(Re)Introducing the Micropacer

Sports tech takes a step backwards with Adidas's latest sneaker launch

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The only thing better than new technology is old technology. Add the term “vintage,” price it at a premium and watch us geeks drool. Generally, sports technology isn’t old enough to go retro; Adidas begs to differ with the return of its 1984 Micropacer shoe.

Predating today’s growing pedometer obsession by two decades, the Micropacer was the first shoe to implant a microchip in the big toe area, which registered steps each time the wearer pushed off.

Adidas stopped making the shoe in 1987 but has since introduced limited re-launches over the past few years. Its newest batch of 500 (available at just 80 stores worldwide) comes in blue suede at $350 a pop.

Ironically, the retro technology is pricier than the latest microchip endeavor by Adidas. The 2005 Adidas 1 used a sensor to automatically adjust the stiffness of the heel based on the running surface but can be found on eBay for $100. Get yours quick though; if history’s any judge, in twenty years you’ll be paying at least twice that.