What's Inside a Flashing LED Sneaker

Introduction: What's Inside a Flashing LED Sneaker

A look inside a Flashing LED Sneaker, the kind that seem to be very popular with kids these days. The object of this instructable is to show how sophisticated these seemingly simply sneakers are and how the many parts hidden in them can be used for other projects for little or no cost if you are willing to get them.

Below is a picture of this surprisingly high tech sneaker photographed will all 6 LED's lit and the 2nd picture is of the right sneaker before any dissection.

A good friend's family member had a pair of these sneakers so I had the opportunity to see them in action. Kids tend to outgrow footwear faster then wear them out so I placed my order and soon these well worn but still working LED sneakers were in my hands.

The "fruits" of this little project are shown in the next several steps..

Step 1: Tools Used

This was a very tough sneaker and required metal shears to dissect as well as two kinds of pliers and a sharp knife. Your sneaker dissection may vary and require other tools.

Here is the tool list in the order shown below:

Metal shears
Needle nose pliers
Flat nosed pliers
A sharp knife

Step 2: Amazing Circuit Layout

I was careful not to cut any of the wiring or damage the circuit as I exposed the inner most secrets of the left sneaker. That means proceed slowly when in doubt. The last thing to be removed was the inner sole (pliers required).

Step 3: LED Up Close

Here is a close up ( 3 views ) of one of the LED's. Note the epoxy "glob" used where the wires connect to the device.

Step 4: Perspective ( Over View)

Here is a top view with a ruler included for size reference. The 2nd picture shows another perspective.

Besides revealing the "secrets" of the Flashing LED Sneakers, this little project also provided me with free LED's, the circuit and batteries X2 ( one set from each sneaker) for future projects.

I was told these sneakers were powered by a ceramic piezoelectric crystal that was excited when stepped on during the walking/running process. That turned out not to be true for this set of sneakers, there are battery powered as seen in the first picture.

Go forth and harvest the goodies available in LED sneakers.

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    11 years ago on Introduction

    Could you post close up shots of the circuit board? I am curious what parts are used to make the circuit and what kind of switch triggers the lights.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Mikeasaurus: I have a dark corner in my bedroom where my dresser is located and the sock drawer is even darker! I have been considering a small flashlight stored in that drawer to solve that problem. There are several Instructables I've read about here making such a device and now I have the bits and the wiring info to make one. Hummmm maybe another Instructable in the making?


    12 years ago on Introduction

    You tore up a good pair of shoes for 6 LEDs and two batteries?


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for commenting. If you read carefully you would have noticed I said this pair of sneakers were “well worn”. If you look at the 2nd photo in the “intro” section you will noticed a small circle and a ragged edge at the tip (front) of the remaining sneaker,. These are holes and rips and this was the best of the two sneakers,. the one I dissected was in worse condition. I took them apart for science, discovery and knowledge not the parts. I'm pleased to pass that on to whomever is interested. The LED's, the circuit and batteries are a bonus for my effort . My hope is others looking for LEDS and information how to wire them can use this Instructable as a guide which could also prevent more of these cast off gems from ending up in a landfill.