Pedal Pusher: A Stylish Illuminated Cycling Shoe

Pedal Pusher is an ongoing design research project that I am undertaking with my friend and colleague Magdalena Paluch.

We are currently investigating design solutions that will get more women interested in bike commuting. As women  are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities, our goal is to design wearable systems that can alleviate most women's concerns of safety and comfort. 


We are taking a human-centered approach to designing solutions which will include numerous concept and material prototypes and ethnographic research. I plan on blogging about our findings and solutions as we move from one prototype to another.  


All that being said, our first prototype involves a wearable system that incorporates a stylish cycling shoe along with a custom pedal design. The shoe illuminates in the front and heel for increased visibility. 


We are currently working on the custom pedal design which will use kinetic energy to power the shoe. 


As it was our first time designing a shoe, we focused our first round predominately on a formal and material study.  We developed a beautiful new lightweight material made out of guinea feathers. In addition, we created stretchy and flexible electronic circuitry embedded in silicone that is waterproof and, in addition, diffuses the LED lights to a nice soft glow. I will write another post on the circuitry at a later date. 


Future designs will incorporate a "smart" sole that will deal will the ergonomics of cycling to prevent injury. 


The Pedal Pusher made its debut at the StyleX. Austin is a huge cycling city and, to my delight, I received wonderful feedback! So stay tuned, as this project continues to evolve. 

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Comment by Melissa Coleman on April 3, 2011 at 8:25am
Cool. I also really like the display you've made.
Comment by Syuzi on March 25, 2011 at 3:36pm
steven, I will definitely be in touch regarding our ideas on the sole. next few weeks are dedicated to doing some research with female urban cyclists and we hope to sum our findings in the next few months.
Comment by Steven Smith on March 25, 2011 at 11:12am
Let me know if I can help you with any advice or info on construction or sole needs for cycling. I have 25 years design experience n the Athletic industry.
Comment by Matt Dorsey on March 23, 2011 at 6:32am
this is rad
Comment by matt pinner on March 22, 2011 at 11:58am

firstly, this is killer. only now do i feel the lose of having missed Sxsw.

secondly, i see no reason why anyone wouldn't want one.

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