Welcome new visitors!

Keep in mind this Instructables was published almost 5 years ago! I've learned a lot since than, expanded my workshop, and am attempting to turn Power Laces into a viable, soon to be released product!

Check out www.Power-Laces.com for more information, and thank you for visiting and commenting!


Why wait until 2015?

Inspired by 'Back to The Future II', this project is less 'Practical' than 'Proof of Concept', but hopefully it'll tide you over until Nike comes out with something more polished.

This was also the first time I worked with an Arduino microcontroller, and I wanted to get some experience with the little guy.

Operation is quite simple- step into the shoe and a force sensor reads the pressure of your foot and activates two servo motors, which apply tension to the laces, tightening the shoe. A touch switch reverses the servos.

Due to budget constraints, I only modified one shoe. Where did I put that darn sports almanac?!

And if you get a chance, vote for me in the Instructable USB contest!

Step 1: Parts & Tools


A shoe  // a hightop with a lot of padding and undersole seemed easiest to work with and modify

Arduino  // I used the Duemilanove

Motor shield // The kit from adafruit.com works great, and allows control of multiple types of motors

Force sensor // Also got this from adafruit.com

Servo Motors  // again, also from adafruit.com.  Gotta save on that shipping whenever you can!

Sheet metal // about 4" x 4", enough to keep it's shape but easily trimmed with shears

LED and a couple of resistors  //  I only had  1K's laying around, so that's what I used

9 Volt case, with built in battery clip and switch

Insulated copper wire // I used high and medium gauge

Plastic zip ties, various sizes  // I went through a lot of these

Plastic 1/2" cable loops  // used for organizing cables

1/8" braided nylon paracord  // 10' should be enough


Just the basics- soldering iron, screwdrivers, etc.  A hot glue gun is handy, too.


A USB A to B cable and a computer to load the Sketch to the Arduino.

<p>There is a company called AMERICAN HIGH VOLTAGE originally from El Cajon in San Diego. They relocated to Elko, Nevada. I worked for them for a couple of years. The owner, Gary Hannington has a PHD in electronics. He is a genius. Anyways they specialize in making self contained potted and canned indestructable electronic devices smaller, much smaller than the original. For instance the Israeli Air force went to him with their pilots helmets that had 16 oz. of electronics in their heads up display visors which doesnt seem like a lot until you're pulling 5 or 6 G's then its like 25 pounds being thrown around attached to your head. This guy got the electronics down to 5 or 6 ozs. He's expensive but you might give him a call and see what he can do for you if you're really thinking of selling these things. I mean they've got to be bullet proof </p>
<p>This is going to be the new thing!</p>
<p>can u pls help me in prototyping ur version 2.0 I like it very much </p><p>just tell me how u wired and mounted the electronics under the sole..</p>
<p>i dont mean to be mean but those are the ugliest shoes i have ever seen!</p>
Rube Goldberg would be so proud! ?
<p>Just in time for October 21, 2015 - the REAL future in BTTF. Thanks for making the future! :-)</p><p>http://www.october212015.com/</p>
<p>Cool idea but it is not a working concept. The laces don't actually tighten down.</p>
<p>thats why Step 8 says &quot;This usually requires a lot of little adjustments to get it right-&quot;</p><p>you won't be able to wear them in 5g's but with proper &quot;little adjustments&quot; you will be able to have each lace firm up enough upon activation so the shoe won't kick off doing the Can-Can</p>
This is amazing! There is a wearable tech contest which I think you should enter!
All you need now is his self-drying jacket
haha and even a hoverboard
<p>Hoverboards have been invented... search up hendo hoverboard on kickstarter. It can hover on copper surfaces</p>
<p>Self Drying Jacket:<br>80's style windbreaker (the water proof kind) sewn inside a not so water proof jacket, small PV cells, small rechargable batteries in a water proof container, some 1u server fans, lots of ducting to go between the jackets - trigger the fans, air blows through everything.... ooooh wait, how to waterproof the fans... maybe have a valve system that opens when the fan is in operation? Hmmm...<br>and this is where my creativity falls flat in the coy pond. </p>
<p>Alright I just wrote down all the supplies ill need I'm going to make a pair of these.</p><p>These are really cool</p>
<p>If I were you i would use a worm wheel with a resistance detection, could be adjustable. and you could fit the code onto a ATiny. This will lower your profile and maximize the tension around the foot/ankle. Email me if you have questions! servos only have so much torque.</p>
<p>And to add. you could add a foot step counter with a bluetooth connection also low profile. all could if into less than 1x1 inch board. antenni could be routed around top rim.</p>
<p>so effing impressive! I can imagine this real world app for people with mobility problems or diabetes, where too much tension affects circulation in the feet. Kudos!!</p>
<p>Great proof-of-concept idea. Obviously not practical, as you mentioned, but very cool.</p>
<p>Can you send the idea of your project to me ..</p>
<p>Adidas are apparently bringing out trainers with self-tying laces later this year, 2015.</p><p>How about that.</p>
<p>Actually I think it is Nike that are doing this.</p>
<p>great idea, but the little box at the back would put me off</p>
<p>What force sensor did you use, can you be specific or send me a link</p>
plz send me ardino codes<br>
<p>The circuit is too big, but this is really a great idea</p>
<p>this can be marketeable if you find a way to conceal the circuit</p>
<p>can you do a tutorial on version 2.0 and will it work with the shoe you used for version 1, &amp; what shoe did you use for version 1?</p>
<p>Would these shoes be comfortable, if so if you could rate it 1-10 before and after the modifications.</p><p>thank you</p>
Great project. Nice picture
can u sell them to me plz
can u sell them to me plz
Put that on/in nike air mags
I love the color!
Nice this is great. If it works by itself do you have to get <a href="http://www.sldins.com/autoins.php" rel="nofollow">auto insurance frankfort</a>?
Any ideas where I can find these amazing nikes?! I am in love with them, but can't find them!
Please Help Fund This Project!!! <br> <br>http://www.indiegogo.com/MicroMissile?show_todos=true&amp;a=1626754
I just see the version 2.0, and wow just shut up and take my money!!
Incredible. To make it more compact, use an Arduino Nano or similar model. (Ardweeny)
A teensy!!!
Are there more models for being able to pick your favourite colours?
Can u please post instructions on how to make the v2.0
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ive been wanting to get a set of these all my life!!!!! <br>when i was older i loved experimenting with time machines<br>
wow, wonderful. a better finish will be, puting a pic microcontroller and the servo in the sole, this way you cannot see all the stuff on the back, its ugly to see
google Power Laces v2.0 ;)
does arduino uno work?
This inspired me to make my own version in the future with it built in to the shoe though ill post a pic when I'm done
hey i saw the version 2 ill pay big bucks for those <br>
Hey, where's version 2?
GREAT SCOTT!!!!!!! i'll have 2 try it

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