Perry Carbonell
Feb 14, 2016 · 5 min read

Back again after a long absence to work the mechanics of building a sneaker.

Now I must confess that during my teens, I used to sketch out sneaks in class and shared it around with my friends. We used to comment / debate on what constituted a really cool pair. It was one of those phase things that you go through as a young adult — which surprisingly carries on to this day (except these days, logic and budget matters prevail).

So let’s see what we have here.

Basic shapes

Let’s go with these Chuck’s, just because they’re iconic and it’s coolness factor:

Tracing the shape

There’s goes the mouse outlining what we need. Image was sourced from NY Times over Sketch app.

After you hit “A” on your keyboard to create an artboard, let’s go with a basic rectangle by hitting “R”.

We slowly beat the rectangle into shape by double clicking on the edges in order to create the outline:

Outlining “The legend”

If you look closely at the shoe, there’s a little bump at the back of the shoe where your Achilles Tendon sits.

Let’s add that support in our design:

We like “them bumps”

Now the actual design looks too ‘edgy’ i.e. sharp around the corners. And we need to bring in the heel as our baseline design has heel too far forward.

Note that I also brought in the Converse sneak into the artboard as it’s always good to eyeball our target.

Shaping part one

I’m still not happy about the tip of our Connie’s — looks like a boat at the moment. Now is a good a time as any to tame that down.

In addition, now is a good time to put a placeholder for the bottom of our shoe, and so I hit the “L” on the keyboard to mark the bottom.


Now a good sneaker outline should have some laces. These are simple enough by hitting “R” once again to get the bare bones rectangle laces around the spot on where we need them.

Quite specific to the Chuck’s is the Converse brand; easy enough to solve by hitting ‘O’ shortcut key for an oval and placing it to where the logo should sit.


Hurrah! We did it. We built the foundations of our iconic Chuck’s. Here are the steps once again.

Tongue added to finish off the basics.

Now obviously this is far from a finished product, but this post is all about creating the foundations first (walk first before you run — pardon the pun).

The next part is the actual fun part where I plug in my earphones, listen to some tunes and just go for gold!

Finished product

Here’s one version of the finish kicks

Classic Chuck’s

Notable modifications here include the addition of laces (rectangles used as base), the tip of the toe (a line that separates the toe from the rest of the shoe), a lining at the bottom (yep, a line) and the star (Sketch: insert > shape > star).

Ah, and of course — colour!

Here are a couple of other creations, which took all of half an hour.

Air Time
Impossible is nothing

Once you establish the base, the rest of the elements on the sneaker is quite easy to do.

One could really spend more time and crank up the swag factor even further, and I really could have put together more examples; but for the purposes of demonstration, this will suffice.

And in terms of Sketch itself, the commands I tend to use to create this file are the shortcut keys of

  • R for rectangle

Outside those, there’s a lot of double clicking the shapes to finesse the shoe, grouping objects together (it’s default on your dashboard), adjusting the size of each object and adding ‘Fills and Borders’ colour.

Sketch file and support

And as always I have the Sketch file here.

If you want to help support my work, head on down to Skillshare, one of the easiest ways to pick up new skills. Here’s a referral link with an extended 1-month free trial if you want to check out their ever-growing collection. They have a broad range of topics that will suit most everyone out there.

About this post

This post first appeared on my blog.

I was meaning to follow-up my last post for a while now, but life happens and before you know, intentions no matter how good, gets delayed.

This post also follows my previous effort of a tropical island — but the reception was quite cold on that one (despite that, I’m still quite proud of it). So here’s the latest, more commercial and poppy effort; I feel like a sell-out but hey, it was fun.


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Perry Carbonell

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Creative and collaborative. Releasing energies with my group Collective Network. It’s half full…except for my coffee