Drumming Barefoot or in Socks?

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
I've been meaning to talk about this for a long time, but it kept slipping my mind. It seems like almost every metal drummer on Youtube plays in their pearly whites, or barefoot. Even Def Leppard's Rick Allen plays with no shoes or socks. If you do this, how do you feel it benefits you?

From the time I started playing a decade ago, I've always worn shoes when I play. Occasionally if I just want to mess with my drums for a minute or two, I'll sit down barefoot, and I hate it. It feels like I have much more control with my shoes on. But the biggest thing is the cold pedal - especially in the winter time, nothing I hate more than walking into my small home studio and sitting down to put my foot on an ice cold bass drum pedal.
I prefer to play without shoes. Playing with shoes on is like trying to play with welding gloves on. I don;t really understand the comments about slipping without shoes. If you are balanced half way decent on the throne there shouldn't be any thing to slip. Your foot is just going up and down
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
If you are balanced half way decent on the throne there shouldn't be any thing to slip. Your foot is just going up and down
I suppose our foot motion might differ quite a bit. I tend to kick forward just a bit with my toes ending a few inches further up the board from where they started. Having a grippy sole helps to create a stopping point for that motion.

Shoes on feet =/= gloves on hand.

That analogy doesn't make sense from either a physical or philosophical standpoint to me. You are creating a pivot point on the flesh of your hand vs your foot depressing a metal object that is attached to something that is connected to the pivot.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
I suppose our foot motion might differ quite a bit. I tend to kick forward just a bit with my toes ending a few inches further up the board from where they started. Having a grippy sole helps to create a stopping point for that motion.

Shoes on feet =/= gloves on hand.

That analogy doesn't make sense from either a physical or philosophical standpoint to me. You are creating a pivot point on the flesh of your hand vs your foot depressing a metal object that is attached to something that is connected to the pivot.
Either way you have wrapped your appendage up so that you have no feel for what you are doing with it. Are you thinking you could play as well in hockey gloves as you can bare handed?
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
Either way you have wrapped your appendage up so that you have no feel for what you are doing with it. Are you thinking you could play as well in hockey gloves as you can bare handed?
I would say that's also not a fair comparison to make since drummers dont require the same motions and prehensile digits with the feet as they do with their hands. Unless you've discovered a new method of rolling on your bass drums using your individual toes. The reasons drummers wear gloves are not entirely the same reasons they might wear shoes.

I wouldnt argue that I can feel the connection between my foot and the pedal as well as someone who plays barefoot. But to me it's a question of whether I need to feel as much of a connection in the first place. My band situation requires more Dale Crover out of me than Derek Roddy so to speak. Having shoes gives me some extra weight to gain that power, and also assists my muscles in stopping my foot motion on the pedal board.

Also I dont worry about getting that nasty bruise from the beater snapping back and smashing into the top of my foot. :)
 

hamburgling_you

Junior Member
I don't ever play with shoes on. I suppose it goes back to marching band and having to wear shoes that were so thin and light they practically didn't exist. I will leave my socks on, but i wear thin socks. And they're not typically white socks. Or matching.
 

Bart Hodge

Senior Member
I play barefooted or with socks. I think it started because I have one of the original DW 5000 pedals and the sprocket was cutting the tops on the toes of my shoes. Taking my shoes of stuck and that's how I prefer to play. I also like grabbing the foot plate with my toes.

I can play with shoes but it takes me a few minutes to adjust.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
I play barefooted or with socks. I think it started because I have one of the original DW 5000 pedals and the sprocket was cutting the tops on the toes of my shoes. Taking my shoes of stuck and that's how I prefer to play. I also like grabbing the foot plate with my toes.

I can play with shoes but it takes me a few minutes to adjust.
Do you really play with your foot that far up the foot board?
 

robthetimekeeper

Senior Member
Neil Peart says, "my drumming shoes (actually dancing shoes, inspired by my teacher, Freddie Gruber. When I first studied with him, back in 1995, he shook his finger at me and said, “Don’t play drums in sneakers!” Freddie’s method was centered on teaching me to dance on the drums, so I tried some soft-shoe dancing shoes, and now I can’t play properly without them)."

I also knew an excellent drummer who wore only wrestling shoes for drumming. They are soft and thin just like dancing shoes.

I myself generally play in flip-flops. :)
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
I also knew an excellent drummer who wore only wrestling shoes for drumming. They are soft and thin just like dancing shoes.
I have an old friend that only played in those as well. I always wanted to buy a set of ninja shoes and wear them while I played a show with him.
 

Vegas Island

Senior Member
Can't play in socks, too slippery. Barefoot no problem. I prefer my low top Chuck Taylor's over any shoe, etc. when drumming.
 

JasperGTR

Senior Member
Yoga style socks are the best... (thin material, with non-skid bottoms)

I have a current bunch of socks that I use specifically for drumming. No shoes for this cat. I have played bare-foot (my old preference), but after a bunch of double bass - and sweating - feet (then pedals) get slippery.
 

JasperGTR

Senior Member
Can't play in socks, too slippery. Barefoot no problem. I prefer my low top Chuck Taylor's over any shoe, etc. when drumming.
I'd suggest the material of sock makes a difference - and then brand. If you already have a solution, I'd suggest not changing..., but I've found that Nike cotton socks are the best. Everybody is going towards a wicking material that slides more consistently (not my preference). I can't play with Nike's dry-fit, but Champion's is a little in-between.

Yes, I play exclusively in socks. When I played barefoot, I'd get oversized wristbands on my ankles - but that doesn't protect against blisters in different places as my night progresses.

I found that socks stop a lot of issues I previously dealt with.
 

Dnelson

Junior Member
I play in socks, and always have.

For me, shoes inhibit the "feel", as others have stated. I agree with the comment, about 'you wouldn't wear gloves while playing'.

With socks, I feel I can cruise on my pedal with heel-toe, and still have a lot of control. And your feet'll stink less/get less sweaty if you free up those feet.

Free the feet.
 
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