How many pairs of sneakers do you have lying around? If you’re like most people, you have at least 3 or 4 pairs of old sneaks that you don’t use. Maybe they are worn out, have lost their cushioning, or have simply been replaced by a fresh pair. No matter what the case, don’t let them clutter up your closet any longer! Here are some ways you can reuse/recycle your old sneakers:
Your shoes are still wearable
Donate your athletic sneakers to an organization if your area. For Shoe donation programs in your area click here. Recycled Runners offers an online directory of organizations in the US and several international countries. In Canada, you may want to check out Sole Responsibility based in Ottawa, Ontario.
Your shoes are worn out
1. Donate them to Nike’s Reuse-a-shoe program. They take old sneakers and grind them up to make playground surfaces. Click here to go to the site.
2. Re-purpose them! You can use old shoes as planters in your garden by drilling a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Alternatively, if you have a dog, take out the laces and you have a new toy for him/her to chew on. Another idea is making a door stop by filling it with instant cement or gravel. Be creative! Just because your shoes aren’t useful as shoes doesn’t mean they can’t be used for something else!
3. Save and cherish them. If your shoes have sentimental value to you, maybe you want to bronze them, make a memory box, or hang them on your wall. I would recommend cleaning them first!
No matter what you decide to do with your sneakers, try not to throw them out! We have enough trash in the dump and our active lifestyles should make the planet healthier, not more toxic.
Runner’s World has a great listing of ways to give a second life to your sneakers. Click here to visit their directory.