Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The Light-Up Trainer Returns


Way back in 1992, US shoe company LA Gear became the menace of parental wallets the world over when it introduced a line of light-up kids trainers, LA Lights.

This was the biggest thing since Velcro, with playgrounds soon filled with brightly-heeled children whose parents had caved to incessant nagging. Then Poggs came out and we all forgot about them. 

Now, some 23 years on, Tokyo-based hardware company no new folk studio Inc. is looking to rekindle our light-up obsession with a new smartshoe system, Orphe (pronounced "Or-fay").


Designed for performance artists (it's alright, we can't break dance either) the Orphe functions both as a customisable lighting system and an audio-visual controller. Around 100 full-colour LEDs are built into the sole unit of each shoe, paired with motion sensors and a wireless module. By using accompanying software or smartphone app, wearers can then control how their shoes light up, setting colours and pulses that correspond with different movements. 

Battery life in the current model is said to last up to three hours, but studio Inc. is hoping to extend this if they find a more potent battery before launch. Currently building funds on IndieGoGo, you can order a pair of Orphe shoes (black or white) for around £183, with delivery expected in December this year.

Should the bright idea catch on (again), we wouldn't be surprised if the likes of Nike gazump the design with their own tech in the near future - as soon as they've cracked the self-tying laces.




Michael Jordan's Nike Trainers Up For Auction

nike 2.jpg

The Cool Channel Zero Custom Nike Dunks


Puma's Lattice-Covered XS-500 Trainer


The Reebok Pump Reborn


Spring Arrives With The Adidas Originals Suisse


The Tattooed Adidas F50 Boot



The 20 best independent trainer shops in the UK

Here's where you're buying your next pair of kicks

by Chris Sayer
10 Jul 2017

10 slides to keep your feet cool this summer

It's toe-time

by Gary Ogden
27 Apr 2017

Dr. Martens collaborate with Supreme for Spring collection

What are we saying about this lot then?

by Matt Tate
07 Apr 2017

Adidas has announced its first 3D-printed trainer for mass production

Wear the future on your feet

by Gary Ogden
07 Apr 2017

Are the new Yeezys just Reebok Classics with an adidas logo?

Kanye the innovator

by Matt Tate
23 Mar 2017

These LEGO self-lacing trainers will make tying your shoes a joy

Who needs Nike’s self-lacing sneakers, anyway?

by Gary Ogden
14 Feb 2017

Trainer of the day: Saucony Liberty

America isn't ALL bad

by Jamie Carson
12 Jan 2017

These new Air Jordan Super Nintendos are seriously next level

Trainers that push all the right buttons

by James Bird
05 Jan 2017

Running shoes that'll help you survive the January freeze

Christmas is over, time to get fit

04 Jan 2017

Furry Le Coq Sportif trainers look better than they sound

The French sports brand adds a calfskin heel to its classic Omega runner shape

by Jamie Carson
13 Dec 2016