- Choosing Drumming Shoes
- The Best Shoes for Drumming Reviewed
- Frequently Asked Questions
Shoes for drumming can divide opinion. Some people don’t play wearing shoes, while others insist on a certain brand or model of shoe.
When you start your drumming journey, you might not think that footwear is that important. It really is! For some people, choosing which type of shoes to buy can revolutionize their playing.
When you’re drumming, you’re using pedals. Think about the difference between Converse shoes and heavy, leather boots. The converse shoes are more flexible and responsive and don’t get in the way of your drumming.
Of course, the answer of “whatever’s comfortable” applies. If you feel great wearing stilettos for drumming, more power to you. However, in this guide, we’re explaining the best shoes for drummers to wear for precision and power in their drumming. High heels don’t feature!
In a hurry?
Our recommended drumming shoes can be found here. Yes, they’re a familiar favorite, but there’s a reason why so many people wear them. They are simple, understated, comfortable, and perfect for gripping drum pedals.
Choosing Drumming Shoes
What are the main things to consider when you are looking to choose some drumming shoes? There are a few criteria to help you to make your choice, alongside the things every shoe needs.
Naturally, you want your shoes to be comfortable and well-made, but some other considerations come into play. It’s a bit like choosing shoes to play sports in.
You’re playing a pedal, and it is important that you keep control over that pedal. The main way to do this is by making sure you have excellent grip. If your feet keep slipping off the pedals your drumming is going to suffer. Some techniques really need your feet to grip the pedal.
Stability is so important when drumming. That’s why so many drummers invest in a drum rug to keep their kit secure and free from movement. Shoes can play a part in this, too.
The shoes don’t have to have enough grip to go out in the ice wearing them, just enough to hold on to the surface of the pedals. If you’ve ever tried driving in shoes that aren’t up to the task, you’ll know how hard it can be.
Don’t be that drummer friend whose shoes smell like they have survived 20 Glastonbury festivals. Okay, so this isn’t going to impact your technique too much, but do your bandmates a favor. If you buy drumming shoes that seal in all the sweat and moisture then they’re going to start to smell.
A lot of gym-shoes are suitable for drumming. Fortunately, these types of sneakers and shoes are designed to cope with sweaty feet.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting shoes to look good. Okay, it shouldn’t be your number one priority, but you don’t want to sacrifice your whole style here.
Have you ever come across those drummers who say they only play barefoot? That’s not a problem, but this is usually because they are unrestricted by any shoes at all. The trouble is that it might hurt, especially over time. Like walking on the sidewalk with no shoes.
Faster playing and complex methods and techniques are easier with lighter shoes. Though most shoes aren’t too heavy, if you are looking for a metal drumming shoe and you need to be super fast, the extra grams make the difference. After long playing sessions, you might also be glad you chose lighter shoes.
We always recommend going for a flat sole. Running shoes have a drop in them to help to protect the arch of your foot. However, this isn’t the most responsive way to play the drums. Flat shoes like Chuck Taylor All Stars are a good choice for this reason.
The Best Shoes for Drumming Reviewed
If you follow the criteria mentioned in this article, you won’t go too far wrong. If you want our recommendations for the very best options for drummers, read on…
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star – Best Overall
It’s not often a pair of shoes become a cultural symbol, too. The Chuck Taylor All Stars are exactly that. They have their roots in basketball, but nowadays they can be used for sports, as gym shoes, or by drummers.
Drummers who wear converse in successful bands include Matt Tong from Bloc Party and Tré Cool of Greenday fame.
These shoes fit pretty much all of the criteria we’ve set out. As well as being incredibly lightweight, they have a good grip and a pretty flat sole profile.
It’s easy enough to find these shoes online, and most of us have owned a pair at some stage in life. They come in high-top and low-top varieties. We have recommended the low tops but it is really up to you. Not having the tops up around your ankles means a slightly lower weight. It also means that these shoes are less restrictive.
Overall, the shoes look and feel fantastic, and help with even long, 3-hour practice sessions.
Adidas Grand Court Sneaker – Best Color Selection (and Great Drumming Shoes for Women)
You can buy these shoes for men or for women. They’re well-made and actually don’t cost too much money, considering the brand name. On top of that, there are so many different designs. You can choose a color scheme to match.
The Grand Court design is inspired by tennis, as you may have guessed. They’re suitable for a lot of sports and breathable, too.
We’ve named these the best drumming shoes for women, too. The tennis-inspired design has a delicate design and they suit the female anatomy, but you can buy them for men if you want.
The rubber sole gives plenty of grip, and they don’t have much of an arch which is fantastic for what you’ll need. They’re also comfortable for everyday use, similar to the Converse shoes above.
PUMA Men’s Roma Basic Sneaker – Most Comfortable Drumming Shoes
All of the models on our list are comfortable for drumming, but the Puma Roma shoes have that extra level of padding. If you’re the sort of person who gets a lot of blisters and aches and pains after drumming these could be an option.
Like the other models on this list, the flat yet grippy sole is perfect for playing the drums, gripping the pedal firmly but also comfortably.
The arch support is internal on these shoes, so there is a nice level of cushioning to prevent you from getting pain or foot conditions like plantar fasciitis.
According to the manufacturer, they have an “exaggerated-lug outsole for traction” and EVA foam to give you even more comfort and cushioning.
There are also a number of color schemes available so you can ensure that you have a design that works for your stage presence. You don’t have to look like you’re going to gym class.
Adidas Men’s HVC Wrestling Shoe – Most Flexible Drumming Shoes
It really doesn’t matter what the branding may say. These shoes do a fantastic job as footwear for drummers.
Wrestling shoes are designed to be very lightweight and flexible but they still grip. If you like the way they look, or you change footwear straight after a show anyway, they can be a great option.
They’re high-top in design with both laces, and a strap to keep them firmly in place.
If you are a metal drummer or jazz drummer and you want something that can keep up with quick speed and intricate rhythms, you might want to invest in some of these Adidas wrestling shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do Drummers Play Barefoot?
A lot of drummers choose to play without shoes on because it can allow them extra flexibility. Shoes might just get in the way. However, playing for long periods of time can be sore and you might get blisters from drumming barefoot.
What Are the Best Shoes for Drumming With Slide Techniques?
A lot of drummers use the slide technique. This is a way to play doubles on the bass drum very quickly, which you might not be able to do using your whole leg. As you can see from the video below, this is possible in Converse shoes and other Converse-style footwear. Some people decide not to go too heavy on the grip due to the fact that they want to slide along the pedal. It’s a matter of personal preference.
It feels like there are certain types of shoes that are feats of engineering. We love the Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, and the great thing is that they go with almost any outfit, so you don’t need to worry about changing shoes after drumming, or putting extra shoes in your bag when you go to practice. Converse also has a long history of supporting music, so the two will always go hand-in-hand.
There are a lot of suitable shoes for drumming, so you don’t necessarily have to rock the Cons. Choose lightweight shoes that will suit your own playing style and you really can’t go too far wrong, whether you are a total beginner, or you are about to go on a world tour with your band.