Former 76er Charles Barkley’s familiarity with “funky feet” from his days in the NBA helped make a deal for a pair of inventors’ foot odor-eliminating invention on ABC’s Shark Tank this week.
Inventors Sierra Smith and Taylor Wiegele appeared on the show on Sunday, when they presented their invention, Zorpads, to Shark Tank’s panel of judges, which included Barkley as a guest. Donning space-themed outfits, the duo described their product — a shoe insert that combats foot odor — as a “space-age technology to solve an age-old problem.”
As Wiegele said, Zorpads come in handy in potentially smell-sensitive situations, like visiting a friend’s house after a workday only to reveal the “putrid, rotten egg, old cheese smell of feet” once your shoes come off. Zorpads, Smith added, help curb unwanted foot odors, and last for about 60 wears per set.
“I could’ve really use this when I played with some of the funky feet I played with,” Barkley, who retired from the NBA in 2000, said. The former Sixers power forward later added that fellow ex-pro Shaquille O’Neal, who he has had several public disagreements with over the years, would have would have benefited from a pair of the inserts.
An interesting criticism, considering that Barkley told Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show last year that it’s been more than a decade since he last wore underwear. But, hey, hygiene is highly personal.
Barkley and partner Lori Greiner ultimately offered Wiegele and Smith a $150,000 investment for a 22.5-percent stake in the duo business. Initially, the pair appeared on Shark Tank seeking a $150,000 investment for an 8 percent stake in Zorpads, but as Smith said, the deal was good.
“We know that just means liftoff for Zorpads,” he said. “Total liftoff.”