Elite Feet

Recycling Your Feet

As a runner, I go through 3-5 pairs of running shoes a year. I try and wear the old ones to work or around the house but there comes a point where I have five or six pairs just lying around. Although they may no longer be good for running they're good for something. Here are a few great recycling ideas for your shoes, either how to make good use of them or to how to make some new ones out of recycled material.

Flowers growing in old shoes

Shoes make some of the best planters you'll find. They drain well and hold the perfect amount of soil to grow a nice flower. Every year I have my daughter choose her favorite flower and we plant it in an old pair of her shoes.

Shoes made from old tire and seat belt

They say necessity is the mother of invention. This south American gentleman couldn't afford shoes so he made his own from an old tire and a seat belts.

Recycling shoe soles

The soles of shoes are a very useful recyclable. They can easily can be made into many products including the obvious, more shoes.

Shoes weaved from grocery bags

There's no doubt that there are plenty of plastic bags in the world. This young lady took her crochet skills and made the finest pair of sandals that can be built with the catchings of a Wal-Mart fence.

Nike shoe recycling factory

Nike has a great program called reuse-a-shoe. Athletic shoes are broken into three parts: the fabric, the foam, and the rubber sole. Then they are then ground up and made into durable athletic surfaces. It takes roughly 2,500 shoes to make a basketball court and up to 75,000 shoes to make a full 400m track surface. Imagine running with your new shoes on your old shoes!