overall level of comfort for the Propulse Fury is better than average, and I also really like the combination of its low-to-the-ground feel and stellar traction on every court I play on. I will give high marks for the level of stability as well."

Chris - "I like the support, stability and durability."

Jason - "Durable, stable and supportive."

Dislikes

Troy - "These would have been great shoes for me, but I feel like they are lacking a bit of cushioning underneath the balls of my feet."

Mark - "Although I am able to customize the fit of the new Propulse Fury using the extra top lace eyelet, I did experience a little bit of heel slippage without using it. The uppers don't provide my feet with a 'glove-like' fit."

Chris - "There is a bit too much pressure on the balls of my feet, but I found an easy fix by inserting some Cadence insoles."

Jason - "The fit isn't the most compatible with my foot shape. They feel a little on the heavier side."

Comparing the shoe to others they've tried, our testers said:

Troy - "I found this update to the Babolat Propulse Fury AC to be pretty similar to the last edition, but with a bit more support and stability. The support and stability features of this shoe are similar to the Asics Gel Resolution 7 and New Balance Fresh Foam LAV, but I just found it to feel a bit less plush in the forefoot."

Mark - "The new Propulse Fury reminded me of a more maneuverable and slightly narrower Prince T22. I was not on the previous model's test, but I did get about a half-hour of play time in them, and I feel they are pretty similar to the latest iteration of the Babolat Propulse Fury, along with the K Swiss Big Shot Light 3."

Chris - "The level of support and stability reminded me of the last pair of Propulse shoes I tested, but this pair offered better grip. Fans of classic durability and stability shoes like adidas Barricade 5s, etc. should give these a try."

Jason - "If you're a fan of adidas Barricades, Ultrashots or other more substantial shoes and have narrower feet, these Propulse Furys fit right there with those in terms of on-court performance."

Chris' Scores
Overall Comfort4Overall Sole Durability4.5
Ventilation3.6Toe Durability4.5
Arch Support4Traction4
Foot support/Stability4.5Weight4
Overall4.4
Jason's Scores
Overall Comfort4.6Overall Sole Durability4.5
Ventilation4.6Toe Durability
Arch Support4.6Traction4.4
Foot support/Stability4Weight4.4
Overall4.4
Mark's Scores
Overall Comfort3.3Overall Sole Durability4
Ventilation4Toe Durability3.3
Arch Support4Traction4.3
Foot support/Stability4Weight3.5
Overall4
Troy's Scores
Overall Comfort3Overall Sole Durability3.8
Ventilation2.5Toe Durability3.7
Arch Support3Traction4.1
Foot support/Stability4.5Weight3
Overall3.5

Playtester Foot Types

Mark - Medium width / Medium arch

Troy - Narrow width / Medium arch

Jason - Wide width / Low arch

Chris - Narrow width / Medium arch

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