These Light-Up Shoes Are The Coolest Thing I Saw at CES

LAS VEGAS — While most of the connected footwear launched at CES 2016 revolved around health and fitness, the Orphe shoes we saw today (Jan. 7) are purely for fun. LEDs strung along their soles light up and change color based on the music playing nearby, and can also be set to change by a smartphone app. The Orphe shoes will be available in April for $330, and I want a pair.

Designed with artists and performers in mind, the Orphe (pronounced "orf") come in white or black, and have translucent soles that let the approximately 100 LEDs in each shoe shine through. Wearers can control the colors via Bluetooth with a smartphone app, or from a computer.

In addition to the lights, the Orphe shoes have embedded 9-axis motion sensors that record how the shoe is moving and which part of the shoe is hitting the floor. A company rep demonstrated that they could even be used as virtual tap shoes. When you hit either the heel or toe, you can have the app emit a tapping sound, or any other sound effect you choose.

Orphe users can create "scenes" — a combination of sound, light and motion data — that they can share with other users via Orphe's mobile app (Android and iOS). The batteries in the shoes will last about 3 hours if the lights are left on continuously. Recharging is done via a microUSB port in the tongue of each shoe.

The shoes will be available in five sizes (5.5, 7.5, 9, 10.5 and 12 US) and will cost $330 a pair. For the novelty factor alone, they seem worth it.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.