Bavarian shoe maker Puma believes step tracking should be done by something you wear on your feet, and not on your wrist. So, the company is bringing back an 80s shoe with fitness tracking features that were certainly ahead of its time.
Puma’s RS-Computer (RS stands for Running System) shoe was recording distance and calories burned way before the Fitbits of today. The back of the shoe was protruded because it housed a computer chip to track all these activities.
Released in 1986, the original RS-Computer Shoes were actually one of the very first wearables.
Runners could connect the shoe through a 16-pin connector to any Apple IIE, Commodore 64, or IBM PC to view their data.
While the updated version still has the old look, it has added features like LED indicators, a 3-axis accelerometer, a USB port for charging and Bluetooth to connect the shoe wirelessly to your phone.
The sneakers will record 30 days’ worth of information, allowing you to check them on your iPhone or an Android. The shoes reset at the beginning of each month, but runners will still be able to reference all the recorded data in the Monthly Statistics tab in the corresponding app.
There are 2 buttons – a red one and a black one – on either side of a tiny screen located on the rear of the right shoe. Pressing these buttons will display the runner’s daily step target status and battery status respectively. This feature makes it easier for you to check these activities right on your shoes instead of watching them on your phone.
The modern app still has some retro look. It’s designed with 8-bit style graphics and has an 8-bit game inside it.
The RS-Computer Shoes will be available online and in select Puma stores. Puma’s only releasing 86 pairs (in remembrance of the year that the original pair launched) that’ll be sold at Puma stores in Berlin, Tokyo, and London, as well as KITH retailers. They went on sale December 13th. Price: $500.