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What To Do With Old Shoes

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Recycle Schemes That Donate Old Running Shoes


Donating your old running shoes, so long as they are still useable, is a great form of recycling. There are some general organisations that will accept outdoor and fitness clothing and footwear and ensure it ends up being re-used by other people.

In the UK, you can donate unwanted clothes and gear to ReRun Clothing. They sell the items and use the profits to support the wider running community.

Rohans Gift Your Gear scheme allows you to donate pre-loved, usable outdoor clothing and equipment. The donated items are used to enable someone who might never have had the opportunity before, to have life changing experiences in the great outdoors.

There are some stores, such as Runners Need, that work with a company called SOEX to give your old running shoes a new life and keep them out of landfill. You drop off the old running shoes in recycling bins.

The shoes are then sent to SOEX, which inspects them and sorts them into categories based on the condition theyre in. The best-quality shoes are then sent around the world to be reused, while others are repackaged and sent to secondhand markets in different countries.

Note that it’s worth asking your local sports and running stores to see if they offer their own recycling schemes.

In the US, programmes include One World Running, which collects, washes and sends sports shoes, along with t-shirts, shorts, medicine and school supplies to developing countries.

Fun Repurposed Shoe Stepping Stones

If you are looking to make some DIY garden stepping stones, think about all of those old shoes that you have inside. You can simply turn those shoes upside down and use them to make the most adorable and creative stepping stones in your neighborhood. You dont even need to do a lot for this project. Just pick out several pairs of shoes that you can use and then plant them in your garden!

Things To Do With Your Old Shoes

Outworn, outgrown or out of style, old shoes are a fact of life. And unlike easily recycled or repurposed items such as secondhand clothing or empty plastic bottles, no-longer-new footgear poses a dilemma. What exactly is a green-thinking person supposed to do with leftover loafers or rundown runners?

Well, depending on their condition, you can take your pick. Restore down-at-heel shoes to a reusable state with a little TLC. Recycle by donating to a good cause. Or, as a last resort, repurpose.


1. To keep your shoes feeling comfortable longer, rotate several pairs. This allows them to dry out between wearings and extends their life. Store in a place with some ventilation a closet floor or shelf is fine, but a shoe box is too stuffy. If you live in sunny southern California, you might want to just slip off your shoes when you get home and walk barefoot on your San Diego floor.

2. Caught in the rain? Resist the temptation to put your soaked leather shoes or boots next to a heater as well as dehydrating the leather, this treatment may be harmful to the glue that holds your footwear together. Instead, wipe the uppers and soles with a clean rag. Stuff with newspaper to absorb moisture and hold their shape while they air dry at room temp.

6. Resole or re-heel as necessary cheaper and more eco-friendly than buying a whole new pair.



9. Fill still-handsome closed shoes or cowboy boots with sand to convert to easy, instant doorstops or quirky bookends.

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How To Recycle Your Old Running Shoes

Running shoes tend to have a shorter life span than other shoes you wear day to day. They get beat up, get soaked in sweat and their cushioning often wears out before the upper is toast.

That means running shoes dont last as long as wed all like them to. There are ways to extend the life of your running shoes, but they will eventually wear out no matter how well you take care of them.

So what do you do with your trusty kicks once theyre worn out? Heres how you can recycle your running shoes.

Surprising Repurposing Ideas For Old Shoes That Youve Never Thought Of

What to do with old shoes? Create less waste in 2020

June 18, 2018 By Vanessa Beaty

I have a small confession to makeI love shoes! I have so many pairs of shoes in my closet that there is hardly room for anything else. I cant help myself! So, I recently thought that maybe it would be a good idea to go through my massive shoe collection and get rid of a few pairsjust a few, mind you. And although I typically donate clothing and things like that whenever I get rid of them, I thought that maybe there were repurpose ideas for some of my old shoes. And I was right I found 10 surprising repurpose ideas for old shoes that youve probably never even consideredI know I havent.

Whether you have a few too many pairs of shoes and you need to weed them out a bit or you have an old pair of shoes that just arent wearable any longer, you will definitely find a surprising repurpose idea for them. From baby shoe pin cushions to help you permanently commemorate those little feet to jewelry racks made from shoes and even flower pots, I promise that you are going to love all of these old shoe repurpose ideas. And you know how much I love to repurpose! Just look at these 10 easy DIYs to repurpose old winter coats.

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Ten Ways To Repurpose Worn

Got the old shoe blues? These 10 reuse ideas will keep your feet eco-stylish and eye-catching.

1. Redesign themImage: 2. Denim sandals Image: Thee Kiss of Life3. Gladiator sandalsImage: 4. EspadrillesImage: 5. Flower plantersImage: 6. Heel planters Image: Do It Yourself Fun Ideas7. Snow-chained running shoesImage: 8. Baby shoe pin cushionImage: 9. MosaicImage: 10. Dress them up Image: hintofsunshineAll images used are copyrighted and used with permission of the photographers/artists.

Help People Around The World

Organizations like GotSneakers partner with people like you in local communities to setup shoe drives. GotSneakers will send you collection bags and pre-paid shipping labels so you can round up all the old sneakers in the back of your familys closets, as well as the old sneakers collecting dust in the homes of your friends.

Once you send the used shoes to GotSneakers, they will be sorted and then sent to impoverished countries where gently used shoes are desperately needed.In many countries having proper footwear is a requirement for attending school, even though families often do not have the money available to purchase shoes. Having access to the footwear that your child no longer fits into will be greatly appreciated by these families.

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Ask A Sustainability Expert: How Do I Recycle My Worn

Shoes destined for recycling via Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program.

Even for fashion and beauty lovers who think sustainability is important, wading through all the sometimes-conflicting information about it can be tricky. To combat the confusion, we’re asking scientists, researchers and other authorities to answer all your most pressing questions in our column Ask a Sustainability Expert.

Dear Fashionista: What’s the most responsible way to dispose of shoes once they’re worn past the point of no return? I don’t want them to end up in a landfill, but I know I can’t just put them out on the curb with my cardboard and glass for recycling.

Perhaps your soles look like Swiss cheese or your high heels are so chewed up you’re telling people the dog got ahold of them. If it’s time to retire your loved-to-death footwear and you’re looking for responsible, sustainable ways to do so, there’s good news and bad news: You have options, but none of them are perfect.

Of the 24.2 billion pairs of shoes manufactured globally each year, experts say that most of them end up in a landfill or incinerator, because there are simply too many shoes and not enough recycling solutions.

“When you are generating this much product, most of it is sent back to landfill,” says Dr. Sahadat Hossain, the director of the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Host An Obstacle Course Or Mud Run

DIY SNEAKER TRICK – Reuse your old shoes and Sneakers – Recycle Your old Shoes With This Simple Fix


Your gym members will jump at the opportunity to test their strength with an innovative obstacle course or mud run. Its a great way to exercise while also having a blast with the whole community. You can include obstacles like:

  • A mud pit
  • Monkey bars
  • A muddy inflatable slide

Dont be afraid to get creative! Plus, Sneakers4Funds has a unique process for collecting athletic shoes after mud runs. Theyll provide you with everything you need, even a hose nozzle to spray off the mud and a special mesh bag for gathering muddy sneakers. Participants likely wont want to clean their running shoes after the race, so make sure to promote your running shoe drive fundraiser ahead of time actively.

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What Are Shoes Made From

Shoes are made from a lot of different types of materials, including many types of plastics. They mainly use:

  • leather
  • natural fibers like cotton and wool
  • synthetic textiles like polyester and nylon
  • rubber
  • foam plastics

There are two main parts of a shoe, the upper and the sole. The upper is the top of the shoe that holds your foot. Its usually made from fabric or leather but can also be a mix of materials. E.g., athletic runners typically have many different parts and types of materials for the uppers of their shoes.

The sole is the bottom of the shoe. Its often made from rubber or plastics like polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride . The sole of a shoe can also be complex, with different plastics and rubber used in shoes like sneakers.

There is a lot more to a shoe than this simple overview, so if you want to find out more, head over to The Anatomy of an Athletic Shoe.

What To Do With Old Shoes: 15 Stylish Shoe Upcycles To Try Asap

Cinderellas slippers have nothing on these shoes.

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I dont know about you, but I have a lot of shoes. My closet is definitely stocked I cant resist a shoe sale! Which led me to wonder what to do with old shoes that are still functional but maybe dont fit my style anymore.

Last week, I shared a guide to upcycling clothes. So in the spirit of reusing, I found fifteen projects you can use to upcycle your old shoes. I organized the projects by fashion categories: bohemian, statement, and preppy.

These boots from Brit + Co give me all the bohemian vibes. I love the contrasting colors and textures.

It may be a little warm for jeans and boots but these would be super cute when paired with a flowy skirt or a sundress this summer.

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Australia And New Zealand

Shoes for Planet Earth If you have shoes in reasonable shape clean, no holes, and the soles are in good condition. You can donate them to Shoes for the Planet. Find a drop-off location here.

Rebel Sports Stores has partnered with the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program check with your local store before you head down .

The Australian Sporting Goods Association has partnered with Save our Souls to run a pilot sports shoe recycling program. Its currently only in Victoria. They recycle our old worn-out sneakers into playground and sporting surfaces, gym mats, and retail flooring.

Recycling bins are available in Rebel, JD Sports, SportsPower, and Myer plus Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Converse, GloBe, and ASICS. To find out what to do with your old runners, check out their locator.

Upparel If your shoes have seen better days, then try Upparel. They accept any quality shoes, but only in pairs. AND! If you organize a pick-up, you can donate up to 10kg of clothing and get a discount on some eco-friendly socks too. You can book to have your clothes and old shoes picked up here.

Bared Footwear in Victoria takes your old pre-loved shoes. They accept any brand, and you can even post them into them. Find the details here.

Total Workwear Recycle boots from Aussie Tradies. The only catch is you have to buy a new pair from them. Find their details here.

Why Should You Recycle Shoes

What to do with old shoes.

While some shoes are meant to be “forever” investmentsâBalenciaga sneakers, for exampleâothers are only meant to be temporary flings. When you wear a pair of shoes for too long, they can become overly broken in and lose their support. This is especially important as it relates to sneakers, which podiatrists say you should be swapping your every six months to ensure they’re doing their job correctly and keeping you safe and injury-free in your workouts. This, in effect, creates a lot of shoe waste. According to the United States Department of the Interior, Americans throw away over 300 million pairs of shoes per year, which can take between 30 and 40 years to decompose.

In addition to reducing your carbon footprint and buying fewer, better pairs , choosing to recycle shoes can make a huge impact on the life of an individual. Donating via a company like Soles for Souls, which brings shoes to people in the developing world, can make it possible for children to walk to school without having to trek over glass and other dangerous terrain in bare feet. There are reportedly 300 million people living in extreme poverty who don’t have access to shoes, so though you may need to upgrade your old marathoning Asics, people around the world can put them to good use.

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Old Flip Flop Welcome Sign

Turn those old torn or worn flip flops into the perfect welcome sign to hang on your door this summer. How adorable is this? Its perfect if you want something colorful and fun for summer décor and it is really easy to make. If you dont have flip flops for this one, check your thrift stores where you can get them for about 50 cents a pair or pick up a few cheap dollar pairs from the Dollar Store.

Host A Relay Bike Ride

Cost: FREEEco-Friendliness:

A relay bike ride is a great way to bring the community together while also burning a few extra calories. Have participants contribute a pair of athletic shoes for entry, or have them bring an extra pair along to give away at any point.

Theyll probably want to stretch out their feet after riding several miles, so take the opportunity to collect their sneakers. Remember to let them know how their contribution can positively impact the environment.

Also, make sure to map out the path and have volunteers direct the bicyclists on the day of the event. As with any activity, spread the word about the relay and the running shoe drive fundraiser well in advance. On any promotional materials, include the necessary details as well as the map and distance. Make sure to advertise the eco-friendliness of the entire event, too.

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When Should You Throw Away A Pair Of Shoes

Ok so, your shoes are completely destroyed and you’ve had them for so long that they look like mummies of their former selves… What can you do? If neither donating, recycling nor upcycle is an option, then I’m afraid it may be time to throw away those old shoes.

However, the only instance in which you should throw them away is if they are rotten inside with a foul smell if they have irreparable damage because your dog thought it was a chew toy, or something similar. In most cases, you can always save an old shoe from ending up in a landfill, but if it meets those conditions, it’s a dead giveaway to throw in the towel.

Turn Old Shoes Into Planters

What To do With Old Converse: DIY Metallic Sneakers


Plants will grow in pretty much anything, so try turning your sneakers into a flower pot! All you need for this is some dirt and some seeds !

When turning your athletic shoes into planters, make sure theres adequate draining by making a few holes in the soles. Adding a layer of rocks at the bottom will add some additional drainage and can add a bit of weight to the sneaker to keep it from blowing over.

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Diy High Heeled Ring Rack Display

Whether you sell jewelry and want something unique to display your rings or you just want a nice little fun ring holder for your dresser, that old high heel will do the trick. You just have to add the ring holders, which you can find at any hobby store and most business supply stores. These are so much fun and would make excellent gifts for anyone you know who loves shoesand rings.

Tutorial/Source: thetoastedcoconut

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