by Frank Blake
If you have old, worn out athletic shoes, you
can recycle them rather than toss them in the trash.
Nike has a Reuse-A-Shoe program which collects
old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling, and along
with pre-consumer shoe waste, transforms them
into Nike Grind, a material used to create athletic
and playground surfaces and more. This program
is an effort to reduce the company's environmental
footprint and the amount of shoes that end up in
There are a number of organizations dedicated
to shoe donations, where still useable shoes are
collected and sent to communities or individuals.
Nike Reuse-A-Shoe is different because it takes
worn-out shoes - ones that would otherwise go to
landfills - and recycles them into something new.
If your shoes still have life in them, you should
donate them to an appropriate charity in your area.
But once they reach retirement, Reuse-A-Shoe is
a good option.
You can drop off athletic shoes of any brand
for recycling. Nikes (TM) recycling equipment is set
up specifically for the material and dimensions of
athletic shoes. For this reason the program does
not accept sandals, flip-flops, dress shoes, or boots.
Nor do they accept shoes containing metal such as
cleats or spikes.
One can bring up to 10 pairs of shoes to any
Reuse-A-Shoe collection location, which can be
found at most U.S. Nike and Converse retail stores
(call the store first to confirm).
The recycled product, called Nike Grind,
includes three types of raw materials made
from recycled athletic shoes and manufacturing
byproducts: rubber from the outsole, foam from the
midsole and fabric from the upper. These materials
are ground up and used by select companies in
sport and playground surfaces, such as tennis
courts, basketball courts, running tracks, and
athletic fields, as well as in numerous Nike apparel,
footwear and equipment products.