Trainers with Big Tongues were a fad in the early 90's. It was a time when trainers were trying to outdo each other for how flashy and overly cushioned they could be. There was much kudos for the sheer height, width and thickness of the tongue at the time. Anything less than a cricket pad size was considered feeble and embarrassing.
These kind of trainers usually cost about £90 and lasted no more than three weeks before disintegrating - thus proving your parents correct.