“Barefoot Sandal” Start-up Hires Former Crocs Exec

Dennis Driscoll joins Xero Shoes“Barefoot Sandal” Start-up Xero Shoes Brings On Former Crocs Exec and Avia Co-founder

Boulder, CO, October 2, 2012 – Dennis Driscoll, a 35-year footwear industry veteran who co-founded Avia Footwear and most recently worked as Global Design Director for Crocs, has joined Boulder-based barefoot running shoe start-up, Feel The World, Inc., the makers of Xero Shoes • Original Barefootware.

Driscoll’s roll at the bestselling “barefoot sandal” manufacturer is Chief Development Officer. Asked what attracted him to the product, he answers, “Xero Shoes are genuine, legitimate. We don’t have to create ways to differentiate our product, because it is actually different.”

Regarding the company, and its co-founders, Steven Sashen and wife Lena Phoenix, Driscoll adds, “They are a smart team who’ve already proven themselves and their business. I like that my experience with all aspects of the footwear business can have a big impact here.”

Sashen and Phoenix reciprocate the admiration. “It’s highly unusual for someone of Dennis’s skills and caliber to work for a company at our stage. We’re thrilled to have Dennis help take our product, and our company, to the levels we know they can attain.”

Dennis Driscoll started in the footwear business in 1978 with Osaga Athletic Footwear as the Director of Product Development. In 1981 he co-founded Avia Athletic Footwear as the VP of Product. Ten years later Dennis joined Wilson Sporting Goods as the Global Business Unit Director of Footwear. After a 7-year stint at Converse in senior product roles, Driscoll took a position at Doc Martens Footwear and moved to London as the Global Director of Product. In 2010, he went to work for Crocs as Global Design Director where he had a fourteen member design team in the US office and design centers in Padova, Italy and Tokyo, Japan


Feel The World, Inc. of Boulder, CO, manufactures Xero Shoes®,  a high-tech upgrade on the traditional huaraches running sandal of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico. Durable, stylish and affordable — Xero Shoes supply the fun and benefits of being barefoot, but with a layer of protection.  Feel The World, Inc. launched in December 2009. To date, over 25,000 customers, ages 1 to 91, in more than 73 countries wear Xero Shoes for walking, hiking, yoga and gym-going, Crossfit, kayaking, jogging, and even running hundred-mile ultra marathons.

2 thoughts on ““Barefoot Sandal” Start-up Hires Former Crocs Exec

  1. Just wondering – how can you call your shoes “barefoot” when there’s some kind of material on the bottom of the feet? Technically, a “barefoot sandal” is one that has “0” bottom to it. Just curious.

    1. Hi Jan… There are 4 answers to your question. First, in the minimalist world “barefoot” has become synonymous with “allowing barefoot style movement” or “natural movement.” Secondly, in an independent study, people wearing our sandals were biomechanically identical to people who were barefoot. Third, our customers report that wearing our sandals feel like being barefoot but with a layer of protection. Finally, since you were using this post as a way to advertise your own product, I’d counter with, “How can you call your product a sandal since the definition of “sandal” is a sole held to the foot with strap or lace?” (i.e. your question is a bit of a case of the pot calling the kettle black, doncha think? 😉 )

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