Illuminated Shoes
October 14, 2005 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Tell me about little kids' shoes, the ones with the flashing LEDs.

What are they called? Is it just a specific brand?

It's curious that I never see 'em advertised -- guessing that's because I'm in the wrong (non-breeder) demographic.

And imagine my disappointment when I learned they're powered with batteries -- this nerd assumed they were piezoelectric, as a standard project in any Science Fair when I was growing up involved the light bulb, the crystal, and the hammer.
posted by Rash to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
They're definitely not one specific brand. You can get them everywhere. In fact, it's hard to avoid them.
posted by jrossi4r at 10:41 AM on October 14, 2005

They don't really have a name, either -- I suspect if they do, it's up to regional and/or kid interpretation. Red seems to be the dominant light color, and they're mostly found on the low cost end of the sneaker spectrum.

My kid's had several pairs in the last few years, and only once have I noticed that a light had stopped working. Given the abuse her shoes get, that's pretty impressive (or depressive, depending on how you look at it....)
posted by gnomeloaf at 11:13 AM on October 14, 2005

LA Gear? LA Lights? one of those were the ones that were cool when i was in elementary school.
posted by at 11:19 AM on October 14, 2005

I got my two-year old's at Target for 14 bucks.

It's fun to watch him walk around bent over at night trying to see the lights.
posted by UncleHornHead at 11:30 AM on October 14, 2005

If you want something self-powered you could get Squeaker Shoes...
posted by plinth at 1:07 PM on October 14, 2005

I'm almost certain that LA Gear initially popularized it in the late 80s. Afterward, plenty of other companies came out with knock-offs... I think it was British Knights that made the light-up shoes that were usually the consolation prize on Double Dare (a game show for kids on Nickelodeon).
posted by aiko at 1:13 PM on October 14, 2005

I got a pair of these as a child. I developed an abnormal terror of the batteries wearing out and couldn't wear them without bursting into sobs. They stayed in the back of my closet, perfectly white and with full batteries.
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:21 PM on October 14, 2005

I'm almost certain that LA Gear initially popularized it in the late 80s.

This is what I remember from running around the playground in the late '80s and early '90s.
posted by oaf at 2:36 PM on October 14, 2005

I remember seeing adults in such shoes. I happened to catch some footage on a reality show one time where the cops were chasing some complete idiot who was breaking into houses at night, wearing these shoes. It was easy to chase him in the dark!
posted by Goofyy at 11:35 PM on October 16, 2005

Response by poster: My father also loves that story, Goofyy; but I've never myself observed an adult wearing them.

This just in -- Illuminated Sneakers.
posted by Rash at 2:01 PM on October 18, 2005

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