#ExploreMW #MuseumWeek - Puma’s RS-Computer Shoe




We asked our Collection Manager Suzanne Petersen to chose a shoe that worked with the theme of #ExploreMW.  We loved that she decided to think 'outside the box'!

This shoe was an exploration of the latest computer technology when it was conceived in 1986 and patented by inventor Peter Cavanaugh. In collaboration with Puma SE, Cavanaugh created a running shoe with a computer chip in its heel that is able to record both distance and time, allowing the runner to record and compare data related to each run. After a run, data would be downloaded from the shoe by way of a cable connection that ran to the user’s personal computer: the included software on 5 ¼” disk was compatible with Apple IIe, Apple II/plus (48k or more), Commodore 64 and most IBM PCs with DOS 2.0 or above.

The idea of a ‘smart’ running shoe was way ahead of its time in 1986, and not many were produced. Reviews were mostly negative and the shoes did not sell well.

This innovative sneaker was part of the Bata Shoe Museum’s 2013-2014 exhibition Out Of The Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture. Such a special design, it did not travel to the USA and Australia when the exhibition travelled from 2015 - 2017.

In December of 2018, Puma re-issued the RS-Computer shoe to celebrate this early innovation. 86 pair were produced; a reflection of the year the original came out. The new version has wireless technology and LED lights.

Image Copyright © 2019 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto (Photo: Ron Wood)

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