For the first time, Rapha has developed two new cycling shoe models entirely in-house for both road and adventure cyclists. The cycle apparel specialist adds that ‘Over two years from sketch to shoe box, the new Classic and Explore models mark a step change for Rapha.’
The shoes have been ‘tested over tens of thousands of kilometres, on everything from trans- European bike-packing trips to club rides and by professional WorldTour riders such as Lachlan Morton of EF Education First Pro Cycling.’
The two new shoes, Explore and Classic – both of which were developed in tandem – are designed with comfort at their heart. The Classic Shoe features a durable anti-slip thermoplastic outsole and full length carbon plate making it stiff and hard-wearing. The Explore Shoe has a shortened carbon plate of approximately 3⁄4 of the sole length. This is secured in a rubber outsole for walkable comfort and power transfer while on the bike.
Both models incorporate a double-wall lacing system that delivers fit to the midfoot. They also incorporate adjustable arch supports and the shoe last is shaped to provide ‘ample toe box volume for tremendous comfort even after hours in the saddle.’
After experimenting with an elastic pull closure system, lead designer Joël Salamin opted for traditional lace ups instead. A traditional set up at first glance, the new shoes’ lacing works in tandem with a double-walled midfoot.
Rapha Designer Joël Salamin said “The upper is made with a single piece of lightweight microfibre material. In the midfoot, the fabric is double layered and folded back on itself to create a ‘double wall’. Securely anchored to the carbon sole at the base, the double wall creates a loop along the bridge of the foot, which serve as eyelets for the durable polyester laces.
“When lacing up the shoe, tensional force is distributed more evenly across the top of the foot, eliminating pinch points and creating a firm yet flexible fit for comfort throughout the pedal stroke. We created something that looks seamless and improves the overall strength of the shoe. It works so well that we chose to the same construction and fit on both shoes.”
The Classic Shoe has been designed from the sole up to be ‘the most comfortable choice for road cycling’. It is available in five colour-ways: White, Black, Black Pearl, High Vis Pink and an RCC version. Sizes range from 36-48 including half sizes. RRP: £180 / €215 / US$250.
The Explore Shoe is available in four colour-ways: Black, Black Pearl, Dark Green and High Vis Pink. Sizes range from 36-48 including half sizes. RRP: £220 / €260 / US$295.