In a move sure to be lauded by sneaker addicts and collectors (aka sneakerheads), Puma is re-releasing an upgraded version of a more than 30-year-old “smart” shoe that has a computer built into the heel.
The original RS-Computer Shoe, released in 1986, was a running shoe (the RS stands for Running System) that included a built-in computer chip that jutted off the back of the heel.
In the pre-fitness tracker world of the ’80s, the RS-Computer Shoe allowed runners to track their progress. The chip recorded time, distance, and calories burned from exercise and relayed the information to either an Apple IIE or a Commodore 64 using a 16-pin cord.
The 2018 version of the sneaker is getting a bump up in the tech department. The shoe uses Bluetooth technology to send time, distance, calories, and, new for 2018, the number of steps, from the shoe to a smartphone using an RS-Computer Shoe app. But the modern tech has an old school feel: it features 8-bit graphics, the same used on the original computer screens. The sneaker charges via USB.
Puma’s nostalgic (but on-trend) nod to the past will be very limited, as it is releasing just 86 pairs of the shoe worldwide. The shoes will be available on Dec. 13 at Kith stores; Puma stores in the U.S., Japan, London, and Berlin; and on puma.com.
This isn’t the first time Puma has taken its sneaker fans down memory lane. Earlier this year, the company released other redesigns of shoes in its Running System series, including the RS-O and RS-100, according to The Verge.