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Footwear Developer



Posted over 30 days ago...

Join Rapha as a Footwear Product Engineer and Revolutionize Cycling Apparel


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No salary declared 😔

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Hybrid (In-person ~2 days / week)

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Expires at anytime

Organisation summary

Rapha is a renowned leader in the cycling industry, established in 2004 with a mission to make the world fall in love with cycling through high-quality, stylish, and performance-driven apparel, accessories, and footwear. As an aspirational brand aiming to broaden the horizons of cycling, Rapha is inviting a passionate Footwear Product Engineer to innovate and elevate their footwear offerings, making cycling more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

Role Summary

  • Lead the engineering of a footwear product collection, ensuring top functionality and performance.
  • Communicate daily with suppliers, managing sampling processes and maintaining strong relationships.
  • Work closely with various teams to assess product risks and drive the sample approval process.
  • Update tech packs and BOMs, ensuring products meet cost and quality targets.
  • Analyze wear tester feedback and report findings to the wider business.
  • Travel to suppliers, trade shows, and events as needed to ensure Rapha's high standards are met.

Role Requirements

  • Industrial design, engineering, or sportswear degree preferred, with 5+ years in performance footwear.
  • Extensive knowledge of technical footwear, materials, and modern manufacturing techniques.
  • Experience with overseas factory collaboration and seasonal footwear development cycles.
  • Ability to manage risk, meet tight deadlines, and work with multiple overlapping projects.
  • Proficiency in Mac OS, Adobe Illustrator, and ideally, Solidworks or Rhino.
  • Strong organizational skills with a team-oriented mindset and willingness to travel.

Founded in 2004, Rapha exists to inspire the world to live life by bike. We believe that cycling has the power to improve people’s lives but as well as enjoying it for what it is today, we are determined to change cycling and open it up to more people so that they too can discover the joys of riding a bike.

Rapha combines performance, quality and style at the highest level to produce the finest cycling apparel, accessories and footwear on the market. Our world class team is seeking a Footwear Product Engineer/Developer to join the brand, seeking out innovative solutions for new and inspiring products. You will work under the direction of the Footwear Designer and in collaboration with the Hardgoods and Accessories Managers.

We are a diverse and collaborative team, and the ideal candidate will be able to bring their expertise to help us grow our Footwear. Working on cleated, and traditional sports footwear, overshoes and socks, the candidate should be able to display a high level of footwear development and manufacturing knowledge, alongside a willingness to inspire and challenge the norm with a true passion for cycling.

The Role:

  • Owning the engineering of a product collection, ensuring functionality and performance requirements of the product are met.

  • Day to day supplier communication, gathering key information on styles you own and potential issues within the samplingprocess.

  • Building strong relationships with our tier 1 and tier 2 vendors with trips and continuous daily communication. Ensuring allcritical path dates and KPIs are met by our vendors.

  • Collaborate cross functionally with design, supply chain teams to ensure that products are risks assessed in atimely manner and that any subsequent risks are highlighted to the correct functions or elevated to management levels.

  • Drive the sample approval process throughout the product life cycle.

  • Maintain and update product tech packs and BOMs on our PLM system.

  • Ensure product is engineered to meet targets, working x-functionally throughout the process with the ability to engineer a product meeting target costs. Flagging to management when costs won't be achieved.

  • Communicate all constructional comments to our vendors through the PLM system in a clear way.

  • To serve as primary category contact for suppliers acting as an internal liaison between their vendors and Rapha.

  • To present at major stage gate meetings. Responsible for preparing meeting spaces.

  • Facilitate and drive the capture of accurate data across input tracking documents.

  • Building product specific questions to communicate with in season wear testers. Responsible for analysing feedback and sharing with the wider business when necessary through to wear testing sign-off.

  • Offering feedback on vendor capabilities and constructional restraints that will impact the development of your products.

  • Travel to suppliers, trade shows and events as required.

  • Ensure that Rapha quality and performance standards are met through the sampling process.

  • Actively participate in team meetings and encourage more junior members of staff to do the same.

  • Have an awareness of competitor’s product, participating in inspiration days and reporting back to the wider team in presentations and document format.

The Candidate:

  • A graduate, ideally with a degree in Industrial design, engineering or sportswear.

  • Minimum 5 years experience working for a sportswear or performance footwear brand.

  • High knowledge of sports technical footwear from all disciplines.

  • Has excellent knowledge of technical performance materials and their properties.

  • High level of experience with modern manufacturing and footwear construction.

  • Strong experience and knowledge of working with overseas factories.

  • To liaise with your team to ensure the briefs are executed correctly and that the vendors are receiving all correct and up-to-date necessary technical information.

  • Excellent knowledge of seasonal footwear development with suppliers and factories; from initial tech pack handover through to launch.

  • Can understand, assess CBD’s and offer solutions to meet the brief and FOB’s pricing.

  • Must be able to understand and manage risk and be able to elevate any risks that impacts on the delivery of the product.

  • Be able to work to tight and challenging deadlines with multiple projects and overlapping seasons at any given time.

  • Good awareness of the types of footwear testing and standards.

  • Must have excellent attention to detail and be proficient in using Mac OS, Adobe Illustrator. Knowledge of Solidworks or Rhino would be an asset

  • Confident with 2D blueprints 3D Cads and DXF. shell patterns

  • Excellent time management and organisational skills. The ability to roll up your sleeves and participate in any task with a positive attitude.

  • Determined and supportive team player, the ability to build more junior members knowledge and confidence.

  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed.

Working at Rapha 

We are continuously looking into ways to invest in our employees and build a better working culture and environment. Here are just some of the internal benefits we offer.

  • Flexible working hours
  • Support ad-hoc remote working during the week - Minimum 3 days in office
  • Free barista coffee and social drinks in the office
  • Monthly department social events and quarterly office social away days
  • We offer a flexible riding benefit to allow you to go out riding on a Wednesday morning with colleagues or learn to cycle to cycling through our Getting Started Scheme.
  • We offer all our employees a 50% apparel discount and a discount for family and friends
  • An annual clothing allowance
  • Free membership to the Rapha Cycling Club
  • Company Pension Scheme

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