How Do I Get Rid Of: Running Shoes

This month I’m thinking about running shoes. Not just because it’s Spring, but because here in Boston it will soon be Marathon Monday.

In 2013 I started running, and ran my first 5K. I kept signing up for 5K races, and kept on training. This new athletic activity means that I’m now buying and wearing out running shoes fairly regularly.

So what do I do when I’m done with a pair of running shoes? I discovered that the Greater Boston Running Company - Lexington has a handy bin to collect shoes for re-use in Africa. They also have other locations.

Soles4Souls is a non-profit organization that aims to fight poverty by distributing clothes and shoes, both in the US and globally. Some items go to micro-enterprise programs in developing countries (Haiti, Honduras, Tanzania) where participants recondition shoes and sell them locally. You can drop off shoes at locations here, or mail them to Soles4Souls.

Nike also offers a Reuse-A-Shoe program where shoes are truly  “recycled” into their basic components, and reused. The rubber from the soles, for example, is turned into rubberized surface used for playgrounds and running tracks. Find locations to drop off your shoes here.