DIY Tech Footwear Round-Up

Lately there are an increasing number of shoes on the market that incorporate technology, from running shoes that sync with your iPod to high fashion illuminated heels. Here are a few cool tutorials that show you how to build your own tech-infused footwear.

Light Up and Glowing Shoes

DIY Flashing Shoes

This Instructable shows you how to repurpose the electronics from a pair of kid’s light up shoes and put them into your favorite pair of sneakers.

LED Shoes

Another pair of LED shoes, this tutorial has you build the circuit from scratch using conductive thread, LED sequin beads and puff paint (for insulation and decoration). Metal snaps in the tongue creates an on/off switch.

Rodarte Style Light Up Heels

Alison Lewis of I Heart Switch shows you how to achieve a look inspired by Rodarte’s high fashion light up heels.

El Wire Shoes

Diana Eng’s book Fashion Geek has a project that uses electroluminescent wire instead of LEDs to add some glow to your footwear.


Get Smart Shoe Phone

Honestly, who doesn’t want to make a shoe phone? Instructables member gardners has a series of Get Smart projects that look like a lot of fun. This one uses a mobile phone and bluetooth headset.

Beat Sneaks: Musical MIDI Shoes

Using force sensitive resistors and an Arduino, these cool sneakers translate your toe-tapping into triggers for sounds.

Motion/Other Interactions

Power Laces: The Auto Lacing Shoe

I love these ‘Back to the Future’ inspired sneakers that have been getting a lot of press lately. Great use of a servo and zip ties!

Joy Slippers

Hannah Perner-Wilson’s tutorial uses conductive fabrics to make analog pressure sensors in custom slippers. These can then act as controllers for a drawing program in the Processing environment.

Power Generating Shoe

This project hacks parts of a crank flashlight and places them in the heel of the shoe for a boost of power when you walk.

For more reading on technology in footwear check out:


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