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I have three identical pairs of worn-out black sneakers. I do not need three identical pairs of worn-out black sneakers.

They are not totally unwearable, but they are clearly past the point of giving to Goodwill or otherwise passing on to another shoe-wearer.

I could make large, vaguely disturbing art with them (merely arranging them on the floor counts as large, vaguely disturbing art, really) but I don't need large, vaguely disturbing art any more than I need three identical pairs of worn-out black sneakers.

I am leaning towards saving the laces (because string is always useful, right?) and throwing away the shoes, but I feel ever-so-slightly guilty about that last little bit of not-totally-unwearable-ness. Can you think of any use to wring out of three identical pairs of worn-out black sneakers?

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Play with fabric paint and make them not identical in fun ways? Doesn't matter if you goof up, because hey, you were about to throw them out anyway right?

We're in rainy season, so almost-throwoutable shoes one can wear in muddy places with good conscience are quite useful. Mind you, if the shoe actually breaks while wearing it, here it's warm enough not to be a problem.

That is in fact the exact thought process behind keeping the first pair.

As it turns out, if I'm going anywhere I won't wear them because they're too scruffy, and if I'm just popping out to the mailbox or something I have sandals that are actually waterproof and easier to put on.

Ah. My preferred exercise involves walking/jogging and my preferred location is the riverpath near my house, which is a muddy mess at the moment. I don't begrudge it, we're all incredibly grateful for the rain after about three years of none.

If they only looked scruffy there'd be a wider variety of things they were good for, but the insides are worn out too, so my feet would not be happy wearing them for a long walk.

I say, make large disturbing art with them by wearing them out in public (suitable decorated) for exactly one last go-round apiece. And then throw them away, and don't look back.

Planters. For things like geraniums or petunias. My grandma did that with my grandfather's boots, because he liked working in the garden so much. I always thought it was neat, walking up to the side door, and there were his boots - blooming.

Huh, that's an interesting thought.

A friend of mine has done that with her old walking boots, and yes, it's very cheerful seeing them there on the stairs up to her house.

That kind of thing would have come in useful for a play my younger son was in last month where among other things he and some of the other characters were supposed to be wearing beat-up sneakers. We made the rounds of the thrift stores, but yeah, as you can imagine the shoes there were in more salable condition.

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