Puma’s RS-Computer shoes, originally released in 1986, were way ahead of their time. For the first time, a pair of running shoes could track your steps, distance, calories burned, and running time electronically, just like your phone or smart watch does today. Now, the German sports company is re-releasing the rare sneakers for the dorks of today. I say dorks because–well, just take a look at this news report from CES 1986.
I mean, look at them! I wouldn’t be surprised if Bill Gates had a pair in 1986–nor if Zuck buys a pair when they’re re-released on December 16. But I digress.
The two versions of the shoe are visually identical, and the new release still tracks all the same metrics. The only real difference is that those metrics are much more precise than the original shoes thanks to a modern 3-axis accelerometer that replaces the old rudimentary chip of the original. The big plastic heel attachment–which was so big because it needed to house a big circuit board and regular batteries–now includes a USB port for charging an internal lithium-polymer battery, along with plenty of memory to record all your information and LEDs that indicate the shoe’s status.
Likewise, instead of using a 16-pin serial cable to upload this information to a text-based program running on an Apple IIe or a Commodore 64, the new RS-Computer shoes use Bluetooth. Once paired with your phone, the shoe will transmit the running data to an app that looks pretty much like the original text-based software that people used back in the day.
If you want a pair, get ready: Only 86 units will be released on December 16 in Puma stores in Berlin, Tokyo, and London–for an undisclosed price.