Human Interest

Olympian Allyson Felix champions moms with maternity-friendly sneaker return policy

pregnancy, Felix

Olympian Allyson Felix is championing moms once again. The gold medalist, who has long promoted policies and initiatives that benefit mothers, is introducing a return policy with her shoe line that will accommodate women who experience growing feet while they’re pregnant.

Felix announced the new policy on her Instagram page. “Introducing the Saysh Maternity Returns Policy,” she wrote. “It’s about time someone did something like this. I’m continuing to learn how important it is to create change instead of kindly asking for it.”

“I’m running one last year to make the world a better place for women. @bysaysh and I are announcing our maternity returns policy,” she went on.

“Here’s what it means. Women’s feet can change size during their pregnancy,” she wrote. “If you own a pair of Saysh Ones and your feet change size due to pregnancy we’ll send you a new pair. Pretty simple and straightforward.”

 

Felix further explained her company’s new policy during an interview with TODAY. “As a small company we feel so proud to be leading the charge and changing the industry in this way,” she said. “I think we haven’t supported women in the right way. Women have struggled as athletes and being mothers.”

The policy is welcome news for many mothers. While not everyone experiences changes to their feet, at least one study has shown that 60 to 70% of women had longer feet and shorter arches after childbirth — changes that are often permanent. Felix says that women who have purchased a pair of Saysh One shoes and need to exchange for a bigger size simply need to send an email to her company.

READ: ‘A blessing, not a hindrance’: 7 quotes from Olympic athletes on the power of motherhood

This isn’t the first time that Felix has worked toward creating a better environment for mothers. She’s advocated for companies like Nike to create more maternity-friendly policies for its athletes and has said that being a mother has made her a better athlete. During the Tokyo games, she created a childcare fund to help cover the costs of mom-athletes who needed assistance caring for their children while they were competing.

While Felix has announced her retirement from running, she says that her new focus will be supporting women. “I have a series of announcements that I hope will make the world a better place for women,” she told TODAY. “That’s what I’m focusing on this year.”

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