Puma was thinking of the future in the mid-‘80s when it launched the RS-computer sneaker, a smart running shoe that featured a built-in computer chip. The 1986 design was quite ahead of its time—the sneaker had the ability to record distance, time, and calories.
The shoe and sportswear giant is reissuing the sneakers, hoping to appeal to those who may be overcome with nostalgia regarding the retro ground grippers. Naturally, the 2018 version will be slightly more advanced. It will also only be available at select retailers in extremely limited quantities.
The new RS (running system) leather sneaker will look virtually identical to the 1986 version with the oddly extended TPU heel that formerly contained the computer chip and padded collar.
The initial iteration required a cable to connect the shoe to an Apple IIE/Commodore 64 computer. Now a cable will be used to charge the shoe with a USB connector. It incorporates Bluetooth technology for Android and iOS devices as well as an RS-computer app that stores and interprets data. What’s fun is that the interface is a throwback to 8-bit graphics, which were common on ‘80s computers.
The new version contains a tiny 3-axis accelerometer to measure a user’s past and future goals with the aim of making him or her faster and more efficient. The shoe stores 30 days of data. Two keys show daily step targets and battery life.
Unfortunately, only 86 pairs of shoes are available online and in Puma’s Tokyo, London, and Berlin stores, starting Dec. 13.
Check out Puma’s original computerized running shoe here.