Last updated on March 18th, 2021 at 12:09 pm
We’ve all been there. You go to put on your favourite pair of shoes, only to find they no longer look or feel their very best. But what should you do when this happens? No one wants to just toss those beloved shoes in the bin after years of solid service, after all.
Thankfully, there are many ways to squeeze a little more life out of your preloved pair. Learn more about what to do with old shoes with our handy guide. From recycling to upcycling, we explore some of the best options for how to dispose of old shoes without banishing them to the bin.
Why should I recycle my shoes?
Whether it’s a hole in the toe or a sole that’s starting to flap, every shoe will age over time. While it’s tempting to just throw them in the bin and replace them, there are better options.
Recycling shoes offers a number of benefits over throwing them in the bin. With very little effort, recycling your shoes can:
- Reducing landfill waste
- Decrease your carbon footprint
- Provide footwear for those who have none
- Breathe new life into something that is no longer needed
- Support the world’s developing nations
Decomposing shoes in landfill cause big problems for the environment. Organic shoe materials such as leather release methane as they break down, which contributes to climate change. So, recycling your old shoes is a much better option for helping the environment.
Not only that, when you recycle an old pair of shoes, they can often be used again. In many cases, a pair of shoes you no longer need can be repaired. You can also help out by donating old shoes to those in need. This means providing a pair of shoes to someone in a third-world country who would otherwise be going without. What better way to put something you no longer need to good use.
Can I recycle old shoes?
Recycling your old shoes is as easy as it is beneficial. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Taking them to your local charity shop, who will be able to pass them on for repair and further use.
- Use a shoe bank or shoe recycle bin so that the textile parts of the shoe can be used to make something useful. These can be found at your local recycling centre and at many supermarkets.
Donating old shoes
Not all shoes you’re looking to get rid of are in a condition where they need to be recycled. In some cases, your shoes will still be in a wearable state, but you’re just having a good clear out. In these scenarios, it can be a good option to simply donate your old shoes.
Wearable shoes that are in good condition can easily be resold at charity shops. Charity shops will accept all types of shoes if they’re wearable and clean.
As an alternative, there are organisations that will send your old shoes to developing nations to provide those less fortunate with footwear.
Upcycling is one of the hottest trends at the moment. Whether it’s an old chair or a pair of jeans, social media is awash with craft projects where people have taken something that might be past its best and breathed new life into it. Shoes are perfect candidates for such efforts.
If you have a pair of shoes that have seen better days, it might not be time to get rid of them yet. There are plenty of ways to give them a new lease of life and yourself a new pair of shoes.
Some of the most popular shoe upcycling tasks include:
- Treating trainers to a new pair of laces
- Sewing patches onto canvas shoes
- Dyeing canvas a new shade for a whole new look
- Decorating with pens or fabric paint
How can I upcycle my old heels?
If you have that one pair of heels that you absolutely adore but are looking a little worse for wear, we’ve got you covered. Spruce up those treasured heels with everything from sequins and glitter to jewels and rhinestones. It’s easy to do to with our three simple steps:
1) Glide a layer of PVA glue onto your shoe then add your choice of bling.
2) Add jewels section by section as the PVA glue can dry quickly.
3) Leave this to dry for about 12 hours before showing off your skills.
If you have a pair of shoes that are past their best, don’t simply toss them in the bin. There are so many options for getting a little more mileage out of that beloved pair.
Make a difference to the planet, someone in need, or even yourself with our top tips for what to do with your old shoes. Take a look at our top shoe trends to find your next replacement pair of shoes .