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xeroshoesXeroShoes (formerly called Invisible Shoes) are a modern take on the pre-Colombian Huarache sandals. This centuries-old form of minimalist footwear became popular in Mexico and the USA in the 1930’s when people began making them with old tires. The Beach Boys sang about “wearin’ their baggies, Huarache sandals too,” in Surfin USA, but entrepreneurs Steve Sashen and his wife, Lena Phoenix, were more interested in wearing their XeroShoes for barefoot running.

Sashen, a former stand-up comic and software mogul, is a master’s level sprinter. He kept injuring himself until a friend suggested running barefoot. Running barefoot solved his injury issues, and re-ignited his entrepreneurial flame. Steve didn’t want to tear up his feet on the track, so he made his own XeroShoes  for himself and his Boulder Barefoot Running Club mates. Before long, Steve’s “hi-tech Huaraches” were in demand. He and Lena began the business in 2009 and will bring he business to the Shark Tank in episode 413, hoping the Sharks will “feel the world” with an investment.

XeroShoes Shark Tank Recap

Steve and Lena entered the Shark Tank seeking $400k for an 8% share of Xeroshoes. Steve reveals he has over $650K in sales the past two years and is on track to do over $1.2 million in 2012. Robert actually tries the shoes on and likes them!

Daymond thinks someone will come in and knock off Xeroshoes, despite Steve’s patent protections. He calls Xeroshoes a “piece of string and rubber,” and promptly goes out. Mr. Wonderful offers $400K for 50% of the business. In the mean time, Barbara, Robert and Mark go out due to the valuation. Steve and Lena decline Mr. Wonderful’s offer and he utters his famous “you’re dead to me,” line.

XeroShoes Shark Tank Update

In a post show interview, Steve told the Shark Tank Blog that his website crashed intermittently throughout the show’s original air date.  Steve said Xeroshoes did 20% of the previous year’s volume in the seven days following  the show. Their sales numbers surpassed what they were asking for in the Shark Tank!

Xeroshoes also caught the eye of the investor community. Several investors approached Steve after the show and he’s weighing his options. In December, 2020, they announced a strategic partnership with TZP Group, a private equity firm. Terms were not disclosed, but Steve said, “After years of bootstrapping Xero Shoes’ growth, Lena and I are thrilled to have a partner that shares our vision and has the resources to help us become a global brand that helps more people experience the comfort and benefits of our footwear.”

2020 revenue grew by 88% during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In August, 2021, Xeroshoes were in Tokyo for the summer Olympics. The company was an official sponsor of the USA synchronized swim and archery teams. In 2021, the company was named to the Inc. 5000 list (number 1498) for the fifth year in a row. In October, 2022, Sashen said they plan on expanding their “casual lifestyle” products in 2023. As of October, 2023 annual revenue is $23 million.

Posts about XeroShoes on Shark Tank Blog

Xeroshoes Update Interview with Steve and Lena

Pre-Show Interview


Product Review: Amuri Z-Trek 

Product Review: Ipari Hana

Product Review: Ipari Prio

Daylite Hiker Review

XeroShoes Information




Barefoot running sandals Xero Shoes • Original Barefootware

– “Barefoot.. PLUS!™” sandals
– worn by over 20,000 people in 82 countries, aged 6 to 88
– great for walking, running, hiking, gym-going, yoga, the beach… everything
– you get the fun and health benefits of being barefoot, with a layer of protection
– make them as simple as you want, or decorate them to express yourself
– custom-made to perfectly fit your foot
– inexpensive (starting at $19.95!)
– 5,000 mile warranty!
– WINNER: Grovie Award – Best Huaraches Sandals
– TOP RATED: 94 out of 100 rating from The Running Clinic
Xero Shoes are the closest thing you can get to being barefoot… PLUS a layer of protection,

a perfect fit, and a style you can call your own.

Click here to learn more


  1. On Shark Tank it was mentioned that there was a kit so that you could design your own sandal. I want to give it to my son for Christmas, but do not know his size, Thought this would be the best idea.
    Would the kit be on sale also. Ann Syska

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