How Buying Two Pairs of Running Shoes and Then Donating One is a Fantastic Deal

In 2012, after I had been running regularly for a few years and began going longer distances, I rewarded myself by going to the store and getting fitted with a brand new pair of running shoes.

Those New Balance Minimus shoes took me through many miles and three years, leaving nanobits of themselves behind me with each step. This year I began to think about replacing them, but couldn’t justify the $80-100 that would require, for at least three reasons: I’m not running long distances these days, we’re on a mission to pay off our 15-year mortgage in five years, and buying used is almost always my preference, based on ethical, environmental, and financial reasons.

So I began keeping an eye out for good-enough running shoes whenever I was at the thrift store. A few weeks ago, I found the New Balance 442s pictured, barely-used, for $5. I took about ten runs in them, and while they were not as high-quality as the Minimus shoes, for my purposes they would do.

Then last week, I found these also barely-used Nike Frees, a much better running shoe, for $7. Since I’m aware of the sunk-cost fallacy, I swallowed my loss aversion and bought the shoes. I’ve had several great runs in them already, and they are a significant improvement from the 442s. (Maybe I will get back to longer distances!)

My well-worn Minimus shoes at top, 442s on the left and Frees on the right.

My well-worn Minimus shoes at top, 442s on the left and Frees on the right.

Today I’m gathering up items to donate on my next thrift-store trip. While I just bought the 442s, I am gladly adding them to the donate pile. I don’t have a good use for them, and someone else can now get a great deal on these practically-new shoes.

In the end, I paid $12 in order to get a pair of $90 shoes, and all of that money went to thrift stores that make a difference in their community – one of them being a Habitat for Humanity ReStore – AND now I am re-donating a pair of shoes that will help the thrift store’s bottom line, give another person a good deal on a good pair of shoes, and keep that pair of shoes out of a landfill for a while longer.

None of this is earth-shattering, but it’s these little choices we collectively make all day long, every day, that actually do make a world of difference. And very often these choices integrate a whole list of values – physical health, environmental and social responsibility, frugality and simplicity among them.

I’d love to hear any stories you may have about everyday choices like this. Please share in the comments!

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About Julia Bloom

singer of songs, lover of words, asker of questions, runner of miles, mother of younguns, darlin' of Nathan
This entry was posted in big ideas, clothing, lifestyle and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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