What to Shoe?

My parents are moving.

At some point, I will be moving too. I don’t know when, or where, but as an apartment dweller I know the time will come to pack up our current place and carry everything back down those three narrow flights of stairs. I’ve moved a ton in the past 5 years, and lemme tell you, it’s a pain in the ass. But for some reason, knowing that my parents house is no longer my own personal storage locker (though they have built an above-garage storage space and promised I can stash things there) I am taking a cold, hard look at my collecting and my nostalgia and taking a scorched earth policy to my belongings.

Some things are harder than others, as I cried packing up my stuffed tiger collection my mom said “you’re not dying, you are allowed to keep things you like.” and Manbeast said “for the love of god you can keep your fucking tigers.” (note: I did. There is a garbage bag just FULL of tiger in our backroom now. I love it). Some things are long overdue. My book collection was slashed to maybe a quarter of what it once was (helped by the fact that Manbeast and I share an alma mater so I was able to cut the overlap from our collective collection). My ideal situation with the clothes I bagged up is drive them all in to one of the Buffalo Exchanges in Boston and let them trim my collection for me. I’m sorting out shoes, jewelry, and there are a couple of mugs I’m secretly hoping will break before we know if we’re packing them up. H&M will accept bags of worn clothes for store vouchers.

The problem is shoes. The Buffalo Exchange will accept shoes that can be resold. Charities accepting “gently used” footwear are a dime a dozen. Nike has an amazing program where they will recycle your used-to-hell athletic shoes.

No one I know of offers any kind of recycling for beat to hell non-athletic shoes. I have three pairs of boots that I have just trashed. Possibly a cobbler could fix them but I think it’s time to just cut my losses and move on with trimming my shoe collection. I don’t want these things to just wind up in a landfill though! And if Nike can grind up the soles of running shoes, why can’t they take the thick rubber soles from my ankle boots? This is incredibly frustrating- I don’t want to just blindly donate them to someplace like Goodwill and have THEM trash them. I know that once they are out of my hands I’ve relinquished control but I’d like to be told that someone will at least try to make it work.

This is a post about a problem without a solution, and I’m actually quite frustrated. You can recycle sex toys for goodness sake, why is it so hard to keep a used up shoe out of a landfill?

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