Jost ADK Puts Heart and ‘Sole’ Into Giving Back

Whether you run, lift weights or do low impact fitness activities like yoga, odds are you go through many pairs of workout shoes a year. Those who work out often may go through several pairs of shoes, which could lead to a high amount of waste in landfills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away more than 86% of their used shoes.

To help limit the environmental impact of sneaker waste, Jost ADK partnered with Sneaker Impact, a program that recycles gently used sneakers to limit the number of shoes entering landfills. With the program, Planet Fitness® members could donate gently used sneakers in their fitness clubs.

Sneaker Impact coordinates the collection of the sneaker donations at Planet Fitness locations by scheduling FedEx to pick up the boxes when they get full. Then the used sneakers are brought to the Sneaker Impact warehouses where they are sorted and offered to small businesses in developing countries. Next, the used sneakers go to local merchants who will clean up and resell the sneakers at an affordable price in places where they otherwise would not be available.

Additionally, as part of the sneaker recycling program, Sneaker Impact donates $1 per pair of shoes collected for a charity of Jost ADK’s choice. Jost ADK chose The Action Center, a nonprofit providing food, clothing and support services to those in need or experiencing homelessness. Kristi Jost, community events coordinator for Jost ADK, said the group chose The Action Center because it supports the local community of their participating Planet Fitness locations.

Jost ADK started the partnership with Sneaker Impact in September 2021, and at this time, has no scheduled ending for the partnership. The recycling bins are at three Planet Fitness locations, including one in Lakeside, Colorado, and two in Lakewood. Since partnering with Jost ADK, Maggie Echenique, director of outreach at Sneaker Impact, said they have collected a total of 133 pairs in the three clubs.

According to Sneaker Impact, the organization has partnered with 107 Planet Fitness locations to have their sneaker recycling bins in for fitness fanatics to drop off their old sneakers.

At all its locations, Sneaker Impact collected 2,337 pairs of sneakers in 2021 and 5,331 pairs of sneakers this year. Additionally, Sneaker Impact has donated $1 per pair of shoes to charities, including the American Heart Association, Foundation for New Education Initiatives, Potter’s House, Trinity Athletics and UNICEF.

“When they reached out to us about setting up a donation bin, it felt like such a great fit and way for our members to also get involved with a great cause, with money in turn being donated back into our local community. Considering our industry and usage of sneakers, it is such a great way to repurpose them and provide affordable footwear to others,” said Jost.