Get a free copy of Sick to Fit!

steven-sashenSteven Sashen is co-founder of, and a fierce critic of the athletic footwear industry. Steven and I met when we were in the digital marketing world, and stayed in touch as we both migrated into health and wellness.

Steven has been my “almost barefoot shoe” supplier since 2011, when I read Born to Run and got my mind blown about the harm done by hyper-cushioned and hyper-supportive footwear.

There are so many parallels between the misinformation promoted by Big Food and Big Pharma and Big Sneaker, I wanted to get Steven on the podcast to share his naturalistic approach to moving in a way that doesn’t lead to injury and limitation.

In our conversation, we discuss:

  • the problem with shoes that force our feet into unnatural shapes
  • the significance of having flexible feet
  • the importance of ground feel
  • Steven’s sprinting injuries and what they taught him
  • the brain and de-differentiation
  • how most shoes, aka “foot coffins,” deny us feedback crucial to our wellbeing
  • Steven’s father’s death due to lack of ability to balance
  • the unproven claims of orthotics
  • “20 years of plantar fasciitis” and orthopedic cluelessness
  • why no running shoe company has ever been able to demonstrate superiority
  • why padded shoes feel good at first, but cause damage in the long term
  • how the athletic shoe industry responded to Born to Run initially, and how they changed their tune –
  • slightly – once they saw the market potential
  • why reducing stress on the feet is a really bad idea
  • the problems with “minimalist footwear” from the big shoe companies
  • Steven’s experience on Shark Tank
  • how the natural shoe industry can expand organically
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Gina Kolata article in the New York Times on orthotics

Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall

Support the Podcast

Like what you hear? You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by becoming a patron. Click the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.


Big thanks to Tinkers to Evers to Chance for their contributions to iambic pentameter sports poetry, as well as Plant Yourself Podcast Patrons Amanda Hatherly, Mary Jane Wheeler, Kim Harrison, Lynn McLellan, Anthony Dissen, Brittany Porter, Dominic Marro, Elizabeth Clifton, Barbara Whitney, Tammy Black, Ellen Kennelly, and Amy Good.


Check out my online TV show, Triangle Be Well. This week I talk about how to coach ourselves and others to overcome emotional obstacles to behavior change. Plus, thanks to a blue shirt and a blue screen, my head gets disembodied.

I can help you navigate the medical system and adopt a healthy lifestyle

I'm available for one-on-one consulting and coaching to help you navigate the medical system, make informed decisions, take control of your health destiny, and achieve true wellness and not just medical management of disease.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

Comment on the show notes for this episode (below)
Call 919-794-3735 to leave a voicemail

Connect with me

Visit Howard Jacobson's health consulting site,
Subscribe, rate, and review in iTunes
Join the Plant Yourself Facebook Page


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


This post may contain amazon affiliate links. I may receive amazon gift certificates from your actions on such links.

2 comments on “PYP 151: Steven Sashen on Running Barefoot and Feeling the World

  1. Thank You says:

    Howard, Thank You for another informative podcast; keep them coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *