New shoes, new pedals and a focus on flats for Shimano in 2017

Atherton Racing helps to unveil four new pedals and five new shoes for 2017

New pedals, new shoes and a focus on flats. That's the headline information on the new products unveiled by Shimano with Atherton Racing at the weekend.

Multiple world champion Rachel Atherton showcased the new lines of gravity and all-mountain shoes and pedals at the UCI DH World Cup in Fort William, Scotland.

Shimano has previously focussed most of its effort and engineering on clipless shoes and pedals, so this is an interesting move for the brand.

Shimano's footwear expert Falk Schlienz explains the change: “We’ve had flat pedal shoes in our line-up for many years but we’ve found that more people want flat pedals for more difficult trails or for e-MTB riding so we’ve brought in a range of flat Gravity shoes. We designed them together with our flat pedals so we can completely focus on making the system between the foot, the shoe and the pedal as natural and as connected as possible.”

We're still waiting for prices to be confirmed on these products, and will update the article as soon as we get that information through.

Also new is the GR900 flat pedal gravity shoe, with a tread designed for traction when walking as well as riding
Also new is the GR900 flat pedal gravity shoe, with a tread designed for traction when walking as well as riding

All-mountain and gravity shoes

There are five platforms (excuse the pun!) in the newly-released Shimano shoe line up, all focussed on gravity or all-mountain riding. Two models, the AM901 and AM701, are updates on previous incarnations, while the GR900, GR700 and GR700WOMEN are completely new gravity shoes.

The AM901, based on the popular AM9 shoe, features a raft of updates
The AM901, based on the popular AM9 shoe, features a raft of updates

The updated AM901 is the 'flagship' shoe in the Shimano collection, and is aimed at downhill and enduro riders.

Updates include a revised upper that's designed to reduce water ingress, while other features include a molded toe, quick lacing cord for easy adjustability, and an 'ultra-grippy, high traction' rubber sole.

Shimano claims these weigh in at 400g for a size 42 pair.

The AM700 is another updated shoe for 2017
The AM700 is another updated shoe for 2017

The model below thid is the AM701, which is also available in an SPD-compatible version as well as flat-pedal ready.

The AM701 doesn't have the lace shield that the AM901 features, and has a harder sole overall with a stiffer mid-sole section, and we're interested in the ankle gaiter feature, which is designed to keep out debris.

While it is available in a stealth black, Shimano has also produced a super-bright lime green version for those riders who don't like to blend into the background.

The GR700 flat pedal shoe comes in two colourways, and is brand new for 2017
The GR700 flat pedal shoe comes in two colourways, and is brand new for 2017

The GR900 and GR700 have several of the same features as the AM901 line, including an asymmetric ankle collar and toe cap.

Shimano has also introduced a womens' specific version of the GR700, the GR700WOMEN though details are scant as to what adaptations they have made other than sizing, or as Shimano puts it, "a dedicated size for female feet."

The distinguishing features include a different 'simplified' sole that's designed to be lighter and better for walking, plus the GR700 and GR700WOMEN lack the lace shield which gives them, according to Shimano, better ventilation.

The GR range is available in a grey/green or blue colour.

Shimano has also released a women's specific version, the GR700WOMEN
Shimano has also released a women's specific version, the GR700WOMEN

Flats and clipless pedals

On the pedal front, there are three new flat pedal offerings and one new SPD pedal, all aimed at gravity riders.

Sitting top of the range and the only SPD offering in the pedal lineup is the PD-M820
Sitting top of the range and the only SPD offering in the pedal lineup is the PD-M820

First up is the PD-M820, a SAINT-level SPD shoe which Shimano claims is one of its "most advanced Downhill and Enduro-specific pedals."

The pedals are double-sided and have a wide alloy body and low-profile design with four adjustable pins per side.

Shimano claims a weight of 546g.

The PD-M828 is the range-topping flat pedal, with a choice of 3mm and 5mm pins
The PD-M828 is the range-topping flat pedal, with a choice of 3mm and 5mm pins

The corresponding flat pedal is the PD-M828, another SAINT-level pedal, but this time an eight-sided concave platform flat pedal with 12 steel pins per side, in a choice of 3mm or 5mm.

A less spendier option is the DEORE-XT level PD-M8040 pedal
A less spendier option is the DEORE-XT level PD-M8040 pedal

The PD-M8040 is also a flat platform pedal and comes in two different sizes: the small/medium, which is recommended for shoe sizes 36–44, and the medium/large for 43–48.

These DEORE XT-level pedals have 10 pins on each side and, as with the pricier PD-M828, a concave platform with 3mm or 5mm pins.

Shimano claims a weight of 460g for the S/M pedal or 503g for the M/L.

The Shimano GR500 pedals are aimed at entry- to intermediate-level riders
The Shimano GR500 pedals are aimed at entry- to intermediate-level riders

Last but by no means least comes the PD-GR500, based on the PD-MX80.

This is a flat pedal aimed at entry-level trail and all-mountain riders, with height-adjustable pins, sealed cartridge bearings and black or silver options with a claimed weight of 533g.

Shoes matched to pedals for optimal performance

Shimano is keen to emphasise that these shoes and pedals have been designed to work together, and it makes the following recommendations for optimal pairings: 

  • AM901 shoes with SAINT M820 SPD pedals
  • GR900 shoes with SAINT M828 flat pedals

Pricing and availability

Pricing on all shoes and pedals is yet to be confirmed.

The PD-M820, PD-M828 and PD-M8040 pedals are all due to be released in November 2017, while the GR500 will be available from August 2017.

Availability on the shoes is also TBC.

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

Related Articles

Back to top