Shimano’s AM41 shoes had an enviable reputation on both clipless and flat soled options, so we were expecting great things from these, their successors.
However, while the high build quality and neat features such as the lace-protecting flap are still present and correct, they definitely lose out to stickier-soled competition when it comes to the all out wet-weather traction stakes. That said, if you prefer to be able to micro-adjust your foot on the pedal while riding, the Vibram sole allows you to do that.
It’s also stiff enough to give good pedalling efficiency without becoming too uncomfortable or reducing feel. Off the bike grip in mud is decent enough, but they can be a little slippery on harder surfaces such as roots or rock.
The lace cover is a really neat touch and helps fend off instantly wet feet from splashes, though it only delays the inevitable. You also get an instep strap to help reduce heel lift and there’s great arch support too. The inside of the shoe is also slightly raised to help protect your ankle and overall they’re a very pleasant place for your feet to be in on a long ride.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.