updated: OK. I haven't recycled my shoes. Yet. I have a stack of shoes waiting. The guilt is building... Please inspire me with your stories of how easy it was!?
Runners and triathletes love their shoes. Eventually, we must move on, repurpose or retire our current pair.
Who recycles their shoes? What program do you use? Was it easy to do?
This site offers a list of homes and programs looking to repurpose our dear old shoes.
Also on active.com:
This active.com blog is a nice read and lists recycling suggestions. http://community.active.com/blogs/protectyourplayground/2008/10/29/my-old-running-shoes-now-have-a-home
This morning I saw Top Gun's Goose sharing about a program he supports, Shoe4Africa.
The site reads "Please only send gently used, as we are paying tax receiving many shoes, that when unpacked, are found to be no use for running. The shoe should be 'good' for at least another 100-miles of running, thanks so much. Shoes can be sent via AIRMAIL (USPS is the best, most cost-effective method). Please send to the following address: Shoe4Africa
c/o Monicah Kiplagat
PO Box 6943
Sara Cox Landolt
I take mine to my local running store, Boulder Running Company. Very easy except I of course have to shop after I drop them. The lure of new running wear it too strong!
This concept is BRILLIANT, as it coincides what I am learning in school, SUSTAINABILITY. My suggestion is to get your local shoe/tri-gear stores involved with a "Shoe Drive." Each pair of "retired" running shoes may be exchanged for a $10 discount on any new pair of shoes. Check out this artist that transforms old bike parts into wearable, fashionable jewelry, http://www.rengaarts.com/vendors/view.html?id=52
I have about 10 pairs of old, broken-down running shoes taking up space in my closet. Nike recycles old running shoes (and walking, aerobic, tennis, cross trainers, etc.) of any brand by grinding them up and turning them into those nice, squishy, rubbery tracks, basketball courts and playgrounds for kids. You can send them to Nike (at your own cost) or find a drop-off location (any Niketown or Nike Factory Store). I think this is a very cool and responsible business practice!
Check out the link:
You can send any number of shoes to Nike at:
Nike Recycling Center
26755 SW 95th Ave.
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(Nike will not accept shoes delivered with postage due)
if you have "gently used" shoes that can still be worn...
One World Running (www.oneworldrunning.com),
Since 1986, a group of runners in Boulder, Colorado, has collected, washed and sent to Third World countries new and "near-new" athletic shoes, T-shirts and shorts, along with medicine and school and art supplies. Shoes for Africa (mentioned in a prior posting I think) was started after sports journalist Mike Sandrock returned from a coaching and racing trip to Cameroon, West Africa, sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency. Many of the runners from Cameroon ran barefoot (and were still able to beat Sandrock), and afterwards, a group of Boulder elite runners including Lorraine Moller, Steve Jones and Arturo Barrios began shipping shoes to West Africa. Since then a group of runners in Boulder has collected, washed, and sent shoes, T-shirts, and shorts to needy athletes and children around the world. The project continues to grow with shoes and athletic equipment being sent in from around the United States.
Now called "One World Running" the group is a 100-percent volunteer organization, and the program has now expanded globally. The West End 3K criterium road race in downtown Boulder was started in August, 2001, as fundraiser for Shoes for Africa. In a recent addition, soccer cleats are now collected, as well as baseball equipment.
Shoes & Other Athletic Gear can be sent to:
One World Running
P.O. Box 2223
Boulder, CO 80306