Shimano is a classic name in the world of rugged shoes, and these gravity-focussed shoes are aimed at clipless shoe riders looking for something protective, rugged and great value for money
Shimano claims the AM 5 is a gravity-focused shoe, but we’re not totally convinced by that, simply because there doesn’t seem to be anything DH about it, other than a slightly higher ankle protector. If you compare this to the full Fizik Gravita Tensor, you’ll see it also has smaller toe and heel bumpers, but this doesn’t mean it’s a bad shoe. In fact, if you want to get a foot on the trail/enduro ladder, the AM 5 is fantastic value for money.
Like its stablemate, the AM 5 has an extended ankle section boot for added protection. Again, this is not as deep as the Fizik shoe, or even the Endura, but it does add a little meat to this area and also keeps out the dirt. The synthetic upper is lined inside and, while there are perforations on the top and the sides, it does offer some wet weather protection and warmth. The AM 5 also feels slightly more supportive than the Crankbrothers Mallet E too. There’s some movement when pedalling hard, and it pulls up at the heel, but there’s less lace pressure.
Shimano knows a thing or two about clipless shoes and pedals, and the AM5 has one of the longest cleat cutaways on test. The two mounting points are offset from the centre line, so you can set your cleats without clipping your heel on the chainstay, or the shoe rubbing the crankarm. There is also a wide range of adjustment, so you can get the cleats all the way back without them impeding engagement. The cleat pocket isn’t quite as deep as some, so you can hear the cleat clacking on hard ground when walking, but it does engage first time, every time.
The sole is not as rugged as the Ride Concepts or Crankbrothers, so off-the-bike it can be a little challenging, but it does feel surprisingly stable. Historically Shimano has run with some pretty flimsy foot beads in its shoes, but the ones used here are thicker and more supportive.
How does this shoe stack up against some of the best MTB shoes out there? Check out our buyer’s guide.
We’d like to see a stabilising strap and a gnarlier sole, but for the money, the AM5 is a fantastic entry-level option.