Runners share tips on getting started with simple, daily gear care. The best part? These hacks can help you reduce waste and be a more mindful runner. Words: Emily Jensen
Photography: Holly-Marie Cato
When Sneaker Impact coined the acronym EXLOS (Extending the Life of Sneakers) our goal was to get the sneaker industry to limit the use of the term circularity in their terminology when discussing keeping sneakers out of landfills. According to the team at Natural Fiber Welding, brands have been incorrectly claiming circularity because a true circular product can be returned to the earth with no negative impact on the environment. When we began to understand that Sneaker Impact’s mission to keep shoes out of landfills as long as possible is taking action on sustainability, but isn’t circular in the most honest sense, we brainstormed and developed EXLOS.
Imagine Sneaker Impact’s surprise when Nike’s Move to Zero platform built a 12-step method to EXLOS. The list is buried in their innovation section of the site, but it should be shared with anyone attempting to maximize their purchase of sneakers. In response to Nike we are doubling down on their list to create our own plan of action.
Sneaker Impact’s EXLOS™ EXtending the Life Of Sneakers
- Be thoughtful when purchasing – many running shoes are now made with recycled plastics and recycled foams. Visit sites and search for sustainable options.
- Shop local – while shipping and storage of sneakers happens prior to their arrival at local shops, consider the additional steps taken when ordering online.
- Do a fit test – At various specialty running shops you can have your feet measured. There are also apps. If you can get a gait analysis done, do it. Buying the correct sneaker is ensuring you will use them.
- Try to vary your workout and wear different sneakers that fit the workout. A running shoe is not the same as a Crossfit sneaker. Owning pairs for diverse sports enables you to give each sneaker a break, extending the life of those sneakers.
- Soap and water – there are tons of cleaners and wipes on the market, but nothing works like a brush and warm water. Keep your kicks clean and you can wear them after their usefulness for performance declines.
- Utilize sneaker return policies – many brands will offer a replacement if a shoe is damaged accidentally. As brands begin to create refurbished options, you don’t have to fret that your accidentally damaged pair will end up in a landfill. Use the policies and replace a sneaker that was damaged by accident.
- When your shoes are no longer capable of performing, they aren’t dead. Reach out to Sneaker Impact on number 7 and let us get those shoes into new economies that don’t have the same access to footwear. Your retired sneaker can still do more work.
Contact us for a free shipping bag to EXLOS. All it costs you is the time it takes to drop them in a bag and throw them in a drop box at FedEx.