Sparkle shoes

Shine your shoes with leds.

Similar projects worth following
Twinkling led shoes, that react to your steps.

I made these for a friend, for the use in a body paint competition.

All the 19 leds are charlieplexed. The IR emitter and pullup on the detector, of the reflective sensor, are part of the led matrix. Otherwise I'd have to sacrifice a pin, an would only be able to drive 12 leds. A button attached to the reset pin is used to turn the device on and off (deep sleep mode). Squeezing the maximum out of all available GPIOs.
The leds have a variable refresh rate of at least 131hz, with 4-bit brightness control, and gamma correction.


Schematic in PDF form

Adobe Portable Document Format - 100.76 kB - 09/08/2018 at 18:33



Empty Arduino INO file, so I can run straight C++, but still use the Arduino IDE

ino - 16.00 bytes - 09/08/2018 at 18:35



Main code

cpp - 11.69 kB - 09/08/2018 at 18:34



Left and Right shoe lookup table

h - 2.67 kB - 09/08/2018 at 18:34


kicad_pcb - 77.38 kB - 09/08/2018 at 15:32


View all 8 files

View all 15 components

  • 1
    Mark led positions

    (The dog inspected, and approved my work)
  • 2
    Pull fishing wire

    Since I wanted all the electronics to be attached to the inside of the heel, all the wires for the leds had to get to this spot. So I tried to drill a hole, right in the center of the sole. Not a great idea, as apparently there's a piece of very hard metal embedded in the sole, to prevent flexing. Two drillbits later, I figured this out, and decided to drill more to the side of the sole.

    Using a small drill bit in my hand, and made a small hole in the leather where each of the leds were going to be. Using a dremmel, with an engraving bit I removed tiny bit of the thickness of the leather, so each leds would sit slightly below the surface. This will make the leds blend in more, and reduce the risk of getting damaged.

    Using needles and pliers I ran a piece of fishing line from each of the leds positions, between the leather and the inner lining, to the heel. This took a lot of effort, and broken needles.

    But afterwards I ended up with this:

    And a whole tangle of wires of the other end.

  • 3
    Prepare the leds

    I measured out lengths of 0.1mm enameled copper wire. Folded the wire in the middle and twisted the two parallel wires together. This way you end up with a loop at one end, which is used to pull it through the shoe in the next step. I then soldered a 0805 white led to the other end. I applied a bit of nail varnish to prevent shorts and to strengthen the connection.

    I created different lengths, since there was a nearing deadline, and I was running low on enameled wire. Not ideal.

View all 7 instructions

Enjoy this project?



bxjaj746 wrote 08/04/2023 at 12:41 point

Through meticulous curation, I have minimalist work boots endeavored to offer nothing short of the finest tips and insights to those who toil relentlessly, ensuring that your valuable time and effort find optimal channels for growth and fulfillment. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

liyim53564 wrote 12/01/2021 at 10:21 point

What a great idea I don't know how it worked but the idea deserves appreciation just because its unique similarly safety shoes are very unique you can check here.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates