Much of the time, how much you should spend on a given product depends on how much said product typically costs. Retail shoe prices can typically range from $50 to $1,500, and this is based on overall manufacturing and marketing costs. Though, this is a pretty big range.
So, how much are your shoes costing you on average? Read on to find out.
Goodie Two Shoes
Las Vegas-based Goodie Two Shoes empowers children through the opportunity to choose a new pair of shoes. “It’s not just about providing them with a new pair of shoes,” said co-founder and CEO Nikki Berti in a video. “A lot of these children have never, ever had a new pair of shoes before, but it’s about empowering the children with choice and giving them the opportunity to make a choice on their shoes unrestrained by economic conditions or parental involvement.”
The shoes offered all fit the same criteria: they must be closed-toe and athletic-style. And it aims to provide other essentials as well, like socks and books, for good health and positive development
HavASole is a Los Angeles-based shoe donation organization with a national footprint. As a child, founder Rikki Mendias lived with his mother in a women’s and children’s shelter. They couldn’t afford for Mendias to have an assortment of sneakers, so he’d wear one pair until they fell apart. One day, a former shelter resident saw the holes in his shoes and took Mendias to buy two new pairs.
He never forgot the experience, and when he started his career as a photographer, he began to collect sneakers and ultimately boasted a closet of over 100 pairs. Then, he had a realization. “I asked myself, ‘Why do I have so many shoes that I don’t even wear? There are people out there that don’t have any at all,’” Mendias said in an interview.
The next day, Mendias drove around the city and handed off his shoes to people who had none. Since then, HavASole has given away more than tens of thousands of pairs of shoes across major cities in the US. The organization has garnered attention from celebrities and even partnered with NBA teams on cross-country road trips to collect and distribute donated shoes.
It’s From the Sole
When Barbados-native Andre McDonnell saw a homeless man with no shoes at a local basketball court in New York City, he gave the man the shoes off his feet. “I knew in my heart there had to be something more I could do to make their walk through life a little easier,” McDonnell said in a statement on the charity’s website. That’s how It’s From the Sole was born. Over the years, McDonnell’s charity has collected and cleaned thousands of sneakers, doling them out to those in need and partnering with major brands like New Balance and Vans to expand its reach.
Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, Samaritan’s Feet founder Emmanuel Ohonme didn’t have a pair of shoes until age 9, after an American missionary invited him to enter a contest to win a pair. He won the contest, and the experience of having and wearing a reliable pair of shoes changed his life, so much so that he decided he wanted to make sure as many people as possible could have the same experience.
In 2003, he and his wife, Tracie, found Samaritan’s Feet, a nonprofit that aims to provide footwear for those who need it most. The organization collects and donates used shoes around the world. It’s also the force behind The World Shoe, an affordable, sustainable shoe designed to fight foot infections in developing countries. The shoe is biodegradable, antimicrobial, and highly breathable, making it a major asset in regions with warm climates where tradition might lean toward going barefoot.
Founded as a disaster relief organization, Soles4Souls got its start by providing footwear to those impacted by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Today, it’s dedicated to “providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty.” To put that into a more specific context, when you donate a pair of shoes to Soles4Souls, they could end up in a “micro-enterprise” program, which helps a family in a developing country lift themselves out of poverty by reselling them to their community. Soles4Souls has reported the distribution of millions of pairs across the world. By numbers alone, it might be the world’s largest shoe donation organization, to which anyone is welcome to donate shoes independently or host a shoe drive to make a bigger impact.
One last note
Donating your shoes through these organizations certainly isn’t the only way to give back. Now more than ever, with the coronavirus pandemic and recent worldwide protests over racial issues having brought social topics to the fore, labels are becoming increasingly collaborative with nonprofits to do good for their customers and society. For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of such shoe companies within Charity Navigator, which you can view here.And of course, these are just guidelines for how to give back by donating shoes. With over 20 years in the fashion industry, Esquivel Shoes takes pride in being a quality resource for shoppers. To learn more about our charitable efforts or any of the products we offer, send us a message through this link. We’re here to give you peace of mind and help you make the best buying decisions for you.
George is a Southern California-based designer and craftsman who designed his first pair of shoes in 1994 and began honing his craft thereafter. For over 20 years, he’s operated his namesake brand, Esquivel, which specializes in handmade shoes and accessories. In the last decade, George served as Creative Director of renowned luxury bag and luggage brand Tumi Inc. and as Creative Consultant for Italian heritage brand Fratelli Rossetti, and has collaborated with many others for his own brand. George was a 2009 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, and has been a CFDA member since 2010. When he’s not working alongside his team of artisans at his atelier, Esquivel House, in Downtown Los Angeles, George is enjoying time with his wife and high school sweetheart, Shelley, and their three grown children. He also loves mountain biking and hosting good friends for dinners and fêtes.