Nike Air Sole – Inventor Frank Rudy Passes Away

December 30, 2009 BY

1.50 / 5 (1 VOTES)


Look down at your feet.  There’s an excellent chance that you’re wearing a pair of sneakers that wouldn’t exist without this man.  Or at least, they wouldn’t exist in their current form without him.  Marlon Frank Rudy, inventor of the famous Nike Air, passed away last week at the age of 84. Starting off his career as an aerospace engineer for the military, he later moved on to become an independent inventor around the 60’s, and ultimately had over 250 patents to his name.

But his most prominent brainchild was the Air Sole that he pitched to Nike co-founder, Phil Knight, in 1977. Knight tried on a pair, like he does with most prototypes, took it for a run and was astounded by the improved cushioning and stability it provided.  The Nike Air Tailwind became the first official production to feature the Air bubble, then moved into the realm of basketball for the Nike Air Force 1.  The rest is history. We all know, though, that it didn’t make a substantial mark until the Nike promoted the Air Max  during its ‘Revolution’ Campaign in 1987.    Think about how many classic sneakers have Air, then ponder if you would still like some of them without it?  The entire Air Max series, most other Nike runners, the Jordan III – VI, or more recently – Air Max Lebron VII.  Nike would still be struggling with competitors if it weren’t for Rudy’s ingenuity.  Nike President and Chief-Executive, Mark Parker, states:

“Frank Rudy holds a singular place in the pantheon of Nike innovation… His relentless creativity and focus on solving problems was, in many ways, the template for how Nike pursues performance to this very day.”

Not just a man to be remembered for his brilliance, Frank Rudy was also a philanthrope. In more recent years, Rudy focused much of his energy to support Cancer research in major clinics in Albany and Cleveland. Not just spokesperson or charitable donor, good friend ,Ben Walby, explained that Frank was hands-on, helping researchers using his analytic engineering skills. “He liked medicine and that was the ultimate puzzle for him. He wasn’t one to shy away from the ultimate challenge. The bigger the problem the more complex the problem, the deeper he dug in.”  via Oregon Live



additional images via SC

 eBay Marketplace Logo "adidas Ultra Boost Mid Run Thru Time" "Nike Air Max"
view all 162108 items on ebay

Filed under: Events Just Released Nike Air Max

latest posts
Load more posts

Get the latest News and Releases to your inbox

New Videos

Is the adidas' Futurecraft 4D the future of sneakers? by SneakerNews

How Kaws got to design an Air Jordan IV. by SneakerNews

Popular Posts


Nike Unveils 13 Air Max 97 Releases For August 2017 by Sneaker News


The Nike Flyknit Trainer Retro Arrives In One Week by Sneaker News


Paul George Has Another Nike Basketball Shoe In The Works by Sneaker News


Nike Celebrates Six Basketball Capitals With The Hyperdunk 2017 Low “City Pack” by Sneaker News


adidas NMD R1 Primeknit “Zebra Pack” Releases In August by Zack Schlemmer

Top Categories

  • Select Category


Sneaker Archive