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Babolat Propulse Fury Women's Shoe Review

Babolat Propulse Fury AC White/Blue Women's Shoes
Price: $69.94 MSRP: $130.00

Upsides

  • Support
  • Stability
  • Durability

Downsides

  • Lengthy break-in required
Video Review

Summary

Former ATP player Andy Roddick put the Propulse family of shoes on the map in the late 2000s, and the shoes have since become known for their stability, support and durability, both for men and for women. The Propulse Fury is the newest iteration, and it can be seen on court both at the pro level and recreationally. While the overall look has changed, the Propulse Furys offer the same high levels of support and stability as past models. Thanks to Babolat's signature Michelin rubber compound outsole, the shoes offer impressive durability and are backed by a six-month guarantee. Our playtesters also appreciated the Power Belt technology, which kept their feet and ankles locked in during aggressive movements both in practice and match play. However, all four playtesters needed an extended break-in period that lasted over multiple hitting sessions (averaging around five hours). Additionally, the fit was a tad short and narrow, so we recommend sizing up a half size if you are in between sizes or have wider feet. Overall, the Propulse Fury would be perfect for players who spend a lot of time on court looking for the ultimate high-performing battle shoes.

Babolat Propulse Fury Women's Scores

Comfort 3.7
Ventilation 3.4
Arch Support 3.3
Foot Support/Stability 4.4
Overall Sole Durability 4.5
Toe Durability 4.5
Traction 3.7
Weight 3.3
Overall 3.7

Comfort - Score: 3.7

Once through the break-in period and after making some small modifications, our playtesters were able to utilize the Babolat Propulse Fury shoes to their full potential. Julie remembers playing with Babolat tennis shoes in the juniors. She said, "I was so excited to see what they had to offer on the court 10 years later! The first thing I noticed was the bulky construction of the shoes; it made them feel narrower and held my feet in place well. This might be an issue for people with wider feet, but I like tighter shoes. The main issue was the break-in period, which was long, and even painful for my arches at times. It took about six hours to find comfort in these shoes. Yes, it took me a while, but after this break-in period, I encountered absolutely no issues! The midsole provided a good amount of cushioning, and I found it responsive. The shoes were comfortable considering their solid nature, and the ventilation was good."

"The first thing I noticed when putting these shoes on was a slightly short fit, but not enough to size up," offered Michelle. "As I spent more hours in these shoes, the shorter fit hardly bothered me. I definitely appreciated the shoes more as they broke in. There was also nice, plush cushioning surrounding my feet and a supportive, cushioned feel underfoot. They felt familiar and in line with many of the other Propulse models we have tested over the years. While I liked these shoes for an hour at a time, they did sort of bother me a bit after that. They felt a bit heavy and uncomfortable, and they ran hot. I also noted some slight arch pain. I'm testing a few shoes at the moment, but I definitely feel like these might be the culprit, with some aching in my feet around my arches."

Tiffani has wider feet and suggests moving up a half size. She explained, "It took a while to get there, but in the end, I found good comfort from the Propulse Fury shoes. I didn't think it was going to be a great playtest for me when I first slipped these shoes on my feet. The shoes run quite narrow, and a bit on the short side. It took about three hours of court time for these shoes to start to break in and give my wider feet some relief. During those first few hours I experienced a lot of pressure on the sides of my feet. These shoes don't run a full half-size short, but for players who have wider feet, I would suggest going up a half size to minimize the break-in. I ended up being glad I stuck it out, but it was not an enjoyable break-in period. Once the Propulse Furys loosened up, I really liked the cushioning level underfoot. One downside that never subsided was the heat factor. These shoes are not very breathable, and I always liked to remove them after playing to give my feet some air."

Brittany agreed with the other playtesters regarding the break-in period. She said, "I had a lengthy break-in period with previous Propulse iterations, and this version was no exception. I started with walking in the Propulse Furys around the office, and I wore them to work out in the gym a couple of times. The uppers are extremely stiff, and there is a lot of material built up on the medial side. It was at least four to five hours before the shoes slowly started to break-in. Unfortunately, I was still having some pressure against my big toe joint that was causing me some pain. One of the male TW playtesters was having a similar issue and recommended using different insoles. I put in some custom insoles and that solved 95 percent of the issues. I was still having some slight pain from time to time, but it was definitely a huge improvement. The shoes did fit my feet well length-wise, and I had no issues with ventilation or arch support."

Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.4

The removal of the signature strap did not affect the high levels of support and stability the Babolat Propulse Fury shoes offer. Brittany thought the highlight of the playtest was the support and stability. She said, "I thought the Propulse Furys did an excellent job of keeping my feet secure. I didn't have any extra movement inside the shoes and liked how the lacing system enveloped my feet. Due to a past ankle injury, I can always tell when shoes don't offer the support I need because my ankles will get sore after playing. These shoes did an excellent job keeping my ankles protected, and I never felt like I was tipping or going to roll an ankle."

"Before I slipped my feet in these shoes I had a feeling they'd be supportive and stable," added Julie. "They offer extra lateral material, they look rigid and they felt slightly heavier than my liking. Not that I'm always right, but I wasn't wrong this time. They felt very supportive on court, and I didn't experience sliding inside the shoes, not even once during this month and a half playtest! Stability was ideal as well, but only after some hours in the shoes. While I was breaking these shoes in the traction provided some give randomly and I experienced tiny slides. These slides were far from knocking me down, but they threw me off balance. Once again, after the break-in this stability issue was no longer a problem, and I got to play practice matches with great balance and confidence."

Michelle had no complaints with the support and stability. She said, "The shoes' Power Belt technology really aided in extra support. I was never worried about losing my footing or twisting an ankle. I felt like I was always held upright, and my movements out wide were never compromised. I would say this was a strength of these shoes. Very supportive and stable."

Tiffani compared the Propulse Furys to previous versions. She said, "My previous experience with the Propulse line has been very positive in the support and stability department. The Furys again delivered all the protection I needed during aggressive movements on the court. The Velcro straps of the original Propulse model are gone, but these shoes manage to keep the stability levels high while offering a bit more of a flexible feel overall."

Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.5

With a durable Michelin rubber outsole, the Fury shoes lived up to their Propulse reputation. While Tiffani didn't test the Propulse Fury shoes to her fullest potential, she was still able to recognize their durability. She said, "Long-lasting outsoles have been another highlight of the Propulse line, and the Fury model keeps that tradition going. I didn't put as many hours on these shoes as I would have liked due to a wrist injury that kept me off the court, but after six hours the outsoles look practically new, aside from the dirt. The medial side of the upper and the toe region are also quite built up, and I didn't do any damage there either."

"While I didn't put in as many hours as I would have liked (only around eight hours), the outsole durability has held up beautifully," said Brittany. "I don't see any wear or tear, and I expect these shoes to last a long time. I was fully impressed with the durability, and the six-month guarantee is such an added bonus. Toe durability was much the same. There was plenty of material to protect the shoes, and I see no wear at the end of the playtest. I expect the toe bumpers to last just as long, if not longer, than the outsoles."

Julie, our playtester who is the toughest on her shoes, was equally impressed. She commented, "There's not much to say in this area other than that the outsole and toe durability were simply outstanding. I played a bit more than 15 hours in these shoes, and I'm just now seeing slight signs of wear on the outsole. The upper held really nicely as well. It opened up slightly for a more comfortable fit, but it didn't loosen up to the point that I lost any kind of support. If you're on the lookout for durable shoes, I'm definitely flagging these Furys for you. Give them a try!"

Michelle echoed the thoughts of the other playtesters, saying, "The Michelin rubber from Babolat is always a strong point. While I don't often put holes in my shoes, I was never worried about ruining the outsole or wearing out the rubber. I am just seeing some slight smoothing after several weeks of wear."

Traction - Score: 3.7

With a unique tread pattern, the Babolat Propulse Fury shoes took a little bit of time to settle in for some of the playtesters. Michelle was the lone playtester who didn't have any initial issues with the traction. She noted, "I thought the traction from these shoes was a bit sticky, and I'm okay with that! The tread wore consistently through the playtest, and I don't think I can recall a single moment when I slipped or lost my footing. It felt more traditional, rather than having the more modern, slicker levels of traction. I know some of the other playtesters felt like they slid a bit at the beginning of the playtest, but I never noticed any issues."

On the other hand, Tiffani struggled her first couple of hits with these shoes. She said, "The traction at first felt unpredictably slick, and I was spinning my wheels a few times when trying to take off to the next shot. I can recall one point when I was pulled out wide and needed to scramble all the away across the court to chase down the next ball. I pivoted, and I pushed off hard, but my lead foot slipped back. I pushed harder into my lead foot, and I slipped even more. The shoe finally hooked up to the court, but I didn't have the time to retrieve that ball. Although I was frustrated with the traction initially, after two to three hours on court the outsoles wore down enough to provide better grip."

Brittany also had some issues with the Propulse Fury's slippery grip at first. She added, "The tread pattern on the Propulse Fury shoes was not my favorite. Right at the beginning of the playtest there were a couple of instances when I was 'spinning my wheels.' I would go to push off and I wouldn't go anywhere. I was essentially slipping in place, and I felt really unsure of my footing. About halfway through the playtest the shoes started to settle in. The traction was actually better toward the end of the playtest, and I was finding more grip when moving aggressively."

Julie had an almost identical experience to Brittany and Tiffani. She said, "During the break-in period the traction made me slightly lose my balance at times. From my experience, it seemed like it had too much give by the heel, and I slid when pushing off the ground to recover or at the end of some shots. But the more use I put in these shoes the better the traction got. The amount of give seemed to be replaced with the perfect amount of grip after about a week. It was a smooth ride from there; the random slides disappeared, but I also never got stuck to the court."

Weight - Score: 3.3

Weighing 12.8 ounces (size 8.5), the Propulse Fury shoes would fall in the medium-to-heavy range. While Tiffani certainly noticed the weight, she found some improvements over the previous model. She said, "The Propulse Fury shoes don't feel light, and they actually have a bit of a bulky feel to them. Still, I would consider them lighter and faster than previous Propulse models. If you're looking for fast Babolat shoes, check out the Jets. If you're looking for durable, stable Babolat shoes, these Propulse Furys are the ones to get."

The weight was in line with what Brittany expected from these durable and stable shoes. She said, "The Propulse Furys were on the heavier side, but that wasn't a bad thing. I thought Babolat did a good job of distributing the weight, so the shoes didn't feel clunky. While I didn't feel the quickest in these shoes, I also didn't feel like I was being held back at all."

"These shoes definitely don't go in the lightweight category," said Michelle. "They felt heavier and a bit clunkier around the court, but they didn't feel so heavy that they slowed me down. Based on the amount of cushioning, support and stability, the weight is to be expected. "

Having playtested multiple lighter shoes recently, Julie really felt the weight of the Propulse Fury. She agreed with the other playtesters, adding, "These shoes felt heavier than what I'm used to. My favorite shoes are the Asics Gel Solution Speed 3s — light and fast with a good amount of support. However, the Babolat Propulse Furys have more lateral material for extra support and stability, so while they did feel heavier, I felt more secure as I moved aggressively."

Overall - Score: 3.7

Likes

Brittany - "I like the support, stability and durability the Propulse Furys offer."

Michelle - "Supportive, stable and durable."

Julie - "I have to highlight the durability. I also like the bulky narrow fit, support and stability."

Tiffani - "The durability, support and stability levels are excellent."

Dislikes

Brittany - "I had some pain around my big toe joint, so I never felt fully comfortable in these shoes."

Michelle - "A bit heavy and clunky at times. The Propulse Furys also run a bit hot and get uncomfortable on longer hit sessions."

Julie - "I usually don't mind a break-in period, but it lasted about five hours with these shoes, which is a bit too long for me."

Tiffani - "The fit is not great for wider feet, and the break-in period was painful. Wider-footed players might be better off going up a half size since these shoes do fit a little bit short. I also didn't like the traction levels at first."

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

Brittany - "Fans of the previous iterations will not be disappointed. The Propulse Fury shoes offer a supportive and stable ride with loads of durability. Other shoes that are similar include the Asics Gel Resolution 7s, Wilson Rush Pro 3.0s and Nike Zoom Cage 3s."

Michelle - "The Babolat Propulse Furys remind me a bit of the pre-Stella adidas Barricades, and they definitely fit seamlessly into the Propulse line of shoes. I also feel like they are similar to the Asics Gel Resolution, but a bit more built up. They remind me of a lot of shoes in the more stable and durable category."

Julie - "Considering the weight, support and durability, it's an easy comparison to the KSwiss Ultrashot 2. In my opinion, the main difference is that the Babolat Propulse Fury offered better comfort for narrow feet while the KSwiss Ultrashot 2 would be a better option for wider feet."

Tiffani - "The Propulse Fury shoes are not a far cry from their predecessors. I think these shoes have gotten a bit more streamlined and a bit more comfortable over the years. I say that despite my three-hour break-in period since previously I wasn't able to get the Propulses to work for me after hours and hours of wear. Outside of Babolat, I would look at the adidas SoleCourt Boost, which would provide a similar level of durability and stability, but with a wider fit."

Michelle's Scores
Overall Comfort3.5Overall Sole Durability4
Ventilation3Toe Durability
Arch Support2.5Traction4
Foot support/Stability4Weight3
Overall3.7
Brittany's Scores
Overall Comfort3.5Overall Sole Durability4.7
Ventilation3.8Toe Durability4.6
Arch Support3.8Traction3.2
Foot support/Stability4.6Weight3.2
Overall3.6
Julie's Scores
Overall Comfort3.9Overall Sole Durability4.6
Ventilation4Toe Durability4.5
Arch Support3.8Traction4
Foot support/Stability4.5Weight3.8
Overall3.9
Tiffani's Scores
Overall Comfort3.7Overall Sole Durability4.8
Ventilation2.8Toe Durability4.5
Arch Support3Traction3.5
Foot support/Stability4.5Weight3
Overall3.7

Playtester Foot Types

Brittany - Narrow width / Medium arch

Michelle - Medium width / High arch

Tiffani - Wide width / Low arch

Julie - Narrow width / Medium arch

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