Old shoes - what to do?

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elfcurry
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Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294755Post elfcurry »

I don't think I've ever thrown out unusable shoes as I've always thought there must be something I can do with them. Maybe some people in poorer parts of the world can do something with them.

Mine are all male shoes with leather uppers and failed cheap soles. Too many times I was taken in by sturdy-looking shoes with thick soles which looked like they'd give several years of wear, only to find the material the soles were moulded from was not very long-lasting. More than a few had a hollow void in the heel, so after a few months of wear the outer layer wore through and allowed water in, making a squelchy sound. In one case the uppers really looked pretty good, so I decided to fill the void with bath sealant, so water couldn't get in and it would provide something to support the outer layer. Unfortunately the bath sealant didn't really solidify when used as a lump in one place so this didn't work. The shoes still look good so I'd hate to just 'landfill' them but what else is there? I have a couple of dozen other old pairs waiting to be rescued from the tip.

Reuse, Recycle? Repair?

Help!

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Flo
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Re: Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294756Post Flo »

If you can't repair is there a local cobbler who might be able to do so? I know it means parting with money but maybe you prefer this to parting with the shoes.

Can you use the leather uppers for something else? Are you a crafty person?

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Re: Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294757Post elfcurry »

I'm not sure a traditional cobbler would do anything with cheap moulded soles and it would probably cost much more than they're worth but I suppose I could ask.

I was hoping someone knew of a recycling route where the materials could be salvaged or at least separated for appropriate 'least environmental harm' disposal.

My thought about some poorer countries being able to reuse them is largely because I spent some time in Africa and India where lower labour costs plus greater ingenuity and a drive not to dispose of things so easily as we do here. Here items come relatively cheap, clothes are bought, worn a very few times and thrown away. I've seen markets in Africa where used 'rich world' (probably charity) clothes are spread on a groundsheet and people rifle through them like an old fashioned jumble sale and pay a small amount. I got a hat that way, when all the newer ones available were baseball hats which don't provide shade for delicate white ears!

There's a programme on Aljazeera (tv news/doc: in the 'People and Power' series) now about the effect of the import of western used clothes into Ghana which may elnlighten me.

I'm not very crafty as such but if I found a use for the leather I'd be able to cut up a shoe and fashion it into a useless keyring fob or unusable bookmark! My Dad used to do simple leatherwork - mostly restitching shoes or bags - but I don't know what happened to his tools.

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Green Aura
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Re: Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294758Post Green Aura »

There are several charities that transport clothes etc to "developing" countries. The problem is, I'm not sure they'd send shoes that are less than wearable, so they might dispose of them here.

I don't know of any leather recycling/reusing sites. Or rather, not recycling small items like shoes.

Worst case scenario, you could compost the leather and dispose of the plastic.
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ina
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Re: Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294761Post ina »

Cheap boots can't be re-soled, unfortunately... I've had the same problem in the past. When I bought my first decent pair of walking boots not long ago, the sales assistant actually pointed out that these can be re-soled! Mind you, they are so sturdy that I don't think that'll be necessary in my lifetime. I've usually found that the leather upper breaks just as quickly as the soles wear through.
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Re: Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294782Post elfcurry »

Thanks Green Aura and ina, but I bring Good News!

A few days ago I passed a shop which is a cobblers&keycutting place and noticed a wire mesh shoe recycling container by the door outside. I assumed they only wanted footwear in wearable condition but decided to check. So I stuck my head in the shop and enquired and was told any condition was acceptable. I looked again at the sign on the bin and it seems to be a charity thing, though I've forgotten the details now.

Anyway if it's true I'll be taking some of my footwear cache accumulated over the years to donate to whatever cause it's supporting and help clear some of the clutter. All Good. :king:

ina
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Re: Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294783Post ina »

That's great! I actually chucked some out not so long ago...
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Tom Good
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Re: Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294787Post elfcurry »

I usually go on foot to badminton in the next village and pass near the 'shoe bank'. I don't want to carry a sackful, with the possibility it's full or not there, so I looked at the small print on it last time I was there and it's in aid of variety.org.uk a children's charity. I'll sort them out and 'donate' them next time I'm passing in the car.

There's a page https://www.variety.org.uk/how-you-can-help/recycle from which I read

How can I recycle my shoes?

All shoes, in any conditions are accepted at 7,000 Variety shoe recycling banks throughout the UK. Most are located in car parks in front of shopping centres and supermarkets.
Please call 08000 902 321 to find out where your closest shoe bank is located. All shoes, in any condition are accepted.


Free recycling shoe stand

We can provide a compact recycling stand for your school, workplace or elsewhere. Dimensions: lid- 18.5 x 14.5 inches, height 33.5 inches. Please contact our recycling partners on 08000 902 321 to arrange the delivery and collection once the stand is full.

Don’t forget to make sure that everybody knows about the Variety shoe recycling facility!


What happens to the shoes?

The shoes are sorted for suitability. Worn out shoes are used to manufacture materials like insulation for buildings. Others are distributed to developing countries around the world where they are refurbished by local people, thus creating much-needed employment.

I hope you can find one or get one put in a prominent place to reduce waste and help this charity.

ina
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Re: Old shoes - what to do?

Post: # 294788Post ina »

Thanks for that info - I'll have to look into that a bit more closely. Might even be an idea for my place of work... Especially as they say in any condition is accepted!
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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