More commonly know as DXs, the Shimano AM45 shoe is now a classic trail shoe for UK mountain bikers, offering a good combination of weather proofing, comfort and pedalling efficiency.
Despite their Stormtrooper styling, the previous DX shoes (the MP66) quickly became part of the mbr uniform thanks to their durable build and excellent protection from the elements. The replacement Shimano AM45 boasts improved weather resistance and a Battlestar Galactica-inspired aesthetic.
As is often the case with Shimano shoes, we needed to go up half a size to get a good fit. To install the cleats you have to remove the insole, insert the steel plate and then attempt to apply a waterproof sticker over the cleat pocket. Frankly, it’s a pain, and we always end up with a sticker that only partially covers the slots, rendering the whole process a complete waste of time. At least we didn’t need to take a knife to the outsole…
There’s plenty of room to adjust the cleat position, and both engagement and disengagement was very positive, even after we’d been trudging through ice and snow. The sole’s plenty stiff enough, so power transfer is efficient, particularly when combined with the DX pedal. Sadly there isn’t much grip in the mud if you have to get off and push.
Weight and bulk are the AM45’s biggest issues; we noticed the extra mass and we frequently scuffed heels against cranks.
Living in the UK it's hard not to love the DXs for their ability to withstand mud and gloop: the top clap that encloses the laces is invaluable. They're comfy too. The package is marred slightly by the weight though, and a sole that lacks traction.