This Friday, one of GladSoles’ fellow travelers, Steve Sachen of Xero Shoes, will be diving into the Shark Tank to pitch his barefoot running sandals to the panel. I can’t wait to watch the show and see what the investors say. This is a great development, in my opinion, as it’s a clear sign that barefoot huarache-style sandals, similar to GladSoles are hitting the mainstream in a big way.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to stand in front of the Sharks and present GladSoles, so I’m curious to see how the Xero pitch will work. Will it be focused on the advantages of barefoot running? Will he try to sell the sharks on the customizable nature of the sandal?
Will the pitch center on the market? According to Flip-Flop Shop franchisee Scott Santy, flip-flop sales have grown 8.2% in the last 3 years, accounting for $1.5 billion of U.S. surf-wear retail sales. If all those flip-flop wearers decided to become barefoot huarache style sandal wearers that could be huge!
Which shark will take the bait? Mark Cuban? I’m not sure if footwear will appeal to him, although he does endorse Sketchers sneakers. What about Daymond John? He’s in the clothing biz, so what will he make of the sandals? Are they going to be a hot item for Lori Greiner to bring to QVC? Will “Mr. Wonderful” Kevin O’Leary crush the idea like a bug? I hope not! Hopefully there’ll be a bidding war, but whatever the outcome, you can’t buy better exposure.
We hope that this signals a time when people will come to us and already know about custom-made barefoot sandals, and we won’t have quite as much explaining to do.
We can’t wait to see the results and we wish them good luck!