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A drummer’s choice of footwear is important for playing drums. Drum shoes should be flexible, comfortable to wear, breathable, and offer good pedal grip.
A drummer’s shoes have a significant impact on their ability to play the foot-operated aspects of their drum set, such as the bass drum and hi-hat pedals. Ideally, the shoes should combine comfort, robustness, and mobility to enhance a drummer’s playing.
In this article, we’ll suggest a selection of the very best shoes for drummers and explain what makes them so suitable for the energetic act of playing the drums. You’ll find options to suit all budgets, styles, and visual preferences.
- What are the Best Drumming Shoes?
- How I Tested and Selected the Best Drumming Shoes
- In-Depth Drumming Shoe Reviews
- Drumming Shoes Buyer’s Guide
- What To Look For In Drumming Shoes
- Comfort vs. Durability
- Drumming Styles & Shoe Choices
- Breathable Designs & Materials
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Best Drumming Shoes?
How I Tested and Selected the Best Drumming Shoes
I’m a huge sneaker fan, and I’ve realized over the years how certain pairs feel a lot more comfortable when I’m playing drums.
While it’s true that everyone should be able to play drums comfortably in any footwear, you just can’t help but feel some options are better than others.
I used my years of experience drumming in dozens of shoes to create this list.
Comfort is the most important factor I looked for – I selected shoes that felt good to play in for long drumming sessions, ensuring that drummers can play for extended periods without any discomfort.
Grip is another biggie. I focused on shoes with solid traction to keep drummers steady on their feet, especially when it comes to fast hi hat and kick drum footwork. Lightweight and breathable materials were also a priority, so drummers can stay cool and nimble while keeping the beat.
In-Depth Drumming Shoe Reviews
The best drumming shoes will correctly translate your musical ideas seamlessly from your brain to your feet. They will also be comfortable and offer a good level of grip over the pedals.
The Puma Men’s Turin Sneaker is the perfect drumming shoe. These drummer shoes are lightweight, comfortable and stylish. They feature a smooth rubber sole that feels great to play the kick drum pedal and operate the hi hat stand with.
These Puma Turin drumming shoes are favored by drummers around the world because of their supreme comfort and quality.
Whether I played jazz, pop, or metal music, these drum shoes always allow me to execute my musical ideas across to my pedals with ease.
The overall quality of the construction of the Puma Turin sneaker is excellent, with a high level of cushioning inside and a soft and durable synthetic leather exterior. I particularly like the smooth rubber outsole which is perfect for delivering precise footwork behind the drum set.
- Great value for money
- High quality and durable construction
- Smooth and strong outsole for precise footwork
- Puma sizes tend to come out slightly small
The Converse Men’s Chuck Taylor is a timeless classic sneaker. It’s one of the most versatile and fashionable shoes ever invented. Great news is that they are also some of the best shoes for drumming.
I’ve owned countless pairs of Converse over the years, and I always enjoy playing drums with them due to how comfortable they are.
These classic Converses are another pair of popular drumming shoes. With their lightweight, breathable construction and strong outsole; they feel great to wear whilst playing the drums.
Having strong and grippy outsoles on your drum shoes is important for maintaining a solid feel over the pedals, and these shoes deliver exactly that.
Converses are the choice of pro drummers including Tre Cool (Green Day) and Thomas Lang for their build quality, comfort and style.
No matter what style of music you’re playing you can’t go wrong with these classic Converses – they really are good shoes for drumming.
- Classic timeless style
- Favoured by pros
- Huge range of colours
- Bulky and heavy outsole offers less sensitivity
- Love it or hate it style
Up next for review is the Puma Select Men’s Classic Sneaker – another pair of comfortable and high quality drum shoes. The build quality of these shoes is remarkable, and they are great to wear for all different weather conditions.
The suede outer construction feels great and these drum shoes also feature a strong rubber sole. These Puma Classic sneakers are fashionable, stylish, and comfortable, and offer a good level of support.
These drum shoes are on the heavier side, and they’ll deliver heavier kick drum impacts. The thick outer sole provides a strong grip and smooth playing feel.
When I play drums wearing these, the slight power boost starts to show the more I get fatigued. I think it’s a great feature.
Stylish, practical, and awesome to wear whilst playing drums – these are a solid choice!
- Comfortable and stylish
- Excellent build quality
- Strong outersole
- Not vegan friendly
- Thick sole offers less sensitivity
These Nike Women’s Low Top Sneakers are the women’s best shoes for drumming out there right now. These fashionable kicks are constructed from high quality materials and they are super comfortable to wear for drumming.
I have a few female friends who swear by these kicks and wear them all the time!
The light midsole is made of foam that offers exceptional cushioning whilst the rubber outsole features a herringbone pattern for maximum traction and grip.
These drum shoes also offer fantastic arch support and they offer a really comfortable fit. With Nike I always find they are true to size and they most often come out the right size.
If you’re looking for the best women’s shoes to wear whilst playing the drums then look no further – these are the real deal!
- Super comfortable
- Great arch support
- Durable and long lasting synthetic leather
- Very little!
The Adidas Original Superstar Sneakers also feature a classic design. These drum shoes are a little on the pricey side; you’re paying for the Adidas brand.
These are some of my favorite shoes to wear right now, and they offer superb comfort and grip.
This is another pair of classic drum shoes that features a high quality leather construction. The large rubber soles deliver a strong grip over the pedals.
Plenty of drummers swear by these classic Adidas Original Superstars as their go-to choice to wear whilst drumming. It’s easy to see why – they are really comfortable, practical and stylish.
If you are looking for the best drummer shoes to wear whilst playing the drums, these are an all round solid choice. Just a little expensive!
- Classic Adidas design
- Durable and long lasting
- Joey Jordison’s choice!
- Not to everyone’s taste
Drumming Shoes Buyer’s Guide
Wearing the right pair of shoes is important for most drummers. After all, you want to feel comfortable to play at your best, and the right pair of drumming shoes will offer a good level of grip and support whilst you play.
I’m going to say right here that you do not need specific drumming shoes to play well. Plenty of pro drummers play barefoot, after all, I believe that’s how you can achieve the greatest control over the pedals.
Personally, I enjoy playing drums both barefoot and with proper drumming shoes. But the important thing is that if I do wear shoes, they have to be the right kind to play drums with.
In some situations, playing without shoes can be beneficial, but there’s always the chance that you could get an impact injury or experience some discomfort without the protection of a shoe.
What To Look For In Drumming Shoes
The most important things for me when looking to buy a pair of good drumming shoes are:
- Build quality
- Pedal grip
You can expect any of the top brands, including Nike, Puma, and Adidas, to deliver high-quality products. They are loved by everyone around the world, and they feature a durable construction designed to be worn for everyday use.
But what’s more important is the design and style of the shoe. Running shoes, skate shoes, fashion shoes, and basketball shoes all feature completely different designs. I’ve found that the best drumming shoes feature flat rubber outer soles.
These shoes offer a high level of pedal grip and will simulate a natural pedal feel as if you aren’t wearing any shoes at all. So for that reason is why I have featured shoes that utilize a flat rubber outer sole. And that’s why these types of shoes are universally preferred by drummers.
All of the drumming shoes within this guide are ideal for wearing for playing the drums and wearing out and about.
The goal is to wear shoes whilst drumming that can translate your musical ideas with ease through to the pedals, while also being stylish and complementing your outfit choice.
Comfort vs. Durability
When it comes to drumming shoes, comfort is of paramount importance. You ideally want something that feels comfortable and flexible on your feet, but at the same time, they need to be durable enough to last for a long time.
It’s possible to find shoes that combine these two qualities, but you may feel that your drumming style means that either comfort or durability is more important, and this could influence your choice of shoes.
If you’re someone who plays your kick drum pedal with a lot of energy and power, then you may feel that robustness is the most important thing you’re looking for.
On the other hand, if you’re more of a feel drummer, then you’ll probably be looking for something with enough cushioning to support your feet and get the most out of your playing.
Drumming Styles & Shoe Choices
The genre and style of music that you play should also be considered when deciding on shoes to wear while drumming because different designs may lend themselves more suitably to different kinds of playing.
If you’re a jazz or metal drummer, for instance, you’ll probably want to be looking at something that offers good pedal control for precise footwork and agile heel-toe techniques.
Classic rock drummers, on the other hand, may need something more heavy-duty with a thick sole and firm construction so that you can stomp around the kit with confidence and power.
If you play a mixture of styles when drumming, then a good middle-of-the-road choice might be best, as it will provide a suitable balance between grip on the pedals and cushioning for your feet.
Breathable Designs & Materials
It’s also worth bearing in mind the materials and designs when looking for drumming shoes. In an ideal world, you want to find a shoe that will keep your feet cool, which can be achieved by using breathable materials.
Mesh designs are a great choice in this regard, as they will allow air to circulate around your feet to prevent them from getting too hot and clammy.
It’s common to sweat and get hot while playing the drums – this is simply a byproduct of the physicality that comes with playing the instrument. However, you’ll want to try and minimize this as much as possible to ensure maximum comfort – particularly when playing for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Skating Shoes Good for Drumming?
You’ve probably noticed from the options featured in this guide that many of the shoes recommended for drummers are a similar style to skating shoes. This is because skating shoes need to be both lightweight and durable, which are two important qualities needed for drumming shoes too.
Heavier skating shoes are not so suitable for drumming, but the more flexible shoes can provide the perfect blend of protection and mobility needed to play your foot pedals.
Do Drummers Have Strong Legs?
Drumming is an intense physical activity that requires a person to use all their limbs simultaneously. While drumming mainly involves arm and hand movements, using your legs is also a very important part of playing this instrument, and therefore drummers develop very strong calf muscles.
A drummer uses their legs and feet to play the kick pedal and to alter the position of the hi-hat clutch through another pedal. The constant movement engages the musicals in their lower and upper legs, resulting in the muscles become very strong over time.