In the immortal words of Biggie Smalls, “Throw your hands in the air, if you’s a true player.” He may not have been talking about video games, but it definitely felt appropriate for the launch of the Puma x Sega RS-0 Sonic sneaker as “true players” of all shapes and sizes came out to celebrate the at the official NXNE Game Land after-party. After a day of tournament gaming streamed on Twitch and projected live on the big screen at The Concert Hall at the Masonic Temple in Toronto, the venue shifted to an intimate concert venue where the crowd of hip, tech-savvy gamers rubbed shoulders, checked out the shoes, played video games, enjoyed craft beer (courtesy of Lost Craft), and hit the dance floor.
The packed after-party replicated the sneaker’s nostalgic vibe of gaming with your childhood friends at the arcade in the nineties. Throughout the night, the eclectic crowd, attracted by the eSports video gaming event, spent the evening enjoying the live covers of retro hip hop jams by Toronto cover band Wing Night, and even beginning some legit dance-offs to DJ Jayemkayem’s sets. The fashion looks were on point, ranging from retro flannel to video game accessories from head to toe.
The original Puma RS Computer Shoe was released back in 1986, and it featured a custom-designed computer chip in the heel. The RS stood for “Running System,” and it was one of the original fitness wearables, tracking steps and run information to be transferred to your computer decades before Fitbit entered the scene. Just picture it! There was a computer in the heel, and you could run a peripheral cable between your running shoes and your Commodore 64. Puma boasted that they were so out front in technology, they put computers in the backs of their shoes.
The new RS-0 takes the same shoe model back to basics, removing the bulky chip and interface from the heel and instead infusing the shoe design with a retro-futuristic nostalgia in their color ways and design detailing. There are four style packs that reflect this vibe, which people have been describing using the hashtag #futro. The packs include this Sonic collab with Sega and the rest of the video game inspired Play pack. The Optics and Sound packs will drop in the future, and all of them will pair just as well with your Apple Watch as the RS Computer Shoe did with your vintage Apple II computer.
The Puma x Sega RS-0 pack includes two shoes inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog and his nemesis Dr. Eggman. The blue Sonic shoes feature a palette of primary colors, accented by the checkerboard and grass pattern of the Green Hill Zone. The Dr. Eggman inspired shoes have his signature red and yellow, with stripes that reference his Eggmobile. Hands on with the shoes, partygoers loved being able to see the subtle details, like Dr. Eggman’s face and fireballs embossed on the inside of the heel. The bright colors and small details perfectly call back to the days of sneaking your Game Gear with you when your parents kicked you off the Genesis and told you to go play outside. Remember the thrill you got when you saw that full color screen, on a fully portable gaming system? You could finally chase those golden rings across a bright polygonal backdrop, anywhere you went!
Pumas newest sneaker fees like a fresh take on the retro trend that has recently taken over the streetwear scene by storm via with bright colours and bold patterns. Puma and Sega have both always been on the cutting edge of technology, so it’s no surprise to see them here, at the forefront where fashion and video games intersect.