Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis caught national attention for a filibuster to stop an abortion bill
The pink sneakers Davis wore for comfort also made headlines
Davis' sneakers join a line of fashion symbols in social revolutions
When Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis made headlines for a filibuster opposing an abortion bill, it was more than her speech that generated buzz. Davis donned hot pink running shoes as she attempted a 13-hour stand against a Texas bill that includes a provision to ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
As Davis went on, her filibuster became a trending topic on Twitter and the shoe an iconic visual behind the hashtag #standwithwendy.
Davis’ footwear joins a long line of apparel that has become symbolic of resistance, from the Trayvon Martin hoodie to Pussy Riot’s balaclava face masks.
The shoes were designed for comfort, but Davis told CNN’s AC360, “I underestimated how difficult it would be both physically and mentally. About two hours in, I realized I was in for a long day.”
Davis also said she didn’t expect her shoes to catch national attention. Mizuno, the makers of the now-famous sneakers, told CNN they were surprised at the sudden hype surrounding the shoe, called the Wave Rider.
“The Wave Rider is designed to give the comfort and cushioning needed whether it’s a 5K, a marathon or 10+ hour filibuster,” Mizuno spokeswoman Harper Cornell said in a statement.
Cornell wouldn’t share sales data for the $115 shoe, but the resulting attention has increased traffic to MizunoRunning.com and the Wave Rider 16 product page, she said. Daily website traffic totals nearly doubled compared to the same day last week. The shoes have garnered rave reviews on online retailer Amazon.com, too.
“We do appreciate Ms. Davis’ choice in athletic footwear,” the company’s statement said. “However, we do not maintain a corporate position related to the topic in discussion.”