by: Joel Michael
stored in: General

This dirty old shoe and its partner have been through a lot. When they were new I wore them to run around the track at Stivers. They made their way through Eastwood Metropark and down to Riverscape a few times, too. Obviously they have a few miles on them. Over a year ago I stopped running in them and replaced them with a new set of kicks. My running shoes typically pass through multiple lives – running only, casual everyday use, and finally grunt work. Old running shoeWhile the cushioning diminishes as the running miles accumulate, the shoes look pretty good until they enter the third stage. That’s where the abuse happens. And this particular pair of shoes saw more abuse than any others I’ve put through the cycle. I wore them daily for the last five months while finishing renovations to our house in Huffman Historic. It was an intense time as we were under a deadline.

The renovations of the last several months were more than a full time job for me. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that nearly every waking moment was spent performing some kind of manual labor. These shoes were on my feet for way too many hours on ladders, on the roof, in the basement, and in the attic. They have been covered in century-old dust and several different colors of new paint. The dirt, scrapes, spots, and holes can tell a story all by themselves.

I recently dropped these sorry shoes in a recycling container at a Nike store in Portland, Oregon – our new home. Nike has been running their shoe recycling program for years. A lot of high school tracks around the country are covered in the ground up rubber of recycled athletic shoe soles from their program. It was time once again to purchase new running shoes and bump my old pairs down the line. I’m proud to say that from what I could see my old shoes were the most worn in the bin. I think they show the kind of effort that made and continues to make Huffman great. Maybe in a few more years ground up bits from these old running shoes will make their way back to Stivers when the track is resurfaced. I’m sure the odds are against that happening, but I like the thought of all those miles and all that work paving the way for new effort from new neighbors back in Huffman.

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