Super Brite LED Sneakers 1.0 using an Arduino

Arduino LED Sneakers (2)

Create your own Super Bright LED-lined sneakers that blink with multiple patterns.


– 1 color LEDs
– 6 patterns
– reed sensors + magnets that give you control to step through patterns
– detachable velcro design
– small, wearable microcontroller + power

Arduino LED Sneakers (2)

Step 1: Parts & Tools

Super Bright LEDs (35 or more per sneaker, depending on shoe size)
120 Ohm resistors (1 or every LED, ohm-age flexible)
Electrical Tape
Sticky Back Velcro
2 RBBB (Really Bare Bones Board Arduino)
2 Slde switches
24 gauge bare wire
2 Reed Sensors
2 6V (medical) batteries
2 AA plastic battery holders
Servo wire & connectors
2 Neodymium magnets
2 iPod nano arm bands
Spare piece of plastic (approx 1″x1″) 

Tape measure
Awl, pin, or something to poke a hole with
Soldering station (iron & solder)
Needle-nose pliers
5 minute Epoxy
Mini hand saw

Arduino code:


Step 2: Make Strips

Measure sneaker
Measure the circumference of your sneaker.  Add 6 inches to that figure and cut two strips of Sticky Back Velcro to length.  Put aside the “loop” side of the velcro for now.

Cover with electrical tape
Cover the sticky side of the “fuzzy” velcro strip with electrical tape.  Remove the backing from the fuzzy piece of velcro (it’s very sticky!).  Carefully attach electrical tape (sticky side to sticky side) to the velcro.  This is going to be the exterior backing for the LEDs so make it look smooth.  Do it slowly so you don’t make any wrinkles.  I used long strips and overlapped them to cover the entire area.  Trim off any excess with a scissors.

Step 3: Measure & Poke holes

Use a ruler and a sharpie to mark off 3/4″ segments on the electrical-tape side of the fuzzy velcro strips.

Take your poker (pin, awl, etc.) and poke two small holes on each side of each mark.  This is where you will thread your LED through later on.  Make the holes about 3/16″ apart.

I used the pointy side of a circle cutter to make the holes and then later re-poked them with a pin to make the holes bigger. You probably have a better tool than mine to get this done easily.

Step 4: Insert LEDs

Check LEDS
Before inserting…check each LED to make sure it’s working!  I quickly checked mine with my breadboard + Arduino.Arduino LED Sneakers Circuit (2)

My LEDs came from Ebay.  You can get packs of 100 super bright LEDs for a few bucks.  My sneakers each needed 35 LEDs, so 1 pack was plenty for one pair of sneaks.

Poke each LED through the holes you just made.  I chose to orient them so that the negative (shorter lead) was on the top when holding the velcro strip vertical.  Insert enough LEDs to wrap around the entire shoe (remember you have some extra velcro on the end).

Once all the LEDs are in, bend the negative leads to the left, flat against the fuzzy stuff.

Step 5: Solder Ground

Using your 24 gauge bare wire, solder all of the negative leads together.  Leave a few extra inches of wire at the end.  Clip the excess from each LED.


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