First Look: Shimano AM9 SPD Shoes.

Shimano AM41/5s have long been the staple of many a flat or clip pedal mountain biker. Cheap but with a performance that wasn’t nasty. There was room for improvement though and these AM9s are the cream of the crop.

Pete has just taken delivery of the all-new Shimano AM9 shoes that have been on a serious diet, as well as improving the performance for downhill, enduro and trail riding. These will be put through their paces in the Scottish Highlands over the coming months.Shimano Madison AM9 Shoe Wideopenmag

  • £99.99 RRP.
  • 744g (pair, size EUR 40).
  • Low weight, low absorption EVA foam.
  • Pedal channel improves pedal stability.

In times gone by, the cheap, dependable AM41 or AM45 were the only real option for a mountain bike shoe from Shimano if you didn’t want disco slippers. These older shoes weren’t too light, soaked up water faster than a sponge and had a super flexy sole. Not the best choice if you live in the UK by a long shot. Shimano Madison AM9 Shoe Wideopenmag

Welcome the new AM9 SPD shoe, top of a very short new AM series, starting with the budget AM5. First impressions are good. Weight seems impressive for a shoe designed for everything from downhill to trail riding without detracting from the important safety areas of toe and ankle. The weight saving is all thanks to the new EVA foam that is both light weight and not too keen on soaking up water. Laces are fully enclosed by a lace flap to keep them out of the slop.

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The sole is stiff, again for a shoe of this type, without seemingly ridiculous. It’s the design of the tread and cleat recess where the thought has really gone in. The central recess is designed to guide your cleat back into the pedal when you get a bit wild through the technical sections. Toe and heel areas have additional grip for those hike-a-bike missions and the sole in general has a far more purposeful design about it. Shimano Madison AM9 Shoe Wideopenmag

Riding in the UK is never going to be a clean affair, so the smooth synthetic upper combined with the minimal blue flashes means that these won’t be wrecked by a good blast of the hose at the end of the ride. With the EVA foam not soaking anything up either, they should dry out real fast too.

Pete’s looking forward to putting these through their paces in the Scottish mountains, so keep an eye out for a full review real soon.

More detail can be found on Madison’s site, UK distributors for Shimano. Head over to our product page for more reviews like this one.