View Full Version : Barefoot/Socks/Shoes

08-18-2002, 11:26 AM
Just curious how you play. I play barefoot because I can feel the pedals better. What do you consider advantages/disadvantages to these choices?


08-18-2002, 11:53 AM
i play with shoes cuz my pedals freeze my *** off

08-18-2002, 11:56 AM
I usually play with shoes, socks, or barefoot.
I prefer socks or barefoot beacause I can feel the pedal better. So barefeet in the spring/summer and socks in the late fall/winter when it gets cold hehe

Mr. Krinkle
08-18-2002, 11:59 AM
I play with shoes. The funny thing is that when I bought new shoes, my feet became faster! Must be because of the lower heels...

08-18-2002, 12:46 PM
I feel much more comfortable playing barefoot. I can feel the pedal and have more control. Almost more of a one-ness with the kit. Just like I would never put something between my hands and the sticks.

08-18-2002, 01:35 PM
i always play barefoot....i mean ive played gigs before where ive worn shoes, but even most of them i still go barefoot, im not quite sure why, but i just feel so much more comfortable barefoot

08-18-2002, 01:53 PM
I use cheap, laceless canvas and rubber sneakers known as "deck shoes" or "step ins". They're almost slippers, and allow me to feel the pedals, but are plenty tough enough for the street.

Li'l DrummerBoy
08-18-2002, 02:24 PM
I like barefoot and socks, bu I play barefoot because I get better grip: socks slide too much.

08-18-2002, 03:41 PM
I practice barefoot just because of comfort but I play gigs with shoes so i dont look weird :D

08-18-2002, 05:06 PM
Shoes are the only thing that give me the power I need to play the pedals....

08-18-2002, 06:22 PM
Barefoot, for traction

08-18-2002, 06:32 PM
Shoes because I have full control of the pedal and because I play hard and when I play barefoot heel hurts from the kicks. Boots for more power and attack.

Keep It (SiC),


08-18-2002, 06:50 PM
I run around all the time barefoot. Everywhere outside, and sometimes to the store so playin' is no different. Except in the winter. Then I wear my Snoopy slippers.:D I find that my shoe kinda slides up to chain. If it weren't for the toe gaurd I think I'd have a problem.:(

08-18-2002, 07:21 PM
i play barefoot i can fell the pedal better with barefeet then with socks or shoes.

08-18-2002, 08:26 PM
I generally wear a pair of Capezio dance shoes. They are light and flexible. I liked the Vic Firth Kicks but they stopped making them. (Actually, they were Capezios with a mesh toe box)

08-18-2002, 10:25 PM
socks, good feel, easier to tell what the pedal is doing. i practice in the basement, so its kinda cool and damp down there, so barefoot is really chilly on my feet, so socks do it for me.

08-18-2002, 10:58 PM
I've tried to play without shoes, but I just don't have the same control or power I have when I wear shoes. I don't know why, but I just can't even keep a basic beat when I'm shoeless!
I also notice when I play with Reeboks or other shoes (Rockports) that have the DMX/Energy Return Cushioning System, the shoes actually help my bass drum technique. Anyone else ever noticed this?
Take care, Prankmonkey :D

08-18-2002, 11:59 PM
Barefoot for sure....In a club I will put on sandles to walk around in. And shorts too...no pants.

08-19-2002, 12:02 AM
Always barefoot. My pedals don't freeze me, they get too hot and slippery cuz I'm constantly playing them. I never feel comfortable with shoes on, I practically never wear shoes 'cept at school! I just wipe off my sweaty feet (Ewwww!) on my rug under the drums. I've found no traction with socks, and clumsyness with shoes. Wearing shoes on pedals to me is like trying to repair a swiss army knife while wearing a baseball glove. I always get some crazy looks while I'm playing. When we get to the fast double bass in the song, everyone looks to my feet, and to their suprise, my feet are naked! HaHa its jolly good fun!

08-19-2002, 12:56 AM
I asked a similar questions on the Evans board, and was surprised at how many people said they played barefoot. I play barefoot because it seems to give me the best combination of feel and grip. Socks slide to easily, and shoes feel to heavy. My instructor was also renting a condo when I first started taking lessons from him, so I had to take my shoes off there, which was really my first experience behind a kit.

'Stumpy' Pepys
08-19-2002, 06:41 AM
I've got size 13 canoes for feet so I have to play with shoes or my big toe gets caught up in the cam (I play heel down).


08-19-2002, 02:47 PM
I'm new so I'm sure this will change but for now...

Ratty, old, worn-out Vans slip-ons. Almost better than socks! :cool:

08-19-2002, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by 'Stumpy' Pepys
I've got size 13 canoes for feet

Same here, getting toes caught really blows. That's why I use the Vans canvas slipons - they're so NOT a regular shoe, they just basically cover your feet, but don't fall down and get bunched up like socks do.

08-19-2002, 05:28 PM
I've always played with shoe's on, but I think I'll give barefoot a try next time I play. I've always had a problem with my foot sliding forward and having to reposition it while playing a beat, which sometimes makes my bass paterns unsteady.

I'll give barefoot a try. :)

08-19-2002, 05:48 PM
barefoot... i'm so used to it, my feet feel like they have 25 pound weights on them when i have shoes on

232 thumper
08-19-2002, 05:58 PM
Ever since Jr High......

wrestling shoes.

08-19-2002, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by DrumYoda
I generally wear a pair of Capezio dance shoes. They are light and flexible. I liked the Vic Firth Kicks but they stopped making them. (Actually, they were Capezios with a mesh toe box)

Thanks for the info Yoda, I used to have a pair of kicks but they got all worn out. I could never find a replacement so I started wearing Brunswick bowling shoes:D, but they are of course alot heavier, but have the suede bottoms that slide nicely along the footboard.

Someone was mentioning the toe stops, I take mine off because I mostly play a heel up style and like to slide on the footboard for double strokes. The toe stops seem to interfere with my style of playing.

Anyone remember the band Vixen? That chick played in spiked heel boots! How the hell does she manage that? Come to think of it how did Peter Criss do that?:D

08-21-2002, 06:13 AM
Sneakers/tennis shoes/atheletic shoes/whatever you want to call them. Comfortable but flexible.

232 thumper
08-21-2002, 09:25 AM

I always wanted to play drums in that band - just for the view....

LOVE 80's rocker chicks......

08-21-2002, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by 232 thumper

I always wanted to play drums in that band - just for the view....

LOVE 80's rocker chicks......

love the big hair!!!!!!!!!


08-21-2002, 11:07 PM
When I play barefoot I can feel the drumset...I become part of it...I become one with the drumset.

08-23-2002, 12:34 AM
I used to play barfeet till I found Dave Weckl's Vic Firth's Kickers.

Since then, it's kickers only. It's really featherweight and really thin "semelle". I don't have the english word for what's under:D

08-23-2002, 05:42 AM

08-23-2002, 01:15 PM
Flat soled shoes with hardly any tread on them... and have to be really light too . I use Reebok's canvas shoes... perfect for drumming

09-03-2002, 02:52 PM
I prefer to use running shoes, i feel i get a better, more powerful response with a bit more speed aswell

09-03-2002, 05:55 PM
I used to always play in really light running shoes, or my car racing shoes. (extremley light , suede) But now I have found Colorado suede slip-ons, that are very light and have a thin, flat sole. Now, nothing else compares. Barefoot I find feels a little awkward. Dosent effect my playing so much, just felt a bit awkward. :rolleyes:
I never used to worry about any other clothing too much, as long as I was comfortable and cool... (I sweat like a pig behind my kit).. but a couple a months ago, I was playing in these really comfy, loose cargo pants, and one of my beaters got caught in the trouser leg!!! :eek: Since then, I have made sure that my right pant leg is fairly close to my ankle. Glad it happened in rehearsal, and not at a gig!!!:cool:

09-03-2002, 08:52 PM
i definately cannot play in shoes , i have to be barefoot .i am

always barefoot . i cant stand my feet getting sweaty in side my

shoes . if you are a person that likes to keep a firm position and

keep you feet in one spot on the pedals , and you like wearing

shoes, this may sound kinda crazy,but buy a pair of football turf

cleats ( the have very small grippers) and file them down a little .

a fellow drummer and friend of mine uses them and he says they

grip better than if his feet were glued to the pedals. i wear size

15 shoes so it kinda sucks lugging the things around while just

:p :p

09-03-2002, 08:53 PM
WHOA ,why did my last post look double spaced???

09-05-2002, 03:06 AM
i looked through this post a while ago and was amazed at how many people played either barefoot or in socks. I have since tried playing in socks and i was shocked at how much better it felt. Almost like being an actual part of the kit. I now permanantly play in socks.

09-08-2002, 11:25 PM
I played barefoot for a very short time in my life, and although I sort of liked it, I always remember when i was younger a drummer who saw Liberty Devitto in a clinic talk about playing bare foot and talking about how he messed up his knees that way and his feet (heels - I guess)...

So partly a health issue with my decision, but I always play with shoes on.

I would like to check out those dancing shoes (Capezios?)... that way I would have a very light shoe and consistent drum shoe. Also some drummers swear by them (Neil Peart, Dave Weckl, etc...)

09-09-2002, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by kjbetz

I would like to check out those dancing shoes (Capezios?)... that way I would have a very light shoe and consistent drum shoe. Also some drummers swear by them (Neil Peart, Dave Weckl, etc...)
I remember Vic Firth releasing Dave Weckl drumming shoes 12 yrs ago, my local drum shop still has plenty in stock.

09-09-2002, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by Hoody

I remember Vic Firth releasing Dave Weckl drumming shoes 12 yrs ago, my local drum shop still has plenty in stock.

Hmm... interesting... I remember those shoes, I just assumed that they were nowhere to be found. I'll keep that in mind. How much are they selling for in your local drum shop?

09-09-2002, 05:34 AM
I'll have to get back to you kj,
i'm sure they'l be heavily discounted.

09-17-2002, 05:49 PM
im all about the barefoot... or socks...i like socks just cuz i DON'T get the tracktion... i know..thats weird..but i love my foot to slide around...when im feelin it..im all bouncing around and just rockin..
ill also play in shoes, but they have to be airwalks... nice...flat...comfy....

232 thumper
09-17-2002, 06:01 PM
[i]but they have to be airwalks... nice...flat...comfy.... [/B]

Thanks for the plug. My day gig is at Airwalk corporate. Just sold 15 pair on a pro-deal to the guys (and thier families) at the drum shop. They love playing in them too. The funny thing is that the soles are to thick for ME to play in!!!!

Asics wrestling shoes for the past 20 years! (good thing Asics is also the pac-rim Airwalk distributor...)

09-17-2002, 07:06 PM
i refuse to wear anything besides airwalks..greatest shoes in the world.....
now the question is..how much do i hafta plug to get some signature shoes..:) hey..if mellioncolin can do it..why can't i!

09-17-2002, 11:46 PM
I've tried playing barefoot, but the treads on the pedal start to hurt after a while. It's tennis shoes for me, or lightweight, thin-soled boots (with lots of traction). I tried playing in heels before, by the way. Wow. Another challenge I just don't need. :D

09-18-2002, 12:19 AM
converse chuck taylors. nice, cheap thin-soled shoes. it just seems too inconvenient to be taking my shoes and socks off all the time :)

i also think playing barefoot grosses people out sometimes, and that's just not cool when you're trying to attract the ladies :D

Tom Reyns
09-18-2002, 10:41 AM
My pedals are realy cold, i play with socks

09-18-2002, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Jookbox

i also think playing barefoot grosses people out sometimes, and that's just not cool when you're trying to attract the ladies :D
or yanno..the ladies could think yer a boss mother drummer guy for not having on shoes and stuff.. and be like..OH BABY CAKES! that boy is goin home with miss devon tonight!

or yanno...something like that....

09-18-2002, 02:00 PM
sock give you cushon & and keeps your mom from coming to you to say play softer.

09-19-2002, 02:10 PM
I play with shoes on...but not just any shoe ;) I go out and buy my "drum shoes." I only use them for drumming, and I keep them super clean (like the kit). The shoes are never walked in, and after two months they must be replaced. I only put them on once already on the throne, and I take them off before I get off of the throne. Don't ask why... I just do it.

- Ja-mes

P.s. I'm back....finally:cool:

12-03-2002, 10:14 PM
Socks. Just gotta have a bit o' feel, without much cold. Besides, my feet sweat too much with shoes.:D

12-04-2002, 02:45 AM
I always wear a certain type of trainers and I have about 5 different pairs of them. I just don't feel comfortable with anything else.

12-04-2002, 06:58 AM
Shoes. I even have "drum shoes", an old pair of Converse low tops. :D

Brother James
12-04-2002, 08:03 AM
I prefer to play in shoes, I find that I can play faster and better with shoes on.

But I always practice barefoot... I figure if I get REALLY good barefoot, then I'd be a genius with shoes on!

I just use my ordinary shoes... my feet stopped growing 4 years ago so I have the same Lynx runners since then!

12-04-2002, 09:00 AM
i play in whatever i have on at the time :D lol

12-04-2002, 02:05 PM
i'll play with shoes or just socks but never barefoot too cold!

12-05-2002, 10:32 AM
Socks sometimes deck shoes if it is cold or if i am at a gig.

12-11-2002, 08:32 AM
socks for me.
i live in northern Ill and at times it gets really cold here
plus the bottom of the pedal after so long hurts the feet.

12-11-2002, 10:54 AM
i play with socks on, nice and sliddy (SP?) when i play some fast single pedal stuff, and i would pobably get loads of calasus (SP?) if i played barefoot.

12-11-2002, 11:39 AM
wotever shoes i have on at the time for me, not barefoot though, wud never thought of playin barefoot, it to cold here in the north of england!

Gord The Drummer
12-11-2002, 12:41 PM
I wear socks to keep my feet warm, if it's warm I'll play barefoot.

01-04-2003, 10:03 PM
I always play with my shoes on...;)


01-04-2003, 11:08 PM
bare feet are the way to go

01-05-2003, 12:46 AM
barefoot - but you guys have got me intrigued about trying those Vic Firth shoes. Although they probably don't have a size big enough for my flippers...:eek:

01-05-2003, 07:09 PM
i think bare foot is really cold on ur feet when they hit the metal of the pedal.

they should makes special shoes for drumming!

01-07-2003, 11:12 PM
I prefer shoes. I used to play barefoot, but I started practicing in an old pair of Vans that I have, and they allow my foot to move around enough for me to feel comfortable with the pedals, and I can control the placement of my foot better. Skateboarding shoes are the best ones in my opinion to wear behind the kit.

01-10-2003, 12:51 PM
I picked other. I recently set my kit up next to my bed and I found it easier to just climb out of bed and play rather than putting on sox or shoes. :D But when I play anywhere else, it's usually shoes or sox, depending if it's hot or not.

01-10-2003, 02:22 PM
I practice in my house barefoot, but I always wear wrestling shoes to play gigs. Wrestling shoes are light and have thin soles to help feel the pedals better. Plus, I sure as hell don't want to walk barefoot around a bar during breaks.


01-12-2003, 11:03 AM
socks are good, but once youve been playing for about 10 mins, theres nothing like a bit of foot sweat to make y'feet strick to those foot bords!!

i saw stewart copeland play last year, he wears these little white plimsole things.. tinny, low cut shows.. that must work for him..


01-12-2003, 08:37 PM
I find I have more control with shoes...

04-27-2003, 12:31 AM
Barefoot...socks are ok too, but i like to feel the pedals.

04-27-2003, 02:15 AM
i always play in shoes mainly so i can have more control over my playing

04-27-2003, 03:00 AM
i play with shoes

04-27-2003, 07:44 AM
I don't "always" do anything. Actually, I've been trying to learn to do these fast 16ths on the pedal (I'm a beginner - got my kit 5 months ago) and the script goes something like this: I start out with, say, shoes and socks. I get to the exercise with the 16ths and try to play it at a faster speed. It's crap. I say, "It's these damn shoes!" The shoes come off and now I'm in my socks. I try again. Over and over. Still struggling. "It's the socks. They're making my feet slide too much." The socks come off. Then I'm trying in my bare feet. Still not v. good.
hmmmm Maybe it's the lighting...

04-27-2003, 08:42 AM
Shoes, vans skate shoes

04-27-2003, 09:34 AM
I play with socks more comfortable and it more faster because ur feet are lighter i find. I have never treid barefoot il try that sometime today.

04-27-2003, 01:59 PM
I play barefoot, 'cause I use my heels and the balls of my feet to play. I used to play with shoes, but I just couldn't feel the 'connection' with the pedals.

04-27-2003, 04:09 PM

Full Collapse
04-27-2003, 06:11 PM
I usually play with shoes but when I don't feel like putting shoes on I'll just play without them.

I play with shoes because I need to slide my foot a lot for speed.

Mr. Insane
04-27-2003, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by Dylan
Just curious how you play. I play barefoot because I can feel the pedals better. What do you consider advantages/disadvantages to these choices?


I play barefoot as well. Foot slides around too much in socks, and my feet are too big to wear shoes to use the pedals. Thought I was the only one, even on stage or in studio have to be barefoot!

05-26-2003, 09:58 PM
barefoot when i wake up or in the morning (caus i didnt put my socs on yet) socs during the day (caus i take my shoes off in the house) and with shoes live, at school or at church. but i perfer with socs caus im better that way


ps: sry if i mispelled socs, socks, soks.... whatever

Adrian NoRi
05-26-2003, 10:04 PM
shoes, but like all stars, old adidas style and stuffs like that.;)


05-26-2003, 11:02 PM
shoes and sometimes barefoot allthough it hurts like **** cause i have huge feet. my socks get caught in the chain drive

05-27-2003, 02:18 AM
Converse All Stars all the way!

05-27-2003, 02:25 AM
do u mean on stage or practicing? i can hardly see lars or vinny paul play barefoot

although that avril lavigne guy does on stage. so i think image has something to do with it not just feeel

i play with socks practicing, and shoes otherwise...more power and control

05-27-2003, 06:23 AM
My set is in my basement, which is complete concrete so i need to wear socks

05-27-2003, 11:38 AM
I wear socks when practicing. But at shows I usually wear a pair of old Nikes that zip up, it's almost like wearing another pair of socks since their so light.

05-27-2003, 11:39 AM
Socks always, shoes, are way way to bulky.

05-27-2003, 02:51 PM
I use whatever is on or not on my feet at the time, socks, shoes, boots, slipers, skin. I have these bearfoot slippers that look pretty funny when I'm playing wearing them. I don't feel much a difference between any of them. I play with ball of my foot thought, so since the pressure is being placed on only one part of my foot the differences between the materials has less of an impact.

05-27-2003, 04:03 PM
I use socks when practising. When transferring quickly from foot to leg stroke on a fast groove, I find sweaty feet or trainers inhibit this fast action. Once you've mastered the groove trainers seem best.

Adrian NoRi
05-27-2003, 06:48 PM
I HATE to play double bass without shoes!!!!

05-27-2003, 06:58 PM

05-27-2003, 10:08 PM
i use vans shoes, cuz the flat bottoms are awesome, and converse shoes, so i can do doubles on my left bass.

05-28-2003, 08:15 AM
barefoot or shoes... socks slide around too much... ~mikeym

07-05-2003, 12:11 PM

07-05-2003, 08:54 PM
I use shoes sometimes, but mostly i play barefoot, but when its cold i use socks.

Dr. Feelgood
07-07-2003, 01:09 PM
I play with shoes or barefoot, but NEVER with socks.
I lose control and it slips so much, not to mention my socks start slipping off. Argh.
Barefoot I get much more control, but I use shoes because my DCs are so damn comfy!

07-07-2003, 11:27 PM
i don't really have a preference, so i play with bare feet before i get dressed, socks when i'm at home, and shoes when i'm not home.

Marc Hughes
07-08-2003, 01:22 AM
I'm a shoe guy myself. I've tried playing without and just can't do it!

07-08-2003, 09:59 AM
I was a devoted shoe man for years, but recently I had the opportunity to play an Iron Corbra for the first time. I remembered seeing this thread and decided to do some experimenting. I have converted. For me, socks is the way to go.

07-08-2003, 11:38 PM
Very thin sole shoes to still feel the pedals. Either a martial arts shoe, indoor turf soccer shoe or wrestling shoes. My brother used to play w/bare feet on a kit we shared and he'd just funk up the pedals somethin fierce!!!!!!
I seen an old Morbid Angel video w/Pete Sandoval and he's pulling insane doubles w/Doc Martins!!!!!!!!

07-16-2003, 08:52 AM
Its defintely shoes for me.I have this really old pair of grey retro Nikes. They are f****d, loads of holes and stuff, but i love playin in them. Really comfy! I tried bare feet before, but it kinda hurt, so i abandoned that one quickly. Oh, well each to their own i guess ;)

07-16-2003, 10:20 AM
barefoot or socks. depends on whether or not i had socks on to begin with. i feel like i have more control without shoes. i still play hard without them.

07-20-2003, 09:07 PM
Shoes - Gives me extra height. And good grippage.

Socks - No height and some grippage. (can get cold, drums in basement)

Barefoot - No height, cold, hurts.

Anyways, i can play with or without shoes or socks.

07-20-2003, 09:15 PM
I play with shoes because 1. My teacher recommended it 2. I can't play barefoot/shoeless at school 3. More comfortable

04-06-2004, 08:37 PM
at home sox or nothing, shows I wear my converse seude (the most comfterble shoes in the world)

drummergirlx 6
05-10-2004, 07:15 PM
I play in my vans, old skool rowleys, there so comfortable and i love em. Every once in a while ill play with just socks though, i like that too.

05-10-2004, 10:45 PM
i sometimes just wear my bunny slippers and play. then i can see the bunny on the floor hopping :D

shoes works best for me for some reason.

Cobra Dantes
05-12-2004, 11:09 PM
mocassins are totally sweet, or martial arts shoes those are nice too

05-13-2004, 02:02 PM
are there any "drum shoes" on the market? something really light & grippy? if so, where?

05-31-2004, 04:48 AM
i have no preferance over what i play in,

maybe its good preperation incase someone steals your shoes before a gig :D