Good water resistance and easily shrugs off minor rock strikes
Shimano’s AM5 trail shoe shares it’s DNA with the top-end AM9, but instead of a big flap, it uses a single strap to secure the laces and provide stability when pulling hard on the pedals.
With just a couple of perforations around the toe, the AM5 still has good water resistance, and with its chunky sole and bumpers on the toe and heel, it’s protective and easily shrugs off minor rock strikes.
On the scales, the AM5 is mid-weight for a trail shoe, but the sole stiffness is close to a good race shoe, with a small amount of flex in the toe for off-the-bike action.
The sole rubber is reasonably soft too, so the AM5 won’t suddenly get away from you on wet rocks, but the tread is not as aggressive as some, so on loose or muddy run-ups you really have to angle the shoe into the ground to gain traction.
The trend for cleat position is to mount them all the way back on the sole, which allows your foot to be more stable and centred on the pedal, and the AM5 still offers plenty of space around the cleat for mud evacuation.
You could argue that something like Shimano’s M200 would be stiffer, lighter and more efficient for trail use, but the AM5 is more comfortable and offers better protection.
It also has more room in the toe for expansion, which is especially useful if your feet swell during a long ride or multi-stage enduro event.