You may think of Shimano as primarily a component maker, but with a whopping 71 models in its shoe line, the Japanese giant is a veritable force in cycling footwear, too. The latest additions include 18 new shoes across multiple categories, ranging from downhill/enduro, to a redesigned winter shoe, to the North American debut of Shimano’s Cross Mountain shoes for the serious off-road explorers. Here’s a look at some of those new kicks and their key highlights.
New Gravity Shoe Line-Up
Developed in conjunction with the Atherton family (Gee, Dan and Rachel), Shimano’s Gravity range of downhill, enduro and BMX racing footwear combines protection, function and durability for multiple riding disciplines.
Three models make up the 2016 Gravity range. The SPD-compatible AM9 all-mountain shoe for aggressive downhill, enduro and trail riding, the AM7 all-mountain and downhill flat-soled shoe with a Vibram outsole for better pedal connectivity, comfort and protection, and the SPD-compatible AM5 gravity and BMX shoes, in black or army green, with a focus on comfort and protection.
All the new gravity shoes have reinforced high side walls for better foot protection, and the new AM sole design with shank plates for increased rigidity and improved downhill riding stability.
New gravity-specific rubber with high-traction tread patterns on the AM9 outsole is meant to increase durability and provide improved off-the-bike grip. The new pedal channel in the outsole of the AM9 makes it easier to re-engage to the pedal while unclipped. This feature provides a weight saving of 217 grams per pair (size 40).
The AM9 also has a comfortable EVA foam construction midsole and Volume Tour Last sizing outsole for extra volume at the ball of the foot, providing additional comfort and support on and off the bike. A Velcro strap on the upper of the new AM shoes is meant to keep the foot securely in place with even tension across the metatarsal bones. Armored lace shields on the AM9 and AM7 provide additional metatarsal protection from the elements and keep laces confined, away from chain rings and cranks.
The AM5 foregoes the lace shield to offer a street-inspired style. With a lightweight and non-compressed flat insole, the AM5 offers an even and comfortable foot cushion for a platform that’s ideal for both walking and riding.
The AM9 and AM5 will be available starting in October, with the AM7 coming on-line in November. Exact pricing has yet to be released.