Puma reissues 1986 RS-Computer Shoe with updated fitness tracking

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Puma reissues 1986 RS-Computer Shoe with updated fitness tracking

The nostalgia carousel keeps going round and round, and brands have happily hopped on for the ride.

Puma announced Monday that it would reissue a little-known shoe with a technical twist from 1986: the RS-Computer Shoe. The shoe, then and now, looks like a running shoe with a plastic protuberance on the back — which is where the shoe tracks your movement and activity. 

Chunky and retro fabulous? Yep, sounds like a very on-trend shoe to us. Plus, Puma is only releasing 86 of these babies (as in the year the shoe was released). So the hype beasts might really line up for this one.

Smart shoes of the '80s, reissued for today.

Smart shoes of the ’80s, reissued for today.

In 1986, the Running System (RS) Computer Shoe used a computer chip embedded in the shoe to measure speed, distance, and calories burned. Those functions are a lot like a stripped down Fitbit or other modern activity tracker — it just required a connection to an Apple IIE or Commodore 64 computer to read the data.

The new edition will look the same as the 1986 version, but has technologically updated guts, and there’s no Apple IIE C64 connection required. Instead, it can connect to an iPhone or Android via Bluetooth, charge through a USB cable, and work with an app.

But even the decidedly modern app gets a retro finish. It’s designed with 8-bit style graphics and has an 8-bit game inside it. So after going for a run in your sweatband, high socks, and short shorts, you can hit the arcade. 

It's not just a Puma, it's a workout system.

It’s not just a Puma, it’s a workout system.

According to archival footage via the sneaker website DeFy New York, the RS-Computer Shoe was a novel device for its time. Histories of wearables typically skip over this 1986 achievement  and go straight from the Walkmen of the late ’70s to the first Bluetooth of the late ’90s. But it’s definitely not something to sleep on – just look how cool it is!

The 86 RS-Computer Shoes will be available online and in select Puma stores. Mashable has reached out to Puma to learn more about a release date and other details, and will update this story when and if we hear more.

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