Rapha have worked with footwear experts Ecco to produce these shoes made from yak skin leather. This is soft, hard-wearing and has good water resistance, even with the shoes’ highly perforated surface (the supplied shoe cream should keep them that way). Yak leather’s light too, so they weigh just 328g each (size 45).
Two Velcro straps offer ample adjustability, though the generous toe box meant we had to cinch these in a fair amount, taking care not to fold the tongue. The light aluminium buckle is paired with a soft leather-lined strap.
The Grand Tours’ internal detailing puts most other shoes to shame. The leather-lined, padded heel is one of the most comfortable we’ve tried, aided by a padded tongue and a perforated front section that allows your feet to breathe. The cork footbed shapes to your feet as you wear them, and there are three different height arch supports to allow you to fine-tune the fit.
The carbon sole is a development of the EC90 used on Giro's SLX and Factor shoes. It’s just 6.5mm thick – for a very low stack height – and exceptionally stiff with well-defined cleat position markers. There’s a single mesh vent in the toe area with non-replaceable bumpers on the toe and heel.
Video: Rob Spedding unboxes the Rapha Grand Tour shoes