Practically synonymous with clipless pedals, Shimano has a long history with their SPD pedals and necessary shoes. Rarely do we ever attend a group ride where at least one individual isn’t wearing Shimano shoes or using SPD pedals. Continuing their footwear dominance and celebrating SPD’s 25th anniversary, Shimano just introduced a whopping 18 new models for everything from triathlon to full on downhill. For those keeping track at home, that brings the total footwear models for the Shimano line to an impressive 71 different styles.
Clip into the new additions first with new options for DH, AM, Trekking, and even for the upcoming winter months…
Starting with the more extreme side of things, Shimano’s new gravity line up has been fine tuned with the help of Current Men’s Downhill World Champion Gee Atherton, 2013 Downhill World Champion Rachel Atherton and British 4X National Champion Dan Atherton. Don’t be fooled by the AM designation as the AM9 and AM7 are perfectly suited to the needs of downhill racers and riders a like.
Using similar uppers the AM9 and the AM7 take on the most extreme riding with velcro straps and armored lace shields for increased protection. Underneath you’ll find a clipless outsole for the AM9 while theAM goes with a flat specific Vibram rubber sole. Key to the design of the AM9’s sole was a redesigned pedal channel to make clipping back in as easy as possible while reducing weight from the popular AM45 by 23%. Both models use an EVA foam midsole and Shimano’s Volume Tour last for additional volume at the ball of the foot.
Additionally, AM series include a revised shank plate for the perfect balance of pedaling efficiency and feel to the pedals. Gravity specific rubber compounds and specialized tread patterns combine for grip when you have to hike, and an expanded cleat adjustment range will help you dial in your fit for the clipless models.
For slightly less aggressive riding or simply riders who aren’t looking for the protection level of the 7 or 9, the AM5 is an interesting option. Using just the velcro strap across the top and exposed laces, the flat sole is tuned for walking and riding and includes some stylish colorways that don’t scream Enduro. Claimed weights for the three shoes are listed at 744g for the AM9, 731g for the AM7, and 941g for the AM5 which illustrates the weight savings achieved with the AM7 and AM9. Compare that to the old AM45 at 961g, and the new options should be better options for anyone who needs to pedal.
Pricing is still TBD, but the AM9 and AM5 will be available this October, with the AM7 following in November.
If previous winters are anything to go by, we might be in for perfect fat biking weather later this year. Whatever your bike of choice, if your winter riding takes you outside instead of into the basement for the trainer, Shimano’s new MW7 will keep your feet warm and toasty. Built with a waterproof Gore-Tex liner that is insulated, the MW7 adds a fleece lined insole for all weather comfort. Using the Torbal midsole that was introduced on their SH-M2000 Enduro shoe, the MW7 should provide the same pedal efficiency we’ve enjoyed from the SH-M2000 while remaining super comfortable while pedaling.
Under all of that armoring on the tongue, the boot uses their Speed lacing pull cord system with a velcro lace shield for easy in and out. A Volume+ last should provide plenty of room for thick winter socks, and the outsole features rubber studs on the outer edges for grip. Built with plenty of protection, the MW7 is as close as you’ll probably get to a winter Enduro boot that is meant for aggressive riding as much as it is winter commuting. Available in September.
Probably as close to a true clipless hiking boot as you’re likely to find, Shimano brings the touring focused Cross mountain group to the US with the new XM9 and XM7.
Featuring Gore-Tex liners, Nubuck leather, and rugged Vibram outsoles, both of the Cross Mountain options should be equally at home scrambling up a mountain side as they are pedaling down the trail. With that said, the shoes are still meant for pedaling with velcro straps on the ankles including the mini-power strap on the XM9. The high top also builds in padding around the ankle to keep out debris as well as a TPU heel, and a specially shaped insole to keep your foot in place.
Both models utilize a flexible half-length shank plate with EVA foam cushioning to allow for comfortable walking. Due to the difference in construction, the XM7 is a good bit lighter at 870g compared to the full length XM9 at 1070g. Both models also include a clever rubber cleat plate that not only allows the shoes to be used with flat pedals, but is shaped exactly like an SPD cleat. That provides the opportunity to get used to the feel of clipless pedals without actually clipping in. Built on the Volume Performance last, the boots are wider than the Volume+ last shoes which allows for the use of custom orthotics.
Both models will be available in October.