Long before Nike Plus… the Puma RS Computer Shoes

OK, so not strictly retro game related, but we saw this computer gadget of yesteryear and we now long to run around with serial ports sticking out of the back of our trainers. How cool would it be to plug your trainers into an Commodore 64? Super cool, that’s how cool and we want some… not that we’d like to actually run in them.

Here’s the lowdown on the low-tech:

Released in 1985 by Puma, these shoes would act as an electronic pedometer that you could hook up to your Apple IIe or Commodore 64 computer and track your distance run and calories used. A bit like Nike + but not at all. Instead of the small wireless sensor that you get to put under your sole, you got a bloody great appendage stuck on the back of your Pumas which had the necessary control buttons and ports for connecting to your computer when you got back home. Looking at these gives me footache. Interestingly a sales programme manager for Nike was reported to have said that their market research at the time had ‘turned up no solid market for computerised shoes’. I think he may have been taking notes though.

More on this, including magazine articles and pictures of RS Computer shoes from their collection over at DigiBarn Computer Museum.

Author: Ant Harper

Father, Husband, website developer, avid gamer since the mid-70s and collector of just about anything video game related. 8-Bit microcomputer and Sinclair specialist with a huge Sinclair related collection of his own. Blogs about retro gaming here but occasionally elsewhere when people ask. Bored of Mario and never much liked Zelda. Performs quirkafleegs for cold hard cash. Often found destroying ice crowns in the Lands of Midnight. Remembers: Lunar Lander. Plays: Steel Battalion, Gears of War

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