Instructables
Picture of DIY Flashing Shoes
This is my instructable for the creation of adult sized flashing shoes. It was actually a project I was building for a friend that wanted a pair of shoes that would light up. Being as electronics is my hobby and line of work I decided I would make him a custom pair.

Initally I was simply going to use a force resistive sensor, a couple cheap comparator chips and run the on/off output of the comparator into a 555 trigger to send out a burst of flashing. The plan was to calibrate the sensor to trigger only during heavy G loading (ex. Foot contacting the ground) to keep the flashing from constantly triggering when the person was simply standing still.

Due to the cost of FSR sensors, and the bulky size of my homemade ones I had to scrap the idea. I needed a solution that would come in under $30 and work reliably (I also tried pedometer circuit hacking...but was very unsatisfied with the results). Due to my budget and time constraints using a simple one time programmable PIC was also out of the equation (could not find a cheap reliable sensor for flash triggering without using a FSR).

Final solution, let someone else do the hard work and simply hack up a cheap pair of kids flashing shoes to work with my larger design! This would be inexpensive, very reliable, durable, and would not eat up a bunch of my time. Prefect!
 
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Step 1: Find Your Donor

Picture of Find Your Donor
Find a suitable flasher shoe donor. The one I finally settled on was a pair of kids winter boots. I used these because they had a the brightest LED's, I liked the flashing pattern and all the electronics were contained in the fleece linner top...nothing was embedded into the rubber sole making it much easier to remove.
pmurch3 years ago
Any chance I can pay you for a pair?
Confounded Machine (author)  pmurch3 years ago
If you were local I would say no problem (Canada)...shipping costs added onto the parts and labor price might make it a little more costly tho...In all honesty its quite a simple (but tedious) job just hacking a pair of store bought shoes into a bigger pair.

I had an idea to use pressure sensitive pads under the heels driving a small micro controller so that I could do more fancy things like setup a user programming mode.
eg.
5 quick taps within 1 sec could change modes from single pulses per step, flashing pulses, strobe, etc.

I also had an idea to go ultra crazy and run multiple pressure sensors along the bottom of the shoe and run a large amount of LEDs along the whole sole of the shoe so that the lights would light in succession with the contact point of the shoe(pressure on the toe lights up the toe, pressure to the heal lights the heal).
"5 quick taps within 1 sec could change modes from single pulses per step, flashing pulses, strobe, etc."

That would be sick!

I mean I am about to buy these light up shoes but they only light up one color, they flash but nothing you can control like that I'm sure. I am about to spend about
120 bucks with shipping and all to get them, I don't know how much it would cost you bust I would obviously give up some more if I had multi colored lights. I don't know you obviously know alot about electronics, I know I would never be able to pull that off. Maybe I can compensate you if you put up a "How To" video on youtube?
Confounded Machine (author)  pmurch3 years ago
Hmmm,
Well to save some $$ on shipping heavy shoes around I could assemble a "kit" of sorts. Something where everything is already connected/programmed and you could simply install the force sensors, uController, and LED's in the shoes of your choice.

I do have a Etsy account where I sell little gadets and gizmo's I make. If your seriously interested fire me your general location (US, Can, UK, etc.) and a price you would consider fair and I'll see if I can get something together.

tato3123 years ago
nice shoes dude! you should post a video showing how the leds work and stuff! that would be great :)
Confounded Machine (author)  tato3123 years ago
Thanks man,
I however now longer have the shoes...they were built for a friend of a friend. I do have the giant glass beer boot ('das boot') I traded for them tho ;).
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