THE WORLD OF GNL SHOES
A Swiss family in Florida
In the 1990s Jürg Braunschweiler, an engineering graduate from the world renowned Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, invented the first shoe sole utilizing horizontal instead of the conventional vertical cushioning.
Jürg’s wife Patty grew up in Florida and so the couple and their son Eric spent a lot of time in the Sunshine State enjoying an active lifestyle at the beach.
Being an athlete himself, a fitness and health enthusiast, as well as a former officer in the Swiss Special Forces, Jürg was determined to strengthen and protect his body, while regenerating his joints and muscles. His determination led to the relentless search for the ultimate shoe sole. He understood that the shoe sole is the permanent interface between ourselves and the ground, no matter how and where we move.
The passionate quest for shoe sole innovation
Walking and running along the boardwalks close to the beaches, Jürg noticed that some sand covering the tarmac ground provided optimal cushioning. Why? On every step the sand absorbed the shearing forces smoothly gliding the foot into its step and directly pushing it back off from the pavement.
This was his Eureka moment - to Jürg’s engineering mind it all made sense. Negative impact on joints is largely due to an abrupt stop after a horizontal motion. Gliding into the step softens the impact and leads to a more fluid movement.
Equipped with a garden hose, a pair of scissors and some super glue, Jürg crafted his first prototype. He cut the garden hose into pieces and glued them to the sole of his shoes. The rubber tubes shear and collapse during impact, yet stay firm and stable for the push-off.
Swiss engineering excellence - GNL’s revolutionary 360° 3D shoe cushioning system
Jürg and his son Eric were now on a mission. They were convinced that a shoe must not only be a perfect fit for the foot but the entire body - a holistic tool to support and regenerate the body: running, standing and walking.
Their innovations were plentiful, yet, eventually they realized sliding in the direction of the movement only was not enough given uneven surfaces and body frames. Hence, they created a 360° 3D cushion. The corresponding patent was filed in 2006 and is today’s foundation for GNL‘s technological vision and lead.
The Braunschweiler family then dropped all other patent applications and even sold their predecessor patent in 2009. Their full focus was thereafter on a three-dimensional holistic regenerating health approach.
The world’s smartest shoe - the GNL Glide’n Lock® principle
We live in a three dimensional world and need a shoe that supports three-dimensional movement. That is the Credo of GNL inventor Jürg Braunschweiler. He searched for the perfect cushioning system that would work the way nature intended. We move forward, backward and side-to-side -these forces, horizontal and vertical, need cushioning. In addition, a sole must only be soft when needed. After a smooth landing, experts agree, the foot should be able to push off with stability. This is the GNL philosophy.
Quality and sustainability are matters of the heart
"Growing up at the beach and spending a lot of time in the Swiss Alps gave me a deep love and respect for nature. For me, quality over quantity has always been key. I want people to get the most out of their GNL shoe - the highest comfort and longest usage. It is my mission to make the best quality product with as little negative impact on our planet as possible.
That is also why we invented the re-sole program. We are tireless in working towards our ambitious sustainability and eco-friendly goals.”
Eric Braunschweiler, CEO and Founder of GNL
Strategic collaboration with Clinique La Prairie – shoe innovation meets wellness
GNL, the leading Swiss, eco-conscious and high-tech footwear brand has entered a strategic collaboration with Clinique La Prairie, the world-renowned Swiss clinic and pioneer in wellness and longevity since 1931.
The GNL Shoe is Swiss engineered, European made, driven by sustainability - its development eco-conscious and vegan, and its purpose to regenerate body and mind while improving your lifestyle and comfort on a daily basis.