Public transport made cool with high-tech sneakers.

Adidas is giving public transport a stylish makeover in Berlin with sneakers that double as an annual transit pass. The sportswear giant has collaborated with Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the city’s transport company, to create 500 pairs of shoes fitted with a season ticket worth €730. The new EQT Support 93/Berlin sneakers, which cost €180, appeal not only to die-hard shoe enthusiasts but also to savvy spenders who want to save a bundle on travel.

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Image credit: @overkillshop | Overkill

In a bid to modernize the 90-year-old BVG, the sneakers feature the same color pattern found on Berlin’s subway seats. “How cool is that?” says BVG chairwoman Sigrid Nikutta. “It’s great that the BVG, which is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, is now becoming a style icon itself.”

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Image credit: @overkillshop | Overkill

Adidas is not the first to present stylish payment alternatives. Topshop collaborated with Barclays to create Topshop X bPay, a range of accessories containing contactless payment technology. The range, which initially included items such as wristbands and stickers, received a sleek makeover in June 2016 with the launch of the second collection, which featured bracelets, smartphone cases and key chains in a luxury metal and snake design.

Visa created NFC-enabled payment gloves, stickers and Olympic pins for the 2018 Winter Olympic games in PyeongChang. These devices will allow fans and athletes to make seamless payments at any contactless- enabled terminal.

JWT_Visa Lotte Card Wearable Glove
Visa Lotte Card Wearable Glove
JWT_Visa Lotte Card Wearable Pin
Visa Lotte Card Wearable Pin

Travel wearables have long been interesting design concepts—intriguing examples include Lucie Davis’s acrylic nails, fitted with an Oyster-card chip that can be used to access London’s public transport system, and Benjamin Parton’s Oyster-card ring. Brands are now moving beyond concepts and developing real devices that are not only stylish but also serve a functional purpose.

Main image: @overkillshop | Overkill