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3 mins read

Most Sneakers Are Not Built for Women’s Feet

Imagine effortlessly gliding through your run, each step feeling like a natural extension of your movement. Envision shoes that seamlessly merge with your feet, offering both support and momentum as you propel forward.

It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Yet, for many women, the reality of running often involves painful blisters, sore ankles, and a persistent feeling that something isn’t quite aligned.

The truth behind this discomfort lies in the design of most sneakers available. Surprisingly, many of these shoes weren’t crafted with women’s feet in mind. Traditionally, manufacturers followed a “shrink it and pink it” strategy, essentially resizing men’s shoe structures and adding pink or purple colors.

Allyson Felix, an Olympic icon and the founder of women’s footwear brand, Saysh, delves into this issue: “Unlocking the secrets behind making shoes was an eye-opener for me. It’s surprisingly straightforward, but I never gave it much thought. Think about this: shoes are shaped based on a mold of a foot, but here’s what’s shocking – most brands (yes, the ones you’re picturing right now) have been using a man’s foot as the template, even for so-called ‘women’s’ shoes.”

Allyson’s realization mirrors a glaring gap in the footwear industry. Women’s feet differ significantly from men’s—they tend to have wider forefeet, higher arches, and different heel structures. Squeezing these unique feet into shoes designed for a different anatomy only leads to pain and dissatisfaction.


This oversight is where Saysh excels. Their FemiformityFIT Technology is tailored specifically to women’s feet. Podiatrist, Dr. Sandi Nagata, underscores the importance of such innovation: “Many women face discomfort due to ill-fitting shoes while running, which can discourage them from continuing. Having a running shoe that considers the individual foot’s structure, especially for beginners, is crucial in preventing unnecessary pain.”

Saysh takes pride in supporting women through every stride, especially during motherhood. For every customer who becomes an expectant mother, they send a fresh pair of sneakers in a new size, free of charge. 

Allyson’s journey speaks volumes about the transformation these shoes offer. It was in her own Saysh shoes that she returned to the Olympics, becoming the most decorated track and field athlete. This personal testament exemplifies the power of footwear designed to embrace women’s distinct anatomical needs.


Saysh invites women to prioritize comfort and performance in their running experiences, ushering in a future where each stride is a testament to empowerment, support, and celebration of individuality.

Visit and join them at @bySaysh on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok.

3 mins read

Olympian Allyson Felix Launches The Felix Runner to Elevate Women’s Running Comfort and Performance

In 2019, Allyson made headlines when she revealed that Nike had offered her a 70% pay cut after she became pregnant. She was one of Nike’s most decorated athletes, with 11 Olympic medals, but she felt that the company was not valuing her as a woman and a mother.

In response to this treatment, Allyson, along with her brother and business partner, Wes, founded Saysh. Saysh is a collection of stylish, functional sneakers crafted for daily use, with a strong commitment to producing women’s footwear designed for women, by women.

On Tuesday, Saysh launched its groundbreaking running sneaker, The Felix Runner. This release marks Saysh’s entry into the world of performance running footwear, promising unparalleled comfort and performance for women.

the felix runner

The Felix Runner is designed to prioritize comfort, stability, precision fit, and top-notch performance. It is engineered from the ground up with Saysh’s FemiformityFIT Technology, which makes it ideal for women of all running levels, from dedicated enthusiasts to health-conscious joggers and avid walkers.

Unlike traditional running shoes that often claim to be “women’s” while being designed based on men’s feet, The Felix Runner is crafted to accommodate the unique proportions of a woman’s foot.

Allyson Felix expressed her excitement about the release, stating, “Designing and creating our very own running shoe has been an inspiring journey. Over the last three years, we’ve poured our hearts into crafting The Felix Runner – a shoe that reflects the strength and determination of women. I’m so excited for women to experience the difference of The Felix Runner firsthand – the comfort, support, and stability it brings. It’s not just about the shoe; it’s about empowering every woman to conquer her path.”

the felix runner
Allyson Felix, Co-Founder and President of Saysh

The Felix Runner boasts an array of advanced features that elevate the running experience for women. Saysh’s supercritical foam technology ensures a perfect balance of cushion and comfort while maintaining responsiveness and spring.

The Felix Runner

Saysh is more than just a brand; it’s a movement. Committed to the principle that “Women Deserve Better,” Saysh offers products designed to uplift and support women in their diverse pursuits.

Additionally, Saysh offers a first-of-its-kind Maternity Returns Policy, ensuring that women who experience changes in foot size during pregnancy receive a complimentary pair of Saysh sneakers in their new size.

The Saysh+ Community, Saysh’s community arm, is an inclusive space that rewards engagement and connects women on various topics, including health and wellness, personal growth, and, of course, fabulous footwear.

The shoes are now available at renowned retailers across the United States, including REI and Athleta, as well as a curated selection of specialty stores.

Visit and join them at @bySaysh on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

5 mins read

Black Owned Sneaker Brands You Should Know

Within the multi-billion dollar sneaker industry, there exists a thriving community of Black owned sneaker brands that are pushing the boundaries of design, innovation, and social responsibility.

From sleek and minimalist designs to bold and colorful statement pieces, these brands are not just creating stylish footwear; they are also telling stories, amplifying voices, and challenging the status quo.

Black Owned Sneaker Brands


Black Owned Sneaker Brands

Founded by Allyson Felix, the most decorated track and field athlete of all time, Saysh is a community-centered lifestyle brand for, and by, women. Their mission is to create a future in which inequality is undermined by female creativity and athleticism.


Fini Brand is based on the principle of always time to delight. Fini Brand is a popular choice for fashion-conscious consumers who are looking for unique and affordable products.


Brandblack is a Los Angeles-based footwear brand that offers a variety of shoes for men and women. The brand is known for its minimalist designs and use of high-quality materials.

Ninety-Nine Products

Black Owned Sneaker Brands

NinetyNine Products is a footwear brand focused on supporting the communities that drive culture and style while using high-performance technology to build functional products that work in competition and in life.


Black Owned Sneaker Brands

A footwear brand committed to the highest levels of quality in production, design, and materials while maintaining a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

SIA Collective

black owned sneaker brands

SIA, which stands for Somewhere In America, is owned by Devlin Carter. The brand is known for its unique and bold designs, making them a popular choice among its loyal following.


Black Owned Sneaker Brands

ROCKDEEP is a 10-year-old athletic and outdoor footwear company providing function, style, and quality at prices that will make you mad at your favorite brand.


Black Owned Sneaker Brands

The KEEXS footwear brand is an African-inspired collection of casual footwear that accentuates the coolness of any man or woman. It is also for individuals who are expressive and unapologetic regarding their fashion choices.


Enda is an African running shoe brand inspired by the world’s greatest runners in Kenya.

Fabrice Tardieu

Fabrice Tardieu is a sneaker brand known for its hand-painted, “laid-back luxury” designs inspired by street cultures in cities like Miami, New York, London, and Paris.


Black Owned Sneaker Brands

TRONUS is a cutting-edge sneaker brand founded by the first female football player to own a sneaker company, Santia Deck. TRONUS offers limited edition styles and unique packaging, appealing to sneaker enthusiasts of all levels.


NBA veteran Langston Galloway and his wife Sabrina started Ethics, with the goal of creating a product that goes beyond just a creative design and has meaning behind it. The company aims to change the narrative in basketball footwear and ownership of it through a unique product.


PerryCo is a brand that prides itself on being unisex, offering both footwear and accessories for all genders. The brand is known for breaking gender barriers and providing versatile, stylish options for all customers.

Q4 Sports

Q4, based in Los Angeles, was founded on the four fundamental elements required for success in any game: Purpose, Passion, Dedication, and Focus. Q4SPORTS is a brand committed to empowering others through sport and located at the intersection of sports and business.

Nagast Footwear 

Nagast Footwear aims to uplift and create a positive outlook in the Black community. The shoes are inspired by African culture and are designed to be fashionable and high-quality.


In 2018, Darrell Alston launched Bungee Oblečení, a brand of luxury sneakers and upscale athleisure wear, based on sketches he created while incarcerated. Bungee focuses on high quality materials and clean, classic lines.

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4 mins read

Tradeblock, a Black Owned Sneaker Trading Platform Just Raised $9 Million

Tradeblock, a Black owned sneaker trading platform has raised over $8.9 Million dollars in funding from investment partners Courtside VC, Trinity Ventures, and Concrete Rose Capital.

From its humble beginnings in 2020, with just 300 users and just under 5000 shoes, Tradeblock has experienced exponential growth in its 2 years of operation, amassing more than 1 Million shoes listed in users’ virtual closets this year.

The monumental growth of the online marketplace can be attributed to the platform’s unique consumer experience that was key in the vision of making Tradeblock a reality.

Co-Founder and CEO Mbiyimoh Ghogomu, along with Co-Founders Darren Smith and Tony Malveaux, sought out to bridge the gap for passionate collectors who were losing the battle against bots on sneaker drops and those who cannot afford rapidly increasing resale prices; increases that are largely driven by resellers cornering the market on popular shoes for the sole purpose of profits.

Tradeblock will use the proceeds from the financing round to help further invest in growth in its sneaker business as well as expanding and improving its one-of-a-kind authentication and logistics operation, which involves inspecting and authenticating shoes from both sides of the trade simultaneously in a complex and highly-interconnected process.

Additionally, Tradeblock will be investing in more data science capabilities to enhance the customer experience as it continues to define the virtual bartering experience by developing the marketplace further.

The funding raised within this round brings Tradeblock closer to its north star of providing accessibility in the resale market for those who should not let high and unjust prices define the attainability of their dreams and culture and also of ensuring that the marketplace offers the best in class services for its members.

Tradeblock is also driven by a deep passion for building a company that actually resembles the people it serves. “Black and brown communities have always been the backbone of the sneaker industry and sneaker culture,” says Co-Founder and CEO Mbiyimoh Ghogomu. “Showing those folks that they can be the owners and operators of this industry as opposed to just consumers is both a point of pride and a deeply rooted responsibility for everybody at Tradeblock.”

The Tradeblock team embodies this sentiment of representation within their workforce: besides having three Black founders, Tradeblock’s workforce is more than 80% BIPOC, and the senior leadership team is over 75% BIPOC.

Tradeblock | Secure Sneaker Trades

The marketplace is set for a rolling close to end their Seed II round and is expecting an additional $4.5 Million in investment by the end of it. Tradeblock aims to redefine the basis of sneaker culture by focusing on their pillars of community, accessibility and sustainability.

The mission and vision resonate with the public and trumpet the goal of leveling the playing field for the BIPOC community who has played a tremendous role within the culture that is the foundation of the sneaker industry.

“Tradeblock is revolutionizing the way forward for the new emergent asset class of footwear. The founding team’s understanding of the nuances of culture and tech gives them an unfair advantage in the industry and the team’s desire to lead with inclusion, representation, and authenticity also provides them with unique and meaningful organic engagement,” says Tradeblock angel investor Jason Mayden, a former Nike and Jordan footwear designer who now serves as President of Fear of God Athletics.

The marketplace’s continual growth goes to show the long lasting impact it will have within the sneaker industry for years to come.

Tony O. Lawson

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