Life Cycle of My Shoes

Bought some new shoes last week.

When I was a kid I had school clothes and play clothes and usually one fancy dress for church. I was expected to change into my play clothes as soon as I got home from school. If I forgot, I would be reminded. That idea, that we kind of protect the nice clothes, so they stay nice for awhile is engrained in me. Here is how I use it with my shoes:

New shoes (the black ones): worn to candidate forums, worship services, memorial services.

Everyday shoes (the blue ones): worn to the library, yoga, grocery store, walks in the park if it is not muddy.

Old shoes (I realize these don’t look bad on top, but the bottoms are worn through): used for river swimming, painting, gardening, i.e. messy jobs.

They do eventually end up in the landfill, but they are full of holes by then, already beginning their decomposing journey.


  1. That’s how I was also raised. I have clothes for work and then others for running errands, work around the house, etc. Shirts or pants with holes are great messy work or even PJs! I’ve found some shoe manufacturers will take them back to be recycled! Sneakers are used in arenas for horse riding & training, for example. My old clothes become rags if possible.

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  2. Back when I worked in an office, I’d get my dress pumps re-soled. The shoes lasted a lot longer that way, obviously, but another benefit was I didn’t have to find another pair of shoes that fit “just right.” I wonder if you can still get dress shoes re-soled??


  3. I was raised the same way. Good clothes were for good, clothes that were more worn were for play. I’m the same with my shoes, also. And old clothes with holes become rags.
    I like your choice in shoes. They all look comfortable. 🙂

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  4. Same here in NZ that’s how we were raised, and my British friends too. So it seems universal. My favourite shoes are from the op shop (thrift store)blue with white polka dot sneakers. They can be dressed up or down. From the park, supermarket to dinner out with friends. P aired with nice blue stretch leggings/pants, and a nice linen shirt. Faux (plastic) pearl bracelet. Yes I remember I had less clothes/shoes in my youth and was perfectly happy.


    1. I think it’s universal in my generation, folks raised by people who lived through the Great Depression. I don’t find it to be universal in my grandchildren’s generation- many of them have more pairs of shoes than I do (6) and my feet have stopped growing. I would like to teach them a more sustainable way of clothing oneself.


  5. Thank you for the comment on my outfit :-).
    Yes I should have said our generation, my Mum came through the depression too.
    I think with the way the planet is going and the practice of Zero Waste lifestyles the new generations are coming back to how we were raised. As there is only one planet and finite resources I think they realise if they don’t change ,they will be buried in stuff.! Linear consumerism on a global scale has proven to be detrimental to people and planet. All generations are waking up to it.

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