Now I know that when you buy a pair of TOMS, you're really buying two, but $50+ is more than I'd personally like to spend on an experimental pair of shoes... besides, there are a million inexpensive basic shoes crying out for embellishment that are both stylin', and cheap enough for you to buy two-- one for you, and one for your local shelter (whether they arrive studded or not is up to you).
Urban Outfitters has both laced and slip-on sneakers in nearly every color-- 2 pairs for $30 as I write this. Or, if you're not too particular, you can find nearly the same shoes at Kmart for $8 or so. Best option? Those pseudo-bootie-lookin' kung-fu shoes in the center for a cool $5.95 at Pearl River.
From Left: Capezio Lilina Character Shoe, Dance Class Pink Full Sole Ballet Shoe, Capezio Split-sole Leather Ghilie Shoe.
Even better? Studding up a pair of dance shoes. I can often be found cruising All About Dance for tights, low-backed leotards (they have shelf bras, a necessary if yours truly is going backless) and salsa shoes... everything is designed to be functional, comfortable and graceful. I'd love to stud a cap-toe and heel on the Character Shoes ($45, above left) or the Ballet Shoes ($14, center). However, I am absolutely obsessed with the Ghilie Shoes ($24, below right), typically worn by Irish Step Dancers. I'd let their beauty speak for themselves and simply add a row of studs down the center front seam on the vamp.
All, Crust Punks. Between $2.95-$5.98 for 100.
Also, studs are super-cheap as well. My personal faves are the gold, stars, flat black, and the tiny ones (good candidates for the Ghilies, methinks!) No luck on finding flat, rainbow-hued studs yet, but I know they're out there. If you find them, let me know. I have a pair of lime green Keds I'd like to have a go at. By the way, any shoe repair place can add a plastic sole to any softsole shoe for about $15.
And for those who'd like to know because there were no express directions in the post, a short tutorial:
If you're using canvas shoes, an X-acto blade, seen above, will work to punch the holes needed to get the stud into the fabric. A butter knife can be used to flatten out the "teeth" on the bottom side of the shoe, so that they grip the material. If you're going ballet shoe with the project, you might want to pick up the taser-looking tool, above, which is made specifically to pierce and stud leather.
Well, I don't know about you, but those Ghilie shoes are in my shopping cart... hopefully I'll be able to model them for you in all their studded glory soon!