LED Winged Feet Inspired by Race for the Cure #WearableWednesday

Each year participants get more and more creative with their gear for Race for the Cure. I’ve seen glowy tutus, sequined aprés run flip-flops and all sorts of hacked t-shirts. CaitlinsDad decided to step it up with these plush pink ribbons for his daughter’s feet. Since he’s one of the biggest Adafruit fans out there, he felt compelled to bring them to life with NeoPixels. Watch them glimmer with movement and feel free to build them yourself with his Instructable!


His design is a mod of the Firewalker LED Sneakers tutorial, although he decided to use a Trinket microcontroller instead of the FLORA. The Trinket fits into smaller spaces better, but I should mention that since this is a wearable, you could also opt for a GEMMA. CaitlinsDad made another interesting change, a tilt ball switch instead of the velostat. So, really the movement being sensed is the angle of the foot here, unlike the force of the foot landing like in the Firewalker scenario. It’s a good switch to use since this project doesn’t involve shoes. Also, keep in mind that the Trinket doesn’t have a serial monitor option in Arduino, so the tilt ball switch makes the code simpler. A AAA battery pack supplies power, but it is possible to use a small LiPo battery. I’m sure this was merely a safer choice since this project was for a child potentially running. It’s always a good idea to consider who your wearable is being designed for and what the potential hazards can be. Notice that the entire circuit fits nicely in the fleece material, forming a pocket around the ankle.


Well, you runners out there should be quite inspired by this project and ready to design some theme based running gear yourself. This project used both a NeoPixel ring, as well as a strip, so don’t be scared to combine styles to get the best look. You should definitely take a look at the Firewalker LED Sneaker guide to get the basics down. Then, think about which body parts are moving and what switches you might incorporate. Personally, I’m thinking about flex sensors when it comes to limbs bending. Anyway, have fun thinking about form and function for your outfit. Remember, winning isn’t everything, having the best blinky outfit can be pretty sweet, too.

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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