Photos

Here's What the World's Largest Collection of Soon-To-Be-Recycled Shoes Looks Like

It took 25 magazine employees five hours to lay out the 16,407 used tennies.

It's a mother's worst nightmare: thousands of used gym shoes all in one place.

National Geographic Kids broke a Guinness World Record on Tuesday: the largest collection of shoes to be recycled, a whopping 16,407. It took 25 magazine employees five hours to lay out all the used tennies, which were sent in from all over the United States as well as other countries like Australia. Taylor Swift and a few other celebrities even donated old sneaks, which will be turned into athletic surfaces.

The shoe record isn't technically official until the shoes are received by Nike's shoe recycling facility. 

As WTOP reports:

The shoes paved the front courtyard creating a smelly, colorful carpet that took a few interns a lot of willpower and plenty of plastic gloves to create.

Breaking World Records apparently is a thing for National Geographic Kids. They've set five prior records, according to the press release: Longest Line of Footprints, Largest Collection of Plush Toys, Longest Chain of Shoes, Most Items of Clothing Collected for Recycling, and Most People Doing Jumping Jacks in 24 hours. They also received another title Tuesday for the most people running 100 meters in 24 hours, which was completed in October.

Here are some photos of the big event, held on Tuesday in the courtyard of the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Shoes contributed to National Geographic Kids to set a Guinness World Records® title for the largest collection of shoes to be recycled. (Becky Hale/National Geographic Kids)
Shoes contributed to National Geographic Kids to set a Guinness World Records® title for the largest collection of shoes to be recycled. (Megan Heltzel/National Geographic Kids)
Kelley Miller/National Geographic Kids

All images courtesy of National Geographic Kids's program Run for the Planet.

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