It would seem impossible, but Babolat has somehow managed to make the second generation of its JET shoe even lighter than the first. At an absurdly low 12.6 oz., my size 12 is more than an ounce lighter than the prior model. And being at least two ounces lighter than any other recent release I’ve tested, the JET continues to move the goalposts in the lightweight performance category.
The chief innovation remains the Matryx upper—a fabric that combines Kevlar and Polymide threads for an incredibly light, breathable and comfortable feel, that’s still somehow remarkably resilient. It flexes easily, bending in all the right spots—no pressure points—and along with the softness of the outsole had the shoe ready to go without any break-in period. Even though the upper is forgiving and pliable, I had no issues feeling stable and supported in and out of lateral cuts. Plant, push and go was about effortless and effective as it gets.
Befitting an actual jet, the shoe has a narrow, streamlined appearance, although the cut is best described as medium. The stretchiness of the upper will probably accommodate most, but those with wide feet may find it snug. The lacing system does a nice job locking in the foot. I didn’t notice much in the way of movement inside the shoe, heel slippage or toe-jamming.
The cushioning in the midsole is on the thin side, especially toward the forefoot. If I had to guess, some of the weight reduction came from that part of the shoe. The Ortholite insole helps bolster the comfort, but the overall level is somewhat modest. It has some bounce and shock absorbing to it, but there are other lightweight models offering a plusher experience. The upside is it fosters a low to the ground ride and enhanced court feel for more responsive movement.
That said, my caveat from the original JET remains: It’s not designed to take a beating. Players who are rough on their shoes, or prefer hardy, durable models—there is no outsole guarantee—may not find enough substance. Same goes for heavy movers who need more security from the shoe’s upper and cushioning under foot.
Because as the name implies, this shoe is all about speed. The minimalist design is addition by subtraction—it’s almost like wearing a stable, supportive slipper. Fans of the first edition, and lightweight enthusiasts will not be disappointed how well this update enhances their quickness and agility. Put on a pair of JETs and you will fly around the court.