Hackaday Prize 2022: A Cooler For Your Footwear

Sweaty feet can be uncomfortable, and the smell generated in one’s shoes isn’t much to admire, either. In an effort to help solve this issue, [Revoxdyna] has created a cooler for one’s feet that should help out in hot conditions.

Modern shoes, particularly sneakers, are often ventilated, but it’s not always enough. This build takes things further, using active cooling. Water is pumped through tubes and into a copper insole which cools the sole of the foot. It’s achieved thanks to a pump assembly that mounts to the rear of the shoe in a 3D printed housing. The water itself is chilled with a thermoelectric cooler, which helps remove heat from the shoe area.

There is some bulk to the design, which would prevent its use in performance applications in its current form. However, we could imagine companies like Nike leaping at the chance to build some very fancy, high-tech shoes along these lines in future. After all, they already managed to create power laces, and this is even cooler again! Pun definitely intended.

15 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize 2022: A Cooler For Your Footwear

  1. I’m working on something like this for full-body. Call it the Texas stillsuit. Uses a salvaged scooter battery and a little mini-fridge compressor in a backpack, a heat exchanger and some tubing under the clothing. Would be nice to have accompanying socks and some quick disconnects at the ends of the pant legs to add those to the system.

  2. It is too bad that shoe manufacturers do not take sweating into more consideration when designing footwear.
    They may appear to have ventilation holes, but they are not effective.
    And the “padding” around the rim and heel are pretty good at sealing moist air inside.

  3. Given existing “cool suits” for racing and water cooling for injury recovery technology I think this could be easily adapted for use with a larger body cooling system. Usually they’re based on ice as a PCM, but I’ve thought that incorporating PCM with a higher temperature might be useful as well for longer usage, like the PCM cooling vests.

    You could also try passive cooling with a thermosiphon with the same copper insole, just add a heat exchanger like a finned heatsink after properly filling and sealing the tubes with a refrigerant, though low pressure water should work fine for the temperature ranges of the application.

  4. All that pumping action of walking and it has external pumps. Soft tubing and one way valves could do this. Passive radiator on back to cool the water.
    Sandals. Wet socks.
    No socks makes for stinky shoes.

  5. Many chainsaw and firefighting boots have a inner metal sole that covers pretty much the whole bottom of the boot so you can avoid intrusions. Plus, it stiffens the boot for limb walking. When I was repairing mine I noticed the plate was a fairly stiff piece of stainless steel.

    I could see this gizmo being viable in a commercial boot application if made obviously smaller. Considering the boots sell for $345 and up just on Amazon, I do not think price would be a determining factor if it saved the sole of the boot or let you work longer. The sole may be rated for 450 degrees, but, if your foot is feeling 120-130 degrees, you are pretty much done.

    During the summer as I have gotten older, I have found I have to use the lighter and less safe boot because the safer boot is just too hot on 90+ degree days to be able to work more then an hour. The chaps and gloves get pretty hot, but, the hot head (can’t see out of the glasses) and hot feet are what slow me down.

    I already use a HenrysHelmetFan in my arborist and welding helmets, adding another USB A cord to the power pack would be no big deal if I could get cooler feet which is what over heats my body after a hot head. The boots can weigh 7-10 pounds a pair, my worn out Oregon boot is 44.9 oz without a gel insole, so an extra 8 oz of cooling would not be much of a drag if I could work longer or for a firefighter if they could stay in the woods longer on the line.

    1. I don’t think you’d want the extra boot bulk for climbing, but if it would fit around a climbing belt or be ruggedized to mount to one, it would do wonders for arborists wearing full saw pants, especially fire-retardent ones.

  6. the idea for a waist-mounted unit is a good idea. in work environments, something mounted to the shoe may not be secure enough or practical. i’ve also seen a device by dr. metin yavuz that pumps water from a thigh-mounted cooler, into an insole. as a migraine sufferer whose triggers include overheated feet, this idea is very appealing.

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