If you’re a sneakerhead then it’s very likely you’ve heard of and/or spent some time on Crooked Tongues. We recently learned that after 15 years of existence the site is shutting down, adding its name to a growing list of forgotten sneaker stores that have gone out of business. Growing from an informative forum to its own brand and sneaker retailer, Crooked Tongues was one of the most well-known international sites for sneaker enthusiasts. They’ve been doing sneakers since before it was fashionable, the team at Crooked Tongues were, and always have been, passionate enthusiasts. The sneaker world is a better place thanks to sites like Crooked Tongues helping grow the community. It’s sad to see it go away but hopefully, it can return one day. We know this will not kill their passion for sneakers and wish them the best.
With that in mind, we look back at some of the collaborations from the CT team over the years. No doubt, if you own a pair now is as good a time as any to rock them, if you don’t well, head over to eBay to snag a pair.
Crooked Tongues x New Balance 576 Pack (2004)
Before collaborating with New Balance was a popular trend Crooked Tongues was already on it. Not one, nor two or even three but four colorways of the 576 were created by CT. Made in the England premium materials were used for the shoes. Each shoe sporting a different colorway they came with a special CT hangtag. It’s rare to see any pairs worn or for sale.
Crooked Tongues x Solebox x New Balance 1500 “Bread and Butter” (2005)
Bread & Butter Berlin is one of the world’s most recognized trade shows for the sneaker and streetwear industries. In 2005, BBB linked up with Chris Law of CT and Hikmet of Solebox to create one of the most limited sneakers New Balance has ever produced. Only 50 pairs are in existence and unless you’re willing to shell out upwards of $2500+, these won’t be seeing your collection anytime soon.
Crooked Tongues x adidas Century Lo BK 3 “adicolor” (2006)
One part of adidas’ adicolor program in 2006, Crooked Tongues put their spin on the Century Lo in a dark motif. The body mixed with premium suede and textile with matching midsoles. Crooked Tongues added a white liner and outsole to the special shoe. Like the other shoes, part of the adicolor collection these came with multiple laces and matching, interchangeable tongues. Burgundy was put on straight out the box but you had the option of orange, purple, white, black and lime along with a very select few received orange options from Crooked Tongues.
Crooked Tongues x Puma Clyde “Crooked” (2006-2007)
Crooked Tongues had the opportunity to work on three versions of the classic Clyde. Their inspiration for the design came from the b-boy origins of the sneaker. Premium materials were featured on each version with six sets of laces coming with each pair, three sets of thin and three sets of fat laces. Stitched onto the shoes was “Crooked” on the side panel along with special collaborative insoles. The green Part 1’s and orange Part 3’s seem to be the most popular of the group as we rarely see the grey pair today.
Crooked Tongues x New Balance “Confederation of Villainy” Collection (2006)
After partnering up in 2004, CT hadn’t worked one-on-one with the Flimby factory for a while and late 2006 was the time. The landscape of sneakers changed and they wanted to make sure this collaboration stood out from the crowd. The four-pack was created with special attention to detail and premium materials in mind. Creating the “Confederation of Villainy” collection meant creating alter egos for each “villain”.
The 575 is represented by the gentleman robber of the Old West, Black Bart, the 577 by Chinese bandit Black Sword, the 1500 by scourge of the seas Blackbeard and the 991 by the feared highwayman Black Tom. Custom box artwork by tattoo artist and graphic designer BJ Betts, as well as premium stock makes this the logical conclusion of a Crooked Tongues quest for some of the nicest sneaker packaging to date to cap this intelligent collaboration.
Limited to 99 pairs each, these are high-quality sneakers that are rarely seen now.
Crooked Tongues x New Balance 574 and 320 “SHAKE! 320 Night” (2007)
In 2007 for New Balance’s “SHAKE! 320 Night” special event three different groups were invited to created some one-off sneakers to commemorate the evening. Crooked Tongues was one of the groups along with DQM and GREYONE x Dez Einswell. As you would expect with any one-off product only the best of materials were used. The Crooked Tongues’ variety went with the color palette of white, teal and pink. Why didn’t they release, we will never know what brands think at times.
Crooked Tongues x adidas Superskate “Bangkok BBQ” (2007)
The CT team felt the adidas Superskate had untapped potential and also enjoyed the model so it was their choice for their Bangkok BBQ. For the materials, they went all out using faux-elephant, nubuck, suede and leather on the neutral colored body. Wanting to keep the look simple and true to the location, they made sure to add just the necessary amounts of red and gold touches to be a bit flamboyant.
Crooked Tongues x NIKEiD Air Force 1 “BBQ” (2007)
In 2007 the CT annual BBQ teamed up with NIKEiD to create a special Air Force 1 for the event. Made to tie in with the event and its Thai location. Colors influenced by the land a white body is hit with bold colors with an all green sole and gold highlights standing out. The premium shoe was limited to only 50 pairs and was never put for sale. The promo-only shoes were handed out to VIP guests so good luck finding a pair.
Crooked Tongues x adidas ZX 9000 “aZX” (2008)
CT was invited by adidas to be part of the “aZX” project in 2008. Representing “T”, not sure why not “C”, they chose the ZX 9000 model. Taking styling cues from other popular running makeups the body is a mixture of grey suedes, white mesh, and details including black reflective stripes. Balanced out with yellow highlights the shoe also had special additions like the others in the project. This including custom lace jewel, laces, and tips. They even made a video for them.
Crooked Tongues x adidas München “Oktoberfest” (2009)
Beer and sneakers, a lovely match as any. Inspired by Oktoberfest, CT went with the München to compliment the theme. With materials and colors as the focus tan leather with suede created the body. Working with red and green highlights only 300 pairs of these were made. If you find a pair now it probably has beer stains on it.
Crooked Tongues x éS Foothills Collection (2009)
When skate brand éS wanted to expand their footwear lineup into a new segment they called upon the help of CT to help them out. The result is the Foothill almost a hybrid breed from skate and trailer running. It’s no easy task to create a new shoe from the ground up but both sides were up to the challenge. In a world where retros and rehashing product is a simple and usually rewarding solution, this project caused some heads to turn in the sneaker world. Read an in-depth article on the shoe at Sneaker Freaker.
adidas x Crooked Tongues “VIP” Munchen (2009)
CT and adidas lovefest continued in 2009 thanks to the success of their last Munchen project. This time the project had the help of adidas’ Markus Thaler, one of the minds behind the ZX series. Markus worked on this VIP CT Munchen remix himself, taking the pub-friendly idea and modifying it without losing its familiar silhouette. Details on this version include a bolder Bavarian flag logo on the tongue, nubuck lining, an embroidered Edelweiss on the rear of the medial side. Limited to 150 pairs, these would also be a good choice for your pub crawl.
Crooked Tongues x adidas Consortium Superstar 80s “3Way” (2009)
The adidas Consortium 3Way collection consisted of groups of sneaker shops around the world separated by region. CT was part of the Asian group, the third batch from the collection. They knew they wanted to keep it classic and simple. Originally they were going to go with a nappy suede but ended up with an off-white nubuck body. Embossed on the heel is a knotted lace that represents four minds of the project. Bringing this over the top is once again adidas allowed Crooked Tongues to go with interchangeable tongues and laces, although once again burgundy came straight out the box.
Crooked Tongues x adidas Consortium Forum Mid “3Way” (2009)
Updating a classic model is a slippery slope. For this project, the CT team worked with VA to put their spin on the classic Forum Mid. The quick look reveals an ice grey leather base with Electricity accenting on the key spots, namely branding and laces. A more detailed look reveals small detailing like the addition of a small stub to keep the strap from slipping. Subtle CT and VA branding along with contrast stitching finished off the design of this special Forum Mid.
Crooked Tongues x adidas Consortium London “City Series” (2009)
CT represented London (obviously) and were part of the third and final wave of the adidas Consortium “City Series” from 2009. Like so many of their designs, they went with a simple approach with only three colors of the London. Black premium leather base with red highlights and gold detailing to finish it off. The smoked translucent sole was a nice touch to this collaboration.
Crooked Tongues x New Balance 1500 Pack (2011)
Inspired by their first collab with New Balance back in 2004, the 1500 pack from 2011 mimicked two of the popular colorways from the 576. A black and orange version and a white and green colorway of the popular New Balance 1500 model, which carried that always important “Made In England” across the tongue.
Crooked Tongues x Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse “CT BBQ” (2011)
Not often is a release so popular that it becomes a normal release but that is exactly what happened with the Nike and Crooked Tongues Air Max 90 Hyperfuse from their BBQ in 2011. Now of course, the Infrared coloring wasn’t anything new. But what was new was the Hyperfuse-bodied Air Max 90. CT version was only released in very limited quantities and had special insoles and box. Finding these pairs is, of course, a lot more difficult than procuring a pair of the standard offering that Nike released.
Crooked Tongues x Reebok Classic Leather “Wannabes” (2013)
The UK-based team got into the Chinese New Year’s spirit in 2013 with their snakeskin rendition of the Reebok Classic Leather. With the “Wannabe” nickname we were secretly hoping the design was inspired by the Spice Girls. But it was really inspired by the ultra-expensive and exclusive Patrick Cox’s Wannabe loafer. Regardless of the inspiration, the shoe was a winner. The all-snakeskin upper was offset by white accenting and classic gum outsole. Special CT branding on the tongue and insole brought it all together.
Crooked Tongues x Le Coq Sportif CT Flash (2013)
Le Coq Sportif has made a bold comeback as of recent and teaming with CT was a no-brainer. For their design they paid tribute to the French Exchange, the nickname is one used for the shoe. Making their version more premium then the original any synthetic materials were swapped for the real thing including suede and leather. Other additions come in the form of 3m in two colors, carbon heel, and colors paying homage to old school Polo Snow Beach. One of the more recent CT releases these are just over a year old.
Crooked Tongues x Reebok Instapump Fury “Angry Bird” (2013)
Bird’s the word? Part of the Instapump Fury’s 20th anniversary Reebok let Crooked Tongues use all the colors of the rainbow in their rendition. With the World Cup in full swing Crooked Tongues was influenced by
soccer futbol dominating the world stage. The nickname and partial inspiration of the colorway comes from the colorful feathers of Brazil’s macaw birds. The other part of inspiration comes from legendary Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos’ colorful jerseys from 1994, the same year Instapump Fury was released. Smart.
Crooked Tongues x Reebok The Pump 25 “Sample” (2014)
Why on why couldn’t these have come out. Made and designed for the original Pump’s 25th anniversary these were actually scrapped by Crooked Tongues. Although grey based, the green was added to represent the Boston Celtics and Dee Brown with his initials and number stitched onto the toe. That was one of the problems as the font made it looked like 087 rather than DB7. Still, this could’ve been tweaked and these should have been made available as a part of Reebok’s Pump celebration.