In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Sneaker Freaker, the world’s premier sneaker culture magazine, SUPRA has collaborated with Sneaker Freaker editor, Woody, to create the limited edition “Blue Balls” Owen—the second Sneaker Freaker and SUPRA project this year.
“This time around,” Woody wrote about the collaboration, “we busted a nut on the lightweight Owen, combining brains, brawn and beauty into one sweet ballbreaker of a shoe. SUPRAFOAM shock absorption and a diamond mesh upper ensures the ride is limo quality, while the rope-a-dope lacing and speckled concrete midsole punches harder than Kojak’s cojones. Tug on the plush pink heel tab and admire the unorthodox asymmetrical color blocking as you guide your foot deep inside this super snug package. Yep, once you’ve cupped our Blue Balls in your hands you simply won’t be able to wipe the smile from your dial.”
SUPRA sat down and had an email chat with Woody to further discuss the Blue Balls collaboration.
What was the inspiration for the design of the shoe?
After we did the Sneaker Freaker “Golden Balls” Skytop III back in July, I had to come up with a nifty concept for a second shoe. Those friends-and-family shoe releases are great, as long as you personally get a pair. If not, it’s a huge ball ache for everyone. The day after the party in Berlin I had 150 emails begging for a hookup on the Golden Balls. Since we only made 30, we had a problem, so I suggested a follow up and SUPRA was all for it. So, in the great tradition of Benny Hill (and the ball ache they were causing me) the Blue Balls were born.
Why the Owen?
Kudos to SUPRA for their approach to design and the way they’ve positioned the brand. They’ve only been around for a few years, but I’ve liked their attitude from the start. The Owen is a good looking shoe and getting in early with a collab means the model is still pretty fresh. I’m not really a high top guy, and I don’t skate, so working with a runner that’s light and comfortable means I can wear this shoe all day long. The main thing for me is that the shoe looks dope on your feet and, most importantly, has a name which allows me to make jokes about testicles.
How did you come up with the name? Specifically, does the shoe give you blue balls or relieve blue balls?
Good question. I think there’s no doubt this shoe could give you blue balls, but in a literal sense, that would be a bit freaky deaky. I’m all in favor of naming shoes. But if it’s a theme, or some homage to some statue of a dog in your hometown, you better get it right or it’s corny as hell. With any project I’ve worked on, I’ve always tried to choose a name with an absurd sense of humor, or a local Australian story that may or may not have anything to do with anything, but makes me laugh. As editor of the mag, I love being a chin-stroking critic of sneaker culture and belting out 10,000 words on a vintage shoe no one remembers, but sometimes you just gotta have a laugh at all the BS and seriousness. Who hasn’t had blue balls I ask you?
Has it really been ten years? What made you start Sneaker Freaker in the first place?
Damn right it’s been ten years! In November 2002 I put out the very first issue. I took some photos, wrote some words and a week later it was on the street. It was a bit—what’s the word? Raw? I wish I knew then what I know now, that’s for sure. The funniest thing is that they go for $2-$300 on the Bay and, yes, I wish I’d kept a few boxes for my retirement. After all this time I still love sneakers and I love knocking out a colorway more than anything. If you’d told me ten years ago I’d still be doing Sneaker Freaker, I’d have laughed my head off. I can’t believe I get paid for this sometimes.
The limited edition, Sneaker Freaker tenth anniversary, “Blue Balls Owen is available on Saturday, December 15, at select SUPRA retailers worldwide (please see list below) and suprafootwear.com.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – BODEGA
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – KITH
COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA – BLENDS
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – BURN RUBBER
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEATURE
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – ONENESS
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – PROPER
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FACTORY 413
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SUPRA NYC
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – WEST
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – UBIQ
TEANECK, NEW JERSEY – PACKER’S
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND – HANON SHOP
BARCELONA, SPAIN – 24 KILATES
BERLIN, GERMANY – SOLEBOX
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – REZET STORE
LONDON, ENGLAND – FOOT PATROL
MILAN, ITALY – SPEZIAL
PARIS, FRANCE – SUPRA PARIS
PARIS, FRANCE – COLETTE
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – WOEI
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – SNEAKERSNSTUFF (SNS)
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – GRAND
TOKYO, JAPAN – ATMOS
TOKYO, JAPAN – CHAPTER WORLD
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – LOADED
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – LACED
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – HIGHS AND LOWS (HAL)