ARTICLE BY Minh Vuong

Five of Concepts’ Most Scrumptious Food-Inspired Sneaker Collaborations

Concepts x New Balance 992 Low Hanging Fruit

Sneakers broke into the mainstream during the 2000s thanks in part to fun, food-themed releases. In recent years, Boston’s Concepts have continued whetting sneakerhead appetites from farm to plate with their culinary kick collaborations. From their rocking ‘Lobster’ series to the fresh ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ drop, feast your eyes and feet on five of Concepts’ best food-inspired collaborations.

Concepts x Nike SB Dunk Low Lobster Pack

Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Lobster’ Series (2008-2018)

Concepts were an early stockist of Nike SB, so the Swoosh’s skateboarding division granted the retailer an enviable opportunity to design their own Dunk in 2008. This colab encapsulated the fun and irreverent nature of Nike SB’s ‘Gold Box’ era, and the red lobster theme perfectly represented a Boston native cuisine. No detail was left untouched, with textured uppers, checkerboard bib lining, and even rubber bands around the toe box. This playful pair was followed up with blue, yellow, green, and purple sequels.

Concepts x ASICS GEL-Lyte III Otoro
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ASICS GEL-Lyte III ‘Otoro’ (2021)

Expensive crustaceans aren’t the only aquatic foodstuffs to inspire their colabs. Otoro, the fatty belly section of the Bluefin tuna prized by gourmands, provided the palatable palette for their ASICS GEL-Lyte III colab that released earlier this year. Among the supple coral suede simulating the fatty tuna texture is silver reflective behind the Tiger Stripes, symbolising knives slicing through. Furthermore, a secondary green lace option represents an optional wasabi garnish. Funnily enough, while seafood has been the theme of many Concepts creations, Deon Point doesn’t even eat seafood!

Concepts x New Balance 327 Cape

New Balance 327 ‘Cape’ (2020)

Cape Cod is a popular getaway destination for many of Concepts’ Massachusetts neighbours, and the region is also known for its extensive cranberry bogs. They went deeper yet into local cultural geography and picked out the ‘Cape Codder’, AKA a vodka cranberry, to offer a refreshing take on the New Balance 327 that launched in 2020. Straightforward colourway aside, icy blue accents were also added, along with clear N logos, completed with a wedge of lime in the midsole.

Concepts x Nike SB Dunk High Turdunken

Nike SB Dunk High ‘TurDUNKen’ (2020)

The culinary chimera that is turducken owes its popularity in America to NFL icon John Madden. By regularly evangelising chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey during Thanksgiving games, this Frankenbird became a national dish. Concepts paid tribute to the poultry overload with their Nike SB ‘TurDUNKen’ colab, which was definitely a case of fowl play. It was literally the complete package: a chicken-print sock stuffed into a duck-coloured Dunk, wrapped in a turkey bag, then put into an oven shoebox.

Concepts x New Balance 992 Low Hanging Fruit

New Balance 992 ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ (2021)

Concepts’ latest collaboration with New Balance sees the revived 992 model take on some of the fuzziest suede ever used by the brand. This tactile decision simply added more depth to the inspirational woman behind the colourway: Frieda Rapoport Caplan, aka ‘The Kiwi Queen’, who introduced the fruit to America. Beyond the obvious brown and green colourway, classic Concepts touches include custom branding, graphic insoles and over-the-top fruit box packaging – a move The Kiwi Queen pioneered with actual produce.

Still hungry? Get a feed on 11 of the tastiest food-themed sneakers here.

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