Technology has come a long way in a very short amount of time and it’s changed our lives in more ways than we appreciate. Nonetheless, it's essential that we continue to look to the past for inspiration and to rediscover the ideas that were groundbreaking for their time. PUMA is constantly taking cues from its archive and has done so once already this year with the PUMA Spectra; following this, the brand looks to the ‘80s and reinvents the PUMA Running System across an all-new range.
PUMA RS is a cushioning technology first used in 1986’s PUMA RS-100 and developed to meet the demand brought about by the running boom of the 1970s and ‘80s. The RS-100 was considered highly advanced for its time and the following year, PUMA released the RS-350, adding a more elevated silhouette to the collection.
Between these models, PUMA used RS technology to create the first-ever computer-aided performance shoe, the RS Computer Shoe. Decades before today’s wearable fitness tech, the RS Computer Shoe featured a custom-designed computer chip that recorded running time, distance, and calories burned.
By plugging the device into one of the personal computers available at the time — the Apple IIE, Commodore 64, or IBM Personal Computer — runners could analyze their running data and record their training.
The shoe came with a 43-page user manual that opened, “The RS Computer Shoe represents a stage in the evolution of athletic footwear that many people thought would never happen — the meeting of computer and shoe.” It continued, “It may be that, as electronics and computers become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, the runner of the 1990s will not consider buying a running shoe unless it can measure distance, time, caloric cost, and a host of other factors related to the run.”
PUMA may not have predicted everything right back then but these game-changing concepts still have a lot to teach sneaker designers of today. Fortunately, today’s generation is constantly looking to the past for inspiration while continuing to push forward with innovation. The all-new PUMA RS-0 rolls back the years and starts again at zero, stripping the OG RS silhouettes back down to the fundamentals and rebuilding them from the ground up with a new focus on modern style and functionality.
Inspired by PUMA's once bold depictions of the future, the result is a retro-futuristic aesthetic that feeds our cravings for nostalgia at a time when technology is moving faster than ever. The PUMA RS-0 is “taking something from the past, evolving it, and reinventing it for today,” explains Heiko Desens, PUMA’s Creative Director of Sportstyle.
Constantly inventing and reinventing the world around them, today’s generation is hungrier than ever to bring to life their vision for the future. To celebrate PUMA’s sense of innovation and reinvention, we’ve enlisted five forward-thinking visual artists to reinterpret the past and share their unique vision for the future. First up, the visionaries behind the mind-bending visuals spread across this page and Highsnobiety’s own in-house image team.
Dominik Schulte, Ahmed Chrediy, and Manuel Carvalho recreated classic PUMA adverts using analog and digital techniques that fully embody the concept of retrofuturism. "Innovation, invention, and creativity must all challenge and push the boundaries of what’s possible. What might have been unthinkable or impossible in the past is now normal," they explain. "With that in mind, our vision for the future should challenge the current status quo and explore creativity to the fullest."
Enjoy the images above and stay tuned for more with each upcoming PUMA RS drop. The RS-0 will relaunch the RS line for Spring/Summer 2018 and be followed soon after by modern renditions of the RS-100 and RS-350. We'll post further release details as soon as they're in.