Puma Releases Modernized RS-Computer Sneakers To Boost Your Geek Cred

The year was 1986. Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history, The Oprah Winfrey Show debuted on television, and Puma released a super nerdy computer running shoe to help users track their running distance. The running shoes were short-lived, but have found a new home in the era of Stranger Things and Ghostbusters remakes. Puma will re-release an updated version of the RS-Computer shoe for a limited time.

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In 1986 the RS-Computer shoe had a computer chip built into the heel of the shoe. It recorded a user’s running time, distances, and calories burned. This information could then be shared with a Apple IIe or Commodore 64 via a 16-pin connector. Users were able to insert a floppy disk and view their workout data.

The new and improved RS-Computer shoes are just as gloriously chunky as their predecessors. They still include a textile and leather upper, padded collar, rubber outsole, and the original color. The extended heel that once contained the computer chip still remains on the shoe for the aesthetic.
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The shoes now work with modern technology; they incorporate a 3-axis accelerometer and can record up to thirty days of data. Users will charge their shoes with a microUSB, they contain Bluetooth technology and connect to a RS-Computer shoe app for iOS and Android. If the retro shoes do not provide you with enough nostalgic goodness, the dedicated app will. The app features 8-bit graphics and even includes a hidden 8-bit game.

The RC-Computer shoes are available at Puma stores in London, Berlin, and Tokyo as well as other retailers such as New York based apparel retailer Kith. They will cost €650 ($735 USD). Puma only plans to initially release a total of 86 shoes, so grab them while you can.

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Puma is not the only company in recent history to release a smart shoes. Amazfit crowdfunded their own smart shoes that can record a user’s workout data and connect to their mobile app. The shoes feature a sleeker design and are intended for athletes. They complement the company’s collection of smart wearables like the Pace GPS Smartwatch. The shoes currently seem only to be available in China.

If brands like Puma and Amazfit are successful, the concept of a smart shoe could reach a wider consumer base. Wearables like smartwatches can be uncomfortable and unreliable. Almost everyone who has owned a smartwatch has had to fix an inaccurate recording of a workout. Smart shoes could potentially be more accurate and convenient. At the very least, devices like Puma’s RC-Computer shoes are both useful and nostalgic.