Here are several organizations that will gladly take your old running shoes.
For your end-of-season closet purge, skip the trashcan and get creative—no more lawn mowing shoes! From faithful road shoes worn for five consecutive marathons, to trail runners collecting more dust than mud, let go of the guilt and the shoes. Worn out sneakers can be put to good use resurfacing tracks and playgrounds, while like-new shoes could be life changing to those without. Check out our list of organizationsfor recycling and donation options—remember to toss shoes in a cold water wash and let them air dry before making your donation.
Give Your Sole
This organization collects used athletic shoes at races (including Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Seattle) and distributes them to less fortunate men, women and children in nine U.S. cities. giveyoursole.org
Worn out shoes are recycled into a material called Nike Grind and used to surface running tracks, playgrounds and indoor and outdoor athletic courts, with 28 million pairs being repurposed since 1990. nikereuseashoe.com
S4S has delivered more than 19 million pairs of shoes in 125 countries since 2004. They collect new and gently worn shoes for relief efforts and supporting micro-enterprise business efforts in Haiti, Central and South America and Africa. soles4souls.org
One World Running
This Boulder-based non-profit was one of the first organizations to collect shoes and athletic clothing for people in need in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. oneworldrunning.com
Share Your Soles
With 1.5 million pairs of shoes delivered to date, this Chicago-based organization collects gently worn shoes in Illinois, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Arizona for worldwide redistribution.shareyoursoles.org
In addition to collecting used shoes for distribution in Africa, this New York non-profit is raising money to help build the first public children’s hospital in Kenya. shoe4africa.org
This Dallas-Fort Worth organization, created to distribute shoes to a few hundred homeless people in Dallas, now puts shoes on the feet of 25,000 people around the world every year. shoebank.org
Donate Your Old Shoes
If you have a group ready to do a shoe collection project, Donate Your Old Shoes in San Diego will help you organize a successful shoe drive and get your shoes to the people who need them. donateyouroldshoes.org