Rapha's new shoes want you to be comfortable on and off the bike

New models for road and adventure cyclists

Rapha new shoes 2019

Rapha has developed two new cycling shoes for road bike riders and adventure cyclists which it says are designed to be the most comfortable cycling footwear you've ever worn.

The Explore and Classic were apparently two years in the making and have been tested over tens of thousands of kilometres, on everything from trans-European bike-packing trips to club rides on smoother surfaces.

The Classic Shoe features an anti-slip thermoplastic outsole and full-length carbon plate, while the Explore Shoe has a shortened carbon plate secured in a rubber outsole to improve comfort when walking off the bike.

Both models incorporate a double-wall lacing system, adjustable arch supports and Rapha says that the last is shaped to provide ample toe box volume for improved comfort even after long stints in the saddle.

In creating the Classic Shoe, Rapha says it started with a familiar silhouette and redesigned everything else. The shoe features a stiff full-length carbon plate for efficient power transfer on the pedals, wrapped in a thermoplastic outsole to protect the carbon plate when off the bike.

The double-wall lacing system apparently distributes tensional forces from the laces over a larger area, eliminating pinch points, while a low-cut upper eliminates risk of rubbing around the ankle. The one-piece upper is made from a seamless, perforated microfibre and finished with the trademark Rapha stripe that allows you to adjust the toe box volume to your preference.

The Classic Shoe is available in five colourways: White, Black, Black Pearl, High Vis Pink and an RCC version. Sizes range from 36-48 including half sizes.

Rapha Classic

The Rapha Classic. After experimenting with an elastic pull closure system, lead designer Joël Salamin opted for traditional lace-ups instead.

Rapha's new Explore Shoe has been built to stand up to more demanding terrain and conditions.

The carbon plate in the sole is cut at three centimetres from the heel and two centimetres from the toe which allows flex at the front and back of the foot for comfort when gradient or lack of grip means walking is the only option. It is then set into a rubber tread for improved traction, with recessed cleats to reduce the chance of slipping.

Elsewhere, the Explore Shoe includes some of the same features as the Classic Shoe. The sculpted heel cup secures the foot while the toe box provides plenty of space and can be adjusted with the toe strap. There's also adjustable arch support in the midsole and the low-cut upper section to avoid rubbing at the ankle. The double-wall lacing system is also mirrored from the Classic Shoe.

The Explore Shoe is available in four colourways: Black, Black Pearl, Dark Green and High Vis Pink. Sizes range from 36-48 including half sizes.

Rapha Explore

The Rapha Explore is a road shoe with a redesigned sole to make walking more comfortable when you're off the bike

The shoes are priced at £180 for the Classic and £220 for the Explore and both models are available to buy now from rapha.cc 


While Rapha kit tends to be priced at the higher end of the market, you can usually get some of it at reduced prices. Below is where we look when we want to pick up Rapha bike clothes at a discount:

Rapha Archive Sale at Rapha.cc | Save on jerseys, shorts and more

Rapha Archive Sale at Wiggle | Save at least 40%

Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to TechRadar.com in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of FitandWell.com and PetsRadar.