If you watch

What: Xero Shoes appearance on "Shark Tank"

When: 8 p.m. mountain time Friday

Where: ABC

Five months ago, Steven Sashen and his wife, Lena Phoenix, dangled their Boulder-based business in front of some "Sharks," hoping to land a bite.

Whether they were successful will be revealed at 8 p.m. mountain time Friday.

The owners of Feel the World Inc. and their firm's minimalist "Barefootware" Xero Shoes appeared on ABC's "Shark Tank," a reality show in which entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a panel of self-made millionaires and billionaires -- including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban -- in hopes of landing investments and powerful business partners.

More than 30,000 people applied to be on the show's fourth season, in which the Sharks will offer more than $10 million, said Marsha Smith, publicity director at ABC.

"It's kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Phoenix said Thursday.

Citing confidentiality agreements, the two have had to keep their "Shark Tank" appearance under wraps for months.

The day before "Shark Tank" hits the airwaves in Colorado, the couple remained tight-lipped but brimmed with optimism that could come from having their shoes -- a modern take on the huarache Mexican sandal consisting of a thin rubber sole and nylon-polypropylene laces -- be seen by millions of people.

"It's so hard for a small company to get that kind of exposure," Phoenix said.

Based on past shows, the appearance alone could be enough to spur a large amount of growth, the couple said, noting they connected with some former participants of the show.

Last fall, Denver business owners Meg and Matt Meyer pitched their The Bear & The Rat frozen dog treat business to the five "Sharks." None of the investors signed on, but the experience was worthwhile, Meg Meyer said.

"We had so many folks reach out to us who are trying to get us into their stores," she said.

Since the episode aired, The Bear & The Rat products were brought on by 120 King Soopers grocery stores in Colorado, a move that Meyer hopes could lead to a broader adoption by the Kroger Co.

Not knowing what kind of a bump Xero Shoes will get, Sashen said they intend to be as well-prepared as possible.

The "mission control" operations at their offices Friday night will involve the crew watching the East Coast premier of "Shark Tank" via Slingbox an hour before it airs locally, being active on a variety of social media fronts and having a crew manning the phones.

The "Shark Tank" episode premier comes as the young business continues a significant growth spurt.

This fall, Sashen and Phoenix moved the business from their home to an office off Conestoga Court and brought on Dennis Driscoll -- an industry veteran who has worked with Crocs, Avia, Wilson and Doc Martens -- as its chief development officer.

In addition to expanding its shoe styles, the business rebranded to Xero Shoes, from Invisible Shoes, and also made the leap from online-only sales to entering brick-and-mortar retailers.

"The process (of preparing for "Shark Tank") itself was great in that it really helped us focus," Sashen said.

The shoes range in price from $19.95 to $39.95.

Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or wallacea@dailycamera.com.