Shoes: Let someone else walk in your shoes

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Day 62 – I could have easily added shoes into my clothing posts, but I thought they deserved their own day.  In 2019, U.S. shoe store sales amounted to about 36.63 billion U.S. dollars (according to That adds up to a lot of shoes and it’s estimated that around 300 million of those shoes are end up in landfills every year.

Here are some great options for your old shoes.

Soles4Souls – They turn unwanted and gently used shoes and clothing into opportunity, by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use – providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty. You can find drop off locations at DSW stores. You can also ship your donations for FREE, after creating a Zappos account.

Sneaker Heartz – They are sneakerheads opening their hearts and closets to make their local community a better place, one pair at a time. For most of us, sneakers are essential for day-to-day life. For sneakerheads, they are a creative expression of life. That creative expression has brought them together for a greater purpose, getting shoes onto the feet of those who need them most. Due to COVID restrictions they only have one drop-off location, The Basement Gym, 1450 W Main Street, St. Charles, IL. If you are unable to bring your new, used, or well-loved shoes here, please contact them at to make other arrangements.

Play It Again Sports – Here’s how it works (1) Bring any of your gear from their accepted equipment list, athletic shoes being on the list. They buy all day, every day. (2) They’ll review and research each item and identify a fair market value for your products. (3) They will then make you an offer based on that fair market value. If you like the offer, they will pay you on the spot or you can trade against the cool, used gear you find in their stores.

One World Running – One World Running is an international program promoting an awareness of health, fitness and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the world. We also put on 5K walk/runs to foster an environment of exercise and to increase understanding and goodwill between people. There are no drop-off locations in Illinois, but you can send your gently used shoes to One World Running c/o Boulder Storage, 6439 Arapahoe Rd. Boulder, CO. 80303

I:CO – They partner with various stores to collect clothes and shoes, in any condition. They will then sort reusable items from recyclable items. They work with North Face, Levi’s, Forever 21, H&M, Columbia, Asics. You can visit any of these stores to drop off your shoes (and clothes).

Reuse a Shoe – Nike’s sneaker recycling program that collects end of life footwear from consumers and transforms them into Nike Grind, a suite of high-performance materials made from recycled footwear and manufacturing scrap. Since launching Reuse-A-Shoe and Nike Grind, more than 32 million pairs of shoes and 120 million pounds of manufacturing scrap have been transformed into valuable material. Nike Grind materials are used to transform community spaces – from basketball courts and playtop surfaces to running tracks and more. You can drop off you shoes at your local Nike store.

So, whether your shoes have gotten too small or you have run them into the ground, there is still more life left in them. Maybe it’s on someone else’s feet or possibly under their feet in the form of new turf. The possibilities are endless!

During the month of March, I will be collecting shoes. Those that are in good shape will be sent to Soles4Souls and those that are not, will head to Nike’s Reuse a Shoe Program. If you live in/or near the North Center neighborhood in Chicago, feel free to drop off your old shoes, inside my front door. You can also email me to find out where to find me,

Tomorrow, checking in on the new toilet paper.

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