A decent pair of shoes is something many take for granted, but for others, proper footwear is a luxury.

Two Halifax-area entrepreneurs are trying to change that.

John Connors and Tyrone Goodwin own East Coast Kicks and Classic Soles, which specializes in rare, high-end sneakers.

For them, shoes are more than a necessity -- they’re a passion.

“With East Coast Kicks, we find an outfit starts with the shoes, right?” says Connors. “The shoes are what sets an outfit off.”

Wanting to give back and also share that passion with others, Connors and Goodwin have organized a shoe drive for two years. They say it’s a community effort and a labour of love.

“So the idea was, if we’re going to have a platform to do with the sneaker community, I would like to give back as much as possible within that platform,” says Goodwin.

Over the past few months they have collected more than 700 pairs of shoes in all sizes for men, women and children.

“After they’re all collected we clean them up, we set a cleaning date for the community, so we get volunteers to come by, help us clean them, we provide free food for anyone who wants to come by,” explains Goodwin. “It’s quite a big process, but it’s super fulfilling.”

The Souls Harbour Rescue Mission and Phoenix Youth Centre are just two organizations that benefit from the shoe drive.

“Having good quality footwear … not only helps with your health, but it helps with your self-esteem, it helps with your confidence, it helps with how you carry yourself through the day,” says Darren Howie of the Phoenix Youth Centre. “And, of course, when your feet aren’t sore at the end of the day, that’s helpful as well.”

Goodwin says they also have their own personal reasons for wanting to give back to those in need.

“We definitely didn’t come up as kids having much, so to be able to provide for people who don’t have much, it’s a full 360 turnaround. It’s great.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jennifer Grudic