Shoes die. Soles live on!

Tired, broken-down, and perhaps “fragrant” running shoes often end up in the trash when they reach their end-of-life stage. That makes for a lot of old sneakers stinking up landfills, but Nike had a better idea!

Since the early 1990s, Nike has been collecting old athletic shoes and recycling them through its Reuse-A-Shoe program. To date, more than 32 million pairs of shoes and 120 million pounds of manufacturing scrap have been shredded and transformed into Nike Grind. The rubber, foam, fiber, leather, and textile blends are separated and ground into a wide range of granules. Different Nike Grind materials are used in 71% of Nike Footwear and apparel products, including yarns and trims, jerseys, and shoes. Nike Grind materials are also used for track, field, and court surfaces.

Nike is also designing its shoes for recycling, using what it calls a “circular design guide” on the front end of the manufacturing process. “We have an obligation to consider the complete design solution, inclusive of how we source it, make it, use it, return it and, ultimately, how we reimagine it,” said John Hoke, Chief Design Officer of Nike.

To search for a possible location near you that accepts your old athletic shoes for the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program, check here or ask at your local Nike store. More than 292 Nike stores in North America and Europe have a Reuse-A-Shoe bin. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program accepts any brand of athletic sneakers, but cannot currently recycle sandals, dress shoes, boots, or any shoe with metal (cleats or spikes).

Photo credit: magnetcreative | E+ | Getty Images Plus

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