Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Shimano 2011 AM45 ride shoes – love or loathe?

Posted by Matt | July 14, 2010 | 13 comments so far

Shimano 2011 AM45 ride shoe
For some time I’ve had a hankering for a more robust shoe for the winter months. Lee, Colin, the D’Andyman (and possibly DaveW) all run the Shimano MP66 and I’ve wavered for a while over getting some. What seals it for me, beyond the practical considerations, is that Colin and Andy’s come in white and I’m suffering shoe envy!

Now the cat has been cast among the pigeons with these new shoes set for an Autumn release according to Bikeradar. You’re looking at the AM45 ride shoe which features skate-style looks and SPD compatibility but there’s also an AM41 version for our bike park brothers who have no need for such things as clipless pedals. Both look very similar.

The styling is slightly updated over the MP66, a bit understated for me (if you’re going to wear big shoes, make them bright!). The heel area is a semi-high affair to better protect your ankles and as with the older models (which continue on sale) you get a large velcro flap which keeps the dirt out (mainly) and your laces tidy and unsnagged. The benefit of such a closed design is that your feet tend to stay warmer, so they’re great for winter.

I quite like them but would prefer them reversed so they were mainly white. I couldn’t tell you if they are better than the MP66 so time will tell if you see me in these or if I mince out in a white pair of MP66s to keep Colin company. I like the irony of wearing white shoes in muddy conditions!

What do others think of their looks?

Filed under 2010, News in July 2010


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 13 comments on ‘Shimano 2011 AM45 ride shoes – love or loathe?’

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  1. StevenD says:

    I sometimes wonder whether Shimano are supplying football boots or cycling shoes judging by the looks of many of their designs. Personally I am a lazy git so I have MO76s with the velcro fasteners, though to be fair anything that makes my awkward shaped feet comfortable are good.

    As for the colour & style of these – I leave that to the Moley fashion experts.


  2. Andyw says:

    I have the MP66’s in white as well. More a dirty white now, my only criticisms are that they get pretty hot in summer, and not that stiff. Having been given some new Scott shoes lately I am keen to compare them (Silver, so even more obvious in size 12). For riding flat pedals I have my 510’s which are awesome.

  3. DaveW says:

    I think they look fine. The cover over the front looks quite good for additional protection. The high inner ankle also looks good for protection, but might rub on longer XC rides if you have knobbly ankles like mine. I did consider AM40s, but was a bit concerned about this after trying them on…

    So for downhill / freeride with SPD plus platform pedals I’d say a very good choice (if they fit).

    Or the ultimate has to be these:

    For a fashion statement and to look more DH/FR than XC then they also do the job.

    However, for plain SPD’s (e.g. XT) I’m not sure if they are suitable as you don’t get the extra benefit of a flat sole on the platform if you miss the clips and you suffer from the flexibility, as there is no platform on the pedal to support the flexible sole when you are clipped in. If you get these I’d definitely also invest in some DX spd/platform pedals – you will note that both Colin and Dandy use these with their MP66s (well Dandy uses the Crank Brothers equivalent).

    For someone looking for a winter SPD shoe, who rides mostly XC, wouldn’t something with a stiffer, more efficient sole be more suitable?

    I have been using MW80s for a couple of winters and they offer good protection, have quite a stiff sole for efficient pedalling, some decent deep grip for traction when you have to put your foot down in the mud, goretex lining for waterproofing and padding for warmth. They have recently improved the sealing at the top with a high velcro strap.

    If you are wearing shorts, then water does run down your leg and into the shoe unless you wear tights over the tops, but because of the waterproofness of the boot, the water warms up wetsuit style. On very cold and wet days, the additon of sealskin socks and/or tights gives optimum comfort.

    For a totally stiff and efficient sole, ankle cover, but a little less insulation, also consider the Specialized BG Defroster. After loving my summer Spesh BG Sport shoes.

    Neither the MW80 or the BG Defroster will support any illusions that you are a gnarly teenage DH/FR dude, but they will work more effectively for XC ;o)

  4. Dandy says:

    Blimey, they look like they old George Best boots that came out in the late 60s!

    Those 5.10 Minaars are a hell of a price. I reluctantly stump up £45-55 for my shoes, so £95 is a bit of a leap.

    My now off-white MP66s (£45) have been fine in winter, aided by SealSkinz waterproof socks. They tend to get used on the drier, frostbound days, as when it’s wet ‘n muddy the Pace (with the Crank Bros Mallet pedals) stays in the dry and warm, and the On-One with Time ATAC pedals gets to demo its mud-plugging abilities.

    Like Dave, I use the Shimano MW80 winter boots with these. Now about 5+ years old and bought for about £50 in a sale.

    For my gnarly teenage DH/FR fantasies I recommend the 5.10 Karver with good ankle protection and a similar flap for the laces.

    Though the downside is I do have to endure the mockery of my teenage daughter whenever I wear them.

    “Where’s yer calipers, Dad?”

  5. Andrew says:

    On the subject of shoes, I was wondering if the Moles could help solve a problem. As our fitness has improved and our rides get longer both my brother and I have started to experience cramp like pains in the soles of our feet towards the end of our rides. We both use plain SPDs (no platform) and at the moment light summer shoes (mine are Shimano but no idea what model). Is the problem the flexibility (aluded to in Dave’s post above)? Would this be solved by using platform equipped SPDs and/or a more rigid soled shoe?

    Any light the moles can shed would be much appreciated.

  6. Dave says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Not something I’ve come across myself but IF it’s also only happened during the last 8 weeks or so (i.e. hot weather) are you using a drink that has electrolytes in it? I usually have a water bottle full of Torq Energy that also has electrolytes in it to stop cramp. Certainly I don’t get any cramp symptoms (wery occasional in the calves).

    Then again I’m pretty much platform equipped on all my pedals! Even when I wore a pair of cheap and soft soled shoes I never got this.

  7. paul901 says:

    Andrew, the off-road boys will have a better answer than I on the trails but it is a classic road problem. Forums are full of people preferring Look, Time, Speedplay and SPD-SL, all make claims about surface contact area but all share a better (wider and bigger) platform than SPD, egg-beater and so on. There are of course riders that use SPD or egg-beaters on road but the majority don’t because of the sort of hot-spots you describe.

    Before assuming shoe sole it is worth double-checking cleat alignment to make absolutely sure you don’t have an off-axis issue i.e your pedal stroke is straight and not diagonal. Off-road designs generally have more float as you probably know and so your knees have a kinder time than on road where you quickly know about cleat alignment (sore knees) if something is slightly out. The point is that it can affect the pressure you are putting through your sole.

    If that’s all okay I would look at the shoe fit fit/width since that can also affect the pressure points.

    Again assuming okay then perhaps it’s the stifness of the soles. Note that on road I always use carbon whereas off-road I use SPD with either Northwave Mission (all terrain) or Northwave Rebel (MTB) shoes. Neither have carbon soles yet I can ride for 4 hours on a Sunday with no discomfort and no hotspots at home afterwards. Hope you get it sorted.

  8. StevenD says:

    Andrew, a few months ago I got ‘hot spots’ when changing to a new shoe, this was overcome just by altering the position of the cleats (it took about 5 rides to get right). My feet do not point straight forward so I just angled the cleat to be closer to my natural position and moved them slightly further back than my old pair. I now ride in comfort on 30+ mile rides (mix of trail and tarmac).

    Also on my old pair I found wearing liner socks helped my foot comfort after c20 miles, that probably worked because my old shoe was quite stiff.


  9. paul901 says:

    Doh, I meant to add that folks often don’t get the forward/back cleat position right that Steven mentions.

  10. StevenD says:

    I also forgot to mention that on longer rides, especially in the hot weather, my feet begin to swell and that can cause discomfort. I make a point of loosening the straps and sometimes even taking off my shoes, when I have a break after say 20 miles.

  11. Andy661 says:

    Job done… £50 and full of awards. Just get 2 sizes up on what you normally would. Never had a single problem with them 🙂

  12. DaveW says:

    Those DHB shoes do look good value – they look very similar to my Specialize GB Sport, so a good summer shoe I should think.

    I’m not sure if I’d buy a shoe without trying it on first though. I usually try shoes on in Evans before buying them off the internet, or take in a print out of an internet page to take advantage of their price matching policy.

    (No illusions of DH/FR gnarliness with DHB shoes either, for the fashion conscious).

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