Sneakers Unboxed

Sneaker Dictionary

28 June 2022

The sneaker got polulair thanks to various youth cultures, but now it’s a culture in itself with its own language. In our sneaker dictionary you will find an overview of the most important, most used and sometimes just plain fun words.

The sneakers that you wear daily. These are pairs for which it doesn’t matter if they get dirty. The word comes from ‘take a beating’ and is not only used for shoes, but also for cars. Beaters are the opposite of ‘on ice’.

Brand New In Box’, ‘New In Box’ or ‘New With Box’, unworn sneakers in its original box. When sneakers are resold, they are worth more if they are in the original box.

Any sneaker with a black and red ‘colorway’. This term used to refer only to the Air Jordan in the colors of the Chicago Bulls, but now it’s used for all sneakers that are red and black. The word is a conflation of black and red.

Sneakers that were bought to resell, but that generate less profit than expected or don’t sell at all.

Crepes/creps, kicks, pata/patta, trainers
Terms for sneakers. Crepes/creps and trainers are words used in the United Kingdom. Pata/patta is originally the Surinamese word for shoe, but nowadays it’s used in many other countries, including the Netherlands.

The specific combination of colours applied to a sneaker.

The time when a specific model of sneakers goes on sale, also called release.

DS (Deadstock)
An unsold pair of discontinued sneakers.

Factory laced
This term is used when the laces are still laced as they came from the factory. This is considered an indication that the sneakers have not been worn.

F&F (Friends and Family)
Produced exclusively for friends, family and employees of a brand. This sneakers are not sold, but given as gifts.

A term used for shoes that are copied from well-known brands. Fufu is a corruption of the word fugazi, which means fake in slang.

GR (General Release)
Unlimited release available to all stores. Because of the unlimited edition, these pairs are worth much less when resold than exclusive limited edition sneakers.

The most sought after sneaker, which are usually extremely rare. The word originates from ‘holy grail’.

GS (Grade School)
A sneaker designed for children. Often purchased by women with small feet at a lower price than those for adults and in unique ‘colorways’.

HS (Hyperstrike)
The most exclusive sneakers, released in very limited quantities with the majority given to a select few.

Stands for “Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker”. Three well-known designers who regularly join forces for Nike.

People who are said to have no style of their own when it comes to sneakers and only buy popular pairs in order to follow every trend. Despite the fact that the word sounds nice, it’s seen as an insult.

NOS (New Old Stock)
The discovery of an unsold and unworn stock of old sneaker models. Often in small family businesses such as a sporting goods store, where the owners have no idea of the value of their old stock.

On ice
An unworn pair of sneakers, kept by the owner to wear in the future. There are several reasons for this: some buyers keep their sneakers for a special moment, while others wait until everyone has worn out a certain model and they still have a ‘fresh’ pair. It also happens that people buy two pairs of which they wear one and put the other ‘on ice’.

A selection of sneakers released as a group.

Player Exclusive
A sneaker design specifically for an athlete and never intended for retail.

Player Sample
Design development shoe provided to athletes for the purpose of trying out a new model.

QS (Quickstrike)
Relatively rare sneakers, typically only available in stores that carry exclusive pairs.

A lottery where the winning participants get the chance to buy a sneaker on the day of its release. Major brands often use a raffle for limited releases to give everyone a fair chance.

People who buy sneakers to resell them at a profit.

A subsequent release of a discontinued sneaker style.

Size Run
The range of sizes a shoe is available in.

SMU (Special Make Up)
A special production run of sneakers that can be specific to a country or even to a store.

Nickname for the Nike Air Force 1 that became popular in uptown New York City.

VNDS (Very Near Deadstock’)
Sneakers that have been fitted or worn only very briefly, but can still be labeled as ‘deadstock’.

In the United Kingdom, Nike Air Max are also called ‘one-tens’ because they cost £110 (about €130).