April 7, 2011

Worn Out. Play On.

Converse, in partnership with Nike, is turning old sneakers into new places to play. From running tracks and basketball and tennis courts to playgrounds and even infill for synthetic turf fields, sports surfaces for all types of play can incorporate Nike Grind material into their design. Established by Nike in 1990 and adopted by Converse in 2011, the ReUSE A SHOE program has recycled and repurposed more than 25 million pairs of used athletic shoes to date.

Our partnership with Nike on their groundbreaking ReUSE A SHOE program presents an opportunity to provoke change, inspire the culture, and conserve the future. Your simple act sparks positive change and can unite a global community. Instead of your worn out shoes ending up in landfills they play on as new basketball courts, tracks and playgrounds.

Bring your shoes to Converse Stores. We will take everybody – as long as they are athletic, but keep your sandals, flip-flops, dress shoes, boots, cleats and spikes at home. These cannot be recycled into material for sports surfaces.


After shoes are dropped off, they are transported to facilities, where each shoe is cut into three slices – rubber outsole, foam midsole and fiber upper. These slices are then fed through grinders and purified. The result is three high-quality Nike Grind materials ready to be put back in the game:

  • Nike Grind Rubber – made from the shoe’s outsole and used in track surfaces, interlocking gym flooring tiles and playground surfaces.
  • Nike Grind Foam – made from the shoe’s midsole and used as cushion for outdoor basketball and tennis courts, as well as futsal fields.
  • Nike Grind Fiber – made from the shoe’s fabric upper and used in the creation of cushioning pads for facilities like indoor synthetic courts and wood courts.

To create these surfaces, Converse partners with Nike and top-quality surfacing companies, providing them with Nike Grind material and working together to develop innovative sports surfaces.

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