© Pizza Hut

Let's just say they're basically still in beta.

Lee Breslouer
March 17, 2017

On the first day of the NCAA tournament, I laced up my high top sneakers and went to the gym. Sorry, I meant I laced up my Pie Tops. You know, the ones in the Pizza Hut commercials. To differentiate themselves from the glut of pizza chains out there, the Hut created exactly 64 pairs of shoes (in honor of March Madness, obviously) with one special feature: when you squeeze the tongue, a pizza is delivered to wherever you’re standing. I tried ‘em out, and things...didn’t go exactly as planned.

You know what they say about guys with small feet? Their damn feet are too small for Pie Tops. Pizza Hut only made shoes size 10 and above. I’m a 7.5 so obviously they sent me an 11. I slipped my miniature feet into sneakers the size of a New York City studio apartment and clomped down to the gym in my girlfriend’s apartment building. I figured that once the fellas at the gym saw what I was wearing, I’d be their new King (James). 

“Bro, are those exclusive Pizza Hut shoes?” they’d ask. 

“Yeah, bro,” I’d say.

“Let’s be best friends, bro,” they’d beg.

“No, bro,” I’d laugh, and float away on a cloud of arrogance fueled by my exclusive Pizza Hut sneakers.

The guys in the gym didn’t notice. 

Even though the shoes didn’t fit, they were comfortable. Probably because they were designed by the Shoe Surgeon. He’s a big deal in the bespoke sneaker game. I did some curls and laid down to do a bench press. I didn’t want to risk tripping over the sneakers on a treadmill. And then I did what I came to do at the gym, which was order some Pizza Hut.

© Lee Breslouer

Bluetooth is the sneaker’s secret weapon. When I pressed a button hidden in the tongue of the shoe, it paired to a special Pie Tops app on my phone. I set up my credit card info in advance. Except for when I pressed down, nothing happened. 

Then I got this error message.

© Lee Breslouer

I escaped to my girlfriend’s apartment to examine the shoes and figure out what the hell was up. I pressed repeatedly, but got no confirmation it worked. I was ready to throw these shoes out the window. Then my girlfriend touched a sneaker once and it worked. Pizza was en route. Whatever.

The pizza arrived 30 minutes later. The Pie Tops worked! Was this the future of pizza ordering technology? I thought so, but I also bribed other people in the apartment building with free pizza to ask them what they thought. One resident took a slice, and offered her insightful opinion. “It’s kind of like an Amazon Dash button,” she said. “It’s easier to touch a sneaker on the ground than pick up your phone.”

The future is now for the pizza wars. Domino’s is experimenting with drone pizza delivery. Pizza Hut has Pie Tops. Maybe soon, Papa John’s will let you order by telepathically communicating your order to the actual Papa John. Dare to dream pizza chains.