Xero Shoes is a footwear brand that specializes in designing and creating lightweight and minimalist ‘barefoot’ sandals, shoes, and sports shoes. Xero Shoes’ mission is to create and provide their customers with the most natural feeling footwear possible.
They are committed to providing shoes that allow our feet to do what is natural – flexing, bending and allowing us to apply pressure where it is ‘naturally’ supposed to be.
The founder of Xero Shoes, Steven Sashen, an avid runner, got the idea for the company’s creation after joining a barefoot running club. He joined the club due to a friend’s recommendation as he was going through a long injury-prone period and suffered various issues with his feet and legs.
After experiencing barefoot running with his club a few times, he soon started to see the benefits of natural barefoot running. His injury-prone-ness eased up and solved most of his injury issues.
While he loved everything about running barefoot, he still didn’t want to tear, scratch, or bruise up his feet by running completely barefoot. Steven also thought some areas and locations were impossible to walk or run on without shoes.
Steven soon started designing and making huarache-inspired ‘barefoot’ shoes and sandals for himself and his barefoot running club. After his shoes started gaining popularity in his club, he and his partner, Lena, created Xero Shoes in 2009.
Xero Shoes are shoes that replicate barefoot movement as much as possible while keeping your feet safe. They are comfortable, functional, and provide numerous health benefits. Xero Shoes are also sustainable, and most of their products are also vegan-friendly! They also donate pairs to children in need in the Philippines for every purchase!
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch?
Steven and Lena appeared on Season 4, Episode 14 of Shark Tank. The pair were looking for a $400,000 investment in return for 8% of their company. The pair provided details about their product, demonstrated their product, and explained the various benefits of having minimalist, natural-feeling footwear.
Steve also provides details on their past sales figures. He mentions they have made over $650,000 in sales over the past two years. He also mentions they are projected to do over a million in sales this year.
Robert tries on Steven and Lena’s product and is impressed. Daymond feels that even though their products are patent protected, they can easily be copied and opted out. Daymond also calls their product ‘pieces of string and rubber.’ Kevin is still interested and makes an offer of $400,000 for 50% of their company. Robert, Barbara, and Mark all believe the valuation is too high and walk away from the deal.
Steven and Lena weren’t willing to give away half of their business and declined Kevin O’Leary’s offer. The pair left Shark Tank with no deal.
Our Review of Xero Shoes
After the Shark Tank episode aired, Xero Shoes had several investors interested. A private equity firm invested in the company for an undisclosed amount, and the company further expanded. Now, Xero Shoes is an incredibly successful company and continues to grow.
They sell their products on their own website, on Amazon, and in over 100 stores globally. Xero Shoes were also the official sponsor of the USA swim and archery teams in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Xero Shoes are flexible, lightweight, allow foot bending, and movement, and have actual science behind their designs. The idea is that – without a shoe, our feet bend, flex, and land in a natural manner. Unlike conventional running or sports shoes, they aren’t heavily cushioned on either side. Conventional cushioning absorbs and applies pressure onto our heels, ankles, knees, and up to our hips, which makes us more injury-prone.
When switching to Xero Shoes, the minimal design, lightweight feel, and barefoot design allow our feet to land more naturally while walking or running. When using Xero Shoes, you are able to get a lot more ‘feedback’ from the ground on your walking or running form. Their shoes allow users to use that feedback and change or adjust their strides, becoming more efficient and natural, which helps reduce ‘wrong’ landings and reduces various pains.
Pros of Xero Shoes
- Options: Their product line is wide and large. You can get Xero Shoes for all kinds of activities and climates. They have sandals, casual shoes, sports shoes, hiking, snow, water boots, and many more!
- Secure fit: They fit securely and naturally, making them very comfortable.
- Reflective details: reflective details are an amazing plus, especially for those who like walking or running during the night.
- Durable: Xero Shoes are high quality and very durable – but they also come with a 5000-mile warranty.
- Very flexible
- Reduces pains and injury risks
Cons of Xero Shoes
- Rocks can be a Problem: While the natural, barefoot feel is amazing, it does cause issues with pebbles and rocks. They do offer ‘thicker’ sole products if you have ‘rocky’ issues on your walking or running trail.
- Lacing: many users find issues with the lacing and finding the right fit with some of their products, like the DIY sandal kit or the Amuri Cloud Xero Shoe.
- Risky: Some trails, especially hiking trails, can be risky with barefoot or minimalist shoes.
Who are Xero Shoes for?
Anyone looking for minimalist or barefoot shoes that provide a natural feel, flexibility, and protection for all their walking/running activities. ‘Barefoot’ footwear does take time to get used to and can be uncomfortable to many.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Yes, there are many minimalist and barefoot footwear brands available today. OOFOS, OluKai, Vivobarefoot, and Vibram are just a few direct alternatives we could find.
Our Final Thoughts
Overall, Xero Shoes are a great minimalist barefoot shoe. Our feet support our whole bodies, which is why we should keep our feet in the best condition possible. Xero Shoes allows us to do just that – by allowing our feet to flex, bend, and move as naturally as possible.