Smart shoes may sound like a recent innovation, but they're really old hat -- Puma's RS-Computer shoes were tracking your running stats in 1986, well before wearable tech was a hot trend. And Puma wants to remind you of that fact. It's reissuing the RS-Computer with the familiar colors and heel hump, but thoroughly modern fitness tracking technology. The 2018 shoe uses a three-axis accelerometer to measure calorie burn, distance and (new for 2018) step counts. And instead of plugging in a data cable to sync up to 30 days of activity data with an ancient Apple II or Commodore 64, you use Bluetooth to pull send information to an Android or iOS app -- albeit one that nods to the original 8-bit software.
You still need to insert a cable, but this time it's a USB connection to charge the shoe's lithium-polymer battery.
Not surprisingly, this isn't going to be a mass-produced shoe -- in fact, this could make Nike's HyperAdapt seem commonplace. Puma is making just 86 pairs available worldwide on December 13th through its website, Kith and certain retail stores in Berlin, London and Tokyo. Ironically, that rarity could lead to many owners refusing to try the shoe's marquee feature. Why ruin the resale value by actually wearing the shoes?