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Rapha releases Explore Powerweave gravel/adventure shoe

New model uses 3D-woven fabric for the upper and a sole that's suitable for walking

Rapha has just released new Explore Powerweave shoes for off-road riding, featuring a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) yarn-reinforced upper, a Boa dial closure system, and a sole that’s designed to let you walk.

Rapha already uses a Powerweave fabric in its Pro Team road shoes but says that this is a reinforced version. The Explore Powerweave shoes join the existing Rapha Explore shoes for gravel/adventure riding that we reviewed in 2019.

2021 Rapha Explore Powerweave shoes - top.jpeg

“These robust yet lightweight shoes and their innovative 3D-woven upper fabric offer a combination of sock-like comfort and locked-in performance,” says Rapha. “The TPU-reinforced yarns of the Powerweave fabric provide high durability and weather resistance, whilst keeping weight down and comfort high.

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“The sculpted heel cup has been designed to hug your foot, keeping the shoe comfortably in place on and off the bike, while the midfoot is hugely adjustable thanks to Boa’s new incremental Li2 dial platform, which is fully integrated into the shoe’s upper for a secure fit that’s tailored to your foot. Adjustable arch support allows for a range of foot shapes while a spacious toe box with a toe strap for micro-adjustments means all-day comfort when riding.”

The sole features a carbon footplate that finishes before the toe and heel – as it does on the existing Rapha Explore shoes. The shoes don’t feel like a pair of trainers off the bike but you can walk in them much more easily and comfortably than in standard bike shoes with a full-length rigid sole. Although they're not designed with urban riding or commuting in mind, the soles mean they're suitable for this too.

2021 Rapha Explore Powerweave shoes - sole natural.jpeg

You get a grippy rubber outer sole and a recess for a two-bolt cleat, such as Shimano SPD.

Both the heel and the stripe that looks like a toe strap are reflective.

2021 Rapha Explore Powerweave shoes - in use.jpeg

The Explore Powerweave shoes are available in black and dark navy priced at £260.

They’re available today for Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) members and go on general sale this Thursday, 11th March 2021.

We have a pair in for test here at so a review will follow soon.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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