I now use these sticks for everything apart from jazz where I want a small tipped and much shorter/quieter stick.
These give you more reach/power than your standard 5a.
I was skeptical about the grip when I first saw it, but after I've used these, you don't have to grip the sticks as tightly to hold them, so your hands/arms don't get fatigued as quickly. I now don't like using non coated sticks as these feel so nice to play with.
The rubber coating doesn't melt or come off easily, which is what I was worried about, however you will probably need to replace these slightly more often than X5A, as after a while the rubber coating does start to tear. I play drums most days and a pair would last me 1-2months.
I'm very picky about the dimensions and absorption of sticks. These outperform other brands at the same dimensions in terms of absorption. So there's less vibrating in the stick as you play.