Olympian Allyson Felix Launched A Sneaker Just For Women After Nike Cut Her Pay Due To Pregnancy
Olympian Allyson Felix has fire in her belly as an advocate for fellow mothers who are athletes, record-breaking speed in her feet, and the guts of an innovative entrepreneur unafraid to create a product.
Felix is a six-time gold medalist who “is the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete of all time,” according to the Olympics.
But before competing in the Olympics, the athlete and entrepreneur created “a lifestyle sneaker designed for and by women” under her brand called Saysh. Additionally, “a community-centered lifestyle brand that creates products for, and by, women” was also created. However, when it comes to the sneaker, Felix wanted to create a comfortable, elegant, and “athletic-inspired” product with feminine shapes, Vogue reported.
“Typically in footwear, shoes are built for men, sized down, and recolored for women,” she said. “We understand the true proportion and need of a woman’s foot.”
Felix is an outspoken athlete who went toe-to-toe with Nike—which was once her sponsor—over an alleged pay cut due to her pregnancy.
On June 27, she posted a recap of the issue on Facebook, along with some progress notes.
“I never would have thought that using my voice would have led to NIKE changing their maternity policy for athletes and I definitely never would have thought it would lead to creating @bysaysh. Keep going and keep speaking up, even if your voice shakes. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support in my journey on the track and now with my company. The outpouring of love has been overwhelming. I’m so full of gratitude,” Felix said. “Please be clear. I used my voice and built this company for you. So that you never have to train at 4:30am while you’re 5 months pregnant to hide your pregnancy from your sponsor. So that you won’t have to fight someone so much bigger than you for a right that should be basic. I took that on for you, and I didn’t do it alone, but it was for you.”
If fighting for other mothers is not enough, Felix joined the launch of the Los Angeles 2028 Athletes’ Commission. It is “comprised of nine Paralympians and nine Olympians” who “will bring essential insights and perspectives to create an inclusive, innovative and seamless experience for all athletes participating in the LA28 Games,” according to website details.
According to Vogue, Felix is “expected to compete in the 400-meter category.” This competition will mark the “record-breaker’s last time competing at the Olympics, and her first time competing as a mother.”