Behind the Design

Hours of testing, a plethora of prototypes and countless components were all involved in the development of our Pro Team Shoe, but the project began with a single piece of feedback. We spoke to Design Lead, Jon Freeman, to find out more.

“This shoe is for professional riders,” Jon states, matter-of-factly. “And since they are designed to meet the demands of the pros, we spent a lot of time talking to riders on the teams that we work with, aiming to solve some of their problems.”

Feedback from those riders came in many forms but one comment that was echoed by almost all was that the lightest and stiffest shoes are never the most comfortable. “We heard from rider after rider that ultralight shoes are just not comfortable enough for back-to-back days and weeks of riding,” says Jon. “That’s why we focussed on comfort.”

Every component in the Pro Team Shoe has been carefully considered to maximise comfort. The mix of materials in the final product is the result of extensive testing, and a long list of rejected alternatives that did not make the cut. “We developed an entirely new last for this shoe and spent a lot of time experimenting with different materials for the upper,” Jon explains. After looking at a range of options including mesh, ripstop and perforated materials, his verdict is emphatic: “There just isn’t anything out there that is as lightweight, breathable and comfortable as a woven.”

Though comfort was the key on this project, the Pro Team Shoe is still incredibly stiff and super light – weighing in at just 250 grams in a size 42. Asked to sum the shoe up in a single sentence, Jon was crystal clear: “They are competitive in terms of weight and stiffness, but where they are market-leading is comfort.”


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Created in partnership with a leading fabric technologist, our revolutionary Powerweave fabric raises the bar in performance cycling footwear. Commenting on the its advantages over more traditional microfibre and standard knits, Jon said: “Powerweave is perfect for cycling shoes because it is super strong and less stretchy, locking the foot in place. It also combines breathability and weather protection really well with a construction that allows excess heat to escape and a durable water repellent treatment that protects from rain and road spray.”

Better still, all of these features are packed into a single layer of fabric, which eliminates the need for an outer and a liner and ultimately creates a lighter, more comfortable shoe.

Breathable, flexible, strong

Thinner, less stretchy and stronger than microfibre or a standard knit, Powerweave packs greater tensile strength into a single layer of fabric, provides superb ventilation, and natural flex for a frictionless fit.

Water repellent treatment

Powerweave is coated with durable water repellent treatment (DWR) for excellent weather protection and thermoregulation in all conditions.

Signature styling

Inspired by the fluid motion of the peloton and created using computer-aided engineering, our unique woven design is completely customised and incorporates a signature Rapha toe strap.



The best way of fastening a shoe depends on where you wear it – some scenarios lend themselves to the simplicity of laces. For our all-out race shoe however, Jon was certain that we had to use the Boa® Fit System: “There’s no equivalent system that holds the foot so securely in place,” he tells us. “The two-dial set up is so precise and endless adjustable, even when you’re already riding. There are some riders who won’t even try a shoe without them. And with good reason – Boa® makes the best-fitting race shoe you can get.”

Micro-adjustable dials

Customise the fit of your shoe with precise micro-adjustments of the two dials, easily reached and operated on-the-fly or off the bike.

Lightweight laces

Made with highly durable, ultra-lightweight stainless steel, the laces are finished with an abrasion-resistant, dirt-repellent coating for long lasting performance.

Low-friction lace guides

Moulded, reinforced plastic lace guides work in tandem with abrasion-resistant laces to reduce friction for rapid, precise adjustments.



The sole of a shoe is almost always out of sight but it was front of mind on this project. In keeping with every other component, it’s designed to strike a balance. “We’ve engineered the sole in the Pro Team Shoe specifically to meet the demands of pro riders,” Jon explains. “In some ways these demands are simple but finding the balance between them takes hours of testing. The carbon sole in this shoe has an optimum stiffness to weight ratio, perfect for putting the power down in short, sharp sprints and staying comfortable for hours at a time.”

Full-length footplate

Super stiff along its full length, our ultra-lightweight footplate sits at the heart of a shoe that weighs just 250 grams in a size 42.

Adjustable arch support

One size does not fit all when it comes to shoes. Every pair of Pro Team Shoes comes with two reinforced inner sole inserts for optimised arch support.

Protective toe and heel caps

Don’t avoid rougher terrain for fear of damaging the carbon sole. Our integrated heel and toe caps prevent damage from uneven surfaces while walking.



Extensive feedback from wear testers around the world informed the development of the Pro Team Shoe, but no one put our new pair through their paces quite like avid endurance rider Anton Blackie.

“I tested various iterations of the shoe for over a year,” he tells us. “They are comfortable in all conditions: wet, dry, road, gravel, all day rides and commutes. The versatility of the woven upper is particularly impressive and means the shoes work well in extreme heat and freezing winter conditions. Normally, I would wear a full overshoe in winter but with the Pro Team Shoes a toe cap was sufficient on all but the wettest days.”

Though they’re designed for the fastest races in the world, the Pro Team Shoes have been tested at some of the longest too, so you can be sure of consistent comfort. Anton wore the shoes at the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris ultra-endurance event and several qualifiers beforehand.

“Shoes are one of those things that you don’t want to notice,” he says. “Looking back at Paris-Brest-Paris, I have no recollection of the shoes and, to my mind, that means they worked well. I had no discomfort, there were no hot spots and given that you ride around the clock through significant fluctuations in temperature, I think this reflects well on the woven upper.

One of the qualifying events I did was the Bryan Chapman Memorial, an iconic 600km in Wales. Predictably, it was one of the wettest rides I’ve ever done but the shoes didn’t let me down.”

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Comfort in the chaos

Tried and tested in the pandemonium of the pro peloton, the Pro Team Shoe weaves three advanced technologies together to bring you comfort in the chaos of a race.

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