The concept of unstuffing the tongues came from my homie Specs of BRKN HOME. He is also the same cat who introduced me(and subsequently, all of NT) to the idea of clearcoating your painted midsole to avoid cracking, peeling, chipping.
Therefore you owe him your life. Visit the brkn home website to tell him how much you love what he does.
You want me to take a knife to my shoes? Are you crazy? Yes, I am a bit unstable but this process is good for you and your shoes.
As soon as you get them out of the box, unstuff that foam bastard. Wearing them in that condition will lead to creases you may regret.
The Nike Dunk is designed to have a regular thin tongue. When Nike adds stuffing to the tongue, they do not change the other aspects of the shoe to accommodate this larger tongue.
This causes creasing in the toebox from increased pressure on the foot shape. Also, many people actually experience discomfort from the overstuffed tongues. Personally, I do it in protest. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The thin tongues and flat laces are great and didn't need to be played around with.
An incision on the least visible area of the tongue is best. The diagrams below will show you step by step.
Follow the instructions below and you're on your way to comfortable, less-creasing dunks.
First, we have to identify the different types of fat or stuffed tongues that you may encounter and the dunks that they live inside.
1. . This appears in dunks like Oxides, Stone/Mesas, White/3m Lows, and some Sb's
These consist of 2 layers of foam attached to the tongue(stitched on I believe) and one loose chunk of useless foam stuffed between them.
2. . This appears in some dunks with leather tongue exteriors, such as White/White Patent Lows or Grey/Grey/Obsidian Lows(The victim shown below).
There is one layer of foam attached to the tongue(glued I think) and a second piece of loose foam above it underneath the outer layer of the tongue.
3. . These are the worst and least recommended to slice, and appears in some Sb Dunks, older Low Pro B's like Ross Dunks or White/White/Navy lows.
It is basically the same setup as the single foam, however the second piece of foam is not loose. It is glued to the piece underneath it which is of course glued to the tongue.
The problems and frustration you will encounter with these MAY not be worth it to you, because it is almost guaranteed you will rip the underneath piece and have uneven depth tongues.
However, there is a silver lining to unstuffing these. If you remove both pieces of attached foam, you can take a whole piece that's been aborted from any dunk in 1 or 2 and replace the foam with one single semi-fat layer.
Some choose to cut the elastic straps, others prefer to leave them. I have not included instructions on how to cut the straps...it's pretty straightforward. I prefer to leave a bit of material hanging off the sides...it looks kinda punk rock.
In addition, others have restitched the hole left by the slicing, but since I can't sew even a button on my shirts, I don't go there. I also put flat laces in all my dunks. That's up to you, but I'll laugh at your tard laces if you keep them in.
Now on to the nitty-gritty.
A)Make a scary face and find yourself an exacto blade or boxcutter to slice that tongue.
B)Select your victim carefully and get them ready for surgery(laces out, toe stuffing out).
C)Pull the tongue back to reveal your incision point.
D)Make a lengthwise incision into the tongue, revealing the point of entry. It can be a little smaller than the width of the tongue.
E)Push your fingers through the first layer of foam, until you feel the underside of the tongue. This will require some force.
F)Move along the tongue underside until you reach the top and put your fingers around the extra piece of foam to begin pulling it down towards the opening.
G)Push/Pull the foam out through the opening, trying to keep it in one piece. Be patient, there's no rush.
H)Almost done. Keep easing the foam out of the hole using your fingers either inside or out of the tongue.
I)Sucess!! Can you believe they actually stuff something this big in your shoes??
Here's some examples of how my dunks look "post-op"
Unfortunately, these Team Red/3m's got worn before I operated and you can see the irreversible creasing done.(Also, note the punk rocked straps..heh heh)