Rapha are the experts in creating cycling shoes built around one focus. We have already seen the ultralight Climbers shoe, the traditionalist Classic and the gravel focussed Explore. Now Rapha has released it's first race specific shoe, the Pro Team.
The Pro Team shoe took over two years to develop, with product engineers, and pros at EF Education First, putting various iterations to the test over 20,000km (12,427 miles) of riding.
These kicks features all the usual bits you would expect from a top level race shoe including a super stiff carbon sole. There's some other cool tech which is unique to Rapha's design.
The upper is created from a brand new fabric developed in conjunction with world-leading weaving technologists (yes, that's a thing) Avery Dennison. Called Powerweave, it's a jacquard woven fabric aimed at creating an almost glove-like fit. In many respects it's similar to the woven uppers found on the likes of Giro and Fizik shoes but altogether very different in other ways. Rapha claim it is less prone to stretching and is inherently stronger than other woven fabrics used in cycle shoe uppers.
All this comfort and support would be nothing if the sole it was attached to couldn't provide the all essential power transfer. In this instance Rapha has worked alongside a 'world leading carbon fibre supplier' to develop it's full carbon sole unit.
The trapezoidal shaping has been inspired by box-girder bridges to create a light but super strong structure. It's as stiff as anything on the market as you would expect and also includes an extended external heel cup to further the performance.
The shoes use BOA dials that tighten and loosen on the fly and offer an external heel cup for improved fit and hold.
There's a replaceable, non-slippery TPU heel tread and a durable TPU toe tread. The footbed features customisable arch height with Neutral, Medium and High options, and Rapha has used titanium cleat bolts. The shoes tip the scales at 220g per shoe in a size 42.
The Pro Team shoe will retail for £260 and will be available in black, light grey and purple/blue colour options.
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