An Expanding Shoe for People Suffering From Foot Swelling




About: The BCAMRL is a Mechatronics Research Lab, founded in 2014 on the campus of Bergen County Academies, a magnet high school within the Bergen County Technical School District. Students create innovations base...

The An Expanding Shoe for People Suffering From Foot Swelling is a product for those who are suffering from foot swelling. This product relieves the pain by using a mechanism constructed within the shoe, that is able to spread the area in the front of the shoe so that there is more space for the swollen foot. Many people suffer from swollen feet and face difficulties with outdoor activities primarily because their shoe is tight and uncomfortable. As a solution to this problem, we have come up with the idea to make the An Expanding Shoe for People Suffering From Foot Swelling which offers the option to adjust the width of the shoe to fit a swollen foot. This helps because an average shoe causes pain due to the enormous amount of pressure applied to the swollen parts of your foot by your shoe. Inside our revolutionized shoe, DC motors and gears are installed and are able to adjust the width of the shoe to provide space and increase comfortability for your foot. The inside of the shoe will be modified with memory foam to offer extra comfort. This way the shoe will conform to the shape of your foot and it won’t be as uncomfortable. As of 2012, 29.1 percent of Americans suffer from diabetes. Also, other diseases that cause foot swelling include Lymphedema, Venous Insufficiency and ankle/foot injuries. In addition, pregnancies are one of the main causes for swelling of the foot as well. The An Expanding Shoe for People Suffering From Foot Swelling will be able to target a large percentage of customers who suffer from foot swelling and will be available in an affordable price range as well as many different sizes. The FlexShoe is a revolutionary innovation and will help millions of people worldwide. No longer will it be a pain to walk in your shoe.



Basic Parts - Screws, Springs, Electronic Wires, Rivets, Nails



Screw shaft

DC torque motor

Breadboard (Not in Final Product)

H-Bridge (Not in Final Product)

9V Duracell Battery

Force sensor (Not in Final Product)


Foam Pad

Red Leather



Step 1: Prototyping the Shoe With a Cardboard

(NOTE: This step is not necessary, but is recommended to get an idea for the size of the shoe)

First, outline a shoe on a piece of cardboard. Then, cut out the cardboard with a box cutter. Next, outline another identical shoe on a piece of cardboard. Finally, cut out this piece to creating the wings and the heel, as shown in the picture

Step 2: Cutting the Base of the Shoe

Firstly, outline a shoe on a piece of wood. Secondly, cut out the wood outline using the saw. Thirdly, cut a rectangular hole in the heels for the DC motor

Step 3: Constructing the Wings of the Shoe

To start off, trace the base of the shoe onto another piece of wood. Then, draw the wing shoe. Next, cut out the wing using the saw. Lastly, sand the bottom so it is smooth to turn.

Step 4: Placing the Screw Holes

Place the wing on top of the base so they match. Drill the hole through both the wing and the base and then make 3 rectangular holes in each wing. Drill another hole in the base where the outside end of each rectangular hole is and put in the screws with washers.

Step 5: Assembling the Opening Mechanism

Make three lateral, rectangular holes in each wing with a 1.5 inch gap in between and locate the screw hole on the shoe base so they match the outside end of the rectangular holes in the wing. Place a spring in the rectangular hole of the wing with enough space left for the screw.

Step 6: Adding Gears and Parts

Connect a 8 inch screw shaft to the DC motor. Where the shaft ends, screw in the shaft support. Make a wedge with wood/plastic and connect it to a screw washer. Connect the screw washer to the shaft and then glue in the DC motor in the hole that was previously cut. Make sure the shaft is on the same side as the wing.

Step 7: Adding Design

First, acquire a reasonably sized leather and then trace two side pieces, one heel piece and one toe piece. Cut out the leather using scissors and attach the leather to the shoe by using wood glue.

Step 8: Attaching Metal Sheet

Trace and cut out a metal sheet that corresponds to the dimensions of the back plate and then glue on the metal sheet, with wood glue.

Step 9: Constructing the Heel

Trace out multiple heel patterns on cardboard. Cut out the heels with an exacto knife. Stack the heel patterns and glue them together with wood glue.

Step 10: Wiring All the Electrical Components

Manual Mode:

In the manual mode, a switch with a reversed polarity was attached to the motor, using solder. The wire ends were then connected to a 9V battery for operation.

Autonomous mode (Using an Arduino Uno Microcontroller):

First, wire the motor to the H-Bridge. Use pin #9 on the Arduino Uno to connect it to the H-Bridge. Attach a custom made flex sensor to the Arduino Uno. Lastly, connect a 9V battery to H-Bridge and another 9V battery to the Arduino Uno.

Arduino Code:

Step 11: Making the Switch

Take a standard switch and cross the wiring and solder the wiring and connect it to the DC motor.

Step 12: Creating Removable Bottom for Heel

Trace one heel pattern onto cardboard. Use a box cutter to cut out this newly traced heel shape. Lastly, attach this cut out piece to the shoe, using tape.

Step 13: Building the Shoe Pedestal

Gather two planks of wood. Use screws to create an L-shape. Near one end of the L-shape, add a metal hook.

The shoe is complete!

Below is a video of the functioning product:




    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure



    2 years ago

    sounds extraordinarily uncomfortable, like walking in downhill ski boots. Wouldn't it be better to adjust to top area with a more controlled and localized lacing structure? you could still use the heel to contain the controls, you just need to provide channels for the laces in the sole area so the channels are semi rigid and don't pull the sides (rather than the top) tight.