Introduction: Wearable Shoe Phone

Picture of Wearable Shoe Phone

Any sane geek would think that something as cool as Maxwell Smart's shoe-phone would be everywhere. You'd think there'd be a company or two selling them online, and the internet would be filled with hobbyists boasting about how proud they are of them.

But it's only ever been done once. That's right, there has only ever been one wearable working shoe-phone made. And it was made by a guy named Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen in Adelaide (in the world's sexiest country), who hasn't yet fully documented how he did it here. He also made a shoe bluetooth-headset, and thankfully he provided plenty of details. If you're ever looking to make a shoe-phone that's a little more technical than mine, he's the guy to talk to.

Anyway, due to the detail he provides, this instructable is largely based on Paul's shoe-headset, except... with a phone.

Things you'll need:
1. A nice-looking pair of shoes with wooden heels. The heels need to be big enough to fit a box 77x43x17 mm. If they cant, you'll have bits sticking out.
2. A Panasonic GD55. I.e. a SERIOUSLY tiny phone.
3. Big feet (to put in the big shoes)

This is where I got it all:
1. Shoes from a local op shop. I had to go to a few to find something that was good, but I found them eventually - $10
2. Phone from Ebay. And it came with a free headset - $46
3. Feet... well, I've had them for a while...

1. Dremel
2. Kitchen knife and fork
3. Strong glue (Liquid Nails)
4. A tiny little Hex screwdriver
5. A drill
6. A jigsaw

To make sure your shoe has wooden heels, look at the side of the shoe. You should be able to see a small line between the base of the heel and the wooden bit.

Or, if you're lazy, you can just buy this one on eBay.

Step 1: Opening the Shoe

Picture of Opening the Shoe

The rubber base of the heel should be attached by some nails (four in my case) and some nice strong glue. Slide something thin between the wood and the rubber, and then gradually try to prise it away.

I started with a craft knife, widened the gap until I could use a dinner knife, widened the gap further, then inserted a fork. I used the fork as a crowbar, and finally managed to prise the rubber from the bottom.

Keep the rubber bit somewhere safe.

Now do the exact same thing with the wooden bit. You should now have three pieces - the shoe, the wooden heel, and and rubber heel-sole. Put them all aside for a bit.

Step 2: Preparing the Phone

Picture of Preparing the Phone

Remove the battery at the back of the phone. There are two screws, bottom left and bottom right, that are both covered by small stickers. Remove the stickers.

Note that the screws require tiny hex screwdrivers... If you already have one - GREAT - otherwise, take the phone to your local hardware store and show them - they should be able to find what you want.

Remove the screws, and then remove the phone's front face. Up the top of the circuit board, you might notice another little screw - remove it with the same screwdrivers.

Make sure to set the three screws aside somewhere safe.

Now you'll need to git off the phone's aerial. I just used a saw, and then sanded the stub back so it was almost flush with the phone. A tiny piece should fall out from the centre of the aerial, so it now has a nice hole in it. Solder a wire about 10cm long to the aerial's contact on the circuit board, and feed this wire through the hole where the aerial used to be.

You might like to spraypaint the front of the phone's case black now - just make sure you cover the screen with masking tape. I was silly, and waited until the phone was put back together.

Once you've put the phone back together, turn it on and make sure you're getting reception (and make sure you have a SIM card in the phone).

The phone is now ready to be put inside the shoe.

Step 3: Making a Hole in the Shoe

Picture of Making a Hole in the Shoe

Mark the area in the wooden heel the needs to be cut out to fit the phone. Make sure you have some way of charging the phone up. Drill big holes at the corners, and use a Jigsaw to cut yourself a hole.

Make sure the phone fits in the hole. Now you can glue and/or nail the wooden heel back onto the shoe.

Now it's time for you to do a bit of thinking:
Is your shoe going to be worn anywhere besides nice carpeted areas? If so, you'll want the phone to be completely covered by rubber, and you'll need to work out how you'll see the phone's screen etc. I'd recommend making a removable flap in the rubber, but still make sure you have easy access to the 'answer' and 'hang up' buttons at all time.

If, like me, your shoe-phone is more for show, and doesn't need to be taken over rough terrain, just cut a hole in the rubber sole a little bit smaller than the phone (just big enough to allow access to the buttons and the screen). I used a simple craft-knife for this.

Step 4: Putting the Phone in the Shoe

Picture of Putting the Phone in the Shoe

This is when I finally spraypainted the phone, after putting it back together. Now put a little bit of hot glue underneath the phone, and put it in place inside the shoe.

Then all you need to do is re-attach the rubber heel. I used a combination of nails and "liquid nails" (a strong all purpose slow-drying glue).

Finally, clamp everything down, and go to sleep. When you wake up, it'll be good. If you don't wait, it'll fall apart.

Step 5: Final Notes

Picture of Final Notes

Just so everyone knows, I have no experience with anything like this, besides the NESBlinky on this site, and my other instructable. I've never disassembled shoes, or anything like that.

I'm probably doing things the silly way - if you can think of a better way to do things like this, by all means try it out. And tell me - I'd love to improve my design.

I'd also like to say that if you're not careful, you could easily ruin the phone or the shoes. So be careful.

Finally, if anyone has any crazy ideas, please tell me. I'm considering turning the left shoe into an mp3 player, but I'm not sure how silly I'd look with a cable running from my shoe to my headphones...

Stay tuned (or subscribe to me and wait) for Shoe-Phone 2.0, where the phone will be completely concealed, and buttons will have to be moved. It'll be a lot more complicated, but the result will be six times better :)


paul the maker (author)2015-11-11

first time i saw this it made me lagh but you shold use a nokia it wold survive a nukela bomb

thepaul93 (author)2009-05-27

you from australia, i think the phone said 'yes optus'

mikeyberman (author)thepaul932009-05-27

Very observant :)

thepaul93 (author)mikeyberman2009-05-27

thanks :)

The nerdling (author)thepaul932011-08-09

go australia!

The nerdling (author)2011-08-09

whats a shoeduh?

RMDelete (author)2011-04-12

Interesting concept! Buuut I think I would never eat at your place no offense :) hahaha.

Koosie (author)2009-02-21

Try adding a feature that you can use your big toe to answer.

witmoreluke (author)Koosie2011-01-01

LOL! Yeah, that's a great idea. : D

simdude2u (author)2010-06-07

I don't want any dog poo in my ear.

Talik (author)2010-05-30

must blow to step in dog sh*t

pogoman12345 (author)2009-06-17

some one should make something like this must its a roller skate and its motorized that would be awsome

crampedyogapositions (author)2009-05-07

what happens if you step on something or it goes off ringing??

GORBACHEV99 (author)2009-03-26

It's will be good for the new 007 movie.

sammel (author)2009-02-27


mikeyberman (author)2009-02-26

Get Smart.

AndyGadget (author)2009-02-10

Here's a crazy idea . . . Try getting on a plane wearing this. I'm pretty certain you'd immediately become the centre of attention ;¬)

joshiers8605 (author)AndyGadget2009-02-10

lolllll, could you imagine seeing that on tv?, that would be greatttt

gardners (author)joshiers86052009-02-10
Well, you might not be able to see that one on TV, but you can see me using one of the ones that Michael spoke about in his instructible in this TV news report:

Of course, it is even more fun to use in real life, including when an interview about the shoe phone gets interrupted by the shoe phone ringing. Although the strangest moment so far would have to be when it first rang when I was driving.

Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen
joshiers8605 (author)gardners2009-02-10

did you pull over to answer it?, lol

gardners (author)joshiers86052009-02-10

I did, but it stopped ringing just as I went to answer it. I was a very Maxwell Smart kind of moment. It is surprisingly awkward to remove your shoe while sitting in the driver seat of a car. It's also funny the things that go through your mind at a time like that. The naughty impulse of "maybe I will just answer my phone and talk while I drive" tries to happen, but then gets awfully confused as the rest of your brain starts asking questions like "so how ARE you going to take your shoe off AND keep your foot on the accelerator at the same time?" Paul.

abuthemagician (author)gardners2009-02-11

cruise control

Or you make the phone into the LEFT shoe instead of the right, but what's done is done.

but i have a habit of using both feet. one for brake, one for accelerator.

Ok... if you use both feet to drive, you could have a bluetooth headset for driving, or have your calls redirected to your nifty carphone.

lol abuth, that would be a weird ticket to get, if you was in the right state, "talking on your shoe while you were driving"

Turtleholmes (author)2009-02-23

*Slaps head* You mean you've never heard of the original Get Smart television show? I'm so sorry, really. It was a masterpiece.

hellstudios (author)Turtleholmes2009-02-23

Indeed it was, but i havent seen it on TV land in awhile....did they stop running it?

pindalanderz (author)2009-02-22

not to be mean or anything, but this would annihilate your phone, be less efficient than almost any other idea you can think up, and it would wreck your shoe. (not a big deal really, about wrecking the shoe. I just needed three reasons to make a valid argument.) but seriously, I wouldn't trash my phone like that.

mikeyberman (author)pindalanderz2009-02-22

Yeah, it's hardly the most secure design, but you'd be surprised how well it works. I haven't worn it much, but I've triple checked that the phone has no contact with the ground. Anyway, once I've found the ideal shoes for Shoe-Phone 2.0, it'll be 100% guaranteed not to ruin anything.

moseph (author)2009-02-22

Don't you totally bust up your cell phone when you walk? I guess I drag my heels a lot but I'm pretty sure this thing would be toast after 15 minutes of use. Still, very cool concept.

troop316twins2 (author)2009-02-21

would it be easier to use a bluetooth adapter in the shoe and keep the phone in your pocket? You could dial using voice!

guitarman63mm (author)2009-02-19

I recommend placing the phone into the shoe via black epoxy, then it will meld seamlessly with the black rubber's look.

disturbedreaper (author)2009-02-19

ew i steped in gum and now its im my ear ew lol great ible

captainpoco (author)2009-02-19

Not To Be Worn In Airports. They get kind of edgy about this sort of thing.

bizz (author)2009-02-19

If you used high tops for the MP3, you could run speakers through the tongue and sides :D

dvsmith (author)2009-02-19

Why would you spray paint the phone at this step? It seems that it would have been much easier to do in step two, when you had the casing apart, without worry of clogging ports or the screen.

mikeyberman (author)dvsmith2009-02-19

good point dvsmith :) I'll update the instructable.

mikeasaurus (author)2009-02-11

the next step would be to make the Cone Of Silence!

gardners (author)mikeasaurus2009-02-11

I did make a cone of silence out of PETG plastic for the same event I made the shoe phone for. I also made a phone booth out of a 19" computer rack as well. Maybe I should put up an instructable on those ... Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen.

mikeyberman (author)gardners2009-02-11

oh my god PLEASE make an instructable for the cone of silence! that'd be so damn cool!

gardners (author)mikeyberman2009-02-12

Hi Mikey,

I have put the instructible up for the cone of silence.

Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen.

mikeyberman (author)mikeasaurus2009-02-11

A Cone of Silence would be amazing, I wish I had the skill (and equipment) to make one...

Zorink (author)2009-02-11

Weird, I actually drew up a quick sketch of a shoe phone design today. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to make it work like Max's, including the rotary dial.

mikeyberman (author)Zorink2009-02-11

You should talk to Dr Paul about this (paul AT g-s DOT es). His original design here didn't include rotary dial, but he mentioned to me that he's got a team of 4th Year Engineering students trying to get a rotary dial.

Send him an e-mail and he'll reply with ideas - he's very helpful :)

Zorink (author)mikeyberman2009-02-11

Thanks for the info, but I wasn't going to make it wearable, just a funny phone that could sit on your desk and look/work like the one from Get Smart. I'm too lazy to work on a functional wearable shoe

gardners (author)Zorink2009-02-11

Hi Zorink,

There is a mob who have made a bluetooth rotary dial telephone, which might be of interest to you, since if you don't want the shoe to be wearable, you might have space for their circuit and a real rotary dial.

When I make my rotary dialing shoe phone, I will probably use aspects of their circuit, but with a custom made low-profile rotary dialer.

qwerty29 (author)2009-02-10

this is sweet

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