Maybe you just got shiny new running gear or maybe you’ve caught the minimalist bug. Either way, now is a great time to weed out old running gear. Most of us hold onto rarely-worn shoes, jackets and tights for way too long, but there are tons of easy ways to donate or sell your old swag to give it new life.
Whether you’re hoping to make a few bucks or give back, here are the simplest options:
DONATE YOUR SHOES
Sneaker donation is the easiest form of ‘donating old running gear,’ so start there. Even old shoes, assuming they’re in decent condition (no major tearing) can go on to help someone. Shoes4Soles sends shoes around the world, while One World Running works to promote awareness of health, fitness and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the world. Both organizations have plenty of drop-off locations. If there are none in your area, ask your local running shop for suggestions.
DONATE TO LOCAL CHARITIES
While you can donate to more specialized charities like Shoes4Soles or send your running gear to the Salvation Army, if you’d rather stay local, it’s easy to find someone who can use your old gear. Check with local youth programs — even high school cross-country teams are often short on cold-weather clothing and shoes for newer runners who don’t have the cash to commit to a new wardrobe. Your donation could end up helping a teenager develop a lifelong love of running. Additionally, women’s shelters and homeless shelters often accept athletic gear.
CONSIGN PRICEY GEAR
If you have expensive gear you never wore, sites like ThredUp or Poshmark make it easy to consign never-used or gently used gear so you don’t feel as wasteful parting with it. It’s amazing how much money you can make back by getting rid of that fancy gym bag you loved the look of, which could never hold all of your gear.
ORGANIZE A CLOTHING SWAP
If you’re having a hard time letting go of gear but you know your athletic wardrobe needs a refresh, consider hosting a fitness-themed swap night with some similarly minded friends. It’s a great way to get new stuff and get rid of your old stuff, knowing it’s going to a good home. Pro tip: Invite a wide variety of running buddies, and make it fun with changing rooms, mirrors and snacks — and maybe even a post-swap 5K to make it feel festive.
If your gear is too worn to be donated, search for an USagain Collection Bin so it can be sustainably recycled or re-used. It’s much more eco-friendly than plopping your old running shoes in a garbage bag. To date, USagain has saved 4,232,357 cubic yards of landfill space.