I’m from Canada, so we call them runners.
Some of you call them sneakers, athletic shoes, or tennis shoes. I don’t see a lot of people running around playing tennis, but for the sake of clarity, I’ll refer to them as tennis shoes in this post.
I used to be very wary of thrifting tennis shoes, and wouldn’t buy them used at all. However, I’ve since learned that there are gradations of wear that can make a used pair acceptable.
Criteria for an acceptable used tennis shoe include:
- treads still in good condition
- no tears in fabric
- outer sole still firmly attached to upper
- interior of shoe is odor free
Also, contrary to what manufacturers will say, I DO run them through the washing machine. I’m a wild woman.
Here’s a recent example. My kids have started attending a school that requires them to only wear tennis shoes. My girls have one pair each, but if the shoes come home muddy or wet, they’ll need another pair for the next day, because they take a full day to dry.
So I found these at Goodwill:
I made a paste with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and brushed down the sides of the soles with an old toothbrush to get them as white as possible. Then I ran them both through the wash with a full load of towels so they’d agitate properly (and not go “ka-thump-thump, ka-thump-thump” the whole time).
They turned out great!
So don’t be afraid; you CAN buy used tennis shoes. Just stick with the criteria above and you’ll be in good shape. I just made an athletics pun.