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Where to Recycle Your Old Shoes (and Get Paid for It)

Clear wardrobe, clear head.

Having a January clear-out? Chances are you have some old shoes that need to be recycled, but how and where should you send them?

You can’t just toss them in the trash or hang them on the back of your closet door — donate them to a local shoe drive or donate to an organisation that makes sure they get put to good use.

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You can take them to a charity for reuse or recycling. A few high-street stores often take your old shoes, and some even give you store credit for your worn-out footwear.

two pairs of white and red converse all star shoes

There are a few options for putting old shoes out of their misery. If you have older, high-heeled shoes in good condition, you can donate them to a local charity or thrift store.

You can also recycle the leather that makes up the shoes. Several companies will take your old shoes and turn them into products like purses, wallets and more.

Got some old kicks? Scroll down to learn how you can donate and recycle your old shoes.

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Where to recycle old shoes

Most Recycling Centers accept old or unwanted shoes and boots, or they can be donated to a charity shop or deposited in a bring bank. Recycle Now can help you find the nearest recycling facility in your area, especially if your shoes are too worn-out to be donated.

It’s best to sort your shoes into pairs and put them in a bag before donating them. Your shoes may be sent abroad for reuse or recycling responsibly.

You can drop off your old shoes at Sal’s Shoes. The UK-based organisation has been working to give shoes to children in over 50 countries for more than 30 years.

Sal’s Shoes has donated more than three million pairs of shoes, which it purchases with the help of donations from people like you. When you donate, you can help kids have a better chance of getting an education.

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Adidas take-back scheme

Adidas has partnered with Stuffstr to provide consumers with a sustainable way to get rid of their old footwear.

Simply return your old shoes to Stuffstr, and they will either resell or recycle them, depending on their quality. You will also receive a voucher for the online Adidas store in exchange for your unwanted shoes.

You can download the Adidas app to learn more about their shoe recycling programme.

Asics’ recycling programme

If you have a pile of old shoes lying around, you might want to donate them to Asics’ recycling programme. They welcome every shoe from every brand. Like Adidas, you can also get a voucher when you donate shoes.

Shoes in good condition are often resold, while those worn or damaged are reused as dishcloths or toy stuffing.

You can drop off your old shoes at any Asics store.

two women wear prada slingbacks
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Clarks’ Shoeshare programme

Unicef has partnered with Clarks, helping customers to donate shoes to its Shoeshare programme.

The company donates a pair of shoes for every tonne of Clarks shoes collected, a process which began in 2008. Since then, the scheme has raised more than £1.6 million to help give every child access to quality education.

You can drop off your shoes at any Clark store. Here’s their store locator tool to help you find the nearest.

When should you get rid of old shoes?

If your feet hurt when walking in your favourite shoes, it may be time to replace them.

One good indicator that your shoes are worn out is when the support and cushioning start to become compressed, and the material doesn’t bounce back as it used to.

They might look really worn out, or perhaps the sole is becoming loose.

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