The installation followed a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine by a group of researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health which estimated that between Sept. 20 and Dec. 31, there were 4,645 "excess deaths."
If correct, that would be 70 times greater than the government's official death toll which stands at 64.
"Now is the time to say goodbye to the relatives. It is the time for sorrow, it is the time to hug each other, it's the time to really say goodbye in honor and in dignity. This is a sacred place right now," organizer Gloribel Delgado told the Associated Press.
Among some of the shoes were ribbons ties to the laces, Puerto Rican flags waving from the toplines, and flower bouquets rested on top of others.