Shimano AM 41: Platform Trail Shoe- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shimano AM 41: Platform Trail Shoe

    I splurged for a pair of these shoes last month, ended up ordering too small, then finally got the right size last week. These shoe replaced Five Ten Baron Freerides, which had replaced some Five Ten "grey" Freerides, which had replaced some Five Ten Sam Hill Impacts. I'd say that you should size up, so I wear a 47 in a Five Ten, in the AM 41 I fit best in a 48 (largest size available)

    I like shoes that are supportive, granted a stiff shoe can be good or it can be bad, sorta depends on the use and user. I tend to ride with my foot halfway between the ball and arch centered on the pedal spindle. As I get tired I move my foot back so the arch is over the spindle. What I noticed when wearing the Five Tens is my feet "felt" the pedal and over time my feet got tired, likely due to lack of support.

    I tried stiff insoles, added homemade plastic inserts, got wider pedals, all to little or no benefit. Enter the AM 41:

    Bike Radar Review:
    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...ke-shoes-26954

    The Shimano AM (all mountain) 41 is a bike specific shoe designed to provide clipless stability for platform pedals. The sister shoe to the AM 41 is called the AM 45, an SPD compatible shoe, so though they look alike they are very different.

    The first thing I noticed about these shoes is they are lighter and narrower than the typical "skate" shoe (Freeride, Impact). Second, they are stiff, not as stiff as an SPD shoe, but far stiffer than an Impact. The sole is flat, no recess under the arch, so they provide consistent pedal contact no matter where you place your feet.

    In riding the AM 41 I found that my feet remained supported for the entire ride, no more side to side slop, no more folding the sole over the pedal. What this meant was that my foot fatigued far less, which means I could ride on the forward part of my foot longer, and with more power/leverage and more leg travel.

    The shoe has some great features such as a velcro lace cover, which is nice to keep the laces stashed, but also keeps the rain and mud our of your shoes. Also, the shoe is light, not sure on total weight but it's obviously lighter than the Impact.

    This shoe was made last year and came with changeable sole stiffeners, but the new model has a single stiffness, a permanent insole made of a rubber like material, and a different color scheme.

    Ah.... the look, this is the one area I think the shoe falls down, cuz face it, it looks like a basketball boot. The white stripes don't help, so I used a magic marker and colored my stripes silver and purple (pics to come).

    All in all, I can't find a single performance related fault for these shoes. The sole is a durable Vibram rubber, not quite as sticky as Five Ten, but plenty friction freindly on pinned pedals, mud, and wet roots/rocks. After 7+ hours of single track they still look new, just a couple nicks out of the rubber sole from pin wear.

    Two Thumbs UP!
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  2. #2
    MarkyMark
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    I have the old Shimano DX (pimpin' white!) which was the old model. I'm using them with CB Mallets and I'm really liking them. I don't seem to mind the additional weight and they didn't cook my feet in hot weather like I originally feared. It's cold now and they're great.

  3. #3
    Love4Mtns
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    Ben, thanks for the in-depth review. You should copy/paste it to the review section of this site. I was considering these and I have now decided to order a pair. Good call on the sharpie, mine will be blue.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Great writeup!

    Could you elaborate more on the differences between the AM41 and AM45? Aside from the obvious fact that one has provisions for cleats.

    The reason I'm asking is that I'm getting some platform pedals with my new bike after exclusively riding clipped in for the last 19 years. I'd like the option of maybe using the shoes with a hybrid clip/platform pedal at some point in the future, which is why I'm looking at the AM45, 5.10 Hellcat, etc.

    I'll most likely still run my Speedplay Frogs and Sidi disco slippers on my hardtails, but I thought it'd be fun to work on my bike handling skills and try something new with the upcoming FS rig.

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