5 Cool Ways to Recycle Your Old Sneakers

Did you know old sneakers offer an opportunity for some crazy DIY action? Check out these fun ways to recycle, revamp and repurpose your sneakers instead of tossing them in the trash.

1. Add Color to Your Garden

Old athletic shoes or children’s sneakers with colorful soles make fantastic stepping stone decorations for the yard or garden. Gather the most vibrant shades, and wash the dirt off the soles. Remove the upper part of the sneakers, and position the soles with the bottom side facing up. Keep them in place using the same kind of metal anchors you would for holding down garden fabric.

2. Break Out the Paint

Grungy sneakers get new life with acrylic primer and paint. Sketch out a design you really like, and prep the athletic shoe using painter’s tape. Paint as desired before sealing with a product like Scotch Guard to protect your creation.

3. Grow Tasty Herbs

The idea of eating food grown in an old sneaker may seem kind of gross at first, but think about how amazing it would be to have a unique herb garden in your backyard or on your windowsill. It’s an easy project you can finish in just a few steps:

  • Clean and deodorize your sneakers
  • Drill or poke holes in the soles for drainage
  • Fill the foot with potting soil
  • Plant your favorite herb seeds
  • Water as needed

If you’re putting the sneakers on your windowsill, be sure to tuck an aluminum pie pan or terracotta saucer underneath to catch excess water.

4. Swap Your Old Sneakers

If you’re not big on DIY but still want to give old athletic shoes new life, try a swap! It’s not unusual to have two different-sized feet, and some people need pairs of mismatched shoes to account for the discrepancy. You can join a shoe swapping website to help others get just the right fit or to provide amputees with a convenient resource for obtaining single shoes.

Another option is to swap the sneakers you’re no longer fond of for a different gently used pair rather than buying something new and shoving the rejects in the back of the closet.

Repurposing or swapping your old sneakers reduces waste and gives you something unique and fresh to enjoy. The next time your kicks start to show their age, keep them out of the landfill by putting them to good use instead.

5. Host a Fundraiser

If you’re not the DIY-type you can still keep your athletic sneakers and shoes out of landfills by sending them to GotSneakers where they will be repurposed or recycled. What’s even better than that? GotSneakers will pay you up to $3 per pair of sneakers you send in!

You can sign up to host a free sneaker drive fundraiser with GotSneakers to raise much-needed funds for your PTA, PTO, school club, running club, or any other project or club that could use an influx of cash.

What will you do with your old sneakers? Is it time to clean out your closet and start a sneaker drive fundraiser? If so, we’re ready to help by sending you a free starter kit that includes collection bags and pre-paid postage to send the sneakers to us to be repurposed or recycled!


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