Reviews You Can Rely On

Shimano AM7 Women's Review

A protective shoe best suited for cool weather riding with good trail absorption, but average power transfer
Shimano AM7 Women's
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $140 List | $112.00 at Backcountry
Pros:  Good foot protection, good trail dampening
Cons:  Hot and clammy in warm conditions, cleat makes walking on rocks a bit tricky
Manufacturer:   Shimano
By Tara Reddinger-Adams ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 1, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Walkability - 25% 6
  • Stability and Control - 20% 6
  • Protection - 15% 8
  • Weight - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The Shimano AM7 Women's is a relatively lightweight all-mountain, enduro, or downhill riding shoe. The added protection is great for enduro and downhill, and we like the pull tab on the lace retainer which makes tucking in the laces super easy. These shoes do a good job of absorbing vibration and trail chatter, but we found the power transfer to be average, especially in comparison to similar shoes in our lineup. We also found these shoes to work well in cooler/wet conditions, although they lack breathability and were uncomfortably warm in hotter weather conditions.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Shimano AM7 Women's
Awards  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $112.00 at Backcountry$130 List
Check Price at Backcountry
$160.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$149.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$139.95 at Backcountry
Overall Score Sort Icon
63
80
74
72
69
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good foot protection, good trail dampeningLightweight, good power transfer, easy to walk inComfortable, excellent protection, excellent power transfer, easy to clip in and out of, great for hike-a-bikeComfortable, stiff, good power transfer, large cleat openingLightweight, very good power transfer, breathable
Cons Hot and clammy in warm conditions, cleat makes walking on rocks a bit trickyNot the best lateral stabilityHeavy, not waterproofNot waterproof, velcro strap too longLacking side protection on the mid-foot
Bottom Line A protective shoe best suited for cool weather riding with good trail absorption, but average power transferThis unassuming shoe combines on and off the bike performance with good power transfer and walking comfort at a relatively reasonable price tagA high-performing shoe that offers comfort paired with excellent stability, protection, and walkabilityThis shoe offers a shock-absorbing sole and breathable uppers that deliver exceptional comfort, even when on technical hike-a-bike sectionsA solid performing shoe packed with features typically reserved for shoes with a much higher price tag
Rating Categories Shimano AM7 Women's 2FO Roost Clip - Un... Traverse Five Ten Hellcat -... Scott MTB Elite Boa...
Comfort (25%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Walkability (25%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Stability And Control (20%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Protection (15%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
6.0
9.0
3.0
4.0
7.0
Specs Shimano AM7 Women's 2FO Roost Clip - Un... Traverse Five Ten Hellcat -... Scott MTB Elite Boa...
Measured Weight (g) 375g 322g 450g 437g 351g
Outsole Shimano Original compound rubber and EVA SlipNot FG DST 8.0 MID GRIP Rubber Stealth C4 rubber Sticki rubber
Closure Laces, Velcro strap Laces Laces/Velcro Laces/Velcro Boa, Velcro strap
Upper Material Mesh and TPU synthetic leather Synthetic & D30 Synthetic weather-resistant micro-perforated, EVA Microfiber, 3D nylon air mesh
Footbed Shimano AM/MT insole Body Geometry EVA Foam EVA Foam ErgoLogic
Sole Glass fiber reinforced nylon Soft Lollipop Nylon Composite Plate D30 High Impact Insole Three-quarter dual-density TPU shank, EVA midsole Fiberglass-reinforced nylon
Size Tested EU 39 EU 39.5 / US 8.5 EU 39.5 / US 8.5 EU 40 2/3 / US 8.5 EU 39

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Shimano AM7 Women is designed as a downhill/enduro specific shoe and provides a fair amount of foot protection thanks to a rubber toe cap and asymmetrical neoprene ankle collar. In comparison to other shoes made for downhill and enduro, the AM7 falls into the lighter-weight end of the spectrum. The shoe's midsole has average power transfer and good trail dampening properties, helping to alleviate foot fatigue over the course of a ride.

Our testers noticed the shoe's lack of breathability, especially in the forefoot, in hot and humid conditions. Simply put, our toes were hot. The shoe's narrow toebox seemed to amplify how warm our toes were and we did not have much wiggle room. The cleat is not quite recessed enough for rocky hike-a-bikes and we experienced some slipping on the rocks while wearing the AM7's. When considering the performance of the AM7 in comparison to other enduro and downhill shoes, we feel there are better performing options with better comfort, stability and control, and walkability at a similar weight.

Performance Comparison


The shoe absorbs trail impacts, such as landings from jumps, fairly...
The shoe absorbs trail impacts, such as landings from jumps, fairly well.
Photo: Ashley Elijah

Stability and Control


Shimano uses a glass fiber reinforced midsole with a rubber and EVA foam outsole on the AM7 and rates it a six on a scale of 1 - 12 for stiffness. This means it combines comfort with performance. Our testers would agree that the AM7 is not an ultra-stiff, high-performance shoe, nor is it super flexible. During our testing, we felt that the power transfer was in the middle of the road and did not stand out positively or negatively.

The midsole and sole do an adequate job of absorbing the trail, but...
The midsole and sole do an adequate job of absorbing the trail, but not enough to stand out in our testing.
Photo: Byron Adams

The AM7 does provide good trail dampening and soaks up trail vibrations fairly well resulting in very little foot fatigue at the end of a ride. This shoe has a somewhat narrow toebox, and its overall volume is neither narrow nor wide. Our foot did not move inside the shoe at all and we had good lateral stability thanks to the narrower fit. However, we did not have much space in the forefoot to wiggle our toes, so those with a wide forefoot may find this shoe too narrow.

There is just 1 1/16" of fore/aft cleat adjustment which is less...
There is just 1 1/16" of fore/aft cleat adjustment which is less than other shoes with the same intended application.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

The cleat adjustment range is shorter when compared to other shoes made for downhill and enduro applications and does not extend as far towards the midfoot. For those who prefer a more midfoot cleat placement, the adjustability range on the AM7 is a bit less than ideal.

Comfort


As other reviewers have noted, the sizing for the AM7 is off. When looking at Shimano's sizing charts, it shows that a US8.5 women's is a EU41, which is far too long for our feet. We had to size down to a EU39 which is between a US7 and US7.5 to get the proper length.

In our testing, we frequently wore different shoes on each foot to discern differences between shoes. The AM7 has a decidedly narrower fit than other enduro/downhill shoes we tested, especially through the forefoot. Our testers have a slightly wide forefoot and the toebox felt a tad snug, and we would suggest those with wider feet try this shoe on for size as the toebox may be too narrow.

Our toes were quite toasty on hot days.
Our toes were quite toasty on hot days.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

We tested the AM7 in temperatures from the upper 40's with no humidity to the mid-80s with high humidity. In warmer temperatures, our toes felt uncomfortably hot. The toe box is covered in rubber for foot protection and has no ventilation. There are mesh panels on both sides of the midfoot for ventilation, but it did not help our forefoot breathe. This was not an issue in cooler temps, but we found the lack of forefoot ventilation combined with a neoprene ankle collar made the AM7 uncomfortable for warm weather riding.

Walkability


The sole of the AM7 flexes comfortably at the forefoot when walking. The sole is Shimano's Original Compound rubber, which is not as grippy on rocks as other compounds tested, but has a varied tread pattern with widely spaced lugs allowing them to shed mud more easily.

Traction was lacking on sandy, rocky hike-a-bikes and the cleat...
Traction was lacking on sandy, rocky hike-a-bikes and the cleat would slip underfoot.
Photo: Byron Adams

During hike-a-bikes our Shimano SPD cleats slipped on rocks and rock slabs. We did not use shims with our cleats and found that they sit at about the same height as the shoe's outsole and are not recessed.

Protection


The AM7 is one of the more protective shoes in our lineup. The toe box is reinforced with rubber and there is an asymmetrical neoprene ankle collar that helps keep debris out of the shoe and provides additional ankle protection. The neoprene collar does need to be pulled out of the way when you put on the shoe, otherwise, we found that it can roll inwards onto itself as you put the shoe on.

We appreciate the length of the laces on the AM7 which are the right size for the shoe. Shimano also places a pull tab on the lace retailer, which makes tucking in the laces a bit easier, a feature we would like to see on more shoes. Overall, the AM7 offers a fair amount of protection, especially given its weight.

The pull tab on the lace retainer makes it simple to tuck in the...
The pull tab on the lace retainer makes it simple to tuck in the laces.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Weight


The Shimano AM7 Women weighed in at 375-grams per shoe on our electronic scale for a size EU39. The AM7 is the lightest enduro/downhill-specific shoe in our testing by a few grams.

This is a relatively lightweight shoe for enduro and downhill use.
This is a relatively lightweight shoe for enduro and downhill use.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Value


The Shimano AM7 does not have many standout features or exceptional performance when compared to the competition in this test. That said, these shoes are relatively reasonably priced, and could be a good value to riders in cooler climates who seek a lightweight gravity shoe with a moderate sole flex.

Conclusion


The Shimano AM7 is best suited for someone who is testing the waters of enduro or downhill riding who desires additional ankle coverage or who will be riding in sloppy conditions. The shoe performs adequately and has good protection, but does not stand out in comparison to its competition.

The additional protection is nice, but we would like to see a better...
The additional protection is nice, but we would like to see a better overall performance in this shoe.
Photo: Ashley Elijah

Tara Reddinger-Adams