Can used shoes be donated? (5 points REVEALED!)

Getting rid of your used shoes is the right thing to do especially if you are decluttering your shoe rack for new ones.
In an attempt to understand the best way to go about it without causing harm to the environment, a question usually pops up. Can used shoes be donated?
Let’s examine the reasons in this article.

Can used shoes be donated?

Used shoes can easily be donated to charity, non-profit organizations, less privileged persons, recycling plants as well as any other person in dire need of shoes to use which are mostly found in India, Sub-Saharan Africa and conflict-ravaged communities.

Donating your used shoes has the power of making you and others happy, reducing your filled space and giving you room for getting new shoes.

Why you should donate your used shoes?

There are several important reasons which make donation beneficial to you and the receiver.

They include the following :

  • Make the less fortunate happy.
  • Reduce lack of shoes.
  • To avoid landfills
  • Extending shoe lifespan.
  • Saving the environment.
  • To declutter your closet /shoe rack.
  • To get rid of unused shoes.
  • To help with school enrolment.
  • To help a non-profit.
  • To give room for new ones.
  • To feel happy.

Make less privileged happy.

One of the most important reasons why you should donate your used shoes is to help put genuine smiles on the faces of the less privileged when they receive shoes from your effort.

The donation will make them happy because to them these shoes are a fresh breath to their comfort and represent the coming of relief to their sufferings.

The majority of the less privileged especially those in conflict-ravaged areas don’t have the luxury of getting a pair of shoes not to talk of having a comfortable one, so when you donate to them, they show gratitude and their faces will show you how valuable those shoes are.

Reduce lack of shoes.

Donating your shoes will not only help you get rid of unwanted shoes in your house, but it will also help the world to reduce the number of people walking barefoot in several communities.

This also helps in improving the quality of their lives and saves them from injuries relating to walking without shoes.

To avoid landfills.

Landfills in many places are an eyesore and a clear threat to our survival and sustainability of the environment for the benefit of the next generations.

To avoid the possibility of landfills, donating your used shoes to those who need them will help you achieve that easily.

Extending shoe lifespan.

The lifespan of a shoe is relative to how it was used or kept for a certain time and also depends on the quality of the materials on the shoes.

Donating your used shoes will help increase their longevity and lifespan higher than what is normally obtainable.

This is because the person you donated your used shoes to will wear them longer than you especially if he takes it to the cobler for repairs and minor modifications that will help him maximise his time with those shoes.

Saving the environment.

Donating Your used shoes also helps improve the environment in many ways.

By donating those used shoes, you help the environment in three major ways which are, reduction in emissions that will likely occur during burning of the shoes, toxic chemicals that will affect the soil if you leave it to degenerate and reducing the chances of going to the landfills filling space.

To declutter your closet /shoe rack.

If you are an American, you are likely going to have upward of 8 pairs of shoes at any moment in your life.

Some of these shoes you are no longer interested in wearing because they don’t fit your current taste or they wear off as a result of time and usage.

To help make sure that unused items are removed from your wardrobe or closet to help you get more space that will accommodate new ones, donating your used shoes will help in achieving that easier, faster and effectively.

To get rid of unused shoes.

Why not get rid of those shoes that have been sitting idly in your house begging to be used?

Just donate any shoe that falls into this category to others especially charities and nonprofits who will make sure that someone somewhere uses it to get value.

To help with school enrolment.

Donating your used shoes will also help improve the number of people going to school in third-world countries by improving significantly the enrolment level.

Many out-of-school children are forced to abandon school due to distance and lack of shoes to help their feet achieve the important goal of getting an education.

When you donate your shoe or any other shoe in your house,  it will help in improving access to education when students get them free from organisations since their families cannot afford to buy any for them.

To help a non-profit.

Donating your shoes to a non-profit will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability and existence of such an organization.

This will be achieved by making sure that they have something to give out to people in need and also helps them in sustaining their organisation through charging some maintenance fee from schools and governments to help in meeting its overhead costs.

To give room for new ones.

Nothing helps you gain more space in your shoe rack like donating the used ones to other people.

Get rid of your old shoes by donating them so that you can have the chance to buy more shoes that fit your current fashion needs.

To feel happy.

If you want to be happy with your life, donate your used shoes to a good cause.

By putting smiles on the faces of others, your face is also going to get the satisfaction that will make you happy for a very long time.

When to donate your used shoes?

When in good condition.

The appropriate time for you to give out used shoes to others is when the shoes are in good condition.

A beat-out shoe or those that are out of shape will have little impact on the receiver because it will either make the person uncomfortable or it will only last for a few weeks before it becomes unusable.

To avoid this problem, donate your used shoes when you know the condition is still good for another person to use them.

When the need arises.

There is no specific moment to donate your used shoe to others except when the need arises such as natural disaster,  conflict, economic meltdown and when you get new ones.

When you have excess.

Another moment to donate your used shoes is when you get excess shoes in your house.

At such a moment, you need to select those that are not going to be used and give them out to those people willing and happy to see them.

When the size doesn’t fit you.

The size of your shoes can change either upward or downward due to certain reasons including how you wear them.
Therefore,  when the size of your shoes becomes too big or too small for you to wear them comfortably, give them out to others.

When tragedy occurs in other places.

You know it is time to donate your shoes when tragedies either natural or man-made strike a particular location.

The tragedies can come in the form of conflict, wildfires, hurricanes,  tornadoes, and flash flooding among others which can help in minimizing the effect on the people affected.

When you are asked to donate.

If people come to you asking that you donate your used shoes for a certain purpose,  then it is also a good time for you to do so.

When you want to.

You can donate your used shoes whenever you want to do so.

There is no time limit for donating to a charity or nonprofit,  they work throughout the year.

When not to donate your used shoes?

When the shape is uneven.

Do not donate your old shoes if you discover that the shape is uneven.

This is to help protect the next user from harm that may result when he or she uses that particular shoe.

In such cases, the shoe is no longer good for use.

When they are no longer usable.

Some shoes cannot be used by anyone because they have become either obsolete or belong to a different type of environment.

A shoe made for Eskimos to protect their feet against ice is not usable to a person living in sub-Saharan Africa known for its deserts and extreme hot weather.

When you also need it.

It is not appropriate to donate your shoes if you also need the shoes for your personal use.

Donation works only when you have excess or when you have additional pairs that will help with your daily activities.

When you are facing financial challenges (sell used).

Donating Your used shoes when you are facing financial difficulty is also not advisable.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need extra money to help you make ends meet, you should sell those shoes on reselling sites such as G.O.A.T or in your local PAWN SHOPS.

The amount you will get will help you make some helpful purchases or cover some utilities for you.

When you know it will not reach the main target.

Do not donate your used shoes if you know they will not be given to the intended user.

Some fraudulent organisations or individuals may request you to donate but will end up selling those shoes instead of giving them out to the right beneficiaries.

When it has bacteria in it.

Some bacteria may have been in your shoes especially if you used it damp or it is left unclean with some water in it.

In that case, do not donate the shoes till you are sure no bacteria is in them by CLEANING YOUR OLD SHOES or putting them in the sun outside to dry.

The right person to donate your used shoes to?

  • Nonprofit.
  • Third World countries.
  • Conflict zones.
  • Recycling plants.
  • Poor households.
  • Students.
  • During emergencies like hurricanes, fires, storms etc.
  • A needy.
  • Depends on the situation.

Where to donate your used shoes to?

There are several places where you can easily donate your used shoes and it will reach the right beneficiary which includes all the following.

Donation point.

In some places,  a particular location is earmarked as a donation point where one can go and donate his used shoes to so that they can collected in bulk and transported to the appropriate locations that need the shoes.

Personal visits.

You can also take a personal visit to areas that need the shoe and donate to them easily.

This will also help to get first-hand experience of how other people are surviving in difficult situations.

Office of a non-profit.

You can take a visit to the office of a non-profit organization specialising in such areas and donate the shoes to them for onward delivery.


You can also donate your used shoes online via websites and apps created for such donations and they will set a date to pick it from you.

How to donate your used shoes?

  • Personally.
  • In group.
  • Via a community.
  • Reaching out.
  • Anonymously.

Who should donate used shoes?

  • If you have excess.
  • Businesses.
  • Manufacturers.
  • Philanthropists.
  • Donors.
  • Schools.
  • Governments.


Donating used shoes helps both the person donating and the person receiving the donation in many ways and helps in making both the two happy. It is also used to ensure environmental sustainability as well as help in increasing access to education and financing the activities of some nonprofits.

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