As Millenials grow up do they demand cooler LED sneakers?


We’re hoping that whomever came up with the idea of integrating LEDs into children’s shoes is kicking back on a beach somewhere living off the residuals of the idea. We see those things everywhere. Now the real question is, if you grew up with LEDs in your shoes do you expect cooler light up kicks as you age? [Becky Stern] must think so and that’s why she’s showing off Adafruit’s addressable LED strip shoe project called Firewalker.

This is prototype rather than product, so you can see the Arduino compatible Flora board on the ankle of the lit shoe above. There’s also a battery pack hitching a ride on the laces. But those worried about that fashion faux pas can work on a more finished driver that straps to your calf, or can be integrated in the insole.

Lighting patterns are set off by Velostat, a pressure-sensitive conductive sheet that goes in the heel of the insole. The Flora board measures the resistance, triggering a light show (embedded below) when it drops. Now we just need someone to integrate a power generator based on your movement.


  1. Felinius says:

    Now if only these would work with my VFF’s :3

  2. AlanMcR says:

    Perhaps this will bring back disco fever?

  3. Eric says:

    Some of us grew up with mercury lights in our shoes…

  4. hojo says:

    Cool, but I’m pretty sure those LED strips can do full color, time for some more interesting software.

  5. Joejoedancer says:

    I think my friends 6yr old has these shoes! You can get them at Payless for $20. Next you could put skates in the bottom that flip out so you can glide around when needed. OH! and then you could put a pump in the tongue so in case your shoes are loose you can pump them up to tighten them.

  6. surprized feller says:

    “We see those things everywhere.”
    Really?! ive never seen them since the 90ies

  7. generjones says:

    Now just add a microphone and beat detection!

    …time to find some sneakers to cannibalize.

  8. Whatnot says:

    Triple AA on the top of you foot? Doesn’t sound like a pleasure.

  9. Hirudinea says:

    Well if these catch on I can see them really reducing crime, hard to run from the cops in led sneakers.

  10. Heh…. So when you get home in the evening you have to plug in not only your laptop, cellphone and Pebble wristwatch for changing, but your shoes as well. :)

    Looks cool though.

  11. jl says:

    I made a very similar, but more complex set of shoes. Uses an axceleromerter to detect a step and makes use of it for other things. sadly, they were destroyed by the playa last week at burning man.
    They used 3 18650’s for power and an arduino nano for control.

    probably the last working video of them. Did anyone see me at burning man?

  12. IJ Dee-Vo says:

    I hate how they don’t make cool things in adult sizes.

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