How to Recycle your Shoes

Your boots (and trainers, and sandals) may be made for walking, but if you’re getting those 10,000 steps in on the reg, chances are your shoes are eventually going to wear out. So, you’ll likely find yourself looking for a place to recycle shoes at least a few times a year.

Why should I recycled my shoes?

While some shoes are meant to be “forever” investments—Balenciaga trainers, for example—others 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 shoes 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.

 

What are the best places to recycle shoes?

When it’s time to say goodbye to your shoes, there are a few things you can do with them.

Sell: If your shoes have been well-loved and you just don’t love them any more, you can always try to trade them in for cash. Sites like Ebay and Depop make it easy to sell shoes online to a loving new home. Keep in mind though that they need to be in very good condition for you to be able to make any money off of them.

Donate: If your shoes dead to you, but not embarrassing looking (you know what I mean by this), you can take them to a second-hand store for someone else to love. A few easy places to do it? YMCA, The British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research etc.

Recycle: When your shoes just don’t have any right calling themselves shoes anymore, their raw materials can still find a new purpose—especially trainers. Certain trainer companies have developed recycling initiatives that use the materials from your old running shoes into brand spankin’ new ones. You can bring your used trainers back to Adidas and Asics for upcycling into the next collection.

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