How Long Would It Take for a Man to Walk Around the Earth?
It took four years, 21 million steps and 22 pairs of leather shoes for Dave Kunst to complete his record-making and tragedy-marred 14,450-mile walk around the Earth in 1974.
During different points in the trip, he tried sandals, mountain boots, athletic shoes, loafers and more. His favorite pair? A Red Wing 100 work shoe. They were made of strong leather, had very good heels, and built well.
With $1,000 and camping gear strapped to a mule named Willie Makeit, Dave and John Kunst had left Waseca four years earlier to find adventure — and a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. By the end of it he had become a “lean, mean walking machine.”
The brothers visited Princess Grace in Monaco, met Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and became the first non-Asians to walk through the Khyber Pass since Alexander the Great.
But in Afghanistan, one of the last countries in the trip, bandits shot and killed John. Four months later, Dave resumed the journey with another brother, Pete, and returned to Waseca in October 1974.
After completing his trip in 1974, Dave moved to Australia for a year, and then came back to Minnesota to be a projectionist in St. Paul before moving to California. He toured schools there, telling children about his travels on four continents and in 13 countries.