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.

Inside 3D Printing Shoes

If you’ve ever thought about 3D printing shoes, you’ll enjoy watching the video below about a Portland-based company that creates shoes on demand using an HP MJF 5200 3D printer. Granted, this isn’t a printer you likely have in your basement. The one-ton printer costs up to a half-million dollars but watching it do its thing is pretty interesting.

The printer doesn’t create the entire shoe, but just a spongy foam-like TPU footbed and heel. They run the printer overnight and get about a dozen pairs out at once. There’s quite a bit of clean-up to get the piece ready. Of course, there’s also the assembly of the rest of the shoe to take into account.

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3D Printed Shoes Make Bigfoot Tracks

[Stephan Henrich] is probably going to set off a wave of bigfoot sightings if his new shoe, the Cryptide sneaker takes off. The shoe is completely 3D printed in flexible TPE using a laser sintering printer from Sintratec. The shoe takes a name from cryptozoology and, in fact, would leave a puzzling footprint due to its articulated toes and scaly-looking sole.

Judging from the look of the sole, it should be pretty cushy and we presume if you were 3D printing these, you’d scan or precisely measure the intended foot for a perfect fit. You can see a video about the shoe below.

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Interactive LED Shoes That Anyone Can Build!

Normally when we see blinky projects these days, it’s using addressable LED strips with WS2812Bs, or similar alternatives. However, old-school blobby round LEDs are still on the market, and can still be put to great use. These DIY LED shoes from [TechnoChic] are an excellent example of just that.

The shoes use big 10mm LEDs that have color-changing smarts baked in. Simply power them up and they’ll fade between a series of colors. They’re run from a coin cell sewn on to the side of each shoe, with the LEDs jammed into the rear of the sole. A conductive product called Maker Tape is then used to create a circuit for the LEDs and the coin cell, along with a pressure switch inside each shoe. When the wearer puts weight on their heel, the switch conducts, lighting up the LEDs as the wearer takes each step.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a pair of shoes bedazzled with LEDs, but it’s arguably the easiest version of the concept to grace these pages. This is a quick way to create interactive flashing LED gadgets, and a great way for┬ábeginner makers to jazz up their projects.

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Adidas Going Natural With Mycelium Leather

Whether you are vegan or just want to try something new in the shoe department, Adidas will soon have your feet covered. They are currently working on a leather alternative made of mycelium, which is the network of fungal filament material that produces mushrooms, toadstools, truffles, and more. Hopefully they’re not using live mycelium, otherwise your shoes will grow mushrooms when they get wet like this mycelium canoe we saw a few weeks ago.

Adidas have really rooted themselves in sustainability over the past few years. They claim to have made 15 million pairs of shoes in 2020 out of recycled plastic waste collected from beaches and coastlines, and they’re shooting for 17 million pairs in 2021. The company started offering these in 2017, and they feature thread in the laces and other places that was spun from ocean plastic waste. Adidas are also using a lot of recycled polyester and are developing a new type of recycled cotton, according to Business Insider.

No use for mushroom shoes, canoes, or coffins (translated)? Everyone could probably use more insulation in their home. Why not grow your own?

Thanks to [Charles] for the mycelium coffin tip.

Roll Your Own Heelys

Remember Heelys, the shoes with wheels in the heels? Just lift up your toes, and away you go. We were at least ten or fifteen years older than the target demographic, but got a pair anyway just to please our inner child and have some fun. Young kids would wear them everywhere and zip around inside stores to the annoyance of everyone but other young kids. We imagine some shopkeepers got to the point where they could spot the things as they walked in the door and nipped the skating party in the bud.

[DevNerd] has conceived of the ultimate plan: if you make your own Heelys, no one necessarily has to know unless you start rolling around. [DevNerd] started by cutting some large, 20mm-deep holes in the bottoms of a pair of Air Jordans and printed a sturdy wheel and a box frame for support.

Each wheel has a bearing on both ends that spin on a threaded rod. We’re not sure why [DevNerd] went with threaded rod, because it seems like that would prematurely wear out the frame box.

Don’t want to cut up your shoes, but want some sweet roller kicks for the daily commute down the hall? You could always make them out of pallet wood.

Making Crampons Out Of Scrap

If you’re living somewhere that gets icy in the wintertime, you know the sidewalk can be perilous. Slipping on ice hurts like hell if you’re lucky, and can cause serious injuries if you’re not. Naturally, if you’re trying to get down to the hackerspace when it’s cold out, you’ll look for solutions. [masterbuilder] wanted to be surefooted in the coming season, and decided to build a set of crampons.

Scrap inner tubes are the key here, providing a source of hardy rubber for the build. The tubes are cut into a series of bands which are woven together in a hexagonal pattern. Steel nuts are included at various points to help grip the ice in inclement conditions. A larger strip of rubber is then used to form a band which secures the entire assembly to the wearer’s shoes.

It’s a design that’s intended for ease of use over outright performance. The crampons can be quickly attached and removed, and using nuts instead of spikes reduces the chance of damaging the floor if you forget to take them off immediately when returning home. If you’ve got any handy winter hacks of your own, you know where to send ’em.