Crooked Tongues and numerous sneaker brands have had a strong relationship for years. Some of their strongest bonds are with the folks at New Balance as they two brands have collaborated many times over the years. A variety of models have been chosen and reworked to Crooked Tongues specifications but the “Black Tom” 991 is one of the rarer models that was created. Released in late 2006 as part of the special “Confederation of Villainy” collection spotting these in the wild is like seeing the Lochness Monster.
The “Confederation of Villainy” collection was made up of four models (1500, 577, 575, 991) with these being the final pair showcased. Each sneaker took on its own villainous identity, reflecting a specific personality. The details lead to special box art and persona behind each sneaker. Not a your typical rehashed concept so extreme focus was on a high quality product with fine attention to detail on all aspects of each sneaker. Working very close with the Flimby factory in the UK, every stitch and material choice was chosen to make the finest product.
The “Black Tom” 991 was not only noticed for being the final piece of the pack and its green focus, but Crooked Tongues also was given the rare case to revise the 991. Sitting atop the luxurious black and grey suede with green leather upper, down low they reworked the soles for the project. “New Balance kindly allowed us to incorporate a custom sole on this model – the ABZORB midsole, the outsole now blends in with the colurs of its attached upper, while the outsole incorporates a neon green, lifting it from its usual stern appearance.” Other small details that may go unnoticed to the trained eye is the normal “UK” panel on the heel was changed to say 991 and small hits of contrast stitching added in small key locations. As well each sneaker carried the project tongue tag and white eyelets to tie them into one another.
Each of the four sneaker were limited to 99 pairs total when the released in 2006. Packaged in their custom slide boxes, each illustrated by BJ Betts to match the individual identity of each sneaker. A rare sight, we luckily have a pair up on the Wikipedia. If you happen to be one of the rare ones who own the 1500 or 577 we would love to see those added to the site!