Alyson Felix’s shoe brand Saysh will offer an ‘intentionally sexist’ return policy for pregnant women


days later Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in athletics history, has announced that 2022 will be her last running season, she has also implemented an industry-leading returns policy for her footwear company , Saysh. The policy allows women to return their shoes, no questions asked, if their foot size changes during pregnancy (which happens often). If they need a new pair of shoes, new shoes will be sent free of charge, in the correct size.

“A big turning point in my life was becoming a mother – it was so eye-opening,” Felix told Footwear News this week. “As a runner, I have to pay attention to every little change in my body, and I went through a lot of changes during pregnancy. I didn’t even realize my feet could grow so much. I was so sick of begging brands to meet me where I was, as an athlete and a mother, and I was sick of sacrificing comfort and style, so I decided to make my own rules,” she says .

Advocacy for all women, but especially athletes

Felix began actively advocating for pregnant women and athletes in 2019, when she spoke in the United States House of Representatives about the maternal mortality disparity (which is significantly higher among black women). Felix had serious complications giving birth to her daughter, Camryn, in 2018, which led her to point out the disproportionate medical risks faced by African American women.

In addition to advocating for better medical treatment for women, she also helped reform pregnancy politics in the sport of athletics when she spoke out against her former sponsor, Nike, in 2019. Felix said she felt pressure to return to competition as soon as possible after giving birth, even though she had spent time in hospital with preeclampsia (often characterized by high maternal blood pressure) , and that she was not ready yet.

Make your own shoes

Shortly after speaking out against Nike and their lack of support throughout her pregnancy, Felix signed with clothing company Athleta. A few months later, she launched her own shoe company, Saysh.

Saysh is a company that aims to put women first, Felix said in a Ted Talk this week, “I was worried about being forced to choose between motherhood and being a competitive athlete. [when sponsored by Nike]. Getting pregnant in athletics has been called “that kiss of death.” She went on to say that her mission is to help people not “have to choose between being a parent and doing the job they love.”

The Saysh One, the first shoe Felix brought to market, retails for US$150 and comes in three colors.


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