Leather sole drum shoes = speed and power!

Markkuliini

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Testing Jojo Mayer's "no friction" approach on bass drum pedal with Vans sneaker that have leather soles installed. The increased speed was no surprise, but added power (especially with bit simpler patterns like in the end) took me by surprise. The smooth action will get some time to get used to, and of course I had to go for the speed in expense of accuracy here and there. But I'm sure you'll hear the potential of these shoes.

Gotta say, I love how it feels playing with less friction. Bit like playing with socks, but shoes protect your feet, and look better too.

 
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Ely

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You sir, are really good. I thoroughly enjoyed that video! That groove at 1:10 is sick.
 

bleen

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Sounds great! What model Vans are they? I'm not sure I've ever seen them with leather soles.

Excellent playing as usual!
 

xsabers

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I've heard of drumming with sole before, but...
 

Markkuliini

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Ely said:
You sir, are really good. I thoroughly enjoyed that video! That groove at 1:10 is sick.
Thanks guys! Had to check what groove you were talking about. It's My Name Is Mud by Primus, although I think the original was played with double bass drum. ;)
It's a great groove to get that Bonham triplet happening on the bass drum.
 

Markkuliini

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bleen said:
Sounds great! What model Vans are they? I'm not sure I've ever seen them with leather soles.

Excellent playing as usual!
Sorry, maybe I was bit unclear. They are regular Vans Old School sneakers that I took to a shoe maker who glued the leathers on. So they are modified after purchase, got the idea from Jojo Mayer's dvd.

I'm currently on tour in UK, and I've played 5 gigs so far with these, and I have to say that they rule big time. I play MUCH better with these, compared to rubber sole sneakers. And I have clearly much more headroom in speed and power, which means that I can use much less energy playing, and I'm not nearly as tired after 2 hour show that we are playing every evening. I have now done some sound checks with normal sneakers just to compare, and not to get too dependent on leather soles, and I can really feel how the friction is stealing momentum and energy that my foot is trying to send onward.

All in all, I absolutely love these!
 

bleen

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Markkuliini said:
Sounds great! What model Vans are they? I'm not sure I've ever seen them with leather soles.

Excellent playing as usual!
Sorry, maybe I was bit unclear. They are regular Vans Old School sneakers that I took to a shoe maker who glued the leathers on. So they are modified after purchase, got the idea from Jojo Mayer's dvd.
Ah, okay, that makes more sense! I love playing in my Vans and also Converse All Stars ("Chucks"); I may have to look into this kind of "mod" for a pair and keep them reserved for drumming duties.
 

kb

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So Mark, would the leather soles have made such a difference in your playing if you hadn't worked up new techniques? In other words, would they help ANY player, or only a player conciously using sliding motions?

I remember reading many years ago Buddy Rich saying "how can anyone play in sneakers?" At the time I thought he meant because there is no heel on sneakers, but now I believe he meant because sneakers are not slick enough...

Thanks for posting.
 

Markkuliini

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kb said:
So Mark, would the leather soles have made such a difference in your playing if you hadn't worked up new techniques? In other words, would they help ANY player, or only a player conciously using sliding motions?

I remember reading many years ago Buddy Rich saying "how can anyone play in sneakers?" At the time I thought he meant because there is no heel on sneakers, but now I believe he meant because sneakers are not slick enough...

Thanks for posting.
That's a really good question. I dunno to be honest. I suppose different drummers have so different backgrounds that it's impossible to say beforehand.
But my background is so that I used to play with my socks a lot when I was younger, then I started using shoes, because I didn't like putting them on and off on the gigs, but remember missing the sliding feeling the socks had. But for the last year I have also worked on my foot technique quite a bit, so I'm sure I would have liked leather soles anyways, regarless my history, and would have gotten used to them pretty fast in any case. After all, most of these techniques include some amount of sliding, although it's very subtle sometimes. But now, trying rubber soles I can really feel how I'm sliding a bit even when playing individual strokes, and how rubber is stopping that motion.
All in all, I'm surprised how easy the transition had been, I have only played with these for maybe 10-15 hours and they feel completely comfortable already.
There's no going back.
 

johnnydrums

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To the OP. nice foot work. To all else..when moving up the Shoe Food chain, Vans aren't in the pic anymore. Look for some Tod's made in Italy. Leather sole and way more comfy! Op may wanna grab a pair. 400 and up. Maybe you can find a used pair????????? It's all I play in anymore!! Plus they look great with all attire. So smooth and pedal friendly!!
 

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dimag333

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Ely said:
You sir, are really good. I thoroughly enjoyed that video! That groove at 1:10 is sick.
my name is mud, intense man, gotta be the shoes!
 

High on Stress

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Great playing and cool insights. I always played in socks as a kid ... and would slip my shoes off behind the kit when I first started playing out but I decided that looked unprofessional so I settled on playing in canvas sneakers that were light (Vans, Chucks etc.) thinking that weight and flexibility were the key attributes to look for. While those shoes are very comfortable for playing, the rubber soles do grip the pedals. I know that some famous drummers have endorsed the Capezio type dancer's shoes for the same reasons you cite, but I never wanted to wear those! Time to look for some new drumming shoes.
 

Brian dougher

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Hi all,

I’m new here....I was looking for smooth soled shoes myself and came upon this thread and it made me think....and buy.......Bowling shoes. They’re made to allow the bowler to easily slide the foot behind. They make them for right and left handed bowlers but they also make what they call a “universal” shoe. Both shoes have a smooth material from the mid foot to the toe. I know you’re probably thinking “I am NOT wearin’ Bowling shoes at a gig”.....remembering the shoes you rented at the last alley someone forced you to go to. But check them out; they have plenty of styles, colors and looks that should satisfy. And no...I’m not a part time drummer, part time Brunswick salesman. . Happy hunting!
 

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