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Oct 20, 2020

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.


On this podcast, you'll hear me, Darin Olien, "the superfood hunter," have honest conversations with the extraordinary people that inspire me. I hope that through their knowledge and unique perspectives, they'll inspire you, too.

Although our ideas and approaches to life may differ, our ultimate goal is the same- to save the planet one conversation at a time. So, if you're interested in expanding your view of the world by learning new perspectives on health, nutrition, and healing the planet, this podcast is for you. 

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!

Other topics 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

Links & Resources:

Steven’s Website

Xero Shoes 

Steven on LinkedIn

Steven on Twitter

Xero Shoes on Instagram

Dr. Irene Davis

Barefoot Running by Michael Sandler

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From The Frontiers of Brain Science

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Watch Steven and Lena on Shark Tank

Netflix’ Down To Earth’ Official Trailer

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Barukas Nuts 15% discount with code “DARIN”

The Darin Olien Show is produced by the team at Must Amplify. If you’re looking to give a voice to your brand, and make sure that it’s heard by the right people, head to to see what Amplify can do for you.