Xero Shoes Update | Season 4

Self-proclaimed hippies Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix came on the tank to pitch their line of minimalist shoes. Did they earn a deal on Shark Tank Season 4? Find out in our Xero Shoes update!

Shark Tank Xero Shoes Update

Xero Shoes Update

  • Entrepreneurs: Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix
  • Business: Minimalist “barefoot” style shoes
  • Ask: $400,000 for 8% equity
  • Result: No deal
  • Shark: None

Steven and Lena introduced Xero Shoes as a solution for ultra marathon runners, like Steven himself, to run “barefoot” but with a layer of protection. However, Xero Shoes evolved into a fashion line as well, combining fashion and function in a unique product.

Xero Shoes Men's HFS Running Shoes - Zero Drop, Lightweight & Barefoot Feel, Glacier Blue, 9.5

Made in the USA or Imported. Rubber sole.SHAPED FOR COMFORT, BUILT FOR SPEED.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Robert Herjavec was invited up during the pitch to try two variants of the Xero Shoe and, although he felt ridiculous, he did confirm that the shoes were quite comfy. Robert asked about the sales and the founders shared that, over two years and with no advertising, they had managed to sell $650,000 worth of product, $130,000 of which had occurred within the past two months.

Steven went on to project that, by the end of the year, Xero Shoes was on track to sell $1.2 million. Kevin O’Leary liked the sound of this, but asked what profit the $1.2 million would award Steven and Lena. Unfortunately, they expected to collect only $200,000 from this substantial sum.

While Mark Cuban and Robert dove into the financials, learning that it cost $3.11 to make a pair and it would then retail at $24.95, Barbara Corcoran was distracted by the unrefined appearance of the shoe.

Daymond John too had gripes with the product design, and claimed he could have an identical batch of the product coming in from China at a fraction of the cost within thirty days. Steven replied, “I challenge you on that.” Daymond, always competitive, almost accepted.

Ultimately, however, Daymond decided to scold Steven and Lena for the gross overvaluation, claiming that Xero Shoes were nothing more than a piece of rubber and a string. For this reason, Daymond was out.

Robert asked why Steven and Lena developed the product, and the two grabbed a prop from their pitch and said that the Tarahumara Indians, an ancient tribe of runners, used to wear a similar shoe 15,000 years ago. They based their design on this.

Kevin shrugged and decided to gamble. He offered $400,000, but wanted 50% equity. Steven essentially dismissed the offer, saying he would “come back to” Kevin later. Mark was shocked that anyone would make an offer, and that Steven would not take it immediately.

Barbara spoke up at this point and went out, stating issues that she had with the design. Robert said he would love to try Xero Shoes personally, and was interested in the company, but the $5 million valuation was a major turn off. For that reason, Robert was out.

Then, Kevin asked if Steven would consider making a counteroffer. Steven offered up 10% equity, to which Kevin said he was out “out of his mind.” Steven and Lena defended their stance, but Mark interjected, advising them to take Kevin’s deal. They took a moment, but in the end, declined the deal.

With that, the entrepreneurs left the tank empty handed, but what happened next for them? Keep reading our Xero Shoes update to find out!

We have impressive news to share in our Xero Shoes update! Within seven days of the episode airing, Xero Shoes sold 20% of their total revenue from the previous year, causing a number of website crashes due to an overwhelming surge in traffic. Then, in December 2020, Steven and Lena formed a strategic partnership with TZP Group, a private equity firm. Xero Shoes went on to be featured in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, and as of 2023, the estimated worth of Xero Shoes is $23 million.

Would you like to learn about the other companies featured on Season 4 Episode 14? Follow the links below!

For even more on companies and products, be sure to stop by our Season 4 Products Page!

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Andrew Smith is the founder and owner of Shark Tank Recap. He is a longtime Shark Tank fan that has been watching it for years and has seen every episode multiple times. His friends know him as the Shark Tank expert, because he can answer any question about the show! His favorite Shark Tank products are Bertello's pizza oven and Bug Bite Thing!