The new SFX3 strikes the perfect balance between comfort and performance to satisfy its loyal following.
Since its 2013 debut, the SFX has provided comfort without compromising on-court performance. Acclaimed by players around the world, these qualities that inspired the original model are the reason Babolat wanted to redevelop this shoe with a third edition: “We came back to the source, keeping everything players loved about the original SFX while incorporating new technologies with a sportier design. “ explains Guillaume Diard, marketing and development manager for footwear, textiles and bags.
Comfort and performance are the guidelines born from the expectations of players who wear the SFX. The SFX3 was redesigned with tremendous input from Babolat teams and tennis consumers based in the United States, the market where SFX has the most success. “For each key stage of development, we have a prototype. American play testers were involved at each stage of the process to give us feedback and comments,” confirms Antoine Bedin, shoe developer.
It was a challenging mission to create a new SFX model inspired by the very successful first version. To achieve this, we had to innovate. The SFX3 retains its wide toe box. To optimize comfort, Babolat teams worked on a completely innovative insole. Designed with the “memory foam” technique used in premium mattresses, the new insole ergonomically molds to the foot, creating a unique feeling of comfort. An EVA patch positioned beneath the heel provides optimum cushioning.
The other major objective was to provide more support. The structure of the shoe was revised with a new construction that provides more stability during lateral movements. The use of mesh as a main material on the upper means more flexibility and breathability: “We chose this material rather than plastic sections because of how it performs for this type of shoe, and, aesthetically, it gives the SFX3 a true identity,” comments Mateo Castro, R & D development engineer.
A clean and refined line
The SFX3 confirms we can return to the source while modernizing the DNA of a product: “Our desire for the SFX 3 was to propose a R-evolution of the SFX based on its original qualities that made it a success from the start. We also took advantage of the occasion to improve its performance in terms of breathability and support, because technologies have evolved since 2013. The insole work was very successful. Regarding the outsole, our partnership with Michelin ensures a performance known to all in terms of durability and stability,” concludes Diard.
A popular quality of the SFX3 among players is the notion of first fit comfort when putting on the shoe for the first time. The foot slips easily inside the shoe, the forefoot is comfortable, the toe box immediately feels nice, and, unlike other models, you don’t have to wait for the shoe to mold to your feet.
With its modern look, refined materials, and pillow-like insole, the SFX3 has everything to immediately attract original fans and win over new followers.