Recycling Of Shoes- Guide 2021

To recycle means to reuse, and to reuse is the best strategy to save the planet. For ages, man has been making things, using them, and throwing them away when the need ends. Not noticing, what the impact of this was, until recently when issues like global warming and pollution have started peeking out. All of this is due to improper disposal of daily use materials that leads to pollution.

Give Your Shoes A Chance And Upcycle Them!

But with recent technologies, man has figured a way to prevent such happenings by recycling. Now the waste isn’t wasted but recycled. Almost every type of material including plastic, leather, clothing can be recycled. Thus saving the environment. A savior of Earth will raise a question here. Can I recycle my shoes as well? Well yes! In addition to many recycling materials, shoes are also one.

Recycling your old-looking shoe pair would be much better to do than to throw it away. It will help save the material for usage again. But can an ordinary man do so? Well unless you have a big team working, you can recycle your shoes. So all a straw man can do is, to give their shoes to one of the many programs that are doing this deed.

For that, given below is a list of such programs along with the other information one could need before recycling their shoes.

Give Your Shoes The Last Chance!

Before putting your shoes in the procedure of recycling, give them a last chance. They’re still in your hands. You can save them. If a ribbon or a clip got lost, that isn’t a big issue. Just DIY them. You’ll find plenty of ideas on YouTube or so. But if you think that you don’t want them anymore, try seeking out some charity and donate them. If they could still be used, donating is better than recycling. Somebody deserving could be able to wear them as their new pair.

Recycling Programs That Are Working Wonders:

But if the shoe pair is of no use for anyone, then you should opt for recycling. For that, the following programs are the most famous ones:

  • Program by Terracycle
  • Nike’s reuse a shoe program
  • Timberland’s take-back program
  • The program be Teva forever

Moreover, Giving your shoes to these programs allows them to make a new shoe pair out of the dying one. It gives your almost dead shoe pair, a new life. Here is how these programs manage to do so:


Terracycle is the biggest private company that has worked wonders in eliminating the idea of waste. It teams up with plenty of shoe brands to do so as well. Such brands include Fila, Timberland’s, Nike, etc. With the perspective of saving the soil, TerraCycle has been working for years in doing so. It’s the logo is the perfect exemplary explanation of the concept of reusing.

recycling shoes



For recycling shoes, it teams up with companies and has online services where people can send their old shoes. All it does with its team of workers is convert the shoe into raw material again for further better usage.

Nike’s Reuse A Shoe Program:

It is no doubt that Nike is one of the most famous shoe companies that sell pretty expensive footwear with ease and comfort in style. In 1993, adding to its concept of Nike grind, Nike launched the “reuse a shoe” program. So far, this program has succeeded in collecting about 32 million shoe pairs with over 54 million kilograms of manufacturing scraps.

They only take back, the athletic shoes. In explaining their concept, Nike’s official website states:

“it’s a part of our ‘move to zero journeys’ Towards zero carbon and zero waste future”.

Annually, hundreds of people support this program of Nike.

Timberland’s Take-Back Program:

There is possibly no fashion icon that lacks a pair of timberland boots because as per defining fashion, Timberland’s have proved to be the basic need of footwear rack. Increasing their global reach, Timberland’s has launched the “take back” program recently. Through this program, they recycle and upcycle any type of footwear for future use. According to their team:

“It’s a critical next step, on the path to circulatory”.

Teva Forever:

Teva is also one of the brands that have partnered with Terracycle and allows the customers to send the damaged shoe pair via mail to Terracycle. It is free of cost, and they have a team of workers who work and put the broken pair of sandals into running track shoes.

Introducing this program, the official Teva website states: “Your sandals have a soul of their own. Shaped by every wild adventure, you’ve weathered together. And when they’re well-worn and ready to retire, they’ve never had a great place to go until now.”

Recycling The Shoebox:

A shoebox can be used for many purposes, out of which the easiest is to use them as a storage bin. You can store your nail paints, your stationery supplies, or possibly anything in them.

recycling shoes

Another is to compost them for recycling. Here’s what happens in composting:

  • Tear the box into small pieces.
  • Add water and then add garden wastes.
  • Keep watering this mixture once a week.
  • After 2-6 months, you can use it as soil for garden

Advantages Of Using Recycled Shoes:

If you are the one, who’s using recycled shoes, the followings are the advantages you obtain:

  • Your footwear is environment friendly.
  • It isn’t much costly as well.
  • They can withstand pressure or hard-wearing.
  • Due to the recycling procedure, this pair of shoes are comfy as well.


According to, per year 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown away. Calculating from this, it’d take about 30-40 years for one pair to decompose. Rather than the unnecessary awaiting, everyone should opt to recycle their shoes. In this time of age, there are plenty of programs networking for this good deed.

The whole process is free of cost, and not only does it help you in clearing space from your shoe rack, but it allows the material to relive. By doing this repurposing, you’re saving the earth from pollution issues as wellness also be recycled. Because at the end of the day, the need of the hour is to make recycling a habit, not wasting.

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