The life of a shoe.Posted: February 8, 2012
As runners, we become attached to our shoes. We develop sentimental feelings towards them. They become a part of us. They take us places that we may have never thought we would go, but they have short life spans and when they run out of miles, it’s hard to let them go.
Our shoes start their life in a factory in China or Indonesia or wherever shoes are made but for us the shoe starts its life at the sporting goods store or the local specialty running shop. They sit on the shelf, all shiny and white. We pick them up and bounce them up and down in our hands (like a new born baby). We poke, prod and bend them (NOT like a new born baby). We lace them up and walk around and jump up and down in them. We do every test that we know of until we realize that this shoe is the one for us.
The second stage of our shoes life is the actual running part. This is where our relationship grows. Where we become one with the shoe.
My shoes and I have been to many places together. We’ve run through the rolling hills of Atlanta and braved sub freezing temperatures in Chicago. We’ve climbed the mountains of north Georgia and ran through the empty streets of small towns at two in the morning. We’ve slugged through the alligator infested swamps of Florida and swam through 36 degree lakes in west Georgia. We’ve been through a lot, my shoes and I and we’ve formed quite a bond. Where have your shoes taken you?
The third stage of a shoes life is the retirement stage. It’s when we put them out to pasture like an old race horse that’s ran it’s last race.
I use my retired running shoes for household chores. Mainly yard work. Instead of the wear and tear of asphalt, my retired running shoes now show the effects of cutting the grass and maintaining the yard. They’ve taken on a greenish color that starts from the sole and runs up the side. The grooves in the bottom have collected mud and dirt and the fabric of the shoe has small blades of grass protruding from it. They’ve got the easy life now but even after the retirement stage and the golden years of yard work, we eventually have to let the shoe go.
There are three options for old shoe disposal. Throw them away, recycle them or donate them. I would never throw them away. They mean to much to me. I couldn’t recycle them because I imagine someone would grind them up in a wood chipper like device and since I have an irrational fear of wood chippers, I wouldn’t want to put my old shoes through that. So that leaves me with the last option. Donate them.
Here are some great options for shoe donation:
Our old running shoes have a chance to make someone else’s life special just like they made our lives special. Instead of discarding them or recycling them, donate them to less privileged people from all over the world. If your shoes could talk they would thank you.