The Invisible Shoes, also known as XeroShoes, are a modern interpretation of the pre-Colombian Huarache sandals.
A centuries-old kind of minimalist footwear gained popularity in Mexico and the United States of America during the 1930s when consumers began making them out of recycled tires.
Beach Boys’ song Surfin USA told us to wear “baggies and Huarache sandals as well,” although Steve Sashen and his wife, Lena Phoenix, were more concerned about running in their barefoot XeroShoes.
Sashen is a master’s level sprinter and a former stand-up comedy and software, mogul. He continued to sustain injuries until a friend recommended running barefoot.
Running barefoot alleviated his injury problems and rekindled his entrepreneurial spirit. Xero Shoes were Steve’s solution to avoid torn-up feet while running, so he designed his shoes for himself and other Boulder Barefoot Running Club members.
Steve’s “high-tech Huaraches” quickly became popular. He and Lena founded the business in 2009, and they will present it to the Sharks in episode 413 with the hope that they will feel the world by investing.
What Is Xero Shoes?
Xero Shoes by Feel Good Inc. are barefoot and athletic footwear brands that specialize in lightweight sandals and sports shoes.
A minimalist shoe brand, Xero Shoes is committed to making shoes that replicate 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.
|Company Name||Xero Shoes|
|Entrepreneur||Lena Phoenix and Steven Sashen|
|Product||Sandals & Shoes for Barefoot|
|Investment Asking For||$400,000 For 8% equity in Xero Shoes|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Episode||Season 4 Episode 14|
|Business Status||In Business|
Who Is The Founder Of Xero Shoes?
Lena Phoenix and Steven Sashen founded Xero Shoes. The couple has been entrepreneurs all their lives, 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 in recent years.
He was given a copy of Christopher McDougall’s best-selling book, Born to Run, by his friend 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 he 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 $400k in exchange for an 8% stake in Xero Shoes.
Steven has generated more than $655,000 in sales during the past two years, and he is on track to generate over $1 million in sales in 2012.
Robert puts the shoes on and finds them to be comfortable!
Even though Steve’s patents are protected, Daymond believes that someone will come in and steal the Xero shoe business.
He dismisses Xeroshoes as a “piece of thread and rubber” and immediately leaves the room. Mr. Wonderful has made an offer of $400K for a 50% stake in the company.
In the meantime, Barbara, Robert, and Mark leave the house because of the appraisal.
Steve and Lena turn down Mr. Wonderful’s offer, prompting him to scream his now-famous “you’re dead to me” phrase.
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.
What Happened To Xero Shoes After Shark Tank?
The show’s appearance 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 high number of customers who wanted to purchase shoes.
The company appears to have succeeded in courting 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 for purchase on their website and around 100 other stores worldwide.
Xero Shoes Shark Tank Update
Steve stated in the Shark Tank Blog that his website had occasionally broken throughout the original airing date of the show.
According to Steve, Xero shoes sold 20 percent more during the seven days following the exhibition. They sold way more than they requested on Shark Tank!
Xero shoes have also piqued the interest of members of the investment community. After his presentation, several investors approached Steve, and he is currently assessing his options.
It was revealed in December 2020 that they would form a strategic relationship with TZP Group, a private equity business.
Xero Shoes’ financial terms were not disclosed, but Steve stated that “after bootstrapping the brand’s growth for several years, we are thrilled to have partnered with someone who shares our vision and can help us grow the brand’s presence so that more people can benefit from our products.”
Xero Shoes was on hand at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in August of 2021 to provide support. The company sponsored the United States Synchronized Swimming Team (USA Synchro).
The company is expected to generate $13 million in yearly sales by December 2021.
Is Xero Shoes Still In Business?
Steven and Lena made a vow to themselves after leaving the Shark Tank that they would prove the sharks wrong, and they have done just that.
Xero Shoes are currently available on Amazon, on the Xero Shoes website, and in various retail locations worldwide.
Xero Shoes came to the Shark Tank in search of a $5 million valuation, and their stock has now more than doubled in value as a result.
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 for it: one for $1 million in September 2017 and another for $12.5 million in December 2020, all at an undisclosed price.