by Barney Marsh
December 11, 2015
They've been going a while - do the AM41s still hold up?
Ah, the venerable AM41s – do they still hold up?
The substantial, Velcro-closed flap of the AM41s is an absolute boon – it keeps your laces clean, stops the majority of water or mud from getting anywhere near your delicate toes, and prevents your laces from being torn about by pointy trail debris.
The flap does cause a couple of minor issues: it can occasionally be difficult to keep your laces tight (not really a problem, as they’re held down nicely by the flap in any case), and it makes the shoes look rather odd if you fancy stepping out to the pub in them afterwards. But that’s such a minor thing for such massive use out on the trail. The rest of the shoe is made from very sturdy synthetic material, which experience has shown can withstand a great deal of abuse. The built-up ankle lends a degree of support, although it can contribute a little to pedal scuffs.
The Vibram sole’s compound isn’t perhaps quite as ridiculously sticky as those on the 5.10s, for example, but I actually found this more of a help than a hindrance. With modern pedals it’s sometimes hard to reposition your foot with the more sticky shoes: I had no problems repositioning these. But there was still plenty of grip available, too; I never felt in peril of losing my footing unexpectedly.
Fit-wise they seem pretty on-the-money for a given size, although they are perhaps a bit small in the toe box. I didn’t have any heel-lift, and once I’d worn mine in they were pretty comfy as all-day shoes.
These are excellent shoes. Grippy, but not ridiculously so, comfy and very well designed, with lots of thoughtful touches.