Review: Rapha Explore Shoe
Preface: Alright, this is the first Rapha product I’ve ever owned. I’ll be honest I’ve had a bit of an issue with Rapha...it’s always been Rapha owners, not the brand. But that only made me want to distance my self, the design has always been top notch, quality looked great, i just didnt want to be...them Then I went to @landrun100 where they were testing this shoe I believe. I had the opportunity to talk and have dinner with some of the people behind the brand, everything changed and it made me grow up a little and realize just how dumb my personal grudge was. Crumbs has always been about the product, it was time to give them a fair shot and honestly it’s not fair to the people who follow this account to avoid a brand for silly reason.
So, to start, at $295 the Explore shoes are completely with in the realm of other top tier shoes. The design is clean and modern, but with fine details (the rainbow ano titanium strap attachment and cleat attachment is a killer detail, that also keeps the shoe light at around 300g). The lace system is different than other brands with a parallel to the foot loop system. This makes tightening and loosening the shoes much easier than other brands I’ve tried. The natural rubber sole is grippy and packed with traction. The upper is thin and light forming to the foot. Because of that they also reinforced the heel and toe area a common scuff point on a lot of shoes. Finally they cut the carbon sole shorter giving a hint of flex at the toe and heel making these perfect for gravel. Especially events where weather can force you off the bike.
Now the honest best part of these shoes is the fit. A slighter wider then average toe box in combination with with everything listed above makes these the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn from the start. They fit me perfectly. Simply put Rapha hit a home run with these and they are so good it has me questioning and regretting not trying any of their product earlier. These shoes are easily at the front of my rotation for any ride over 10 miles.