Since the Reuse-A-Shoe program started in 1990, Nike has recycled more than “21 million pairs of athletic shoes toward more than 265 sport surfaces; giving thousands of young people access to new playgrounds and athletic facilities around the world.”
Nike will take your old athletic shoes–they don’t have to be Nike–and they will grind them up into three separate materials–rubber, foam, and fabric.
Nike partners with industry-leading surfacing companies to integrate these materials into athletic surfaces such as basketball courts, tennis courts, and playground surfaces. This product is called “Nike Grind.” Nike’s goal is to “incorporate an average of 10% to 20% Nike Grind by weight” into these surfaces.
The following list shows approximately how many pairs of recycled athletic shoes generally go into making each surface:
• Outdoor basketball court: 2,500 pairs
• Outdoor tennis court:2,500 pairs
• Full Field or soccer pitch: 50,000 – 75,000 pairs*
• Mini soccer field: 10,000-20,000 pairs
• Running track: 75,000 pairs*
• Playground: 2,500 pairs
• Indoor basketball court: 2,500 pairs
• Indoor synthetic basketball court: 2,500 pairs
* In the case of full-size fields and tracks, which use mostly Nike Grind from footwear manufacturing scrap material, the average use is equivalent to the rubber from about 50,000-75,000 pairs of shoes.