BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Team USA Artistic Swimmers spend a lot of time in the water, often without shoes on, but when those athletes need to put on shoes, they want them to feel like they’re not wearing shoes at all.
It's something Steven Sashen, CEO of Xero Shoes, can relate with.
“I like shoes if they let you do what’s natural,” said Sashen. “Our feet are supposed to bend, flex and move.”
That’s why at the Olympics in Tokyo, Xero Shoes are on the synchronized feet of the U.S. Artistic Swim Team, with athletes wearing them around the pool and on the podium during the games.
“They’re not wearing shoes when they are in the pool,” said Sashen. “They needed shoes to get to and from the pool, and they needed shoes for when they are on the podium winning awards.”
It's big step for a little Colorado shoe company that's now in the same Olympic business alongside companies like Nike and Reebok.
“We are excited that we have made these inroads into the Olympics” said Sashen. "We know these big companies are watching us and are a little nervous, which makes us happy.”
Some archers are also in Xero Shoes, and the company would like their specially designed shoes to start fitting into track and field as well.
“Our shoes are very flexible and there's research that shows if you can bend and move your feet in shoes, you are building foot shoe strength," said Sashen. “Just walking in shoes gives your foot strength, just like an exercise.”
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