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What does Klosters have to do with shoes?

Michael Kistler, head of Marketing Communications & E-business, 02. March 2020

Jürg Braunschweiler was a passionate amateur sportsman. His hobby would often take him up into the Graubünden mountains, or more specifically Klosters, where little Eric used to spend the winter holidays with his family year after year.   

The engineer would jog almost every day in Klosters. And it was on these outings that he noticed how jogging on snow helped to considerably reduce the pain in his hip and knee. He’d already realised the effect of jogging on sand in the summer. Inspired by his experience, Jürg spent years working on developing a shoe that would protect his knee when running – a development that included a garden hose, amongst others. A hose cushions the impact and provides the best support for push-off. This was the breakthrough and basic principle patented by Jürg Braunschweiler.  

More information about Eric and what he did with the patent can be found in the following interview:

Besides being the son of an innovative engineer, who is Eric Braunschweiler?

I’m 35 years old and grew up in Zurich and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I studied business and marketing at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and then returned to Switzerland.   

What did you do after returning to Switzerland?

First I had to complete basic army training in armoured infantry. Shortly afterwards, in 2017, I founded the shoe label GNL. which stands for “Glide'n Lock”, the way the special sole makes you walk. So now you know what I did with the patent. I launched a trendy sneaker brand for men and women, with a sole similar to “On”, just with flatter nubs instead of big laces.

What binds you to Klosters?

My grandparents bought one of the first holiday homes in Klosters many years ago. I practically grew up there during the skiing season. 

Where is your favourite place in Graubünden?

Klosters and Davos are my favourite places, simply because I’ve spent so much time there and know the ski slopes inside out.  Plus, both places are perfectly connected by RhB. 

What is your connection with RhB?

RhB was as much part of our holidays as skiing. As a child, I was always fascinated by the little red railway and we travelled a lot around Graubünden.  

Your father gave you a patent – what did you do with it?

I love sneakers and cool everyday shoes, which is why I founded GNL Footwear in 2017 to make people healthier and happier with my shoes. We wear shoes virtually all day every day yet never think about how these shoes affect our health and posture. I want to use GNL to show how the right shoe can make all the difference. GNL is my baby and I’m delighted that it already has so many fans in Switzerland.

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