Introduction: Rechargeable LED Illuminated NightShoe

Picture of Rechargeable LED Illuminated NightShoe

Hey Everyone! In this Instructable I'll show you how to light up your walk with your own LED illuminated shoes!

At first you may think that this is useless and an absolute waste of time. However, it serves an important purpose...
In my locality, accidents involving pedestrians, usually at night, have been increasing. Add to that the problems of rash driving, jaywalking and inadequate footpaths.

These LED shoes add a degree of safety while walking at night, while looking tremendously cool. So now you don't need to think twice when going for a late night walk!

Step 1: Materials...

Picture of Materials...

Time: ~1 hour

Cost: (excluding shoe) $5-10


Requirements: Very basic knowledge of electric circuits


  • A Shoe
  • LED Strip (RadioShack)
  • Rechargeable 9v battery* (eBay)
  • Paper clip
  • 9v Battery Snap
  • Insulation tape
  • PVA glue
  • Cynoacrylite or hot glue

*My LED strip requires more than 8.2v to run, so i needed a 9v battery. If you have an LED strip that can run on 5v, then using a power bank is better...

Step 2: Stick the LED Strip...

Picture of Stick the LED Strip...

First of all, remember to solder wires to the LED strip's terminal. Usually you'll get it done already when buying.

Stick the LED strip to the base of the shoe, as shown in the pictures above. Use a little PVA glue to keep the strip down firmly.

See the above pictures for help...

Step 3: Add Power...

Picture of Add Power...

I'll power the LED strip with a high power rechargeable 9v battery. Due to this the LEDs will last no more than 3 hours, but for me, that is enough. You can use power banks (made for phones) instead, but they give out only 5v, which wasn't enough for my LED strip that needed at least 8.2v to run.

Step 4: Finish...

Picture of Finish...

After making sure the battery is charged, clip it on to the battery snap. And there it is - your own LED illuminated shoe! The LEDs should light up nice and bright. If it doesn't, check for loose connection and check if you've connected the LED strip's terminals correctly to the battery.

Step 5: Conclusion...

Picture of Conclusion...

By the end of this make, you'll end up with a pretty cool looking sport shoe, that increases visibility at night while walking, reducing the chances of accidents and adding to your fashion statement! One problem with this shoe is rain... So I recommend that you stick the LED strip with hot glue or cyanoacrylite glue firmly to the shoe. You may not be able to run the LEDs when wet, but you certainly can after doing them.

Even then, you probably won't be able to play sports with it. However walking or running isn't at all a problem with this shoe...

Going Further...

Energy Harvesting

Many may suggest to harvest the energy generated by walking no power the LEDs. This was shown in ASCAS's Instructable.

However such an idea is very impractical. Using piezoelectric transducers will generate at the very most a hundred milliwatts of power. Another problem is storing thatvlittle energy in a battery. The way ASCAS did it - connecting the piezos directly to a li-po battery is extremely unsafe, inefficient and impractical. Moreover the piezo elements in the foot sole is quite uncomfortable (I tried it myself). So using this method is extremely impractical and unprofessional.

Arduinizing it...

I think incorporating an Arduino with this project will be awesome. Maybe use an RGB LED that will change colours depending on values it gets from an accelerometer. Or maybe add a pedometer function. Along with Bluetooth; the possibilities are endless...........


meteormurat (author)2015-02-10

great ible really good idea for nigth runners they r not mentioned at nigth most of the time

playafamily (author)2014-11-03

Awesome job on this one

out-of-the-box (author)2014-10-27

Usb battery banks can be stepped up to 12 volts with a non linear voltage booster. It'll output bright light and last longer.

Didn't get the particular one your asking from my dealer... He only had a 1-5v booster, which I'll be using for my next project...

TommyPFB22 (author)2014-10-27

Awesome project! I recently started learning about the strip LED's when I
put them on my boat. The possibilities are endless for your shoe
projects! The strips you are using are non-waterproof 3528 single color
chips. You can get the tri-color 5050 chips in a waterproof version that

would hold up against the elements and also have color change ability!
Also- you can use virtually any voltage between 5v and 12v with these-
it will affect the brightness marginally. 5v will still be a very
effective light.

s_buford (author)2014-10-22

Maybe you could make the battery last longer if you installed the pressure switch under the insole?

jproffer (author)s_buford2014-10-27

also add an oscillator, to cut power consumption in half and double battery life.

DangerousTim (author)s_buford2014-10-23

ooh nice... Can use a piezo for the purpose

kakashibatosi (author)s_buford2014-10-22

that's a good idea. combine this with a capacitor to create a "breath" effect and it'll look really cool.

garym1 (author)2014-10-23

Sorry but a really stupid question is on it's way. I love this brilliant idea. I'm always saying to my son who does run the main and country roads, at night, please be more visible to the idiots that can't/won't bother observing where they are pointing their vehicles. I don't run but I do walk. and can see the benefits. I am going to make this, but how do I know what volts I need. Do I buy a strip of led's that say 8.2 volts and it will work no matter how many bulbs are in the strip. I have big feet wife has small feet son has average feet. My feet are so big I once tripped and broke the small toe bone right in the middle. I went to the emergency room and the nurse took my temperature, my pulse my blood pressure and said open your mouth and popped a tea bag in it. I said hey your not making a mug out of me. Love this idea many thanks

DangerousTim (author)garym12014-10-27

I think I'll recommend that you find an led strip that can run on 5v or less, maybe from RadioShack or something... That way you can use a 5v powerbank to power the LEDs, which is more feasible...

If you dont, find such an led strip, you can go by my idea... Using a rechargeable 9v battery. You'll need a suitable chatger too.

Mihsin (author)2014-10-26

You know the sock straps Grand Dads used to wear in the roaring 20s? Use them to attach 9v batteries to each leg. You may also use "cash cable" down to the shoes to hide the wires. Why you wanted to fix the strip to the heels rather than to the toes of the shoes? Do you want rearlights when you "reverse"?

nejo0017 (author)2014-10-25

Very well done!

There's a project with RGB Neopixels at Adafruit.

JeffS2 (author)2014-10-24

great idea, at it's current stage, for a costume or a night out. my kids have shoes like this and when they walk they light up (blink). I think your idea would be great for jogging at night but the leds would have to be either broken up into segments to allow flex (creasing) in the soul as you flex your foot. I really like the concept though!!!

laith mohamed (author)2014-10-23

Beautiful work

teeter tot (author)2014-10-23

you wrote something about soldering…?

Also, can you show a photo of the side with the battery on it and your foot in the shoe, and where the heck the wires go? I don't get how it stays on and doesn't wobble around or get knocked off on trails.


fx73 (author)2014-10-23

waterproof version of LED strip would be nice.

megapix (author)2014-10-23

So are the batteries just hanging off the sides of the shoes?

DangerousTim (author)megapix2014-10-23

Not hanging, but it appears "stuck" to the side of the shoe... I know I should have made it stick to the inner side...

kakashibatosi (author)2014-10-22

Did you think about diffusing the the LED's to make a solid bar of light around the shoe? Perhaps dig out part of the sole and embed these in the bottom? Sounds like it would be a cool visual effect.

Nice idea.. Will try it soon

ThomasA1 (author)2014-10-20

If I can give one general advise: try it on an old shoe first.

Then if it works, salvage the parts and install it on the running shoes

DangerousTim (author)ThomasA12014-10-20

I don't think it really is required... You can test the LED strip on the shoe before securing it with super glue...

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-10-19

Oooo very pretty! I love the shoes you chose to go with the lights! Thanks for sharing!

About This Instructable




Bio: Linux n00b, hacker
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