Shoes, memories, and nostalgia.
For many, myself included, shoes hold memories. Every year and a half or so I find myself needing throw away old shoes. I always find myself coming up with a way of keeping them for longer than I should. I know that in many cases keeping the old shoes doesn’t make sense and the dancer in me yells that I’m just damaging my feet, ankles, and knees. Yet, each pair holds memories of where I was and what I did while I wore those shoes.
My shoes evolve and take on new memories and purpose. My old running shoes have become the shoes I mow the lawn in. I only wear the sneakers from my honeymoon to walk the dog if it’s dry out and above 50℉ out because the soles have almost completely worn away. (The soles were eaten away by hikes over sharp volcanic rocks on Oahu and in Hawai’i.)
Shoes tell me stories of trips had and journeys taken. They carry memories of walks with friends and family, sunsets watched, dances had, and vacations taken.
Since I’m so rough on them and use them for so long, when I finally decide to get rid of my shoes, I’m forced to recycle rather than donate them. I’m doing some end of winter cleaning and I’ve finally come to accept that some of my shoes are simply unwearable for any purpose. I’ll be taking some to be recycled through the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program. Under this program, Nike takes old athletic shoes of any brand and grinds them into a material used to resurface athletic fields, courts, tracks and playgrounds.
There is a list of recycling facilities near me, but if you are interested in doing the same, you can visit the official website of the program. If there isn’t a recycling facility in your area, you can ship your shoes to:
Nike Recycling Center
26755 SW 95th Ave
Wilsonville, OR 97070
So, I’ve come to accept that memories are memories and shoes are shoes. My old canvas sneakers on the other hand; I’m wearing those until they literally shred off my feet.