These quirky little numbers are a classic case of not judging a shoe by its cover. They do look slightly odd, with a fairly average looking sole, so we didn’t hold out much hope for them. We were wrong.
The time saved on styling definitely went into putting together a well thought-out shoe. There is a raised and padded inner ankle protector and a protective pad over the laces to fend off water, mud and rocks.
The sole is made in conjunction with Vibram, as found on hiking boots and Vans BMX shoes. This GM100 sole is exclusive to Shimano and is extremely sticky, with the tread lending itself perfectly to pedals with pins.
In addition to this supple and sticky sole, the shoes’ stiffness can be altered with two different inserts that sit between the sole and insole.The grip and feel is second only to FiveTen shoes, which is quite some accolade. We found that the more flexible insert, or none at all, gave the best pedal control, although you can feel the increase in power transfer when you put in the stiffer of the two inserts.
The AM40s are very comfortable, and offer excellent protection from flying debris and the elements, but not your mates’ laughs and pointing fingers.