Something very awesome is happening this weekend and no, it’s not just me obsessively stalking the forecast for Ragnar Chicago. No, June 1 is the launch of Kindrunner.com, a site that bills itself as a revolutionary new way to handle the purchase of new running shoes, and the repurposing of old ones.
Joe from Kindrunner.com was, ahem, kind enough to answer some of my questions about the site.
Lindsay: Tell me a little about the site and what makes it so different.
Joe: Kindrunner is the only place on the web where runners can trade in their old running shoes for new shoes. What we are looking to do is to take shoes that would normally go into landfills or in someones closet and re-purpose them, give them to someone who would greatly value them. I think of it like this: “Your old shoes may not last another long run, but they would go the distance in changing someone else’s life for the better.”
Lindsay: That sounds great. But of course I gotta ask, what’s in it for me?
Joe: Runners receive Kindness Cash Rewards for every shoe they send to us. We in turn give those old shoes do our shoe donation partners including Soles 4 Souls. The runners received a credit that they can apply to anything on our site. We have Free 3 Way Shipping that allows a runner to both return product if they change their mind and send their old shoes to us for free.
Video Break! What is Kindrunner.com?
Lindsay: What else does Kindrunner.com do?
Joe: I can’t stress enough that NO-ONE is going to be doing what we are doing. Our goal is to bring the knowledge of a local-running shop to your fingertips online. We are a group of runners who have a combined 40+ years working in the industry. In short we are all passionate runners who know that there is a better way to do things online.
We have a virtual running shop on the site that includes a staff product review for every product. I think you will find them both informative and funny.
Lindsay: See for yourself:
Asics GT-2000 Review
Garmin 610 Review:
Joe: We also know that there are millions of running shoes that go into the trash yearly, and think we can do something better with those shoes. There are tens of millions of people around the world who would get years of use our of the shoes that most of us consider to be trashed… we also think that people should be rewarded for helping others, hence the kindness cash idea!
Lindsay: How did you come up with the idea?
Joe: I own a few running stores in NJ and have been collecting shoes for various charitable causes for years. I just wanted to find a way to help more people. Great running shops do something very special that can not be easily duplicated (case in point, you know this if you have tried a new running store in the last few years) so we wanted to combine the idea of expert advise and helping others in need. We found some willing partners in Soles 4 Souls and the More Foundation Group who agreed to helps us recycle the customers boxes and get the shoes directly to people in need and support projects that help people in places where they need assistance the most.
Lindsay: What happens to the shoes and packaging materials?
Joe: All of the old running shoes are shipped directly to our shoe donation partners distribution centers where the boxes and paper are recycled properly and the shoes are sent to to people in need in counties like Haiti and those in Western Africa among others. In some cases shoes are given to people in need in the US.
Lindsay: Sounds good. But, what happens if a new runner doesn’t have a pair of old running shoes?
Joe: If you do not have old running shoes we accept other rubber soled shoes that are not designed to be worn as dress shoes. For every pair you purchase from kind runner, you can send back an old pair.
Lindsay: Has anyone mentioned how much this sounds like Toms? Is this the same or different?
Joe: It is different in a very positive way. We applaud the good work they do, however for ever pair or shoes purchased (and thus manufactured) they create a mother pair to give to to someone. This helps the person in need, but it also doubles the carbon foot print of the company in one transaction. At Kindrunner we simply repurpose your old running shoes, giving them to non-runners who need them for basic transportation and protection from injury and disease. We stretch a single carbon foot print to its maximum potential. We believe that thoughtful and educated runners all over the country will relate to our movement and want to be a Kindrunner.
Lindsay: Anything else we should know?
Joe: Actually, if you go to kindrunner.com before June 1 and enter your email you can learn more about kindrunner and be entered for the chance to win free running shoes for a year for you and a running partner of your choice! Just make sure your running partner enters, too.
Lindsay: Nice–I see what you did there. Thanks, Joe, and I look forward to seeing all the cool things Kindrunner does! Here’s how you can keep up with them:
Happy (kind) running!