The AM5 is part of the new AM family from Shimano, with the flat-friendly AM7 and high-end AM9. The AM shoes focus their attention at the gravity end of the scale, and the AM5 has a number of DH features.
The lightly waffled sole isn’t built for hike-a-bike, but miss a pedal and it’s a stable place to be. As you’d expect, the AM5 works perfectly with platform-based clipless pedals for extra stability.
The sole has just the right blend of stiffness – enough to transfer pedal power, but also enough flex to let you know what’s going on down there.
Up top, feet are well protected at the front and sides, with stiff panels shrugging off trail debris. The inner ankle also benefits from a raised shoe body, to help keep crank knocks minimised.
With the laces done up tight the inside is a nice place to be, although if you hike a lot you might prefer a shoe with more heel hold, and some may want a bit more arch support. Again, laces provide accurate closure, while the supporting strap is far enough down the shoe not to interfere with ankles.
The bulky nature of the shoe means it’s relatively warm, but if you get your kicks from descents, this is a great budget shoe.