Puma claims to have been the to bring sophisticated electronic hardware and software into the sports experience over 30 years ago with the RS-Computer shoe

Puma claims to have been the to bring sophisticated electronic hardware and software into the sports experience over 30 years ago with the RS-Computer shoe

German sportswear brand Puma has reissued what it claims to be the first shoe to have bought sophisticated electronic hardware and software into the sports experience over 30 years ago.

First launched in 1986, the RS-Computer shoe is a running sneaker that was considered extremely advanced for its time with a computer on the heel that translated data and gave runners the ability to compare past runs with future goals, learning and understanding how to become faster, more efficient, and competitive.

Now, Puma has upgraded the RS-Computer Shoe with new tech features that provide real-time data while retaining the original design. 

The original RS-Computer running shoe had a custom-designed computer chip built into the heel that automatically recorded the time, distance and calories expended and could communicate the results once connected to any Apple IIE, Commodore 64 using a 16-pin cord. Material-wise, the original RS-Computer is decked in a textile and leather upper, padded collar, Multiplex Four midsole technology, a rubber outsole and a unique, extended TPU heel that housed the computer chip.

The limited edition 2018 iteration has new technology but replicates the original experience. A cable is no longer used to connect to a computer but instead is used to charge the shoe via a USB connector. It is fitted with Bluetooth technology to connect to an Android or iOS smartphone and a dedicated RS-Computer Shoe app (available on the App Store and Google Play) to manage and process all the information. The app interface uses 8-bit graphics seen on original computer screens and inside the app is an 8-bit game.

Each shoe is equipped with a miniature 3-axis accelerometer, which is used to measure the number of steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned. It can record for 30 days worth of data with each month bringing a 'fresh start', while throughout the month the runner can access all the stored data in a Monthly Statistics tab.

In addition, there are two 'keys' and LED light indicators which are used to show daily step target status and battery status. The on-board rechargeable lithium-polymer battery can be recharged using the USB cable provided with the shoes. 

Only 86 pairs will be available globally, signifying the year the shoe first originated. Each pair has a number (from 1 to 86) that appears on a woven label inside the tongue.

The new RS-Computer will be sold at Kith, online in the US and Japan, and in Puma stores in Harajuku, Tokyo; Carnaby Street, London, and Berlin.