What to Do With Old Tennis Shoes


Everyone owns a pair of athletic shoes that they haven’t worn for months or even years. These shoes sit inside your shoe closet, rotting and not being used. Many people are confused about what to do with their old tennis shoes. 

There are actually a number of things that you could do with your tennis shoes. It all depends on how you want to utilize them, and also the condition of the shoes and how long it’s been sitting there for. 

Depending on those factors, we have some possible solutions for you. In this article we are going to be showing you potential solutions for those multiple year old tennis shoes and how you can make much better use of them. 

So if that sounds interesting to you, let’s dive right into this article!

Throw Them Away

This one sounds very obvious, and would probably be the first thing that comes to your head anyways. If the condition of the tennis shoes is very bad to the point that it’s torn in places, infested with insects and rotting in certain places where the moisture was locked, PLEASE throw them away. 

You should not be keeping tennis shoes that are in such a critical condition no matter what, and there is absolutely no way of recycling and/or reusing those pairs of tennis shoes. 

However, this only applies to the tennis shoes that have been sitting for way too long and are in the particular condition that we just mentioned above. If your pair of tennis shoes are in a rather better condition, this is terrible advice. 

If the shoes can be worn in some way, skip this point and move to the next potential solution.

Donate Them

It is always a great thing to donate your old belongings that you do not use any longer to the people who need them most. The same goes for your tennis shoes. 

There are thousands if not millions of people who are in need of a pair of shoes. If the old pair of tennis shoes that you want to get rid of is not in too bad shape, it definitely can be donated. 

If the shoes can be worn, we suggest you donate them to someone in need. They will not only be extremely thankful and grateful for it, it would also come as a blessing to you in some way or another. Or at least you do get to get rid of your old pair of shoes!

There are many donation firms and organizations that receive donations from those who want to give away their old stuff and deliver them to people in need. You could either donate in such organizations or simply give your old shoes to someone you know who needs them. 

Donating your shoes is always better than straight up throwing them away. So we suggest you give away your shoes to someone who needs it more than you do.

Reuse the Tennis Shoes

Again, this one depends on the condition of the shoes. If your tennis shoes are just scuffed and slightly dirty, but retain all the other elements of the shoe such as comfort, heel and ankle support, etc. don’t get rid of them at all. 

You could reuse such sneakers in certain situations. Such as, you could use them for working out in your backyard or rooftop, for going for runs or basically anything that doesn’t necessarily require you to dress sharp. 

Other than that, you can also keep them as backup shoes for rainy days when the streets are covered in mud and you can’t afford to wear your crisp white leather sneakers outside. You would actually be thankful for these old pair of tennis shoes for being there during such tough days.

Restore your Shoes

Similar to reusing them, most probably as back up, you could restore your shoes and wear them as they were new!

You could wash your shoes properly, get new laces, clean the insides and the small parts of the shoes, maybe color the outside, and a lot more stuff as you want. This can even be a fun activity and you might actually end up having a better shoe than before!

So you can try this out, if the shoes are still wearable and don’t have too many tears or deteriorations. 

Recycling is the Way to Go!

If your pair of tennis shoes are beyond repair and can’t be restored, you should give them away for recycling. Tennis shoes are recyclable. This is what makes them so environment friendly, and offers you the option to not waste it letting you recycle your shoes. 

There are many places that take in sneakers for recycling them. One of the most well-known and trusted recycling organizations is Nike. Yes, Nike- the brand that produces high quality sneakers. They have a recycling program called Nike Grind

You can drop off your old pair of sneakers to any of their stores and tell them you want to recycle it. The stores accept shoes of any brand, and use those shoes for various purposes such as, making tracks, playgrounds, fields, basketball courts, etc. 

In our opinion, this is a much better option than throwing away your tennis shoes. You can get rid of your old shoes while also participating in the production of something as awesome as the race tracks or basketball courts that your sneakers will be used to make. So we highly recommend you recycle your tennis shoes. 

Final Words

So those were some possible solutions to your old raggedy pair of tennis shoes. You can try them out depending on the condition of your shoes and make better use of them. 

We hope you had a fun time reading this article about what to do with old tennis shoes, and found it informative enough. 

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