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Pizza Hut's 'smart' shoes turn you into a fashionable couch potato

Order a pie and control your DVR with your feet.
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When it comes to fast-food PR stunts, Pizza Hut doesn't hold back. Seriously, this is the company that's made a jacket that keeps you as warm as, well, a pizza. The ridiculous garment came with the same insulating materials as those used in Pizza Hut's delivery pouches, including an inner pocket where you can fit a naked slice to take on the go, because why not. But, as mind-boggling as the parka is, Pizza Hut's best stunt might be the Pie Tops II, a pair of sneakers that let you order a pie and control your DVR right from the tongues.

As was the case with the original Pie Tops from last year, Pizza Hut designed these in collaboration with the Shoe Surgeon, a renowned sneaker customizer. The goal isn't to sell these to the masses -- only around 50 pairs total have been made. Instead, the Pie Tops II exist solely to promote Pizza Hut's sponsorship of the NCAA's March Madness basketball tournament, which ends tonight with the men's final between Michigan and Villanova.

Those details are important (I guess), but you came here to find out about ordering an actual pizza with the shoes. The first thing I had to do was create a Pizza Hut account, because I live in New York City and, well, why would you eat Pizza Hut if you lived here? After that, I went on the iOS App Store and downloaded the Pie Tops app, which is separate from Pizza Hut's main app. Then I had to pair the Pie Tops II to my phone over Bluetooth by pressing the button on the right tongue and I was good to go.

Once you've paired the sneakers to your phone, the app asks you to select what type of pizza you want to order every time you hit the button on the Pie Tops II. By default, you can choose two mediums for $6 each. For the sake of this demo, I picked a hand-tossed pepperoni and a thin-crust Veggie Lover's. One thing to keep in mind is that, in order for the shoe-ordering magic to work seamlessly, you have to make sure your credit card info is saved on your Pizza Hut account.

You can also adjust how you want to order your pizza: The options are to hit the button on your right shoe once, hit it twice, or press and hold. No need to be extra safe, since you have to confirm the order on the app before the store starts making it. All in all, the Pie Tops II are pretty much the laziest way to order pizza.

Aside from its sleeker design, one of the new things about the Pie Tops II, not seen on the first model, is that you now have the ability to control your DVR. Pizza Hut added an IR blaster on the left shoe's tongue, which you can pair to a supported set-top box by simply pointing the Pie Tops II at them and pressing a button on them. That said, this only works with certain devices from Dish, DirecTV, FiOS, Spectrum and Xfinity. And, right now, all you can do is pause whatever you're watching and nothing else beyond that. Maybe with the Pie Tops III, Pizza Hut will let us fast-forward or rewind as well.

The Pie Tops II aren't meant to compete with the Nikes and Adidas of the world. They're here to be weird and grab people's attention, and clearly Pizza Hut succeeded. Personally, I'm pleasantly surprised (and glad) the Pie Tops II actually look good and don't feel cheap. I still remember that time I got the originals and some paint came off as soon as I touched them. I kid you not.

Gallery: Pizza Hut's Pie Tops II | 12 Photos

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