Heart and Sole: Yerdle's Guide to Recycling Your Old Shoes

Every year, over 11 million pounds of textile waste ends up in landfills and one of our goals at Yerdle is to keep items from becoming trash. That said, eventually every article of clothing will reach the end of it’s lifecycle. Today, we'd like to share some tips on what we can do to make sure that our old footwear isn't piling up in the landfills. 

First off, make sure that your kicks really are beyond repair. While cobblers may sound like they still only exist in fairy tales, it’s quite easy to find one and have them work some real magic on your old shoes! No need to toss your favorite worn loafers when a quick visit to your local cobbler can get them back into pristine condition.

If your shoes are beyond saving, or you only wear athletic shoes (something that cobblers don’t often tackle), it’s time to look at how to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way. To start, one of the first options is Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program. Take any worn out athletic shoe you own - whether it’s Nike or not - and drop it off at the nearest location in your area or mail them directly to Nike. From there, Nike will piece apart your old shoe and recycle it into new play surfaces like running tracks, soft playground surfaces, or synthetic turf.

If you are looking for a more local option, there are a couple other options available! First, you should see if your city has a clothing recycling program where you can take your old shoes. Another route would be to look for local drop off bins that can handle textile recycling. The easiest way we've found to locate one of these bins is Earth911's recycling center search, where you can specify exactly what kind of item you want to recycle, shoes or not.

Those are our best suggestions on what to do with your worn out shoes. Now all that’s left is to take that knowledge and walk the walk. Together we can make sure our footwear is put to good use, one step at a time.