Her kicks were selected as the worst of worst from a group seven finalists, ages five to fourteen, from across the nation. Contestants gathered at Ripley's Believe It or Not! in Times Square wearing the decrepit and redolent rubber-soles that won them regional recognition.
In its 39th year, the Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest® is the ultimate test of just how dirty and stinky sneakers can get. Sneakers are judged on the interior and exterior conditions of the shoe, and most importantly odor, according to Blistex, which owns the brand.
The panel panle of judges included George Aldrich, a chemical specialist for NASA space missions, Rachel Herz, Ph.D., an expert and author on the psychology of smell, Claudio Schapsis, marketing director and chief experience officer of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square, and Buck Wolf, executive editor at the Huffington Post.
Armstrong, who won the grand prize of $2,500, confessed that her sneakers got dirty and smelly because she never takes them off - she's worn them for the past two years to school, to the park, playing sports and even to bed! She also received an additional two-night stay in New York City, tickets to the Broadway Show “The Lion King”, the Golden Sneaker Award, and a supply of Odor-Eaters products
Jordan's rotten sneakers will also be enshrined in the Odor-Eaters "Hall of Fumes".
The contest began 39 years ago as a promotion created by a Montpelier, VT sporting goods owner who wanted to advertise a new line of athletic shoes. At the Montpelier Department of Recreation, he discovered a photogenic pair of superbly rotten sneakers that would look great in the store ad. The recreation director seized the moment and created a new contest -- the search for the best rotten sneakers! In 1988, the maker of Odor-Eaters became the official sponsor.