Rapha’s Women’s All Day Leggings’ are designed to be worn on the commute, post-work yoga class and everything in between, which in this new pandemic age, means wearing them a lot on work zoom calls too. One thing I know about leggings is that there is an overwhelming amount of choice and a huge variety of quality on the market. Let’s see how these Rapha leggings shape up.
Let’s start with branding. I’m a sucker for strong marketing and I have to say, the imagery shared as part of the launch campaign was great. Diverse models, cool locations and great shots of women riding. Rapha could have thrown in some imagery of women in a yoga class or drinking coffee with friends to labour the point of “all day leggings” but I’m pleased they kept to the cycling imagery.
Rapha has a sustainable list of pretty punchy commitments, targets and actions ranging from allocating a minimum of 50% of annual athlete sponsorship to BAME, LGBTQ+ and female teams and riders to offering carbon neutral shipping as standard. It’s great to see a big cycling brand make commitments like these, I hope they keep to them.
The All Day leggings are made from recycled nylon which is reassuring for those who seek responsibly made apparel.
I tested the Rapha All Day Leggings for three months on group rides with the New Forest Off Road Club. I don’t ride with a chamois and have really struggled to find a pair of leggings to ride in that both feel comfortable and look good. I have ridden them in most weather conditions that this fair isle throws at us between cold dark, wet January and flashes of decent weather in April.
Design and features
The All Day Leggings feature a double layer waist band designed to stop them rolling down and I can confirm is incredibly effective. The leggings stay where they should on the hips whether you’re on a long ride or walking to the shops.
The pocket on the side is the perfect size for an iPhone 11, which is really useful when I’m documenting group rides. Lots of leggings boast about pockets that can be disappointingly small, but this one is actually a generous size: snacks and gloves would equally be right at home here. For me, riding with my phone handy is an essential so this feature alone sold them to me. No other leggings that I know of has a pocket generous enough to fit an iPhone 11.
Another feature that I was really impressed by was the turn-up cuffs. By rolling up the leg cuff, you reveal a bright pink panel which helps visibility in low light. The reflective Rapha logo and discrete ‘made you look’ motif is a cool feature.
The gusset has a decent sized panel which means no unflattering camel-toe. Again, you would think that this detail shouldn’t need to be mentioned but there are too many leggings out there with a seam right up the middle, which can also cause discomfort.
The All Day Leggings are available in sizes XXS to XL. I had a size small on test which was a tight fit. I would buy the medium next time, and I usually wear a UK clothing size 8.
It was clear from the start that the leggings are incredibly high quality. All the seams are really resilient and the recycled nylon is both durable and stretchy. That said, I caught my leg on my cassette and promptly ripped a small hole in them three weeks after receiving them. I guess no amount of stretchy, durable nylon can hold up against those teeth!
It’s ridiculous this has to be mentioned but some leggings are so poorly made, you can see your pants through them. Obviously, when investing £80 in a pair of leggings, you don’t have to worry about this detail but worth mentioning all the same.
The navy and purple colourways have two -one paneling which looks good and is very flattering. Almost all sizes of the black leggings have been sold out since they launched. Having consulted Rapha, it seems they’re due a restock in the autumn.
The Rapha All Day Leggings verdict
Without the chamois, it might be hard for people to justify spending £80 on a pair of leggings from a cycling brand when there are so many alternatives on the market, but Rapha obviously have a large and loyal customer base and it is great to see them catering for female riders who don’t want a chamois.
I would love to see Rapha offer the same legging in a winter version for the colder months, as there is a gap in the market for winter riding leggings without chamois.
If you want well designed, high quality leggings with practical and cool features and you are looking to invest in some forever leggings, look no further.
Last modified: 26th May 2021