Glow in the dark shoes. Instantly it sounds like something that is intended for kids, right?
Glow in the dark anything is bound to raise an eyebrow or two toward this point, but don’t be fooled so quickly and assume that it is always and forever for children alone. Instead, adults, too, can get in on the fun. Whether it’s in an attempt to throw it back to their childhood, or they are going to a festival or party and need them, there are also reasons why an adult would want a pair of glow in the dark shoes, too. They could also come in very handy for outdoor excursions as well, so you never know just when you might want or even need a pair of them.
Today, we are going to take a look at some of the best pairs on the market for kids, festivals, and for the outdoors. We will also be taking a look at the history and the features and uses for them before we review the top pairs on the market at the moment!
Top Glow in the Dark Shoes Comparison Chart
|Products||Battery||Changing Colors||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Native Kids’ Jefferson Glow Child Sneaker||N/A||No||$$||Check on Amazon|
|Voovix LED Light Up USB Shoes||Rechargeable||Yes||$$||Check on Amazon|
|Skechers Kids’ Girls’ Energy Lights||Rechargeable||Yes||$$||Check on Amazon|
|SUP Women’s Flashing Sneakers||Rechargeable||Yes||$$||Check on Amazon|
|The Highest Heel Women’s GLOW Platform Sandal||N/A||No||$$||Check on Amazon|
|ASICS Men’s Gel Spotlyte Fashion Sneaker||N/A||No||$$$||Check on Amazon|
|Electric Styles Light Up Shoes||Rechargeable||Yes||$$||Check on Amazon|
|New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080v7||N/A||No||$$$||Check on Amazon|
|New Balance Men’s M1500v3 Running Shoe||N/A||No||$$$||Check on Amazon|
Glow in the Dark Shoes Buying Guide
Glow in the dark shoes first burst onto the scene during the 1990s in an attempt to make people look like they were wearing a ‘futuristic’ shoe. However, there was a lot of work done before that to bring us glow in the dark products in general… Experimentation with Phosphorous, the chief element that brings us glow in the dark began in 1602, and it was then isolated for the first time in 1669.
Fast forward 300 years, and companies began to make glowsticks, simple sticks that would glow in the dark when you shook them. Scientists had pinpointed fireflies and started to study them in the 1960s. Once they figured out how they ticked, if you will, they were then able to take the information and basically cross engineer it into the glow stick. This craze in the 70s and 80s bred the fever for more and more ‘glow,’ and it helps lead us to today.
Like a lot of things in the 90s, they fell out of style after a while, and they never had a resurgence… that is until now. Where once upon a time, the shoes were meant for kids and the most nerdy at heart, they now reach a much, much bigger audience than ever before. Nerd culture, it must be said is much more prevalent now, and it’s just not nearly as ‘uncool’ as it once was to wear glow in the dark shoes. Plus, the world has changed so much that there are now some legitimate purposes for them that just didn’t exist then. Or at the very least, no one thought to apply them to those situations, anyway, back in the 90s. Like my aunt always told me, what’s hip goes in cycles. You never should discard something because it might just come back around and be cool again, even when you’d never expect it to be!
Today’s latest developments in glow in the dark technology are changing the landscape quite a bit. While phosphorous remains the element most widely used, scientists have started to turn toward more electronic means to do the same things that the element does. Trace amounts of it are still used, but these effectively ‘organic LEDs’ are becoming more and more popular, and you have to wonder if we will reach a point soon where it is all man made instead of using any natural lights.
Phosphorous Needs Charging!
Did you know that glow in the products, mostly coming from phosphorous, need to be charged? That is the reason why you may or may not have noticed that your glow in the dark products don’t ‘work’ anymore. Most often, the phosphorous needs to see sunlight. Some of them can take mere minutes and be good to go all night, or even longer, while others will take longer. It also can vary based upon how well made the product is. Some glow in the dark stuff just isn’t as good as others, but you should keep all of this in mind, just in case you are putting your shoes in a totally dark closet and then not seeing them light up the way you had hoped they would!
Purposes for Glow in the Dark Shoes
It might not seem like it to you right now, but there are a myriad of uses for glow in the dark shoes, and in this section, we will talk about some of the possible uses for them, all of which are very legitimate reasons and should be taken seriously as a result!
This has to be a big, big deal for many runners. As technology has gotten better and better in so many ways, running has only been able to be easier and easier for those wishing to stay in shape. And glow in the dark is only making life even more easier for runners all over the world. The time has changed here recently, meaning that darkness descends earlier on us than it was previously doing. Therefore, for those that don’t have time to run in the day, what are you to do?
Glow in the dark shoes are an obvious answer, for one! With shoes that light up at night, you are much will have a chance to get home and get a run in without having to rush to get off work in time and without worrying about getting ran over because of a lack of visibility! Shoe companies have long used reflective materials to help runners, so it has been the most natural of transitions for them to begin to use glow in the dark for you running kicks!
One of the more ‘pop’ ways that glow in the dark can be fashionable is at festivals, parties, and raves. All of them might mean the same thing to do you, but at any rate, you know what we mean here. This is a party that you show up to where people are usually younger and hipper and into certain things (cough, cough), but it doesn’t always have to be. You don’t want a ton of lights, of course, because that takes away from the fun, but glow in the dark shoes can help make up for that to make sure no one is hurt in the process.
The story of glow in the dark items at parties date back to 1971, when glowsticks were used at a Grateful Dead concert, according to legend at least. When the rave scene came of age in the 80s and 90s, it only increased the desire to have them, and that has lived on to today, where they have doubled down and began to use glow in the dark shoes instead and in addition to.
Kids, of course, are huge benefactors of anything that is related to glow in the dark items, and they have absolutely got to be included in the purposes. Kids love anything that lights up, just go to any daycare or day camp and watch them make glowing slime to get your proof!
Not only do kids find them cool, not only like the ‘older kids’ on the rave scene, they also give them something to help them see in the dark, which is a major plus for those that have a hard time with vision, or those that could be scared of the dark even. You sometimes can’t be too safe as a parent, so buying glow in the dark shoes could be a very good way to double down and protect your child in a very creative way, while also helping them to make friends along the way with their cool designs.
Just Being Cool
Being fashionable nowadays is all the rave, and what was once seen as uncool 10 or 15 years ago just isn’t ‘lame’ anymore. Glow in the dark shoes is one area that proves this phenomena in spades. Some of the most desirable shoes in the world at the moment are glow in the dark ones that people have lined up for and crave to just see drop onto the internet’s market on any number of websites.
Shoes like Adidas’ Yeezy line, as well as Nike and a number of other major players in the shoe game have tried their hand at shoes that are designed to just be fashionable and cool, rather than to give pure performance. Stunts have been pulled by them in the past few years, for example Adidas have given NBA players glow in the dark shoes to wear on Christmas in the past in a way to show off their designs and their brand in a bid to make everyone want them.
So, while it is great to have a reason to want a glow in the dark shoe to aid your performance or give you an edge, it no longer has to be just that that drives you on.
There can be numerous uses for glow in the dark shoes as well, and honestly the list is probably much too long to name. But just a few of the reasons you could want them include hunting, tracking, and even caving. Imagine being in the dark and having to lug around batteries and flashlights and all that stuff. While you’d probably want them just in case, having glow in the dark shoes would give you a reason to not bring as much stuff and still feel safe in the great outdoors, too.
Lastly, as stated before, they can do wonders to help combat being scared of the dark. It does sound childish and trivial, but anything to help alleviate a child’s anxiety could prove fruitful and worthwhile, and so it is well worth considering getting them for that purpose as well.
Best Glow in the Dark Shoes Reviews
For our reviews, we will be dividing up the list for men’s and women’s, unisex, and then kids as well, so if you have a specific area of interest, you can look at that section for your needs!
1. Native Kids’ Jefferson Glow Child Sneaker
Our list begins with a shoe that is great for the ages of between 1 and 4, and one that comes in three different very flashy colors. Unlike a lot of glow in the dark shoes that don’t have much of a profile during the daylight hours, these shoes will still have plenty to make the other kids turn their heads in envy. And that’s before they start glowing in the dark!
One of the interesting things about them is that they have a lot of tiny holes made in them. What this serves to do is to make them very lightweight, while also giving it a ‘Crocs’ sort of look to them, especially with the green color. A major plus about this pair is the fact that they are very inexpensive, meaning you will not breaking the bank to buy a pair and that they can be used for here and there kind of wear. They also somehow are waterproof, which means they can come in handy in a number of situations. Many have used these as ‘water’ shoes for the pool time and stuff like that where a toe is required.
The level of comfort afforded by them is akin to wearing no shoe at all, so it is a good choice to wear whether it is a boy or a girl that will be wearing them! The biggest possible negative is that they do not respond well to heat. Heating them up in direct sun light, leaving them in the car, or putting them in a dryer can lead to warping of the material. They also do tend to run big, so that is something to look into.
- Very manageable price
- Waterproof and good for getting wet
- Very comfy and lightweight
- Heat will warp them
- Runs a little large
2. Voovix LED Light Up USB Shoes
Looking for something that takes an old idea and brings up to life with new tech? Look no further than this offering from Voovix. These unisex shoes are bound to make your child happy with by glowing in the dark, but it is done with a twist.
At the bottom of the tongue is a hidden switch for a USB cord. The shoe allows up to seven colors that will stay static and then there are also four modes that change (IE dynamic). So, to say that you can grab someone’s attention would be a major overstatement to say the least. On top of that, the upper part of the shoe’s design is quite flashy as well and will have everyone oohing and aahing over them.
One of the differences between this shoe and the previous listing is that these are high top sneakers. They offer a little bit more protection and support then, and that could be very important to you. Still, with that said, these don’t look to be the best possible choice if you have an extremely outdoorsy, active child, either, so don’t mistake them for running shoes!
There are some negatives, of course to look at. The first of which is that they can’t get wet. This would destroy the electronics, ending the fun. It’s also tougher to run in because it will hit the buttons over and over again, so you have to make sure to turn off the lights to keep that from happening. Another issue is that they take 2-3 hours to charge for a seven hour use period, which is far more ‘charging’ than normal phosphorous based shoes would need.
Overall, though, it’s a good price for what you get, and it just depends on the kind of kid you have if they will last!
- Offers a wide variety of colors to light up the night
- High top sneaker
- Good price, too
- Takes quite a bit of charging
- Cannot get wet
- Issues while running in them
3. Skechers Kids’ Girls’ Energy Lights
Every little lady wants something to help her stand out from the crowd, and the Sketcher’s Girl’s Energy Lights are just the trick to that. Ranging in ages 4-12, these shoes service a wide range of ages that will keep your little girl happy. They also keep them happy with a really cool-looking purple and pink designed upper that is sure to make heads turn on their own even during the day. But when the lights go off, they can be seen even better.
Like the previous offering, these, too, have a USB cable and color changing capabilities built into them. This covers the white lower portion of the shoe. The power button is on the tongue to use when they choose to do so.
Some issues do come into play here…
For starters, wear and tear can diminish some of the colors. In addition to that, the grip on the bottom of them isn’t the best, so another pair of shoes might be ideal for things like gym class and recess. They are also a little bit flat, so if you happen to have a child with flat feet, it might be a bit of nightmare to wear on a consistent basis because they will get uncomfortable. They do cost a little bit more than a lot of pairs will, but overall they really don’t cost all that much considering it is a name brand and is also glow in the dark, too!
- Very cool design
- The lower white lights up with control
- Reasonable price given it is a brand name
- Don’t offer the best traction
- Flat footed people won’t be the happiest
- Not very roomy if you have a quickly growing girl
1. SUP Women’s Flashing Sneakers
The women’s division here has a couple of very different styles to pick from, and the first of them is this flashing sneaker from SUP. Coming in three colors, with two of them being very vibrant in nature, they offer a lot of flash and pizzazz right out of the box.
Like some of the kid’s choices, these use LED to light them up, carrying on an old tradition with new technology. The LED always the wearer to pick from seven different colors, all by flicking the button located in the tongue of the shoe. Also like the ones before, they come with a USB, meaning it will take a charge from electronics to get the job done.
If you are looking for something stylish to wear to a party but also want them to be supportive, then this could be a good bet for you. They are also at a very good price for a pair of sneakers as well, so it won’t be setting you back too much if you buy them and only wear them once or twice.
There are a couple of issues, though, just like with everything in the world. One of them is that they do not come with light up strings as promised with the shoes. This seems to be a common complaint. Another issue is the sizing. They tend to run small, and it is not uncommon for you to need a size higher in order to get them on.
- Very good price
- Offers seven different colors
- Has a very flashy design
- Doesn’t come with light up strings
- Will take time and electricity to charge
- Runs small, so you will have to order up
2. The Highest Heel Women’s GLOW Platform Sandal
If you are looking for something totally different, then the Glow from the Highest Heel might just be what you are looking for. These would be a great thing to wear to a rave, assuming that you have good footing that is, because they definitely will catch the eyes of many people around you. Coming in a reflective yellow color, these glow in the dark high heels are extremely high heeled. Even if you wear high heels, they might not be the ones for you because of that, but that is part of the appeal to many people.
They do come at quite a hefty price and seem to have issues in regards to sizing, so those are both things that you also have to account for if you plan to buy and wear them. Comfort is not something that is paramount with a shoe like this, so just be aware that you won’t be getting the most comfortable thing on earth, even if it is relatively comfortable for a high heel shoe. Seven and a half inches is very high, so you will need to weigh that in to your equation when deciding what to do!
They material used to make them is rubber and vinyl, so they should last quite a while and give you decent durability at your rave.
- Very stylish and a head turner
- Great for raves
- Durable and as comfy as they can be
- Quite a steep price
- Could be too much heel for some
- Sizing problems are common
1. ASICS Men’s Gel Spotlyte Fashion Sneaker
While women are usually seen as the more hip and trendy of the two genders, the ASICS Spotlyte sneakers here are serving to allow men to even the playing field just a little. A quick warning that has to be given is that these shoes only have one color that is glow in the dark, and it is the black/glow in the dark one, so take note and don’t buy any of the others unless you just like the features of the shoe!
Asics is usually known for its running shoes and other athletic wear, but it’s foray into fashion seems to be paying off with this shoe. The high top serves to keep you locked into place well without turning over your ankle, and it just looks great and different compared to so many shoes that you see out there on a daily basis. The tongue is also rather large, serving to make you stand out even more than you already were with the combination of high top with glow in the dark. And despite how they look, they are actually quite light as well, which makes them a good shoe to go to a party with where you might find yourself standing a lot.
There are some concerns to be had, however. One of them being that the price is pretty high. But that is to be expected considering that it is a fashion sneaker and not just a glow in the dark one. Another issue that you could face is that they run a little small for some. It’s not always a problem, but you might want to be careful if you are purchasing them online.
- High top helps with Achilles and other problems
- Very comfortable shoe
- Offers a lot of eye-popping effects
- Rather pricey compared to others
- Not meant for running
- Sizing issues for some
2. Electric Styles Light Up Shoes
If you are looking for something a lot more affordable yet still also supportive of your feet with a high top, then this might be your best bet. Electric Styles, it says in the name, uses LED lights to give you 12 different modes of colors in it. On top of that, the upper has a snazzy design to in a multitude of colors as well. The high top design is for those that want a little bit more security, and this shoe does so without being nearly as pronounced as the Asics above was. One recharging of the USB gives the shoe six hours of activity, so you do have to manage that, unlike the Asics.
Some issues do exist with the shoes, however. First of all, they run small, as even told be the people selling them. Next, they seem to be very inconsistent. One pair will be fully functional, while another pair might not be, so that is frustrating to a consumer when they don’t know for sure what they can expect when they order a pair of shoes. On top of that, the battery life is also inconsistent, with some of them wearing out after just a few uses and some doing just fine for quite a while.
- Inexpensive option
- 12 different colors to show off
- High top keeps you locked in
- Inconsistent battery life and functions
- Tend to run small
- Needs charging to work properly
Glow in the Dark Running Shoes
1. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080v7
The Ladies will absolutely fall in love with this that can help you do a lot of things. Walking and standing can be easily done with them, and comfortably so, but the main purpose for them is running. The Fresh Foam 1080v7 offers a very good bit of comfort along with a great amount of traction as well. On top of that, of course, you get the glow in the dark and reflective properties of them. This is sure to help anyone that has just ran out of daylight and really needs to start or finish their run.
The aesthetics of the shoe are also exceptional, something that New Balance has to be commended for after taking a bad rep on that in the past. These are definitely not lacking that department at all, and that is worth rejoicing over. The natural toe splay that they give, which is not all that common in an athletic shoe, is a major plus of this pair and another reason to add them to a possible list.
One thing that wearers might not like is that they do come with a higher price than most of the other options on the list. But if you think about what their purpose is, it’s fairly easy to see the reasoning behind that. Also, the issue of people with wide feet has crept in, with those that have them complaining that they are a little bit too narrow for them. Some of the users have had issues with the sole coming apart, but if you take care of them and wear them properly, it shouldn’t be all that great of a problem.
- Excellent traction on the ground
- Helps you see when it gets dark
- Really awesome design
- More expensive than most because they are for runners
- Runs narrow for some
- Sole can come apart
2. New Balance Men’s M1500v3 Running Shoe
Here’s one for the guys that is pretty similar to the one for the ladies! Also made by New Balance, the M1500v3 s a really great looking shoe that comes in a couple of different colors. Each are very visible and will take in whatever light is afforded to in order to increase your visibility and make your experience safer. The lime glow with orange is especially helpful in this cause, though the blue option is good as well.
Some of the nicest things about this New Balance offering is that they are very light and have a secure, snug fit to them. They also have a lot of breathability built in to them, serving to keep you going and feeling cool and dry in the toe box. They also have very good grip, and because of that, they have been praised for doing a good job in other areas, like in the gym and for cardio workouts.
There have been some issues, though, that are worth mentioning. One of them being the that the upper is a little tight on some people, and that it has caused irritation for some. Others have felt that the flexibility of the shoes has lessened from previous models, meaning they are more rigid and harder to move around. They also are a little bit pricey relative to this list, so that could be a concern, particularity if you are not all that interested in running.
- Very visible in two colors
- Great looking designs
- Excellent grip and versatility
- Upper is too tight on the foot for some
- Less flexible than others
- Pricier than most
Conclusion and Final Glow in the Dark Shoes Recommendations
Once thought to be a silly trend by many, glow in the dark has shown legitimate reasons for it to be used and has thus stuck around. The days of simple glowsticks are now gone, and in its place has come something functional and useful: shoes. No matter if you are looking for something to buy your kid, looking to impress a future date at a rave, or just want something to go into the outdoors with, glow in the dark shoes are a good shout. Knowing what you need them for, how much you are willing to pay, and how often you want to wear them are crucial elements in picking them out. Finding the right pair has never been so easy, though, after our review and guide!
Frequently Asked Questions About Glow in the Dark Shoes
How The Heck Does It Work?
The short answer is that it’s just science. The long answer, without being complicated, is that it’s a chemical reaction that takes place in a tube. When the first experiments were carried out, chemists were looking for compounds that would not give off heat but instead would emit light. That’s when they stumbled upon the ‘formula’ for glow in the dark products and thus ignited a craze that lives on with us today. By mixing hydrogen peroxide with a fluorescent dye, you get the process of chemiluminescence. It is this mixing, and the mixing only, which produces the affect. Once you snap a glow stick, for example, this is ended and you no longer can get the look anymore.
Can I Make My Own Glow in the Dark Shoes?
Yes, you can make your own glow in the dark shoes yourself, if you choose to do so. By using glow in the dark pigment, you can apply them to most shoes and find yourself glowing up. There are quite a few resources online to help aid you in this process, so if you are interested you should check that out. It does take some work, time, and a few different materials to do, so just be aware that it’s not a quick fix unless you have done it before and have become an expert at it.
Is Glow in the Dark Just a Fad, Again?
We’ve seen the trend come and go before, and it’s true that things come and go and then come and go again, but glow in the dark appears to be here to stick around this time. Maybe it won’t be as popular as it is now forever, but there are very real and legitimate uses for it. Given the right amount of sunlight, it can help someone see for an extended amount of time without using electricity, and that is a major plus in a world that is seeking to save as much as we can.
What Are Some Ways To Make My Current Shoes Glow in the Dark?
If you don’t want to alter your pair of shoes forever, which let’s face it, you probably don’t wanna do that, you have a few options. First, you could replace your shoelaces with some that are glow in the dark. They also make ribbons that can be used in place of them, too. You can always use glow in the dark tape as well, or you can find something reflective to glue or place on them. Or, you can always use glow in the dark stickers. This is the way forward for a kid, because who doesn’t love stickers. When you’re done with them, you still have the original shoe intact, too, which is a win-win for parents that don’t want to ‘destroy’ their child’s shoes!