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Unlike most instruments, which use arms and hands, feet are crucial for playing drums. If you want to be the best, you must get great drumming shoes. Having proper shoes for drumming will let you play with better control and comfort. The added mass of the shoes will also help you deliver more powerful strokes. The footwear market is incredibly diverse, and you can find hundreds of options. However, not all of these shoes are suited to drumming. We have compiled a list of the six best drumming shoes you should check out to help you out.
Why you need specialized shoes for drumming?
Many famous drummers use specialized shoes for drumming, so you might be wondering if you should do it too. If you think that getting the perfect pair of drumming shoes is going to make you an incredible drummer in the blink of an eye, you thought wrong. However, what a specialized drumming shoe will do is allow you to perform to your best. If you try drumming with running shoes or dress shoes, you are simply going to be too concerned with your aching feet to deliver a powerful performance.
Specialized drumming shoes are not limited to ones made by some ultra-specialized company, even a pair of comfortable skating shoes can be a great option. While many people are not convinced that specialized shoes do anything, all you need to do is look at the shoes of professional drummers to prove them wrong. Legends like JoJo and Neil wear specialized drum shoes, and there must be a reason why.
6 Best Drumming Shoes in 2021
1.Vibram FiveFingers Men’s V-Train 2.0 – Best Overall
This pair of shoes might be one of the tackiest shoe designs you’ve ever seen. It was initially designed for fitness and cross-training, but its design is exceptionally suited for drumming too. It has a thin rubber sole, which gives you a good feel for the pedal. Its design gives you excellent toe articulation that allows you to try out techniques that would be impossible with a standard shoe.
The separated toes design gives you incredible flexibility, and you will even be able to wrap your foot around the pedal to give you a great feel and grip. The top part of the shoe is exceptionally rugged, and it will be a long time before they get torn out.
2. Vivobarefoot RA II Classic Oxford – Runners-Up
This is a shoe that looks formal on the top but is incredibly comfortable on the bottom. The shoe is made of wild hide leather that has been naturally scarred. This makes it incredibly durable and also comfortable. The oxford design combined with the leather gives it a very classy and elegant look.
However, it comes with an ultra-thin rubberized sole. It is also light, flexible, and breathable. All this makes it much more comfortable to use than what its design might imply. If you want a dress shoe that looks incredible but can quickly double as a drummer’s shoe in a second, these will be perfect for you.
3. Converse Chuck Taylor Low Top All-Star. Value for Money
While Converse began as a basketball shoe brand, their shoes are now very popular as affordable and fashionable footwear. The Converse Chuck Taylor shoes are popular among musicians; drummers such as Matt Tong, Marc Cazorla, and Ben Gillies have worn them on stage.
They have a flat sole that can grip the pedal correctly, making them a dream to play with. The thin rubber sole allows you to have an incredible feel of the pedal. The square edges, however, can make techniques such as heel-toe a little challenging. While the high-top version does look quite good, it is harder to put on, and some people have faced blistering; this has made the low top more popular among drummers.
This shoe is also available in various colors and patterns, so you will be able to find one that showcases your personality. You can even dye the upper canvas yourself. This is one of the best shoes for anyone looking for affordable shoes.
4. PUMA Men’s Turin Sneaker
PUMA is typically known for its incredible sports shoes. Their products look good, feel good, and perform incredibly. With the Turin Sneakers, you’ll be able to bring these traits into your drumming shoes.
These sneakers are made from synthetic leather, which makes them light and comfortable. It also makes it perfect for people who are against animal leather. This shoe’s comfort level is incredible, and you can practice for hours without feeling any tinge of pain from this pair of shoes. It has a rubberized sole on the bottom that delivers a good grip.
5. Adidas Originals Superstar
The Superstar from Adidas is an iconic shoe whose primary design has remained unchanged since the 1970s. They are forever popular, and you can find heaps of praise for them online. The Superstar has a classic status similar to that of Chuck Taylors. However, these are quite expensive compared to those.
Made from 70% PU coated leather and synthetics and 30% rubber, and the whole shoe is breathable and flexible. The synthetic leather lining makes it more comfortable and better looking. Its synthetic sole gives it a good grip.
6. Emerica Reynolds Low Vulc Skate Shoe
You might wonder what a skating shoe is doing on a drumming shoe list. Skateboard shoes need to be extremely light, flexible, and incredibly comfortable. These are pretty much the same traits you want in a drumming shoe.
The Emerica Reynolds Low Vulc Skate shoe is a very popular skating shoe because it excels in comfort and flexibility. These are the same features that you want when looking for the best shoes for drumming. Besides being comfortable, these also have a low profile, which makes them great for people who don’t like the sparkle of shoes like the converse and the Superstar.
Things to consider before buying Drumming Shoes
Choosing among this list of best drumming shoes can be a little challenging. If you do not know what you have to look for, here is the list of the four most important things you have to consider before buying a drumming shoe.
Weight of Shoes
If you want to dish out perfect beats on your bass drum, you are going to have to be light on your feet. The lighter you are, the easier it will be to have more accurate control over the rhythm. This is why a few drummers play barefoot or with just socks.
However, most drummers prefer shoes as they give better control over the beat and are more comfortable. Therefore it is best to look for a lightweight shoe as it combines the comfort and control of wearing shoes with the speed of playing barefoot/with socks.
The level of grip significantly affects your playing style, so you must choose the type of shoes according to it. If you have a shoe with many grips, you will be able to deliver powerful strokes as your foot won’t be sliding off the pedal. A more slippery shoe, on the other hand, is more suited to fast playing.
However, if you play multiple genres, you should go for shoes with a medium grip. It is imperative to avoid shoes with too much grip as it can ruin your foot motion. This is because your foot will end up longer on the pedal than needed, causing your speed and comfort to be messed up.
Flat soled shoes are best suited for drumming. Anything with a heel will change your feet’ overall shape and cause changes to your drumming style. It would help if you also stayed away from tapered soles as these tend to act like heels when you start playing. Leather soled dress shoes were the old school option as they allowed you to perform techniques like heel-toe, slide, and swivel with ease as they were a bit slippery.
The material of your shoe plays a critical role in deciding the overall comfort. It will help if you are looking for shoes made of flexible materials, as this allows you to pass on the nuances of your feet onto the pedal without restricting them.
Another thing you should look out for is breathability. Your feet will be in constant motion during drumming, and sweat mustn’t accumulate too much. Typically the best drumming shoes are made from canvas, suede, and thin leather. This is because they are quite comfortable and feel natural. They are also not very delicate, so you don’t have to worry about damaging them from rigorous practice.
It is essential to avoid cheap boots as they could get torn from just a couple of practice sessions. Also, avoid playing drums with shoes made from rough materials as they could lead to blisters after every session.
What Drum shoes does Neil Peart wear?
Neil is an absolute legend, and you would surely expect his drumming shoe to be the best among the best. He used to wear generic shoes until a company designed a shoe specifically for him. Known as the Urban Boards Neil Peart Signature shoes, it comes in black-gold color and is made entirely of leather. It features five symbols that Neil likes.
The best part about this shoe is that it has been mass-produced, and you can get your very own Neil Signature shoe. We haven’t included these in this list of the best shoes for drumming because they are costly. You can still check the Neil Peart Shoes Price here.
The more comfortable you are, the better you will be able to play any instrument. In addition to the drum sticks, the shoes are a way of interacting with your drums. Having comfortable shoes that don’t harm your feet is crucial to drumming to your best. Also, shoes can be a great Christmas gift for drummers.
From great affordable options like the Converse to the Vibram’s quirky design, each of the listed shoes are great for drumming
If you want something with a totally unique feel, you should look at the Vibram FiveFingers Men’s V-Train 2.0. It lets you articulate your toes like no other shoes and will let you perform things that you thought were impossible to do with shoes.
If you have a limited budget, the converse would be excellent for you. Not only is it affordable, but it is also extremely comfortable and looks really good on stage. You are sure to find a shoe suited to your needs and budget in this list of best drumming shoes. Even if none of these suit your budget and liking, ensure that you always wear shoes that are comfortable.