These shoes are an RTX 3080-powered PC

RTX 3080 shoes
(Image credit: RTFKT)

NZXT is a hardware manufacturer that makes cases, components, and accessories for the PC gaming market. RTKFT makes "virtual and physical next-gen collectible sneakers for the best esports, gaming, and entertainment celebrities." Each is a powerhouse in its own field, but when they come together like the proverbial chocolate and peanut butter, the results are... well, kind of confusing, really.

Is it a shoe that looks like a PC? Or a tiny PC that looks like a shoe? Or is it just a weird piece of ridiculously expensive swag to put up on your shelf between your Assassin's Creed statuette and GTA coffee mug? At first glance, I honestly couldn't tell, and neither RTFKT—that's "Artifact" phonetically, by the way—nor NZXT were very helpful in clarifying.

The shoe-system was initially teased on Twitter as a sort of surprise for NZXT, although RTFKT later confirmed that a partnership with the hardware maker is in place, "empowering RTFKT and our creator community to create the future of fashion and collectibles, powering our vision, community and crazy ideas with their awesome builds and love of gaming."

I like entertaining the idea that these might be actual shoes, with a fake fan attached to the sole and a battery-powered holographic window revealing all sorts of techno-innards that aren't actually there. I know, I know—it's a wee little PC and there's no way anyone could possibly stuff a foot in there without stomping who-knows-how-much expensive hardware into pieces, and shredding some toes in the process. They're definitely not real shoes. I mean, they can't be. Right?

(I've reached out to RTFKT to ask. Just to be sure, you see. I'll let you know.)

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.