Instead of dumping old shoes into the garbage and ultimately into the landfill, consider these options:
Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe Program grinds old running shoes into material that makes athletics and playground surfaces. So if your sports soles have lost their bounce, the program will take back and recycle any brand of athletic shoe. Many Nike and Converse stores in Canada and the U.S. accept old running shoes, be sure to check with the store in your area before dropping them off. www.nikereuseashoe.com
Sole Responsibility, a non-profit organization formed by a group of runners in Ottawa. The group collects “gently used” running and walking shoes and donates them overseas through the guidance of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Collection sites are located at sporting goods stores in and around Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario. Donations can also be mailed to 13 Kilbarry Crescent, Ottawa, ON., K1K 0G9.
Sole Responsibility Collection Sites:
- Mountain Equipment Co-op, 366 Richmond Rd., Ottawa
- Bushtukah, 203 Richmond Rd., Ottawa or 5607 Hazeldean Rd, Kanata
- Bridgehead – Any of the 12 locations in Ottawa
- Sport Physio Plus in Orleans
- Sports 4 on Bank and in Kanata
- Barrhaven Source for Sports
- Fresh Air Experience
- In Kingston at Kingston Athletic Therapy Centre, 1663 Venture Dr Unit 1B
and F W Black Ltd, 685 Arlington Park Pl
- In Perth, Ontario at The Running Goat, 74 Foster St., Perth
- In New Liskeard at The Running Link, 166 Armstrong St.
Giveshoes.org: Your collection of shoes that no longer stir your soul (maybe you’ve grown tired of them or they no longer suit your style) and the lightly worn shoes that your kids have outgrown, could be a God send to families in need. Soles4Souls collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty. Since 2004, the organization has delivered more than 19 million pairs of shoes in more than 125 countries for crisis relief and to support micro-enterprises.
Find drop-off locations (in the U.S.) and information about shipping from outside the States on the website, giveshoes.org.
Shoe4Africa: Shoe4Africa partners with volunteers around the world to collect shoes for sporting and charitable activities in Africa. The organization says its mission is to empower “through sports and education, creating unique health initiatives, and promoting Aids awareness”.
The charity asks for donations of running shoes that have at least another 100 miles of running life in them so they can be properly used for the health and fitness programs promoted by the organization. According to their website, running shoes prevents hookworms and promotes a healthy lifestyle. “We don’t want to just hand out shoes; we hold races so people EARN shoes. Empowerment, not charity.”
Send donations to: Shoe4Africa, PO Box 6943, Eldoret, Kenya.