Have all those long, isolated walks during the pandemic worn out your favorite pair of shoes? Even if you think they’re totally unwearable beyond the point of donation, there’s no reason to throw them in the trash, where they’ll eventually wind up in a landfill. There might still be a way to recycle shoes , no matter the condition.

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    Have a totally beat pair of sneakers, slippers, boots, or flats? Keep reading for our suggestions of how you can breathe new life into old shoes, plus a few ways you can recycle shoes of all kinds.

    Shoe cobblers can bring back shoes from the dead.

    Source: Getty Images

    Shoe cobblers are basically some of the most creative engineers on the planet. They can take your grimiest, worn out, too-small shoes and polish, resole, or stretch them, completely transforming shoes that seemed landfill-ready to ones that look almost new. It can’t hurt to call or swing by your local shoe repair shop with your worse-for-wear kicks to see if they can be brought back from the brink. You’d be surprised at the sorcery that happens behind the scenes at your local cobbler’s shop.

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    Donate or consign any shoes that are still wearable.

    If you have shoes that are still in decent condition, but you’ve simply outgrown them or no longer have a use for them, the first thing you should consider is selling or donating them. You can try selling them to a consignment store or on an online platform like Poshmark , or donate them to a local thrift store or organization .

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    Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program

    The easiest kind of shoes to recycle are definitely sneakers — many stores across the country have sneaker recycling programs, one of the broadest being Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program , which accepts sneakers from any brand at most Nike stores. This is just one of many programs that recycle sneakers — check out our full guide to recycling sneakers here .

    But for shoes that aren’t sneakers, things can be a bit trickier — here are a few other shoe recycling programs.

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    Asics and I:CO

    You can recycle shoes or clothing from any brand, in any style, and in any condition through Asics , a major running shoe and activewear brand. Dozens of Asics stores around the country have collection bins, in partnership with textile recycling company I:CO , which carefully sorts each donation and assesses if it should be donated or recycled. If you don’t live near an Asics store, definitely contact I:CO to see if there are other partners with collection bins near you.

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    TerraCycle’s Shoes and Footwear Zero Waste Box

    The recycling geniuses at TerraCycle offer a Shoes and Footwear Zero Waste Box , which you can use to recycle pretty much any type of shoe in any condition, with the exception of ski boots and skates. TerraCycle will reuse, upcycle, and recycle the shoes, making sure they stay far away from landfills. Boxes start at $129 — so even though it is a bit pricey, it’s a solid option for people who have the money to support a business like TerraCycle or don’t have access to any free shoe recycling programs.

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    Teva's new program, TevaForever

    Teva unleashed a brand new recycling program in tandem with waste management company, TerraCycle, called TevaForever . The program, launched in April 2021, gives customers the opportunity to give worn Tevas a second life by letting them mail in retired sandals at no additional cost. Upon being sent back to Teva, the old shoes are properly cleaned, broken down, and processed into anything from playgrounds, to sports fields, and track ground covers. Exciting!

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    Timberland’s take-back program with ReCircled

    Source: Timberland

    In August 2021, shoe brand Timberland will launch a take-back program, in partnership with ReCircled . Customers can drop off any Timberland shoes — or other Timberland products — at any Timberland store. The company will then either repair the products and resell them, or recycle them into new items. 

    “This take-back program is a critical step in pursuing our 100 percent circularity goal, while at the same time addressing the ever-increasing consumer demand for responsible design and progressive retail options,” Susie Mulder, Global Brand President for Timberland, said in a statement sent to Green Matters.

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    The North Face’s Clothes the Loop

    The North Face’s Clothes the Loop program accepts donations of shoes and clothing of any brand, at North Face stores around the nation. The stores then send the collected items to nonprofit Soles4Souls , where the shoes and items are resold, repurposed, or recycled. If you make a donation, you'll get a $10 reward toward a North Face purchase of at least $100.

    Note that Soles4Souls’ direct shoe recycling program only accepts shoes that are still in wearable condition, but The North Face’s partnership with the organization seems to be willing to accept shoes and clothing of any condition.

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    Wearable Collections

    New York City-based company Wearable Collections is a great option for NYC residents looking to get rid of shoes. The company has drop-off points all across the city, including dropboxes on various street corners, bins at select farmers markets , and in many office and residential buildings. You can also request a bin for your building, or schedule a pickup at your home or office.

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    Wearable Collections accepts shoes and sneakers of any style or condition, as well as clothes, accessories, belts, hats, handbags, and linens. The company sorts and funnels about 50 percent of collections into secondhand markets, and the rest is upcycled into rags or shredded into insulation, carpet padding, or mattress stuffing. About 4 percent of items Wearable Collections collects does wind up in landfills, but the company is working on getting that down to 0 percent. 

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    Basically, if you’re really determined to keep something out of the landfill, you’ll find a way — even if it means spending a few months hoarding those shoes your dog thought were chew toys.

    This article has been updated.

    What can shoes be recycled into?
    The process consists in collecting shoes from consumers that they previously dropped in one of their Reuse-A-Shoe bins, and then recycling them into Nike Grind, a material that can be used to make performance products, playgrounds or running tracks for instance. more
    What is shoe tongue?
    The shoe tongue is a strip of material located under the laces of a shoe. The tongue sits on the top center part of the shoe. It's attached to the vamp in front of the shoe and the quarter in the back of the shoe. It protects the top of the foot and prevents laces from rubbing against the foot. more
    What is shoe Shank?
    The shank is an internal part of the supportive structure, between the insole and outsole, that provides a rigidness and stability to the shoe. more
    What is a single shoe?
    Whether you are buying just one (1) shoe, or two (2) shoes of different sizes or widths to create a pair, we refer to this as buying 'single' shoes. more
    How is shoe quality measured?
    The following is a list of the most important physical tests that your shoes should undergo.
    1. Size and Fitting.
    2. Metal Contamination.
    3. Bond Testing.
    4. Zip and Fastener Fatigue and Quality Testing.
    5. Accessory Pull Testing.
    6. Color Fastness - Rub Testing.
    7. QIMA - The Complete Solution.
    more
    How do shoe lasts work?
    A shoe last is the form on which a shoe is constructed. The shape of the last determines the shape of the shoe that is made on that last. The shoe last determines the toe shape and heel height as well as the curvature of the shoe. more
    What is a quality shoe?
    The quality of shoes is mainly defined by the material the shoes are made of. Leather, for example, is a natural and breathable material, allowing your feet to breath, regulate moisture, reduce the proliferation of bacteria and fungi and eliminate foot odour. more
    What does shoe size represent?
    The Size of a shooe is the measure of its length which is in Children divided into 13 parts; and in Men and Women into 15 parts; the first of these being five inches long before it be taken for a size; what the shooe exceeds that length, every fourth part of an inch is taken for a size 1, 2, 3 , and so forwards to 12 more
    Is shoe making business profitable?
    Shoes are always in demand anytime of the year hence everybody needs a good pair of shoe, or shoes. This makes it a very lucrative business. Starting a business in the shoe-making industry is one of the most profitable things an entrepreneur can do given the right skill and good business sense. more
    What is backdoor shoe?
    Backdoor sneakers. What does this term mean? Basically, it's when you're able to pay for sneakers at retail price without having to wait in line, enter a raffle, or show up and check each day. When you get a pair of sneakers backdoored to you all you have to do is show up, buy the shoes, and leave. more
    Are shoe boxes recyclable?
    By teaming up with a new supplier at a time where creating a sustainable future is rapidly growing in importance, we're now using a shoe box which is made from 100% recycled materials, and they're 100% recyclable. They're also FSC approved (you can read more about the FSC here). more

    Source: www.greenmatters.com

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