ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) — If you’re wearing sneakers right now, you’ve got a New Mexican to thank for helping design them. From Nikes to Brooks, Stan Hockerson has revolutionized footwear.
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who knows more about athletic shoes than Stan Hockerson. The history of this runner’s shoe begins in 1976.
“And the shoes didn’t look very good at the time. And I was training for the Olympic marathon trials, so I was going through them pretty fast and I didn’t have the money. So I started cutting the old ones and fixing them,” Hockerson said.
Back then, shoes relied on the midsole. Hockerson tried dropping the shoes inside the midsole to add more control. His dad knew he was on to something big, bringing him to a patent attorney. He invested the first elliptical shoe, but it took 10 years to convince the big companies.
And then there were legal battles. “And then eventually Nike was making the air max that incorporated it, so we licensed it to Nike,” Hockerson said. “So everyone copied Nike, and now I had to be a lawyer and sue them all for infringement.”
But now, its design can be found in almost every sports shoe made. “There’s not an NBA player who doesn’t play in this,” Hockerson said.
Hokcerson opened Heart and Sole Shoe Store in Albuquerque in 2000, a store steeped in history, and Hockerson is looking to disrupt the shoe industry again with a new patent.
“We can adjust both feet to be perfectly neutral and my partner put a sensor in those corners that will eventually email your phone and tell you when it’s starting to fail,” Hockerson said. “We’re going to Nike or Adidas with this one.”