The name might be familiar, but Shimano's AM7 shoes are all new for 2018. Coming up with wildly clever product names isn't really something that Shimano focuses on, and while previously there was a flat pedal shoe called the AM 700, this new model is for clipless pedals, and is dubbed the AM 701. Clear as mud? Perfect, let's move on to the details.
The AM 7 has a simple, low-top design, with a neoprene cuff around the ankle that's meant to keep rocks and other debris from making their way into the shoe. A single velcro strap is in place to adjust the fit over the top of the foot, and it also serves double duty by keeping those laces from flapping around in the breeze. There's a rubber bumper around the toe box for extra protection, while large mesh panels are located on either side to aid with ventilation.
Shimano AM7 Details
• Intended use: trail / enduro
• Neoprene ankle cuff
• Weight: 466 grams (per shoe, size 45)
• Sizes: 36-48
• Colors: grey / green
• MSRP: $130 USD
Shimano rates the AM7's sole a 6 on their stiffness scale. For reference, their DH-oriented AM9 gets a 5, and the more race-focused ME7 gets an 8. Available in the grey and blue color show, as well as a retina-searing lime green option, the AM7 retails for $130 USD.
Nobody likes rocks in their shoes, which is why that neoprene cuff is nice to see.
The cleat mounting channel has plenty of room for adjustment, even for riders that like their cleats relatively far back.
I've had very good luck with the fit of Shimano's cycling shoes over the last few years, and that trend continued with the AM7. They're as comfortable as a well-broken-in pair of skate shoes, but with a sole that's stiff enough to use on long rides without any discomfort. All of my rides took place on a set of XT pedals, and I didn't encounter any hot spots or cramped feet. That being said, riders looking for shoes that are as stiff as a 2x4 will want to look elsewhere – the AM7 aren't XC race slippers, nor do they claim to be. Instead, they're a nice casual shoe that avoids any superfluous features – simplicity is the name of the game here.
Off the bike comfort is excellent as well. I hiked up plenty of slippery slopes, most of them covered with a messy mix of snow and mud, and didn't run into any issue with the traction the AM7s provide.
The AM7's upper material doesn't absorb much water, which meant that even on super wet rides it never felt like I had lead weights strapped to my feet. They also dry quickly, and it never took more than one cycle on my boot dryer (a required accessory for winter riding here in the Pacific Northwest) before they were ready for another rainy ride.
There are some scuff marks around the inner ankle portion of each shoe.
And a little bit of peeling rubber on the toe of the left shoe.
I don't go too crazy worrying about whether or not my riding shoes are clean – after all, they're just going to get dirty again, but the AM7's do clean up very nicely. Even after being fully submerged in a puddle of sticky mud all it took was a quick rinse with the hose to get them looking almost as good as new.
After approximately 30 rides, most of them in the mud and rain, the only signs of wear the shoes are exhibiting are scuff marks on the inside of each shoe where my ankles occasionally rub against the crank arms, and a slightly peeling outsole at the front of one shoe. I purposely avoided dabbing any Shoe Goo or something similar on the peeling portion to see what would happen, and it's remained unchanged for the last two weeks of riding. I'll update this review if any other issues arise, but so far I'd say that the AM7's are in the middle of the road as far as overall durability goes.