French tennis brand Babolat is tightening the belt for this spring’s new collection of tennis shoes. In the newest models of its Propulse collection, endorsed by Andy Roddick, the company is debuting its Foot Belt support technology. Independently adjustable straps across the instep and the ankle allow wearers to tune the fit of the shoes while supporting the foot in the lateral movements common to the sport. In addition, TPU heel counters distribute pressure from the back strap to cradle the heel. The shoes also use Michelin’s OCS technology in the outsole as well as a more durable rubber compound from the tire manufacturer. The Propulse line, which delivers to tennis and pro shops across the U.S. this week, will retail for $109 for the Propulse 2 (men’s), $104 for the Propulse Lady 2 (women’s) and $59.90 for the Propulse Jr. 2 (kids).
Lacoste is pulling out the stops this spring to celebrate its iconic crocodile logo. Taking inspiration from the stories, myths and legends about crocodiles across the globe, the French brand is launching a limited-edition collection of sneakers that celebrate the reptile in its many guises. In April, sneakers celebrating croc stories from Egypt, Polynesia and West Africa will be released; in May, kicks dedicated to crocodiles in the urban legends of New York and the albino crocodile of South Africa will launch; and in June, shoes inspired by the stories of Japan, India and Amazonia will hit stores. On March 30, in advance of the launch, the brand will debut Lacostecrocmyths.com, where stylized animated videos will explain the crocodile-centric inspiration for each style. The men’s styles will be carried by a limited number of sneaker boutiques in the U.S. and globally, including Addict in Miami, Snyx in Chicago, Bodega in Boston and Premium Goods in Brooklyn, N.Y. The $120 to $180 styles will each come packaged with a special-edition shoebox along with a booklet and postcard package that explain the Lacoste story and the concept.