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  • Nikara Johns

Majority of Women Say They Feel Unsafe While Running—Here’s What Adidas Is Doing About it

A still from Adidas' "The Ridiculous Run" ad campaign.


Adidas is shining a light on women’s safety. Earlier this month, the athletic company released “The Ridiculous Run” ad campaign to drive greater awareness around the ridiculous realities women face every time they go for a run.

In the clip, the female runners can be seen starting their night-time run alone then comes extreme backup measures — a horse, motorcycles, cars, men. The point? To call attention to the absurd precautions women have to take to feel safe. In reality, some of those precautions include wearing loose clothing, running with someone they think can protect them or sharing location with friends.

To accompany the ad, Adidas surveyed 9,000 runners across nine countries to understand men and women’s experiences and perceptions of safety when running. In the study, 92% of women reported feeling concerned for their safety, with half [51%] afraid of being physically attacked, compared to 28% of men. Plus, over a third of women said to have experienced physical or verbal harassment, and of these women, over half have received unwanted attention, sexist comments or unwanted sexual attention, been honked at, or followed.

As a result, the data showed that nearly half of women reported a loss of interest in running.

Through the brand’s ongoing Adidas Runners initiative, With Women We Run and a long-term partnership with White Ribbon (a nonprofit preventing violence against women and girls), Adidas is focusing its efforts on the education of men and boys to create allies for change.

To further support these ongoing initiatives, the company added safety-focused features in Adidas Running app, such as the ability for a runners’ live location to be automatically shared with selected followers, as well as educational content and allyship prompts. To date, there are over 120,000 signatures to the pledge, “I pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women” through the app.

And last year, Adidas launched its allyship playbook in partnership with White Ribbon that was designed to educate men on the issue and provide tools to help address harassment and safety in running for women. To date, more than 250 coaches and captains from the Adidas Runners international community have received training alongside the toolkit and have become designated ambassadors in the mission to create a safer environment for women who run.

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