Adidas launches initiative to make women feel safer while running


portswear company Adidas has turned its attention to women’s safety when exercising as part of a renewed pledge to inform and educate men about violence against women.

As part of this initiative, Adidas conducted a survey of 9,000 runners from nine different countries and found that 92 per cent of women are concerned for their safety when they go for a run — that’s the majority of women.

While it’s no news to any woman who runs, the survey has helped to solidify the feeling into facts. For instance, the study found that half (51 per cent) of the women surveyed were afraid of being attacked while running, while only 28 per cent of men felt this way, and that over a third of women (38 per cent) have experienced physical or verbal harassment while running — either through unwanted comments, sexist language, being honked at or being followed.


This is all supported by Adidas’ newest campaign The Ridiculous Run, which serves to highlight the extreme measures women go to in order to feel safe while running — having only one headphone in, covering skin, doubling or tripling up on themselves to avoid a certain route, etc.

Its imagery shows a selection of women runners supported by a convoy of protectors, on quadbikes, motorcycles, horseback and in cars, protecting women as they run through the streets at nighttime.

The campaign aims to raise awareness in men of the part they play in helping women feel safe while exercising. Apparently they need to be made aware, too, because the study comissioned by Adidas found that while 62 per cent of men recognise the issue, only 18 per cent believe the responsibility lies most with men to help women feel safer when running. Yeesh.


Adidas has also developed an allyship playbook which is designed to educate men on the issue and provide them with tools to help address harassment and safety in running for women. The playbook has already helped train over 250 coaches and captains from the adidas Runners community to recognise this issue and help make women who run feel safe.

There is also a function in the Adidas app where you can track your run and share it with friends, kind of like Strava and Uber.

“We believe sport should be equal, and safety is essential to creating that reality. We know from our communities, and our research, that safety is the most discussed topic when it comes to women and running – and unfortunately women continue to be made responsible for protecting themselves,” says Sina Neubrandt, adidas Women, Global Communications Director.

“Addressing this issue is a marathon, not a sprint and our campaign will not solve this overnight, but if we can encourage more men to understand their role as allies, we can create progress and hopefully, change.”

Related Articles

Back to top button