Xero Shoes: What Happened After Shark Tank?

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Remember that Shark Tank episode that presented Xero Shoes? This company which creates minimalist and light-weighted shoes has presented its business plans in the reality show, hoping to convince sharks to agree to their terms.

Let’s see what actually happened on the offer and how Xero Shoes is doing now.

A sneak peek into Xero Shoes

  • Business concept: Recreational shoes and sandals
  • Founders: Lena Phoenix and Steven Sashen
  • Launch: December 2012
  • Location: Colorado, USA
  • Website: https://xeroshoes.com/ 
  • Net worth: ~$20 million
  • Competitors: Lugz, Oofos LLC, Rocket Dog, See Kai Run, Sseko Designs, The Reef Co

A closer look into Xero Shoes

Xero Shoes' natural feel and minimalist design have completely transformed the footwear industry. The feeling of walking barefoot is replicated by these incredibly lightweight shoes, which were designed specifically for leisure activities. 

xero shoes

But what distinguishes them from other shoes available on the market?

Xero Shoes' uniqueness lies in their patented FeelTrue sole. Safely explore the world with a natural feeling that protects your feet. A natural and comfortable walking experience requires feedback and stimulation for your brain.

Moreover, manufacturers of Xero Shoes exhibit great trust in their product as they provide it with a 5,000-mile sole warranty.

The concept behind Xero Shoes

The Xero Shoes imitate the pre-Columbian huarache sandals and offer a natural feel for those who prefer barefoot walking. Minimalist in style yet highly functional, these shoes boast a thin and adaptable sole that perfectly fits the form of the human foot.

After joining a local barefoot running club and experiencing improved gait and reduced injuries himself, Steven Sashen developed Xero Shoes. He is also known as a former Master All-American sprinter.

The ability for your toes to spread and relax is facilitated by the wide toe boxes unique to Xero Shoes.

With their zero-drop non-elevated heel design, these shoes promote proper posture, which in turn makes them beneficial for your overall health as well as being comfortable to wear.

These flexible soles that let your foot move freely and naturally while walking makes it seem like you're not wearing any shoes at all.

The design that is low to the ground improves your balance and agility, which provides an additional advantage during sports activities.

The design of Xero Shoes ensures they have a long lifespan. At its core, Xero Shoes believes excessive cushioning in sports footwear can hinder our natural gait pattern and advocates for minimalist shoe designs as a healthier alternative.

Xero Shoes Shark Tank: before

After recognizing the advantages of barefoot running yet finding it impractical for daily life activities, Steven Sashen established Xero Shoes. 


Using Vibram rubber and colored cords in combination with his expertise on how feet move during walking or running allowed Sashen to invent the first pair of barefoot running sandals. 

Selling DIY sandal kits under the name “Feel the World” began in 2009 when a company was formed due to interest from other runners.

The arrival of experienced product developer Dennis Driscoll at the company in August 2012 resulted in a decision being made to rename the brand Xero Shoes. 

The corporation has vented shoes and sandals in diverse styles and patterns to clients in 94 nations with impressive growth statistics.

With its focus on innovation and comfort in the minimalist footwear trend, Xero Shoes remains a leader in this growing movement helping individuals achieve their fitness objectives. 

Anyone with aspirations to turn their passion into a prosperous venture would find Xero Shoes' story truly inspiring.

Xero Shoes Shark Tank: during

In one of the most memorable episodes of Shark Tank, Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix presented their company, Xero Shoes, to the Sharks. 

tank sharks xero shoes

They showcased a superior product while sharing their personal story of creating Xero Shoes in an engaging and upbeat pitch. They valued their business at $5 million and requested an 8% share for $400k.

The Sharks had varying reactions to Xero Shoes. Sashen invited them to try the shoes despite their doubts about the valuation.

Testing the shoes on different surfaces as a runner himself, Robert Herjavec said that they felt amazing but looked somewhat odd.

Daymond John was dismissive of the rubber and string product, while Kevin O’Leary was skeptical about its simplicity and ease of copying. However, Sashen revealed that their design was patented. 

O’Leary made an offer “just for the heck of it” – $400,000 for 50% equity, saying the business was worth about $800,000. 

Sashen declined, and the two of them walked out onto the Shark Tank stage.

Although they did not secure a deal on Shark Tank, Xero Shoes has become a successful company, selling minimalist shoes and sandals that are designed to let your feet move naturally.

The company has expanded its product line, and its shoes are now available in over 90 countries worldwide

Xero Shoes' appearance on Shark Tank reminds us that having a strong product and sound business strategy can lead to success despite not receiving funding from investors during the show.

Xero Shoes Shark Tank: after

Xero Shoes has come a long way since its appearance on Shark Tank. While the Sharks may not have seen the potential in the minimalist sandal company, many others certainly have. 

Xero Shoes has not only survived, but it has thrived and expanded its offerings.

After declining the Sharks' offer, Xero Shoes received $1 million in investment in 2017 and $12.5 million in 2020

These investments allowed the company to expand its product line to include flats and other casual footwear designed with the same minimalist principles as its sandals.

Due to the import tax from China in 2019's trade war tariff era, Xero Shoes faced a challenge with a 15% increase in costs. Regardless of the setbacks experienced by the company, it persisted and flourished.

In order to penetrate the European market effectively from November 2021 onwards, Xero Shoes launched a new direct-to-consumer website along with an operational headquarters situated in Prague, CZ

This expansion is anticipated to enable the company's minimalist footwear offerings to reach an even greater number of customers.

Despite the setbacks and challenges, Xero Shoes has proven that a commitment to quality and minimalist design can lead to success. 

From a crash due to high demand after their Shark Tank appearance to expanding into Europe, Xero Shoes is a company on the rise. Whether you're looking for sandals, flats, or casual footwear, Xero Shoes is a brand worth checking out.

Final thoughts on Xero Shoes

By providing an alternative to traditional running shoes, Xero Shoes have tapped into a growing market of health-conscious individuals who prioritize comfort and style.


Although they did not secure a Shark investment, their appearance on Shark Tank gave them exposure and helped them reach new customers. 

The company's success story is a testament to the power of innovation and hard work

Today, Xero Shoes are sold in over 100 retailers worldwide, and the company continues to expand its product line and global reach.

Whether you're a runner, a fashionista, or just looking for comfortable shoes, Xero Shoes are definitely worth checking out.

Frequently asked questions

Is Xero Shoes still in business after Shark Tank's appearance?

Yes. In fact, the company has also expanded its sales channels, moving beyond online sales to select high street-based North American retailers and Amazon.com.

What is Xero Shoes’ best seller?

One of Xero Shoes' best-selling shoes is the Xero Phoenix, which has proven popular with customers who value comfort and style.

Are barefoot shoes actually good for me?

Wearing barefoot shoes can lead to stronger ankles, providing improved control and stability. 

Strengthening the muscles in your feet through the use of barefoot shoes can also encourage better posture and reduce the risk of future knee and hip injuries resulting from a collapse at the feet.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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