- If the shoes are still in decent shape, Soles4Souls is a charity that distributes donated shoes to people in need all over the world. You can drop off your shoes at many participating shoe stores around the US. It looks like all New Balance stores are involved with this program, as well as many independently-owned stores. Or, you can ship the shoes to one of the Soles4Souls warehouses.
- If you’d prefer to keep your shoe donation local, you can drop them off at your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or Value Village donation center.
- For athletic shoes only, Nike has a great reuse-a-shoe program that actually separates beat up old sneakers into 3 components (the rubber sole, the foam padding, and the fabric upper part) and then grinds up those materials to make sports surfaces like basketball courts, running tracks, tennis courts, and playgrounds! how awesome is that?! You can donate your sneakers at any Nike store in the US or Vancouver, or ship your sneakers to Nike’s recycling facility.
I’m still waiting for a program to recycle old tennis balls into something awesome. In the meantime, I guess they make a good mouse home or dog toy.