Rapha has teased a new cycling shoe design that should be landing in 2019, according to the brand.
From what Rapha has told us, the new Explore shoes have a spacious toe box, a snug heel and a "unique foot-hugging lacing system". From the pictures, the laces look different to standard ones found on shoes like the Giro Empire SLX. The Rapha shoes also have a single black strap around the toe box, which we presume adds another level of retention to the shoe. A photo of the sole of the shoes reveals a unique venting system on the heel.
It seems that the Explore shoes are suited to more than just road riding, with Rapha saying "there is no limit to adventure on the bike for those with the right shoes". According to the brand, the carbon sole is protected, so you don't need to worry about scuffing them up when riding off-road, and they also have a rubber tread for extra grip whether you're off the bike or "scrambling and skidding around local trails".
Watch: Seven tips for a fun winter
New shoes aren't the only update to the Rapha range this year, and it looks like we can expect to see updated kit ranges, including Souplesse Race Bibs with a self-centering magnetic clasp for "subtle toilet stops". There will also be a revamped pocket arrangement on the cargo bib shorts, which the brand knowingly says were "were labelled ridiculous" when they first launched.
Rapha is also honouring US champion and Olympic medallist Nelson Vails who won silver at the 1984 LA Olympics individual sprint. Vails started his cycling career as a messenger in New York, before winning gold in the Pan American games in 1983. The brand also revealed it will be re-releasing its Il Pirata jersey, celebrating the life of Marco Pantani and marking the release of a new book based on people's impressions of the racer.
Finally, RCC club members are able to get there hands on a new collection that celebrates the work of Paul Smith, using the brief of "if Paul Smith sponsored a cycling team in the 1960s, what would it look like?"
'It's a key indicator the sport is still progressing': Deignan happy with 'dynamic' Tour de France Femmes route
The Paris-Roubaix Femmes winner said the race will likely be won by a 'complete rider'
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •
Build the athlete first: How a broad skill base can improve your riding
Far from being one-trick pedalling machines, the world’s best cyclists are consummate all-round athletes. You too should build a broad base of skills
By Chris Sidwells •