Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Running Shoes, Reincarnated

“Running is hard. Giving is easy.” –

The deadline for a new pair of running shoes is fast approaching for me. My knees are starting to complain about the lack of support; my laces are looking less than lustrous, covered in a thin layer of who knows what; and the interior has been rubbed considerably down from mile after mile.

Running shoes are like friends. They’re with us during our best and worst times, from the PR races to the less than perfect “jogs.” They take a lot, and you have to hand it to them, they really do the job well. Rocky paths and perfectly paved asphalt are no match for our dear shoes, and so it should be important to find them a fitting home after they’ve worked so hard.

I need about two new pairs of running shoes per year, and could probably stand to up that to three (once again, I’m waiting for those huge paychecks to accommodate this!) I’m sure a lot of you runners out there go through even more than I do, and so the question is, what do we do with these perfectly fine shoes after they no longer suit our needs (and knees)?

Recycling your running shoes is a great option to allow them to keep giving. It not only puts a pair of shoes on someone else's feet, but keeps the landfills from piling up with used Nikes and Asics after every season. The past few pairs of trainers I’ve burned through have gone to the Good Will or Salvation Army with the rest of my toss outs, but after some research I found several great organizations that will do a lot more with your sneakers.

When I buy my new shoes at the beginning of November, I’ll update you on the charity I chose to take my shoes somewhere they’ll really be appreciated. Maybe I'll even start my own shoe donation program!

One World Running

Started in Colorado in 1986, this is an international organization that collects and distributes running shoes and athletic gear to those in need in the U.S. and third world countries.


Nike’s shoe recycling program takes a unique approach to the process. Since 1990, they have been collecting used athletic shoes of any brand and turning them into sports surfaces like basketball and tennis courts, athletic fields, tracks and playgrounds for young people all around the world.

Sole Responsibility

Started by a group of runners in Ottawa, Canada, this group collects running shoes and donates them to a specific area of the world. This summer, they were advised by the UN to donate to Rwanda and will choose a new location in the spring of 2009.

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trishsavage said...

Good to know.

Devin said...

Nike’s shoes recycling program is absolutely great.