Remember when you were 5 and there were those wicked light up shoes that your parents NEVER LET YOU HAVE because they were too expensive or some other lame excuse? 

Well, fret no more! At Electric Thread, we were inspired by those light up sneakers, and decided to create our own "adult" version. A little bit more socially acceptable than cramming our feet into the largest size kid shoes we could find, a la Grimm Brother's Cinderella step-sister style, we think these lifts are the solution to everyone's inner 5-year-old angst.

Check 'em out in action:


Step 1: What You'll Need


If you're on a budget, we would recommend going to your local Goodwill or Savers to find the shoes. But, if you have the cash any store will do, just remember that you'll be drilling into the heels! The heel of  your shoe is going to be the most important part because that is where all of your lights and batteries will be.
You need a pretty solid heel that will give you enough room to store everything but won't break on you. We found some at Kohls that were under $40. The type of heel really will effect how you have to drill and place in the lights so you will have to work with what you get! The shoes we found were also a half a size too big, giving our female half a little bit of room for the batteries. Since we're using button cell batteries, you could get something that fits perfectly, just keep in mind a battery pack will be in your shoe with you.

The heel construction image below is from here. If you want to learn more about the history and building of heels, check it out!


5mm White LEDs (these fit best in our heels, and the white looks CLASSY)

Resistors- Depending on what kind of LEDs and batteries you use, you'll need different resistors. If you're newer to electronics, check out http://ledcalculator.net/. We used 3.5v LEDs wired in parallel and slightly underpowered them with a 3v button cell battery because we were lazy and didn't feel like adding resistors... if you're curious as to why this is okay and why you usually should put a resistor on an LED, read THIS 

Batteries- The smaller the battery, the shorter life it will have driving the LEDs. Go with the biggest button cell your space allows to reduce the need to change batteries. We used the CR2032 3v battery- it's about the size of a quarter.

Battery holder- You can find these at RadioShack. Pick the right holder for your battery!

Momentary Switches- We bought some surface-mount momentary switches. Surface mount things can be pretty tough to solder if you're new to it... but they're really not THAT bad. We ordered the MJTP1140TR switches from didgikey.com, but you could use any tactile momentary switch. The selection at Radioshack and Fry's is pretty meh, so try digikey to avoid frustration. Be sure you get the RIGHT kind of momentary switch... that is, it turns ON when pressed and is normally off.

Wire- I used 24 gauge solid core wire. Solid core is easier to push down the heel, but you can do whatever you'd like.

A few pieces of copper PCB- for building the circuit and triggering the button.

Other Tools:

Dremel- Seriously, this thing really came in handy.
Drill- useful for, well, drilling.
Super Glue- it's fast. it holds. We recommend Gorilla Glue brand.
My sister and I got to have a pair of the light-up shoes, and sadly, they always guaranteed our failure at playing Hide-and-Go-Seek in the dark of summer. Black Electrical tape over the sensors didn't really work either. This is certainly a fun idea for clubbing or whatever occasion you'd wear these to, plus you'll make sure that oncoming traffic will see you :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi! We're Electric Thread, a brother-sister maker duo that is obsessed with art, fashion, lights, and music. This instructables account will feature the stuff ... More »
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