3 Ways to Recycle Sneakers (Give Old Soles New Life)

Nothing beats the feeling of owning the perfect pair of sneakers; however, over time our shoes do eventually run out of miles to give. Once we start to look into new options, the average first thought is to throw away our old sneakers.

While you may not personally have use for your shoes anymore, throwing away your sneakers negatively impacts the planet. In fact, over 200 million pairs end up in landfills each year, and it can take up to 40 years for the shoes to fully decompose. By that point, the materials have released harmful toxins into the atmosphere leaving residual effects on our air and soil. That’s why recycling old shoes (and clothing) is so important.

Here are the top three ways to recycle sneakers and give them new life:

Seek Professional Help to Replace Worn Out Soles

Saying goodbye to a pair of shoes you loved can be a hard pill to swallow. Luckily, you can always have the soles replaced. A cobbler will give your favorite pair of shoes a new lease on life and may even help make some size adjustments where necessary. Take advantage of every remaining mile that you have in your shoes.

Shoe repair is a time revered profession that may seem as antiquated as it sounds, but you will be doing the planet a service. The best part? You get to hang onto your favorite pair/s of shoes a little while longer. This is especially key if they are classics from a luxury brand that you just can’t imagine parting with.

Put Your Old Pairs Up for Sale

Reselling an old pair of shoes can be a great way to make extra cash while also giving your soles new life. Regardless of how much mileage your old shoes have on them, someone else may treasure them. The idea is to keep the shoes in circulation for as long as possible and away from landfills and garbage dumps (where the potential for environmental harm is almost certain). Online and in-person thrift and consignment stores are often excited to receive sneakers.

Recycle Your Sneakers into New Products

Did you know your shoes are 100% recyclable? Many parts of the sneaker, such as the soles or the strings from the laces, can either be re-purposed or made into new products. Recycling is a sustainable and honorable way of giving your soles new life. Several shoe brands offer recycling programs where you drop off unwanted items at designated locations.

At GotSneakers we offer a solution for you to recycle all of your sneakers, and the easiest part is, you just have to send them to us! Our team has repurposed over 2 million pairs of sneakers (and counting!) which stops them from ending up in landfills! We’ll send you free shipping materials so you can send your old footwear to us. Once we receive them we’ll review and sort them. Some will be sold into the second-hand economy and some will be immediately recycled!


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