My first pair of real running shoes was the ASICS Gel-Kayano 20’s. I bought them from The Running Room in Richmond in the fall of 2014, just when I started taking running seriously. I had so many great memories with this pair of shoes… they helped me get through a bunch of milestone races including my first 10k, my first Vancouver Sun Run, and my first half marathon. They were a great introduction to the vast world of running shoes. Unfortunately, the km’s racked up and they were no longer safe for use with regular long distance running. It was time to retire them. For over a year, I hung onto them with a lot of emotional attachment but soon I needed the closet space and smartened up. The last thing I wanted to be was a shoe hoarder. I decided to research about recycling old running shoes.
The North Face’s Clothes the Loop Program
I saw an ad online for The North Face’s Clothes the Loop program. Simply bring your old pair of runners and running apparel to a participating The North Face location and put it in their bin. In exchange, they will give you a $10 coupon off your next $100 purchase. Unfortunately it had an expiry date. It was a nice initiative. Instead of going to the landfill, your donations are either fixed and re-purposed or recycled into raw materials for use in other things. Click here for more information and for the list of participating The North Face locations.
Other Places to Recycle Your Shoes in Vancouver
If The North Face is out of reach for you, you can try these other options:
- Shoe ReNu – Donate your used shoes (runners, dress, hiking boots, etc.) and they are spruced up and donated to the needy via the Vancouver ShoeRenu Foot Care Clinic. You can drop them off at these locations.
- Ruben’s Shoes – Through your donations, this non-profit organization helps kids in developing countries get an education by giving them shoes in order to get to school. You can drop off shoes at these locations around the Lower Mainland.
Have you donated your old shoes? Was it hard to part with them? Let me know in the comments below!