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Running Barefoot | Steven Sashen

Running Barefoot | Steven Sashen

25% of the bones and joints in your entire body are located in your feet and ankles. Also, you have over 200,000 nerve endings on the sole of each foot. So why are we covering up these sensory powerhouses with padding and cushioning? Walking around or even running barefoot, or with footwear designed to let the feet be feet, can improve our overall physical health in ways we never imagined.


Steven Sashen dives into things feet first.

In fact, it’s his company motto. Xero Shoes was built out of a need for Steven to free his feet. After picking up sprinting again following a 30 year hiatus, Steven would injure himself constantly. Every couple of weeks would bring another pulled muscle or ankle strain. When a friend suggested a barefoot run, everything changed.

After his first run with a barefoot running group, Steven was awakened with a new awareness of how his feet interacted with the ground. He ran 5K on that very first go around and was shocked at how easy it felt on his body. He was even able to pinpoint a reason for why he was injuring one leg more than the other. All this knowledge was too empowering to ignore, and Xero Shoes was born.

In this conversation, Steven and I get into how incredibly powerful and intuitive our feet really are. We explore the foot to brain connection and how the modern day athletic shoe is counterproductive to the way we physically interact with the ground under our feet. Steven gives us the origin story of Xero Shoes, which gives you an understanding of why I refer to him as a “Master of Movement”. So kick off your shoes, and take a listen to this one, guys!

In this episode:
  • Steven’s history with movement
  • How to recognize  “Big Shoe” propaganda
  • How Steven’s research background at Duke helped fuel Xero Shoes
  • The lies we’ve been fed about our feet
  • How watching a child run barefoot can give you better idea of how the body is supposed to work
  • The truth about your arch
  • The copycat nature of the athletic shoe industry
  • Dr. Irene Davis and her contribution to barefoot running
  • Balance and the elderly
  • How tricking your brain can keep you young
  • Steven and Lena’s Shark Tank experience with Mr.Wonderful

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Comment below to join the discussion! 

  • Pingback:Why You Should Free Your Feet and Give Barefoot a Chance - Darin Olien
    Posted at 02:21h, 20 October

    […] hear more of this fascinating conversation, check out The Darin Olien Show, Episode #30 Steven Sashen on Running Barefoot. Out […]

  • Barbara Elder
    Posted at 17:41h, 21 October

    In the #30 podcast there was mention of a discount in show notes but I can’t find it. Can you direct me.

  • Todd Pollock
    Posted at 12:05h, 22 October

    Looking for the discount code mentioned for Xero Shoes. Would love to give them a try!

  • Stuart Halkett
    Posted at 12:47h, 22 October

    You mentioned a listener discount for Xero but I can’t find it I am a runner interested in getting a pair!

  • Maurizio Frigo
    Posted at 14:19h, 22 October

    The current conversations about barefoot running is so interesting and great to hear. This is how we played and learned football/soccer growing up. I use this often when I coach youth developing soccer players. Escpecially those who kick with their toe’s; struggle with controlling their touch/strength on the ball; wish to improve their ball control…. we take the soccer shoes off and play a scrimmage/short game. There is great improvement within minutes of playing. The players movements become natural and second nature, plus the kids enoy it muchmore. Thinking back to the early games of Brazil in the World Cup matches, Pele and his mates played without shoes.

  • Cheryl Fox
    Posted at 16:57h, 23 October

    Looking for the listener discount for Xero Shoes. I live in Minnesota and want to try their winter boots