May 5, 2009

Best Foot Forward---In A Recycled Shoe

While sitting here on the back patio, enjoying the 90+ degree weather, I notice that the flip-flop tan has already started. Now I hate shoes, but when it’s a 110 degrees, your feet and the asphalt become one.

Hmm, that makes me wonder. How many shoes do I own? Well I’m not a big clothes person and I’m pretty sure I have more shoes than clothes. OK, so I was wrong, I only have 12 pairs. Flip-flops, sandals, boots, dress shoes and tennis shoes.

Now the US Census Bureau reports a population of 306,359,330 as of today 5/5/09. Times that by just 10 pairs of shoes and you have; 3,063,593,300. That is a lot of flippin shoes.

Shoes are made of Leather, Plastic, Resin, Rubber, or a Synthetic Rubber. Which brings me to my next question, Why do we need to use synthetic rubber? I’m thinking I see tons of old tires every where, couldn’t we just use them.

A few tire facts:
*It takes half a barrel of crude oil to produce the rubber for just one truck tire.

*Producing one pound of recycled rubber versus one pound of new rubber requires only 29% of the energy.

*In India, tires are cut up and used to make durable and inexpensive shoes.

*A burning tire can leach 2 1/2 gallons of waste oil into the ground, threatening the ground-water.

*Americans discard 280 million tires a year, (only) 25 to 30 of which are re-treaded or otherwise reused.

*About eight out of every ten tires in the U.S. wind up in landfills or "stockpiles." An estimated 2 to 3 billion tires are currently stockpiles in the United States.

*At one site near Modesto, California, 8 million tires were stockpiled as of 1991. By 1995, through recycling efforts, that number was reduced to 2 million, although they receive 20,000 tires daily.

These facts make me really like a company I found in the UK called; Worn Again. They makes shoes using 99 percent recycled material including discarded suit jackets (outer, lining and buttons), parachutes, prison blankets, ex-military long johns and towels, car seats, scrap leather and recycled rubber. No two pairs of shoes are exactly the same. And their shoes are 100% recyclable. What a great idea, and talk about being stylish with a one of a kind pair of shoes.

Here in the US we have;

Planet Shoes, Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Planet Shoes is a lifestyle shoe retailer dedicated to selling comfortable, stylish and well made shoes at value prices. Online since 2001, we specialize in Active, Comfortable, Healthy, Earth Friendly products with a flare of fashion. They use recycled materials, are members of, 1% For The Planet (1% For The Planet is a rapidly growing network of companies that give at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes every year. There are more than 450 members in 34 US states and 14 countries. 1% members have contributed more than USD $12 Million to environmental causes.) They are also a proud partner of the Carbon Fund and you can do your part by picking CarbonFree Plus Shipping at checkout. Every dollar received from CarbonFree Plus shipping will be sent directly to the Carbon Fund. More Information about Carbon Fund please visit

Flat Tire;
The soles of all their shoes contain crumb rubber from recycled scrap tires to make them more comfortable. Crumb rubber not only allows them to make a better shoe, it also helps reduce the number of scrap tires deposited in landfills.


  1. Terrific info about a horrific fact. I had plans on doing a post on tyres, but have been holding off.

    Interesting fact to add; all the country Indians of the altiplano in Peru and Bolivia wear shoes made from old tyres. Not for any ecological reason, purely economics.

    I am adding your blog as a link on Blogger's Cafe under Green. Not reviewing at this time, just adding.

    I like it very much and will follow.


  2. I Thank You very much. All input is extremely valued.

  3. Thanks for the info.

    One of Ollie's granddaughters got a pair of the shoes with the "tire" soles for Christmas. I didn't even know they existed.

    Trying to catch up on my reading.

  4. Cool. I really can't wait for my old work shoes to wear out because I found a really neat pair I want. Will have to let you know when I get them and what I think. Does Ollie's granddaughter like hers?

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