Whether you’re checking your email, listening to music, navigating a new neighborhood, or playing a game one thing is clear: Mobile gadgets are great. The only downside is that the small batteries that make things like a phone or mp3 player portable don’t have a very long lifespan. So how can those batteries be extended for all-day use? An extra battery pack or solar charger could help but one cool alternative is to generate the power yourself.

That’s right, it’s possible to generate electricity simply by walking around with a cool pair of DIY power-generating shoes.

Here’s what you need:

  • A pair of shoes with a fairly thick sole.

  • Two hand crank-powered flashlights.

  • A cell phone charger.

  • Some scrap wood.

  • A spring.

  • Some wire.


Once you have all the materials assembled, it’s time to get to work. The first step is to hollow out the heel of the shoes. The hole must be deep enough to house the generator assemblies from your flashlights. Next, take apart the flashlights and remove the generators and their gears. Once these pieces have been removed, it’s time to attach them to the wood. This wooden frame will hold the generators in place inside the heel of the shoe.

Once the generators are fixed in their wooden frame, build an axle by screwing the two largest gears from inside the flashlight to either side of a strip of wood. This will connect to the generators in the assembly and point towards the back and most open part of the heel. Attach the spring to the axle and position it so it compresses inside the shoe. This way, the spring will push the axle back out into the starting position after each step.

Finally, pass the wires out of the shoe—either through a hole drilled in the back of the heel or up through the footbed—and solder the wires to the cell phone charger.

The result is a little weird looking but a very cool option for charging on the go.