Also, check out Power Laces: Version 2.0

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

Picture of 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.

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cristoph2 months ago
All you need now is his self-drying jacket

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!!

jaksherry5 months ago

Great proof-of-concept idea. Obviously not practical, as you mentioned, but very cool.

XenonJohn7 months ago

Adidas are apparently bringing out trainers with self-tying laces later this year, 2015.

How about that.

Actually I think it is Nike that are doing this.

Snellingkorey7 months ago

great idea, but the little box at the back would put me off

What force sensor did you use, can you be specific or send me a link

plz send me ardino codes
davidbarcomb9 months ago

The circuit is too big, but this is really a great idea

danmellow1 year ago

this can be marketeable if you find a way to conceal the circuit

jameswraps1 year ago

can you do a tutorial on version 2.0 and will it work with the shoe you used for version 1, & what shoe did you use for version 1?

Would these shoes be comfortable, if so if you could rate it 1-10 before and after the modifications.

thank you

memcha1 year ago
Great project. Nice picture
Soccer3331 year ago
can u sell them to me plz
soccer1231 year ago
can u sell them to me plz
rmatos51 year ago
Put that on/in nike air mags
Chloe82 years ago
I love the color!
Any ideas where I can find these amazing nikes?! I am in love with them, but can't find them!
Cament2 years ago
I just see the version 2.0, and wow just shut up and take my money!!
Cobalt594 years ago
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?
Crazyted3 years ago
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!!!!!
when i was older i loved experimenting with time machines
jimmytvf3 years ago
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
blakebevin (author)  jimmytvf3 years ago
google Power Laces v2.0 ;)
jtroyetsky3 years ago
does arduino uno work?
jtroyetsky3 years ago
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
baterman3 years ago
hey i saw the version 2 ill pay big bucks for those
klessy3 years ago
Hey, where's version 2?
ewhite fox4 years ago
GREAT SCOTT!!!!!!! i'll have 2 try it
mattglas4 years ago
Can you please help I can't find the Motor shield or the Servo Motors I looked at adafruit.com but no luck can you give me a link to them or tell me the names? Also where can I get the shoes
Servo motors can be found at any RC hobby shop. Pololu also carries servos.
i literally died laughing at the photo of the arduino and the airport caption you have quite the sense of humor haha
so...did you posses your computer?
yea my soul went into the computer and i'm processing like there's no tomorrow
eoutlaw4 years ago
Oh snap! Those are so cool. My brother loves Back to the Future, and I want to make these for him. I'll probably mess them up though and e-mail him this Instructable saying, "I tried." :-D Nice job!!!
tylerx744 years ago
give me a link to buy these shoes plz :)
Very interesting, I wouldn't want a pair though. Ever heard of velcro?
jdelgado14 years ago
I need a pair!!! xD
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