Hackaday Prize Entry: Open Bike Shoe

Shoes are some of the most complex pieces of equipment you can buy. There’s multiple materials ranging from foam to weird polyesters in a simple sneaker, and if you dig into shoes for biking, you’ll find some carbon fiber. All these layers are glued together, stitched, and assembled into a functional piece of exercise equipment, with multiple SKUs for each size. It’s really amazing.

Accordingly, [marcs] created N+ Open Bike Shoe Platform, the purpose of which is to create open source,  customizable, and repairable shoe platform based on 3D printing, though with other techniques like rubber molding and sewing fabric uppers are included as well.

The project breaks down its signature shoe into all its various parts: heel, toe tread, insole, upper, and so on. With each part individually customizable, the shoe can be tailored to suit each individual, all while part of a cradle-to-grave lifecycle that allows shoe parts to be replaced, repaired, or recycled.

24 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Open Bike Shoe

  1. not quite what i’m interested in, but i’m so excited that people are trying to figure out home made / open source shoes. as a someone with flat feet who puts on a lot of miles, i have long tried to figure out ways to use my 3d printer to normalize my shoe experience. glad i’m not the only one.

  2. “Some of the most complex pieces of equipment you can buy” Really? Dont think so….. There is certainly more to them than most would credit , but “one of the most complex pieces of equipment” is just a silly, misinformed or undereducated statement.

  3. Let’s not forget the lessons of Bill Bowerman (a true shoe hacker – inventing the modern running shoe – and founder of Nike) who sustained severe nerve damage working with solvents, adhesives and molding compounds that left him unable to run in the shoes he invented.

      1. Checked around my local area for a honest-to-goodness cobbler. Nah. Plenty of guys polish, add heels, etc.

        Make shoes? That’s some crazy talk right there….

        That said….a few pieces of tire tread (designed to carry 4,000 lbs at 70 mph for 30,000 miles…) and some modern upper material….(ok, ok, cut up a spacesuit, that’ll do….) slap it together…man, that would be some right good steampunk footwear.

        Shame it’ll never happen. If only we could figure out a way to involve LEDs, 3D printers, and IoTrinket sekkurity hackery, it’d go “viral”.

        (cue advertisement for the book “The Eudaemonic Pie”….)

        1. Hey, Marcs here..

          No iLEDoT here, but I bet my design could be adapted to have flexible core in place of the carbon fiber. Right now I’m trying to find a way to make the core without all the nasty carbon fiber layup business, but if you follow the project a normal walking core is on the books for 2018.


        2. Not that I would likely change your results, but cobblers don’t make shoes cordwainers do. So, assuming the cobblers in your area can resole they are honest-to-goodness cobblers.

    1. As a former tire change technician (a.k.a. Grease Monkey 2nd Class)…

      I think there are very few tires/tyres that would be suitable for shoe soles. The side to side curvature could be very uncomfortable. The stiffness would reduce arch flexing.

      Also, a lot of “foot smell” is because of an allergic reaction to the synthetics used in shoes [citation needed – I think I read it in Consumer Reports, or a Mayo Clinic publication]

      1. Yeah.

        I’d agree with the “can’t do” perspective, but they exist. I’ve already owned a pair. Three, actually.

        Called the Blackspot Unswoosher (guess the maker had a hard-on for Nike?) mine lasted literally years of urban walking, daily wear, and hiking (DMV trails, weekly.)

        Smell is personal, natch, but I never had a problem with mine.

        In fact, i probably still have a pair in deep closet recess — the upper fabric blew out. But the best tread, comfort and fit in just about any shoe I’ve owned. (Tastes differ, of course.)

        I’d just go buy another pair (they’re still for sale!) but IMNSHO they are freaking abusively overpriced. You know: like most shoes.

        “For want of a nail…..”

      2. I used to have a pair of “tire tread sandals” but on closer inspection they appeared to have “faux” soles, which included belt threads. But the soles were “too perfect” to be salvaged.

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