ZUNUZ was founded in 2008 by Andy Crowell. The ZUNUZ laced slide sandals were invented and patented because Andy had a personal need for a more comfortable and durable, open-toe, open-heel shoe. Andy's inspiration for the ZUNUZ innovation arose from an unbelievable accident and the reality that he had been burned on over 80% of his body, with his legs and feet suffering the highest degrees of damage.
In September of 2000, Andy was on a motocross/camping excursion in a desolate area in northern Nevada with a group of friends. On the morning of their last day of riding and exploration, Andy and his best friend were driving a pickup with their dogs in the back, trying to relocate a dilapidated covered wagon which they had found the previous day. They wanted to share this discovery with their girlfriends who hadn't been with them earlier. The "exploration" party came across some beautiful pools of water that, for lack of a better description, looked like an oasis in the high desert landscape. As the truck slowly rolled by the pools, the dogs jumped out of the truck and into a pool of water. The water they entered was over 200 degrees! Before the truck even came to a stop, Andy jumped out of the truck and went after the dogs to try and rescue them. Seeing his friend's dog already lifeless, and his dog struggling near the bank, Andy jumped into the scalding hot pool and heaved his friend onto the dry bank. Andy pulled himself out of the deadly pool of water, having suffered third-degree burns on over 80% of his lower body. He was flown to the Las Vegas burn unit where he spent six months of painful recovery and over 30 skin grafting procedures. The survival rate of people suffering 50% or more of their bodies being burned is considered near zero.
Andy didn't care about his ominous statistical position. With the love and support of his family, friends, and a caring community, he beat the odds. After two years of intensive and painful physical therapy, Andy began to enjoy the action sports and active lifestyle he knew before his accident. His renewed love of life and positive mindset are what led to the invention of ZUNUZ. Andy needed footwear that wouldn't aggravate his skin grafts, yet would provide durability and function. The fact that ZUNUZ embodies an exceptional uniqueness, in addition to durable functionality, stems from Andy's artistic, positive, and resilient personality. Through adversity and tragedy, he found opportunity and grace, and with insight, innovation, and inspiration... ZUNUZ !