Recently, I did a little house cleaning. While attacking my closet I sorted through a nightmare of shoes. Yes, I have far more shoes than your average guy. Not as many as Imelda Marcos, but far more than average. I learned long ago that it's well worth the money to treat your feet right and pay extra for good shoes than suffer injury and pain from the cheap ones.
After sorting out a bunch of my "pre-runner" shoes, the shoes I ran in before becoming a serious runner (pre-2008), I was left with six pairs of shoes currently in the rotation! SIX PAIRS! Yes, I think I do have a running problem. I don't even currently own six surfboards. Well, I almost own that many, but still... I'm not buying anymore running shoes for a least a few months. Yup, I'm putting my foot down!
So what about all those other pre-running shoes? The old Adidas, Nike & Timberlines (I'm pretty hardcore Brooks-everything these days)? Jenny says I should donate them to be recycled at a local running specialty store or at an race expo. I have my own shoe recycling program. It goes something like this:
First - Use as casual walking shoes until they really start to break down.
Next - Move to the back porch and hide under the table. Now they are used as yard work or lawn mowing shoes never to see the inside of the house again. They stay here until they break down further and then are moved to...
Finally - Emergency boat shoes. I shove them into a small compartment on my boat or kayak. If I need them to walk through mud or across oyster bars they will serve me well.
If the running specialty stores want them after I'm done with them they can have them.
So what do you do with your old running shoes???