Super Brite LED Sneakers

[i am jen] needed to spice up some shoes, and what better way to do that, than to spike them out in LEDs controlled by a micro controller. In order to make the LED strips, an inventive use of Velcro is applied. One half of the strip is secured to the shoes, while the other half gets a sheet of electrical tape on the sticky side. Small holes are then punched though the strip and the LEDs are then soldered.

Electronicswise the shoes are using a pair of 6 volt batteries, with no readily available holder, a “AA” battery holder is chopped to size and glued back together. Patterns are controlled by a Really Bare Bones Board Arduino, (which, even if your not an Arduino fan, is a cool little AVR breakout board for 28 pin chips) and cycles through different patterns using magnets and reed switches on the inside edges of the shoes.

Even if its not your style, check it out for a few good hacks and join us after the break for a short video.


  1. Moggie100 says:

    “Snakers”… ?

  2. Wes says:

    They’re snakey!

  3. The Cageybee says:

    Turns to kid: “You call that lights in your sneakers?”
    “That’s not lights in your sneakers…This is lights in your sneakers!!!!”(Said in a crocodile Dundee accent)
    Kid: Crying

  4. alan says:

    of course, pick the most ugly pair of sneakers and stick a bunch of LEDs on them.

  5. @alan – I know right!? Pfft, I’ve got 4 pairs of REALLY GOOD kicks decked out with some REALLY GOOD LEDs… not those shitty ones. What a hack.

  6. now you can program some POV in it, just run like hell and it will do the work.

  7. GameboyRMH says:

    Came in to find out what “snakers” are, leaving disappointed…

    But, serious idea: Make a “shoe LED-ification kit” and sell them to ravers.

  8. Booker T. Worthington says:

    Sorry Jen, lights aren’t really appropriate on shoes like this. Suede is rustic, LEDs are hight-tech.

    Platforms with clear soles are definitely the way to go here:

    @GameboyRMH I haven’t ravers around here wear stuff like this in over ten years. Maybe they still do in other parts of the world.

  9. Booker T. Worthington says:

    Anyone remember hearing about LumaLive?

    Supposed to launch in May 2011.

  10. Jordan says:

    Oh wow, I did this last summer for a friend with less LEDs and dollar store LED flasher boards.
    I don’t recall if we ever took pictures or video :(

  11. rasz says:

    dont you just love the classic “Arduino to blink led” hack? with Instructables as a bonus …

  12. vonskippy says:

    When worn, guaranteed to prevent hetro sex in a 3 meter radius for up to several days after the leds were turned off.

  13. djrussell says:

    this undermines the primary function of sneakers. “for sneaking!”

  14. GameboyRMH says:

    @Booker T. Worthington: I dunno what ravers wear in any detail beyond “bright colors and glowing things,” it just looked like the kind of thing they’d be into.

    @vonskippy: I lol’d XD

  15. Erik Johnson says:

    @Booker T. Worthington I decided not to wait and make my own :

    @GameboyRMH raver love *anything* than flashes or lights up, these shoes included

  16. Hirudinea says:

    Great, now all he has to do is put EL wire on his underwear!

  17. Alex says:

    Looks pretty neat, but also like they’ll get broken pretty easy

  18. Ekaj says:

    Ummm, ever heard of surface mount components? This “hack” will last about 10 minutes if you’re walking.

  19. jbotalan says:


    I came here just to post that.

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