Article by Belinda Callin
Pierre Babolat created the first tennis strings in 1876. More than 200 years later, Eric Babolat partnered with Michelin to launch the first Babolat tennis shoe, according to Babolat.com.
In 2003 Andy Roddick won the US Open with Babolat raquet and strings and this year he put his stamp on the Propulse 3, from
Babolat’s 2011 range of tennis shoes: The Propulse, the V-pro and the Drive.
The Propulse 3, 3 White, 3 Clay, Lady 3 and Junior 3 shoes offer five innovative technologies combined in one high performance shoe.
Since 80 percent of all tennis moves are either diagonal or lateral, according to the Babolat website, Exact Pro forefoot insoles are designed in three layers to cushion the foot in the direction of play. Simple physics supports the claim that this technology would provide more propulsion as it offers a level platform within the shoe for the next step to launch from.
Michelin, yes, the Michelin Man, and babolat have quite a history and together offer specifically designed outsoles for each type of court: clay, grass, synthetic grass and indoor. Each sole is structured differently for “optimized traction.” If Michelin tires can handle the rigors of poorly maintained U.S. roads, they can handle tennis play.
The Michelin OCS outsole design debuted on the Propulse and offers more traction than the traditional chevron design, according to the website.
The “new high performance heel cushioning system,” the Kompressor System, is made with EVA cushioning and thermo plastic rubber (TPR) tubes in the heel. These tubes absorb shock equally and regain their shape quickly to provide ‘dynamism,’ according to the Babolat website, who apparently coined a new word for this technology.
Fasten Your Footbelt straps are unique to the Propulsion line and not found on either of the other two shoes in the range. These straps fasten behind the ankle and over the bridge of the foot to offer custom fitting and the extra instep support needed to avoid painful sprains and ligament tears.
The exterior cell-shield mesh is designed to keep the foot well ventilated and “stands up to even the toughest abrasion,” according to the website.
Babolat led the market in technical innovations in tennis racquets and strings and continues to implement advanced technology in Babolat Shoes, advancing the game of tennis with safer options for athletes.
The V-Pro line, while not as techno heavy as the Propulse, still utilizes Exact padding in the forefoot for “relaunch and velocity,” Michelin outsole for “versatility and durability,” EVA heel and insole board for “more comfort,” and Pro Shield exterior. The V-Pro comes in Clay, Lady, Omni, Allcourt and Junior variations.
The Drive is the “perfect balance between performance and comfort,” according to the website and has a new, lighter Michelin out sole, a wider instep and memory foam lining. The Drive 2 weighs 345 grams, according to the product specs. It also comes in lady and junior variations, but also has character decaled kid designs.
Babolat continues to advance the world of tennis with its collaborative technological advancements, the Propulse as first introduced in 2007 was equipped with none of the high tech features it has today and 2011 is a great year for Babolat tennis shoes.
Do It Tennis, a San Diego online retailer, helps tennis players around the globe find the perfect products for their level and style of play at great prices while receiving outstanding customer service.
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