Drumming gloves are so underrated in some circles, that I can’t even put it in words. While many may complain about a lack of dexterity or a weird feel, I say that using the best drumming gloves you can afford will always be the best way to approach a recording session or a live gig.
For finger protection alone there’s nothing better. Not to mention the improved grip and the ability to play naturally in any kind of weather.
5 Best Drumming Gloves for Serious Drummers
If you want to learn more about the best gloves for drummers, you can start by checking out my picks and see what makes them so good.
Table of Contents
- 5 Best Drumming Gloves for Serious Drummers
- The Different Types of Drummer’s Gloves
- How Much Ventilation Do You Need?
- Extra Grip Patches or Pads – Are They Worth It?
Vic Firth and drumming gear are terms that go hand in hand. This pair of gloves features premium Cabretta leather and a superior rubber grip design on the thumb and forefinger.
The gloves are very well ventilated which makes them comfortable to wear through long recording sessions as well as live gigs in the blistering sun. I also like that the synthetic mesh used on the palm and on the back of the gloves reduces their weight.
This means that their impact on playing speed, particularly on blast beats, is minimal. Another cool thing is that the gloves come in four sizes, accommodating drummers with small hands as well as very large hands.
The Ahead drummer’s gloves are a bit of an acquired taste. From the outside, they look almost like goalie gloves. They seem bigger and thicker than most drummer gloves that you’ll see on the market. But this is only due to the fact that they offer extended wrist support.
This can be an advantage to older drummers that are experiencing wrist problems or to drummers that are starting to show signs of arthritis. The Hot Spot Pads, as Ahead calls them, are also part of the design and do wonders in terms of boosting the durability and longevity of these gloves.
In terms of aesthetics, these gloves don’t have anything too special. It’s a classic black and white combination, a bit sporty and, honestly, looking like something Adidas might make. But, everybody has different tastes, so I don’t judge.
Perhaps the only minor downside is the lack of more mesh for ventilation purposes. These gloves aren’t as breathable as others, but this might also work to your advantage if you’re playing winter gigs outside.
Zildjian doesn’t just make high-end cymbals and drumsticks. Their gloves are quite high-end too, and not that expensive either. The glove design features a vented back and very soft lamb skin palms that offer an impressive grip.
The grip is further improved by the pads on the thumb, forefinger, and near the deeper palm arch. This design allows you to hold your drumsticks however you please. And, you know me. I love a versatile piece of gear.
The level of comfort is good enough, even though the wrist strap doesn’t have the highest degree of adjustability. But, with that in mind, I also like the all-black design and the bright red Zildjian logo. It looks cool any day of the week.
One thing that may not sit well with some drummers is the lack of size S gloves. Otherwise, Zildjian has you covered from medium to extra-large.
Although this comes as a single glove, it’s still one of the best designs that you can use, or gift to a fellow drummer. The thin cut Cabretta leather has a very nice feel and is very durable too.
There are eight distinct pads used in the palm and on the fingers in order to improve the level of comfort and durability. The hook and loop wrist strap makes it easy to adjust the wrist tension, which allows the glove to be used with any playing style and technique.
The back of the glove features breathable mesh. This is always nice to have, even though it often makes sense to use some in the palm section too. Still, it reduces the perspiration significantly and helps preserve the quality of the interior fabric for longer.
If you’re not a fan of fully covered fingers, then these Meinl drummer gloves may be the ones for you. They only cover half of your fingers. This means that they offer a very natural feel and do little to affect your wrist and finger dexterity.
There are a couple of padded areas which help release palm tension while also giving you a better palm grip, especially around the deep palm arch line.
The material is not too smooth, which is good if you want to prevent sticks from slipping. On top of that, it will help a lot if you’re recording a video or even doing a gig in rainy weather.
The combination of black and red colors, and a design reminiscent of workout gloves, could work really well in any metal, punk, or hard rock band image.
The Different Types of Drummer’s Gloves
Unfortunately, there aren’t that many types. In fact, when it comes to drummer’s gloves you should worry more about the size than design variety. You’ll only find them in either half-finger or full finger designs.
Full finger coverage is great if the gloves are ventilated enough and if they are a perfect fit. But, lots of people prefer the guaranteed extra dexterity that half-finger gloves can give them. Picking between the two will be up to you. I’d say never underestimate either design. They can also be situational at times.
How Much Ventilation Do You Need?
This is an interesting aspect. Unlike your winter gloves, drummer’s gloves are more like driving gloves if you will. They’re not made to keep you warm and help you make snowmen, but rather to improve your grip on the drumsticks and even provide some protection when muting cymbals, doing fast fills, and anything else that might get you to hit a finger or two on various pieces of your drum set.
Because your hands are doing a lot of work, sweating is a given. So, unlike your regular winter or fashion gloves, you’ll need plenty of ventilation. Firstly, because you don’t want to stink up the gloves after a single show.
Secondly, ventilation will prevent overheating and palm fatigue, both of which are common occurrences in poorly designed drumming gloves.
Extra Grip Patches or Pads – Are They Worth It?
In my opinion, they are. Having and additional patch or pad, or more, can be highly useful. Especially when using gloves that cover your fingers entirely. Always look for thumb and forefinger grips, at a minimum.
Those will prevent slippage and will also help you experience a more natural feel.
As you can see, the best drumming gloves usually come from the top manufacturers. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other models to choose from. I gave you my top five picks to spare you of any unnecessary shopping and hours of trying on different gloves.
As long as you find the perfect size, any one of the gloves on this list can help you play more comfortably and feel a lot safer around your drum kit. So, whether you’re a beginner, pro, or just someone looking to find a cool gift for a drummer you know, now’s the time to pick something.