July 9, 2012

How to Guide: Studded Converse Chuck Taylor Sneakers

Posted by Paul

Thanks to everybody that gave us such positive feedback on the studded Converse sneakers we made earlier this year! We've just finished our second pair, this time in off-white (no it wasn't any easier on our hands the second time) and we're excited to share them with you.  Along with the post, we've also created a quick 'how to guide' so you can do them for yourselves.

This pair of cream colored Chuck Taylor high tops with spikes are perfect for summer, and we've added just a touch of flare by incorporating gunmetal colored spikes in addition to the standard silver color.  We hope you're inspired! Keep reading for more pics of the newest pair and the how-to details so you can get started.

STEP ONE: Prepare your supplies, here's what you'll need-

1. Sneakers - they don't need to be Converse, but studded Converse look great and they have a lot of rock and roll history behind them so spikes are natural for them.  I'm not sure that Nike running shoes covered in spikes will have the same effect.

2. Spikes or studs - pick your size and color, there are plenty.  A big decision you'll need to make is whether to pick ones that have screws in the back or use bendable points to stay in place.  We recommend screws because they'll be more comfortable to wear and they're a little easier to install.

3. Chalk - you'll use this to mark your sneakers for studding.  We think spikes look the best in neat rows because it looks more professional and less DIY.  Chalk allows you to decide where you're going to put the spikes in before you actually do it, and chalk wipes off easily when you're done.

4. Awl - an awl is a pointy metal tool that will allow you to make the holes that the spikes will go through.  Having one that is the right size is very important, if the awl is too big, the spikes will not stay securely in the sneaker, if it is too small it will be nearly impossible to put the studs in the shoe.

5. Screwdriver - if you opted for screw back spikes you'll use this to screw your studs in to secure them to the shoe.

STEP TWO: Mark the sneaker with your chalk.

Decide what pattern or design you want the spikes to follow on your sneaker and mark it off with chalk.  This preparation might seem tedious but it's really important because fixing a chalk mistake is much easier than trying to work with an unnecessary hole in your sneaker later on.  We've also found that for most of the smaller sized spikes, the round base that will rest on your shoe is pretty darn close to the exact circumference of a standard non-sidewalk piece of chalk.  Simply place the chalk flat against the sidewall of the sneaker and twist it in a circle.

STEP THREE: Make the hole.

This step is pretty straight forward, at the very center of your chalk mark, stab the awl through the sneaker. Make sure you put the awl all the way through to the end because awls are widest towards the handle.  This will make it easier to put the stud in.

STEP FOUR: Insert the stud and screw it down.

Put the screw end of the spike through the hole you just made and tighten it down.  Tightening the screw of the stud as much as possible is important- you don't want your hard work to go to waste and have the stud fall off after you start to walk around.

STEP FIVE: Repeat.

You've just done your first spike! Congrats! Now there's just a few hundred more to go... don't get discouraged, it's worth it in the end.  It's also not necessary to be completely perfect, once all the studs are in the shoe, it's barely noticeable if one or two are slightly out of place also, people seeing them on your feet won't be looking at them up close, they'll just be staring at your amazing kicks from afar!

STEP SIX: Enjoy your amazing studded Converse, and be prepared for compliments.

We've gotten a lot of questions about the process so here's a quick trouble shooting guide as well:

Q: Where do we buy studs or spikes?
A: New Yorkers should drop by the garment district and check out places like M&J Trimming seeing studs or spikes in person can give you a better idea of how your studded sneakers will look.  Also punk stores and some vintage clothing shops sell spikes.  For those not in NYC you can buy online from stores like StudsandSpikes.com they have a great selection.

To get the EXACT SPIKES THAT WE USE you can order through Sino Pets Union.  Since you're buying directly from the manufacturer in China they're much cheaper than other places.

Q: Do you sell studded Converse?
A: No, we'd love to produce these to sell, but we don't have the time or the patience to make them regularly, if we did, we'd need to charge so much money, that you'd run and make your own anyway!

Q: How much time does it take to make a pair?
A: Expect to spend about 5-7 hours making a pair of high tops depending on how fast or slow you go.  Most of the time will be spent working on getting the spikes through the reinforced heeled portion of the shoe.  Low tops will take significantly less time because there is less area to put spikes in.

We've given you all the info you need, now good luck!


  1. This looks amazing! I really want to buy studs and just go crazy with them!


  2. Approximately how many spikes did you use for each shoe? The "Sino Pets Union" link doesn't work by the way.

  3. the amount of spikes per shoe will vary because of shoe size. but I estimate about 150-200 per shoe. I think sino pets union is renewing their domain or something, but they are an ebay user, so you can buy the spikes on their auctions here is one-


  4. What size awl did u use?

  5. what size studs are those?

  6. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Converse-AllStar-shoes-Silver-Spike-Studded-White-color-unisex-/261058637091?pt=US_Women_s_Shoes&var=&hash=item826ab4866a

  7. what size are the studs?

  8. On the M&J Trimming website spikes come in packs of 10 for $10! you would need to spend over $200 to fill both shoes, that's ridiculous

  9. I ordered the studs from a shady courier service with the poorest fulfilment service. How can I order the studs now? Help!

  10. I have not purchased from them but I found them online www.sutdsandspikes.com Good luck!

  11. They look very aggressive. I love these studded Chucks. It is very punky rocky. django and juliette

  12. If I were filthy rich, I'd probably be into buying gold coins, (or silver coins would do) customize them then use them to style my chucks. This could be a great luxury line for converse.

  13. what sized spikes are used on the cream converses ?

  14. I was wondering what freight shipping company to contact because I am so in love with these shoes right now. It's the culmination of my wish list! Is this available for shipping.

  15. I love this studded converse! I hope shoes australia free shipping can apply if I purchase this.

  16. The studs we used are 1/4 inch

  17. If my daughter will see this, I'll be looking for a pair in the girls shoes online australia shop in an ungodly hour. I'm pretty sure she'll get crazy over this.

  18. I could imagine a chucks covered with studs from the jewelers long island. Geez! That’s a super shoe then!

  19. I make a studded converse shoes.
    If you want to buy the style please contact me.
    You can buy it in ebay.


  20. Guau! Good Tutorial, I love this convers. I have a red convers maybe try it!!! ;)

  21. How do the studs stay in the shoe?

  22. Hello and greeting form finland! I love this tutorial, and I will do this for my new pair of converse! I really like to read your blog! Go on!

    Love from Finland.

  23. Wouldn't the back of the studs on the inside hurt or scratch up your feet? I want to make some for my niece, but not if they're gonna hurt her. Also what size awl did you use?

  24. I never thought that making a customized converse chuck can be this simple! I actually have this kind of chuck taylor shoes which I bought and shipped thru an online store.

  25. This is amazing! I live in the UK though, so I'm not too sure where to buy the studs, but I can figure it out. Is it okay to put them in the washing machine?

  26. Hi.
    I was just wondering... can you put spikes in the back of the shoe, you know like the line at the achilles scene? Cause I'm planning to do so, but I don't know, since it goes a stitch right there... please help

  27. @Thomas Haughland - Yes you can, its just really difficult since that part of the shoe is extra thick (we couldn't do it by hand).

  28. @Raquel Wofford - never had this problem, i wear normal socks with mine and my feet are just fine!

    @Elena - definitely wouldn't do this, unless you want to destroy the washing machine.

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  32. Hi and greeting from Canada!
    Awesome Tutorial. I will try it!!

    Thank you for sharing,