What To Do With Old Sneakers?

When you buy a new pair of sneakers, it’s tempting to toss the old ones in the trash or shove them to the back of the closet. What if you could do something more useful with those shoes? Check out these three ways to give new life to old sneakers.


Most sneakers are made of recyclable materials and can be dropped off at local collection spots or mailed to eco-friendly organizations, such as GotSneakers. The same materials will simply sit in a landfill for decades if thrown away, so recycling keeps excess trash from piling up and allows new products to be made without the need for fresh resources.

Get Crafty

If you often spend your spare time browsing Pinterest and Instagram for craft project ideas, why not put a fun twist on your creative pursuits by seeing what you can do with sneakers? You can find dozens of unique ways to repurpose old sneakers and other types of shoes posted by those who share your love of crafting. Some entertaining ideas include:

  • Planters
  • “Pots” for herbs
  • Birdfeeders or birdhouses
  • “Stepping stones” for the garden

You’ll need to clean and sanitize your sneakers before using them for projects, but this can be as simple as tossing them in the washing machine or giving them a good scrub by hand.


Thousands of people around the world, including children, are in need of sturdy shoes to protect their feet and prevent them from contracting parasite-borne diseases. Many organizations collect shoes to distribute to those in need. One of them in particular is GotSneakers.

You can send your shoes directly to them or partner with them to run a sneaker drive to raise money for your school, religious organization or nonprofit.

Whether you’re feeling eco-friendly, generous or creative, there’s a way to keep your old sneakers out of a landfill. Give fresh purpose to the sneakers you’re no longer using, and know you’re helping someone out by brightening up their day, providing much-needed footwear or keeping the planet clean.


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