The initial lighted sneaker designs were the "LA Lights" series from LA Gear. However, they were only sized for children. No matter what design was used, the motion sensor provided a great deal of frustration to the designers of these types of sneakers:
The Fayva shoe store chain (went out of business in 1996) released their own "Brake Lights" series, which included motion-activated lighting modules in adult-sized sneakers.
This picture is a close-up of the Fayva "Olympian Brake Lights", featuring the bright red Brake Lights in the process of coming to a complete stop.
Around 1993, LA Gear also released a light GEAR series with removable and interchangeable LED (light-emitting diode) cartridges. Also, unlike most designs, the light GEAR batteries are replaceable. The user can turn off the LED by removing the cartridge, turning it over, and reinserting it.This is a side view of the light GEAR CrossRunner.
This is a back view showing the light GEAR name and the positioning of the LED cartridges.
Each shoe has a red LED cartridge as standard equipment; orange and green light GEAR LED cartridges were available separately at extra cost. One of my many readers, Patrick, mentioned that one could change out the LED with a bit of fiddling. He made some blue light GEAR cartridges. The pictures below show the LA Gear light GEAR cartridges, which measure slightly under 2 inches from front to back:
When inserted with this side up, the light GEAR cartridge flashes when the wearer's weight depresses the center plastic tab on the left side. The battery is a type 2016 3-volt lithium manganese dioxide "coin cell."
When inserted with this side up, the light GEAR cartridge will not flash when wearing the shoe.
Except for kids (who still seem fascinated by them), none of the lighted sneakers remained on the market for a long period of time.
In September 2004, I suggested one of my posters write to LA Gear:
There are some Chinese-made lighted sneakers in small adult sizes currently on amazon.com.
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Last Updated: 21 February 2017
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