Olympic runner Allyson Felix launches shoe company for women

Allyson Felix, who clinched her spot on the U.S. track & field team earlier this week for her fifth Olympic Games, announced the launch of her shoe company Saysh on Wednesday.

Felix left her longtime partnership with Nike in 2019 after a dispute over the company's lack of maternity protections following the birth of her daughter in November of 2018. She signed an apparel deal with Athleta, which remains in place, but was unable to find a sneaker sponsor and created her own.

The 35-year-old Felix has been wearing a track spike version of the company's initial sneaker, the Saysh One, during the Olympic trials.

"Like so many of us, I was told to know my place," Felix said in Saysh's first video on YouTube. "But here I am, ready to run for a brand that I founded, designed for -- and designed by -- women. All of my experience of becoming a mom, of raising a daughter, helped show me my true competitor -- inequality.

"Here I am, using my voice to create change for us as women, and for us as mothers, and for all the women who want to be mothers. So here I am. I know my place."

In an interview with Time about the launch, Felix said the design of the Saysh One was specifically built for the contours of women's feet by a woman designer and a woman engineer.

Felix is one of the most decorated track athletes in history and has nine Olympic medals, including six golds. She finished in second place in the 400 meters on Sunday to qualify for the Tokyo-bound team, and will compete in the 200 meters later this week.