Just Re-do it! Nike’s Reuse A Shoe Program

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Since 1990 Nike has recycled over 25 million shoes.

For years Nike as long being associated with great shoes for most sports. Since 1990, the company also started manufacturing surfaces those shoes perform on.

According to their website, “concern for the environment is more than a passing trend for Nike – its a company-wide commitment that dates back to our early years.”

In 1990 Nike employee Steve Potter, envisioned shredding old shoes into a reusable material, and staff at the companies Wilsonville, Oregon distribution centre took up the cause. Within a short time the “Reuse-A-Shoe name was born from employee Sherri Bryant.

Within a year company co-founder Bill Bowerman supports the fledgling program empowering other employees to do the same. The company begins testing methods for grinding and reusing shoes, settling on sports surfaces as the most practical applications.

By 1993 recycling was well underway and a basketball court at the Wilsonville facility became the first test surface made with Nike Grind.

Nike Grind is now used in many flooring surfaces including gym/weight rooms, outdoor synthetic courts, running tracks, playgrounds and other safety surfaces, indoor synthetic courts and even indoor wood courts.

There are a number of safety and environmental benefits from the program including meeting consumer safety standards as the product is made from recycled shoes as opposed to those made with recycled tires.

The flooring is also environmentally sensitive as flooring typically contains between 10 -40 percent of recycled material.

And Nike Grind may also assist in obtaining LEED certification, depending on the quantity and the amount of other sustainable materials used in the project.


  • Mark Spowart

    A writer and photographer, Spowart has publication credits in Canada, United States, Europe and Norway with such publications as The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Sun Media, Canwest News, and Canada News Wire.

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