I recently retired a pair of shoes from service (last-but-one in the photos above), and they’ve been lying next to the bin for a few weeks now. When R enquired how do we dispose them off – waste or recycling – I didn’t know.
I don’t know, because I have not thrown away any1 shoes in the 5+ years that we’ve been living in this house. The last shoe I remember throwing away was a pair of generic sports trainers that I disposed off after the sole fell off. That was in 2012.
It hit me – I may be a shoe hoarder. Confronted by this realisation, I went around the house taking photos of all the shoes that may be past their dispose-off date. Here’s that list, with some notes:
I bought these Geox shoes in NYC in Sept 2008. I still have them, and use them occasionally. They have a very soft upper and insole, but a non-existent midsole and outer sole. Lack of any cushioning means I can only use them on carpeted floors. But they’re perfect for driving – light, soft, and airy. They’re my long drive shoes, and I’m still not planning to throw them away.
My oldest surviving pair of casual wear shoes from Skechers. They look ugly, and dirty, and the outer sole is smoother than ice. I retired them from service in 2014/15. However, they still have decent cushioning in the mid-sole. I use them for garden work in summer – they work fine on grass and mud. I’ve gotten a few scares on the tiles though – I’m clearly out of practice with skating.
They’re probably staying.
Brooks Ghost 5 – my first proper running shoes. Bought in Dec 2012, retired from running in early 2015. They’ve got the least tear in the upper of all my retired running shoes, and still have good cushioning remaining in the midsole. I’ve used them as gym wear, and to yoga, pilates and swimming till this March. I’ll probably never get rid of them – too many fond memories, and they’re yellow :)
Brooks Ghost 7 – my second pair. Retired them a couple of years ago, and have had them stored in a box. These shoes had the least mileage of all my (retired) running shoes. They also have the most torn upper of all my running shoes – on top, on sides, and at toe ends. Connected memories – R bought them for me, and I ran my first marathon in them :)
Cheap-ish Salomon shoes – bought from Sports Direct. They were advertised as door-to-trail – equally good on road as on light trails. I didn’t get to use them much on roads, but they were my primary shoes on trails, and at park run, for over an year. I never got on with the fit on them, though. The arch was too high, and the toe box too narrow. I did love their colour :D
They’ve been in storage since being retired a couple of years ago. They’re going.
My last pair of casual wear shoes – 3+ yo, from Skechers. I only formally retired them last month, though I haven’t worn them much for almost 6 months. The mid sole had died, and my heel used to get a pounding every time I wore them on the high street (which is cobbled). I’d been wearing my Ghost 5 and 8 all this time, despite their torn uppers. I kept these around in case I need to wear something not-torn somewhere. Finally bought a new pair of casuals2, and moved these to the discard zone.
They’re the ones that triggered this post. They’re going.
My sole pair of semi-formal shoes. There’s nothing wrong with them, just that I rarely wear them more than twice a year. They just stay in the shoe closet for the rare occasion when they may be required.
My most recently retired pair of running shoes. I bought them in Jan 2016, and retired them earlier this year – the outsole had been stripping off for a while, but now the midsole finally died.
I’ve got lots of fond memories with them – running both the Berlin and Brighton marathons, and a whole host of half marathons. I’ve run in them on the road (2016), and on my favourite trails (2017-18). I’ve run in them in snow, mud, ice, and in nearly 40°C temperatures. I’ve run in them in India (Karnal and Chennai), in the Lake District, in Cornwall and Devon, and in Corsica.
Since retiring them from running earlier this year, I’ve used them to replace the Ghost 5. Now they’re my shoes for gym, and to go to pilates, yoga, and swimming.
I have actually thrown away two pairs. Both were my hiking and dog walking shoes – cheap, heavy, not very durable, but with ankle support and a strong sole. In both cases the upper gave way, letting in mud, stones, and rain.
I still need to buy a replacement for them. I’m using my expensive hiking pair – the North Face shoes that I bought for the Kilimanjaro hike. ↩
- Skechers again, though not brown this time – blue with orange highlights. They’re partly visible next to the first pair of shoes above. ↩