Your feet are made to bend, flex, move and feel the world. Discover shoes that let them have fun.
…you’re listening to a new Upgrade Spotlight series based on what you told me you wanted to hear on this podcast. On one Friday each month, these shorter episodes will feature guests who’ll get right into useful information in a Q&A style.
You’ll find out how to improve your energy and upgrade your performance. You’ll also get the latest knowledge about powerful tools and technologies that allow you to change your biology and the environment around you.
Introducing Xero Shoes! During this Upgrade Spotlight, you’ll learn how minimalist footwear reduces injury, improves foot strength and supports healthy feet. You’ll learn that getting grounded is a good thing.
Today’s guest—serial entrepreneur Steven Sashen—is a competitive sprinter. He knows the mechanics of human feet. He also knows what it feels like to move in shoes that suck.
So, he and his wife, Lena Phoenix, founded the footwear company Xero Shoes. They ran headlong into shoe history and shoe science to intentionally create “a MOVEMENT movement” of people with happy, healthy, strong feet in addictively comfortable footwear.
“A quarter of the bones and joints of your whole body are in your feet and ankles,” Steven says. “They’re supposed to bend and move and flex just like any other joint. If you’re wearing shoes that don’t let them do that, that function tries unsuccessfully to move into your ankle, your knee, your hip and your back joints. Those joints aren’t built for those micro motions that keep you balanced, that give you agility and mobility.”
Research published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in 2021, “Stepping Back to Minimal Footwear: Applications Across the Lifespan,” examined evolutionary drivers and mismatches related to footwear and resulted in three distinct categories:
Your feet, and by design the rest of your body, knows something’s off with cushioned shoes. So does Steven.
“The value of natural movement, the importance of foot health, and all the things that relate to foot health got me going,” he says. “But what really catalyzed it was discovering that what the footwear industry has been doing for 50 years is lying to people– selling people on ideas that they know don’t work, but they can’t pull back. They can’t tell a different story, because they’ve been promoting this story for so long about arch support, motion control, padding, cushioning, etc.”
That ACSM study went on to show that minimal footwear leads to improved musculoskeletal health across your lifetime.
“It’s all about natural motion,” Steven explains. “Our ancestors didn’t have a problem being on their feet all day, every day. It wasn’t because they’re different from us, it was just that they got used to using their feet correctly. We can still do that any day, anytime, any of age.”
Enjoy the show!
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