Teva sandals in grass Shoe Carnival

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Shoes

By making better consumer decisions, any shoe can be a little more sustainable! While the traditional mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” may not ring true for footwear, you can still help the planet by making the shoes you love last longer. Here are some ways to extend the life of your shoes!


You may have heard the saying, “Buy Once, Buy Well.” Choosing timeless quality footwear possibly reduces the frequency with which you need to buy more shoes. By only buying shoes you love, you’re also reducing the number of shoes that find their way to a landfill.

Even if it costs more upfront, investing in a quality pair of shoes you love will likely save you money in the long run. You’re happy, and your wallet is, too. Talk about a win-win!

Women’s BOBS B-Cute Planet Matters 113537 Sneakers

Women's BOBS B-Cute Planet Matters 113537 Sneakers in Natural
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Sandals fans, rejoice! Chaco has launched a program called ReChaco, where you can ship your shoes in for repairs and replacement parts once they’ve been well-traveled and well-loved. If your favorite shoes can be repaired and renewed, you don’t have to go out and buy another pair – saving your dollars and Mother Earth’s resources.

Opting for leather? With proper care, genuine leather shoes can last for many years. Swing by your neighborhood Shoe Carnival for leather care products like shoe polish and more. If the soles wear out or you can’t restore your shoes at home, try reaching out to a cobbler in your local community. These shoe repair professionals can often fix leather and suede footwear.


Have a pair of gently used shoes you don’t love anymore? Another way to extend the life of your shoes is to do a shoe swap. If you have a family member, a friend, or a peer with whom you share size, you could trade your shoes with one another. If not, you can donate or consign them. There are plenty of programs and places that would gladly accept your gently used shoes; local schools, churches, thrift stores, and Facebook market groups are great places to start!


While you cannot drop your shoes in your single-stream recycling bin, some brands provide customers with ways to recycle your used shoes. The shoes on your feet right now can also be granted another life, like with Teva’s sustainable initiative, Teva Forever. Teva is giving new life to old soles by accepting worn Teva sandals and taking their recyclable materials to transform them into products. Nike, adidas, and many others are exploring similar initiatives.

Men’s Teva Hudson Outdoor Sandals

Men's Teva Hudson Outdoor Sandals in Bungee Cord
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Have a pair of boots, sneakers, or dress shoes beyond repair that isn’t recyclable? Hole-y shoes make fun planters for succulents, pansies, and cacti. If the old shoes are not water-permeable, carefully drill or punch a few holes for adequate drainage.

Take Steps Today for a Greener Tomorrow

Sustainability is the future and top footwear companies are making strides to manufacture shoes in a greener manner. By supporting this initiative with your purchasing decisions, you can help promote a cleaner and healthier world for generations to come!

Shoe Carnival is partnering with One Tree Planted — a non-profit organization which plants one tree for each dollar donated. Since 2014, One Tree Planted has planted over 40 million trees in more than 43 countries across the globe. You can round-up to the nearest dollar at the register in-store or donate to support this cause.

Save money and save the Earth! Browse the Shoe Carnival eco-friendly collection to find your new favorite sustainable kicks.

All items in stock as of time of publication. Published on 4/18/2022.