Where To Donate Old Running Shoes

Donating old running shoes is not only a great way to declutter your closet, but also a way to make a positive impact on the environment and on the lives of others. As an avid runner myself, I know how important it is to have a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes. However, as time goes on and our running shoes wear out, it’s essential to find a responsible and meaningful way to dispose of them.

The Importance of Donating

When you donate your old running shoes, you give them a second life and help reduce unnecessary waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 300 million pairs of shoes end up in landfills each year. By donating your gently used running shoes, you contribute to a more sustainable future and help minimize the environmental impact.

Moreover, donating running shoes can also benefit others who may not have access to proper footwear. Many organizations and charities around the world provide shoes to those in need, particularly in developing countries. By donating your shoes, you can help individuals who may use them for daily activities, walking long distances, or even participating in sports.

Where to Donate

Fortunately, there are numerous options available when it comes to donating old running shoes. Here are a few places to consider:

  1. Local Running Stores: Check with your local running specialty stores to see if they have a shoe donation program. Many stores partner with organizations or charities that collect shoes and distribute them to those in need.
  2. Running Shoe Brands: Some running shoe brands have their own donation programs. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, for example, collects old athletic shoes of any brand and recycles them to create sports surfaces like playgrounds, tracks, and basketball courts.
  3. Non-Profit Organizations: There are various non-profit organizations that accept shoe donations and distribute them to those in need. Soles4Souls and One World Running are just a couple of examples. These organizations often have drop-off locations or provide mailing instructions for shoe donations.
  4. Local Shelters and Charities: Reach out to local homeless shelters, women’s shelters, or community centers in your area. They often accept donations of all kinds, including running shoes.

Remember to check the donation guidelines of each organization or program to ensure your shoes are suitable for donation. In most cases, they should be clean, gently used, and in good condition.

Preparing Your Shoes for Donation

Before donating your old running shoes, it’s important to prepare them properly. Start by cleaning the shoes thoroughly and removing any dirt or debris. You can use a mild soap and water solution or a shoe cleaner specifically designed for athletic footwear. Allow the shoes to air dry completely before donating them.

Additionally, if your shoes are no longer suitable for running due to excessive wear and tear, consider repurposing them as everyday shoes or donating them to organizations that accept shoes for recycling purposes.


Donating old running shoes is a meaningful way to give back to the community and contribute to a more sustainable world. By finding the right organization or charity to donate to, you can ensure that your beloved running shoes continue to bring comfort and support to those in need. So, instead of letting your old running shoes gather dust in your closet, take the initiative to donate them and make a difference today.