Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I am a Shoe Hacker

I have always been envious of the small children running around in their clever LED light-up stompy sneakers.  In a cruel twist of fate, small-minded shoe manufacturers seem to think that people with big feet (NOTE: I did not say "grown up" people) do not also want clever LED light-up stompy sneakers.

Well.  I didn't spend years of my life in a dark laboratory to be told "you can't do that", so I did.  I now have my own clever LED light-up stompy sneakers.  Below, my very first YouTube showing them in action -- PLUS!  Instructions on how to do it your very own self!

1) Obtain children's shoes with desired light-up feature.  I found some kid's shoes on clearance at K-mart for about $8.  They don't have to be wonderful shoes, just with working LEDs.

2) tools for vivisecting small shoes with LEDs.  Later you will want a drill of some kind.

3) disembowel small shoe, being careful NOT to cut the wires to the LEDs on the side of the shoe.

4) The actual device, shock activated, that powers the LEDs.  The colored wires go to the LEDs.  CAREFULLY pull the whole unit out and free the lights.

5) The controller and lights.  This is all you need from the small shoes.  Discard the rest or give to your local puppy to chew on.

6) Large shoe that fits me, and *also* does not have the concave heel surface like most running shoes now do (you need a thick, flat heel to accommodate the hole for the controller).  Here the three lights are dangling out of the holes I (carefully) drilled in the sole to the square hole excavated in the heel of the shoe to hold the controller.  Feeding the wires through was the most difficult part.

7) Another shot of the nearly assembled shoe.  I had to put small pieces of hard plastic top and bottom of the controller, then put the shoe liner over them, to get the lights to activate properly.  As you can see in the video, it doesn't always work perfectly.  The sole is much more shock-absorbing in this shoe than in the original kid's shoe, which probably has something to do with it.  Still, it works most of the time!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention sealing up the holes with the LEDs with clear caulk that you can find in any hardware store.


Anonymous DL Sly said...

Didja forget about the link I sent ya? Or were you just in the mood to *rewire* something??

2:52 PM, April 14, 2011  
Blogger Snarkatron said...

I'm *always* in the mood to rewire something. I checked your link when you sent it and they didn't have anything with the stompy option--continuous on or off only. Plus, I spent less than $50 my way vs. $150 and up ;-)

3:08 PM, April 14, 2011  
Anonymous DL Sly said...

I figured you were just more into the *rewiring* thing -- although the cost was/is the reason I don't have a pair from that website, as well. I can't wait to see the upgrades as you work out the bugs. If for no other reason than to be able to apply them to my old skool Reeboks.

6:18 AM, April 15, 2011  

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