Olympian Allyson Felix Launches Shoe Company Saysh 2 Years After Leaving Nike

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 23, 2021

Allyson Felix finishes in second place in the women's 400-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Olympic track star Allyson Felix is one of the most decorated American athletes in history. 

Now she's seeing if she can venture out on her own and compete with Nike in the shoe business.

Felix is set to announce the launch of her own lifestyle brand, Saysh, after departing Nike in 2019, Sean Gregory of Time reported. 

The brand will launch with the debut of its first product, the Saysh One sneaker, which comes with a lifetime digital subscription that "will offer perks like workout videos, opportunities to network with other Saysh members and have conversations with Felix and other newsmakers."

The bundle costs $150. A membership to the digital arm of the company, Saysh Collective, is $10 per month without the shoe purchase.

Felix launched her company with a focus on designing a shoe for women's feet, something she feels is not done at major companies. 

“It’s really about meeting women where they are,” Felix said. “It’s for that woman who has been overlooked, or feels like their voice hasn’t been heard. That was the biggest thing when I spoke out, was hearing from other women across industries. And having such a connection there, feeling like it’s so much bigger. There’s just that power in the collective.”

Saysh has raised $3 million in seed money from investors. Apparel company Athleta has partnered with Saysh to offer the shoes on their website.

Felix signed with Athleta after leaving Nike in 2019 amid a dispute over the company's lack of maternity protections for athletes. She wrote in a New York Times op-ed that Nike offered her a contract that was 70 percent less than her previous deal after she gave birth to a daughter in 2018. 

"Despite all my victories, Nike wanted to pay me 70 percent less than before. If that’s what they think I’m worth now, I accept that," Felix wrote.

"What I’m not willing to accept is the enduring status quo around maternity. I asked Nike to contractually guarantee that I wouldn’t be punished if I didn’t perform at my best in the months surrounding childbirth. I wanted to set a new standard. If I, one of Nike’s most widely marketed athletes, couldn’t secure these protections, who could?"

Nike later changed its policy after Felix's column and pressure from the public.