Xero Shoes Shark Tank Update

Xero Shoes is a footwear company specializing in minimalist and barefoot-inspired shoes, sandals, and boots. The company was founded by Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix in 2009 and is based in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

The mission of Xero Shoes is to create products that promote natural foot movement and allow wearers to experience the benefits of barefoot walking or running while still providing protection and support.

Xero Shoes’ product line includes various types of footwear, such as running shoes, casual shoes, sandals, and boots, designed for both men and women.

The key features of their shoes include a wide toe box, thin and flexible soles, lightweight design, and zero-drop construction, which means there’s no height difference between the heel and the toe.

These design principles aim to allow the foot to function as naturally as possible, improving balance, posture, and overall foot health.

The company has gained popularity among barefoot and minimalist shoe enthusiasts and has been featured in various media outlets, including ABC’s Shark Tank, where the founders pitched their business to potential investors.

What Is Xero Shoes?

Xero Shoes by Feel Good Inc. are barefoot and athletic footwear brands specializing in lightweight sandals and sports shoes. A minimalist shoe brand, Xero Shoes is committed to making shoes replicating barefoot movement through fit, feel, and function.

XeroShoes are an excellent choice for walks, runs, and treks. Take them on your next 5k or family BBQ, and treat your feet with a minimalist shoe that allows you to feel the world beneath your feet regardless of where you are.

Xero Shoes Shark Tank Update
Company NameXero Shoes
EntrepreneurLena Phoenix and Steven Sashen
ProductSandals & Shoes for Barefoot
Investment Asking For$400,000 For 8% equity in Xero Shoes
Final DealNo Deal
SharkNo Shark
Episode Season 4 Episode 14
Business StatusIn Business
WebsiteVisit Website

Who Is The Founder Of Xero Shoes?

Lena Phoenix and Steven Sashen founded Xero Shoes. The couple has been entrepreneurs, achieving numerous accomplishments in various fields.

Lena is currently the CFO and majority shareholder of Xero Shoes, and Steven is the CEO. The 45-year-old Steven decided it was time to reintroduce himself to sprinting. He was an ardent sprinter in his teens but had been plagued by injuries recently.

His friend gave him a copy of Christopher McDougall’s best-selling book, Born to Run, as a recommendation to try barefoot running.

Steven was so enamored with the sensation of his bare feet touching the ground and the transformative effect it had on his pace that he wanted to be barefoot all the time.

Sadly, Steven had to design his sandals because going barefoot is not always practical. Xero Shoes were created for Lena and himself using a pair of Vibram rubber soles and some brightly colored cords.

He would wear his sandals while running, and other runners would request a pair. Steven’s running buddy advised him to establish his own business.

Steven later discussed the concept with Lena, who initially dismissed it as bad. However, after trying her pair on, she was captivated.

Xero Shoes Before Shark Tank

Lena Phoenix and Steven Sashen walked into their audition tape against the backdrop of Boulder, Colorado mountains.

He stated that most people associate that city with aged athletic hippies. Steven and his wife served as spokespersons for the company and confirmed that the image was accurate.

A video shows Steven running down a street while narrating a sprinter. He returned to the sport after a 30-year hiatus and was regularly wounded.

Steven’s friend suggested running without shoes, and it worked beautifully. He has been running “essentially barefoot” since then, he stated. This ordeal motivated the duo to establish Xero Shoes.

Lena chimed in, describing their unassuming product as groundbreaking. Steven said that they hope the Sharks will see Xero Shoes as visionaries and that their goal is to alter the world.

Steven remarked that they had devoted their entire lives to ensuring the success of their product. They sought financing from the Sharks to strengthen their current position. They desired increased success because they believed they possessed a superior product.

How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Xero Shoes?

Steve and Lena appeared on Shark Tank requesting an investment of $400,000 in exchange for an 8% stake in Xero Shoes. The partners desired the investment to enhance their market position due to their product’s superiority.

Sashen requested that the Sharks try on the sneakers. Robert Herjavec, being a runner, volunteered. He noted that the shoes felt “wonderful” on various surfaces, but they did seem a bit odd.

Daymond John was somewhat contemptuous of the $5 million rubber and string product and declined to continue negotiations. Kevin O’Leary was skeptical because the product appeared basic and easy to replicate. Sashen disclosed that the design had been patented.


Kevin O’Leary said he would make an offer “just for the heck of it.” He offered the pair $400,000 for 50% equity, saying the business was worth about $800,000.

Sashen told O’Leary that he would not take that offer immediately, to Mark Cuban’s surprise. O’Leary called the pair delusional entrepreneurs, and Barbara Corcoran told Sashen he reminded her of her first husband, and he gave her a headache. She was out.

Herjavec said he loved the product but not at their valuation. He was out.

O’Leary invited a counter-proposal, and Sashen said they would go from 8% to 10%. Mark Cuban was out, but not before he expressed his negative feelings about the couple’s business savvy.

O’Leary pushed for a response to his offer. Sashen declined. Steven and Lena turned down a $400,000 offer from Kevin O’Leary for a 50 percent stake in Xero Shoes at an $800,000 valuation, and as a result, they were forced to leave the Shark Tank without a transaction.

Final Deal: No deal between Xero Shoes and Sharks.

Did Xero Shoes Get a Deal on Shark Tank?

Xero Shoes founders Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix appeared on the reality TV show Shark Tank in February 2013, during Season 4, Episode 14. They pitched their minimalist footwear business to the “sharks,” a panel of potential investors, hoping to secure funding to grow and expand their company.

During their pitch, Sashen and Phoenix explained the benefits of barefoot running and minimalist footwear, demonstrating their shoes’ durability and flexibility. They sought a $400,000 investment in exchange for an 8% equity stake in their company.

While some sharks, like Kevin O’Leary, expressed interest in the product, they raised concerns about the company’s valuation and the potential for competition in the market.

Ultimately, the founders of Xero Shoes did not secure a deal with any sharks on the show. However, the appearance of Shark Tank brought significant attention to the brand, leading to increased sales and growth.

Since its appearance on the show, Xero Shoes has continued to expand its product line and grow in popularity, becoming a well-known brand in the minimalist and barefoot footwear market.

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What Happened To Xero Shoes After Shark Tank?

The appearance of Xero Shoes on Shark Tank resulted in 3,000 new orders for the company, even though Xero Shoes ultimately decided not to accept the offer.

Xero Shoes’ website kept crashing due to the many customers wanting to purchase shoes. The company appears to have courted an entirely new target market – the one that does not run barefoot.

Individuals were only interested in buying a pair of comfortable sandals. The company plans to double its sales. Xero Shoes are available on their website and around 100 other stores worldwide.

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Xero Shoes Shark Tank Update

Although Xero Shoes did not secure a deal with any of the investors on Shark Tank, the exposure from the show provided a significant boost to the company’s visibility, leading to increased sales and growth.

After their appearance on the show, Xero Shoes continued to expand its product line and customer base. Here are some key developments for Xero Shoes after their Shark Tank appearance:

  1. Product expansion: The company expanded its product line to include a wider variety of footwear, such as casual shoes, performance running shoes, hiking shoes, and boots, in addition to their original sandals. This allowed them to cater to a broader audience and address different customer needs.
  2. Increased sales and growth: Shark Tank’s exposure helped raise brand awareness, increasing sales and growth. Xero Shoes has since established itself as a popular choice among minimalist and barefoot shoe enthusiasts.
  3. Retail and online presence: Xero Shoes expanded its retail presence by partnering with specialty stores and making its products available through its website and other online retailers. This increased accessibility has helped to grow the brand further.
  4. Community engagement: Xero Shoes has cultivated a community of loyal customers and fans who share their experiences and promote the brand through social media and word-of-mouth. The company also engages with its community through its blog, events, and social media channels.

Xero Shoes has continued to develop and grow since its Shark Tank appearance, becoming a well-known and respected brand within the minimalist and barefoot footwear market.

Even though Xero Shoes did not receive an investment from or endorsement from the Sharks, the company has been going from strength to strength.

Xero Shoes received an investment of one million dollars in 2017 and another twelve and a half million dollars in 2020. The natural barefoot walking and running concept promoted by Xero Shoes and Sashen has been debated.

The medical community as a whole is not on the same page as Sashen and Phoenix when it comes to the question of whether or not barefoot or minimalist shoes are safe for everyone.

Despite this, the figures speak for themselves, and the company remains profitable. You may buy Xero Shoes, made in China, on Amazon, as well as directly from the company’s website and at retail stores worldwide.

Xero Shoes generates $13 million in yearly sales, according to its financial report in 2021.

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Is Xero Shoes Still In Business?

Steven and Lena made a vow to themselves after leaving Shark Tank that they would prove the sharks wrong, and they have done just that. Xero Shoes are available on Amazon, on the Xero Shoes website, and in various retail locations worldwide.

Xero Shoes came to the Shark Tank for a $5 million valuation, and its stock has now more than doubled in value.

According to company statistics, Xero Shoes reported $6.6 million in sales as of 2017, with 68 percent of shoes sold directly on the site and 32 percent through Amazon, eBay, retail stores, and international distributors.

According to its financial statements, the company had sales above $21 million last year, with a gross profit margin of 52.4 percent and an EBITDA margin of 22.9 percent.

The fast-growing bare footwear company’s success attracted investors, who made two offers: one for $1 million in September 2017 and another for $12.5 million in December 2020, all at an undisclosed price.

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What Is the Net Worth of Xero Shoes?

The valuation of Xero Shoes was $5 million when it appeared on Shark Tank. The net worth of Xero Shoes is $13 million as of 2023.

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