Posted on January 31, 2012 by
Like the shoe? That’s one of my new running shoes. I’m a little torn as to whether I think they’re hideous or freaking awesome, but this post isn’t really about those shoes, at least not yet.
Last year I went through three pairs of running shoes. As the year went on, I gradually upped my mileage to the point that I ran 101 miles in October and have averaged more than 60 miles each month since, even though I’m not currently training for something specific. I fully expect to run more miles this year than last meaning I’ll probably go through at least three pairs again this year. While I may be a much thinner and fitter version of the self I was two years ago, I’m carrying a lot of dead weight in old running shoes.
I have been just using the old running shoes as my casual sneakers and storing the rest in my closet, but what do I need with a half-dozen pairs of shoes I no longer wear? I need to find a way to unload a bunch of old shoes on a fairly regular basis without their ending up in the landfill. If you do a lot of running, I’m sure you do too. Even if you aren’t a runner or other athlete who goes through a lot of shoes, you’re still going to have to get rid of an old pair eventually. Here are a few ways to feel better about getting rid of all of those old shoes:
- Talk to someone at your local running store. Many stores have a partnership with a charity that collects shoes that still have some life in them. This may very well be your running shoes. I know that mine often look fine at the end of their running career and are still perfectly acceptable for casual use. They just don’t provide a healthy platform for a 10-mile run anymore.
- If you are like me and don’t really have a local running store, visit RecycledRunners.com. The site lists a variety of used shoe charities and how to get your shoes to them. Recycled Runners also lists recycling companies who will recycle shoes that are that are too far gone for a second life on someone else’s feet. If the site is still ailing when you read this, just do a quick search for “shoe recycling” and you should be able to find a few programs.
- Even if you don’t have a local running store, you probably have thrift stores in your town who will take donations of shoes that are still wearable, even if they aren’t good for running long distances anymore.
- Finally, if you’ve truly run your shoes into the ground (or if you aren’t a runner and just wear your shoes to death like I do with the rest of my shoes), there are true recycling programs that will grind up the shoes and use the resulting giblets as an ingredient in paving for tracks and other sports surfaces.