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Rapha Grand Tour Shoe $0.00
When you look at the hyper-modern trends and innovations in cycling shoes, the Rapha ethos might not immediately seem like a natural fit for shoes. But through a strategic collaboration with Giro, Rapha has succeeded in creating one of the more compelling shoe offerings the industry has ever seen. The story behind the Grand Tour Shoe was simple: Rapha sought to marry the clean footwear aesthetic from cycling's golden years with a technical savvy and performance delivery befitting a top-caliber modern race shoe. One look at this shoe and you would also be inclined to agree -- they have succeeded with flying (albeit monochromatic) colors.
The upper of the Grand Tour shoe is where the shoe carries much of its personality. Rapha went with a rich yak leather which is both soft and exceptionally durable. This lightweight leather is also highly water and stretch-resistant, and is perforated for maximum breathability. But more importantly, yak leather wears in exceptionally well -- like a vintage bomber jacket or your favorite pair of Red Wing boots, these shoes will soon learn the contours and subtleties of your foot and will wear handsomely for season after season. Each upper is carefully stitched atop Easton's supremely stiff, unidirectional EC90 carbon fiber sole -- the very same sole used on Giro's Prolight SLX shoe. Unique to this outsole design is its exceptionally low stack height and flat 'spill-over' edge profile which prevents your feet from getting boxed in around the upwardly curved edge found on most carbon fiber soles. This is especially critical in maintaining comfort and optimal power transfer when your feet experience outward swelling. But, for a shoe that looks outwardly like those worn by our forefathers, the Grand Tour delivers comfort and power transfer levels demanded by professional cyclists of today.
Like much of the Rapha catalog, the Grand Tour Shoe is an impressive sum of its parts defined by intelligent construction, clear design intent, and superb presentation. The shoes are available in Black or White, each with a single, contrasting front strap designed to evoke images of cycling's bygone pedal straps and toe cages. The smooth-actuating ratchet strap at the top of the shoe houses a machined aluminum buckle which is laser-etched with the Rapha logo.
From the deliberate packaging presentation to the shoes themselves, Rapha faithfully leaves no detail -- visible or otherwise -- overlooked. This dedication is most evident on the insoles of the Grand Tour. The natural cork and EVA insole is layered atop Giro's superlative Super Natural Fit Kit, which enables you fully customize the amount of arch support you need. This all amounts to a supportive, comfortable and naturally molded fit for the life of the shoe. But it's the detail on top of the insole that we're most impressed with. On the left insole is printed the likeness of the indomitable Fausto Coppi, and on the right, you'll find another of Jacques Anquetil; each with accompanying annotations describing the uniqueness of their respective pedaling styles. Enjoy them while they last, as these prints will certainly not survive the lifetime of rides that the shoes themselves are designed to endure. But, like we said, it's the temporal nature of this impressive detail that continues to elevate Rapha's dedication to every aspect of its design.
The Rapha Grand Tour Shoes are available in 18 sizes spanning 39.0 through 48.0, and in either White or Black.