Skip to main content

Sneaker Slang: 121 Words to Know to Not Sound Like an Idiot [A to Z]

By September 12, 2020July 13th, 2021Food for thought, Sneakers

Sneaker Slang - AIO BotSo, you really REALLY wanna become one of the OG sneakerheads? In short, you want to talk the talk, and walk the walk. Standing in sneaker circles, but completely deaf to the sneaker slang. In other words, you’re basically a stray looking for shelter. Well, guess what? You’re home. If you wanna stand a chance of being vocal around your community, you gotta be confident in your language.

Therefore, you have to trust us on this. You do not wanna use the wrong terminology. Sneakerheads will NEVER let you live it down, and you’ll sound like an idiot!

Not only will this UP your sneaker game,  but you’ll become more credible and confident. Think of this as your own personal terminology cheat sheet! Something that will definitely help you get some sneaker scoop!

Also, when you know your way around this list, you’ll find yourself creating slang of your own – nothing sparks creativity like confidence! And there’s definitely nothing sexier than a sneakerhead who represents! 

The Sneaker Slang Alphabet

All in All Sneaker Slang

A - All In All Sneaker Slang - AIO BotStarting out right from the start of sneaker slang – the letter A. This letter means so much! A as in all-in-one bots. As in ALL of the sneaker copping you can dream of. And, as in getting an A+ on your copping skills! For us, the letter A represents AIO Bot above all – the OG bot of the industry! But, for the industry, it could mean so much more!

ACG (n.): All Conditions Gear – Nike’s hardcore out-door focused sneaker line
ADC (n.): Adidas Dot Com or
Aglet (n.): metallic tips at the end of shoelaces.
Alphet (n.): a shortened version of “outfit”
AF1 (n.): Nike’s line of Air Force 1 silhouette
Air Max (n.): Nike’s Air Max silhouette

Boosting Your Beaters

B - Boosting Your Beaters - AIO BotNext up! You know your ABCs, fam. The letter B holds a lot of possibilities in this game – especially if you’re into some BREDs! Or, if you keep on wearing the same exact beaters every single day! Or maybe, if you accidentally copped a brick without knowing. Knowing the terms behind this letter will definitely make your life easier.

B-Grade (adj.): shop-worn sneakers sold at a discounted price
Bred (adj.): black and red-colored sneakers – inspired by the Jordan 1 OG
Beaters (n.): the beat-up pair you always wear, every day, regardless of the weather – the core of your sneaker collection.
BIN (v.): Buy It Now – the price a sneaker reseller sets. No negotiations, no haggling.
Boost (adj.): innovative midsole technology for maximum cushioning developed by the German company BASF – licensed to Adidas 

Copping the Sneaker Slang

C - Copping the Sneaker Slang - AIO BotDo you know what our favorite word of all sneaker slang is? COP. COP. And, more COP. Successful ones, of course. Copping sneakers is our favorite money-making hobby and the most epic side-hustle EVER! 

Coke Whites (n.): flawlessly white sneakers – whiter than white
Colorway (n.): the color/design combination of a sneaker
Cop (v.): to successfully buy a pair of sneakers!
Consortium (adj.): Adidas’ range of kicks in collaboration with other brands – another name for their Tier 0 retailers
Cozy Boy (n.): the slang version of “when fashion meets comfort”
Crepes (n.): London slang for sneakers
Crisp (adj.): cleaner than your conscience
Cookies (n.): the bits of data that make you seem more human online

The D’s of the Sneaker Slang

D - Of the Sneaker Slang - AIO BotSo, you like the D? Well, you’re in luck! Because this part of the sneaker slang is ALL about the D, what it means, and how to get it! You know, like D for sneaker DROPS! Or D for deadstock sneakers!

Deadstock (adj.): a pair of sneakers from an old release that has never been worn
Deubre (n.): lace tags – usually for model names, numbers, or collabs. It is also the official name for the lace tags used on Nike shoes; most commonly the Air Force 1s!
Dope (adj.): hip and fashionable
Drop (n./v.): a new sneaker release
Double Up (v.): when you like a sneaker so much you wanna buy another pair – multiple pairs
DX (adj.):  A ‘deluxe’ sneaker designed with higher-quality material than the classic silhouette
Demandware-hosted (adj.): any website that is hosted on the eCommerce platform Demandware – like and Yeezy Supply

Exclusive Talks

E - Exclusive Talks - AIO BotWe don’t get a lot of Es usually in our everyday sneaker slang unless we’re talking about WHERE to buy sneakers. This means if we’re discussing copping EXCLUSIVE sneakers off websites like Eastbay!

Eyelets (n.): the holes on your sneakers in which you thread your laces to tighten them up!
Exclusive (adj.): limited-edition sneakers
EQT (n.): Adidas Equipment – a line of functional essentials designed just for athletes
Eastbay (n.): an online sneaker retailer under the wing of Footsites

Finding Your Inner Sneakerhead

F - Finding Your Inner Sneakerhead - AIO BotYou know, the only thing related to this letter in the sneaker slang that we do NOT associate with is F-ups. Yup. No flops, no fufus, and definitely no Feezys here. 

FSR (n.): Full-Size Run – this means even your kiddos get a pair of these kicks
Flaking (adj.): a buyer who backs out of a deal at the very last minute
Fufu (adj.): fake sneakers
Factory-laced (adj.): sneakers with untouched or untangled laces
Feezy (n.): fake Yeezy sneakers
Fire (adj.): a fierce synonym of “dope” – very rare and cool
Frags (n.): any sneaker designed in collaboration with Hiroshi Fujiwara’s Fragment Design
Flop (n./v.): a total failed sale on the aftermarket
Fresh (adj.): new
F&F (n./adj.): rare pairs released only to the friends and family of collaborators and designers
Fugazi (n./adj.): fake or damaged beyond repair
Flip flop (adj.): when sneakerheads change their opinion on an upcoming sneaker release – drop turns into a must-cop last-minute


G - GOAT - AIO BotWhen we think of the letter G, we think of GOAT. When we think of GOAT, we think of our main man, Michael Jordan. The Greatest Of All Time – GOAT. It also stands for a bunch of other things in our terminology, like… 

Garms (n.): clothes, an abbreviation for “garments”
GOAT (n./adj.): Greatest Of All Time!
Grail (adj./n.): a sneaker that you have wanted for years – super rare!
GR (n.): general releases of sneakers – mass-produced, the lowest tier of sneaker releases
Gum Sole (n.): any light-brown sole
GS (adj.): meaning grade school – designed for children

Sneaker Slang Heat

H - Sneaker Slang Heat - AIO BotBring up the HEAT, fam! Bring it up! That’s what the letter H stands for, anyway! It also stands for all the things we love – holy grails, high tops, and more heat!

Heat (n.): a sneaker that is very rare or cool – also refers to the hype!
Holy Grail (n): the pair of your dreams. The one you’ll probably never be able to cop but you dream of everyday
Hypebeast (adj.): a sneakerhead who only cops the hype to hop on trends – a trendy celebrity wannabe and a parasite to OG sneakerheads
Hypebae (adj.): a sneakerhead that identifies as a female who also likes to follow the trends
High Top (n./adj.): a sneaker that rises above or on the ankle
Hyperstrike (n.): super limited sneaker drop usually given to Friends & Family only 

Icy Cold

I - Icy Cold - AIO BotIt’s not about the “I” in sneaker slang, it’s about what “I” wanna cop. Like icy sneakers with icy clean insoles! 

Ice (n./adj.): sneakers with transparent outsoles
Insole (n.): the removable layer worn inside your sneakers
Instacop (v.): a sneaker shopaholic put into action – a sneaker that is so good that you have to buy it immediately

J’s On My Feet

J - Js on My Feet - AIO BotJust another day, another sneaker cop! Our favorite words that start with J include Js, Jordan, Jumpman… Anything related to the Jumpman really.

Js (n.): Air Jordan sneakers
JB (n.): the Jordan Brand, hello!
Jumpman (n.): the Michael Jordan logo on Air Jordan sneakers – the symbol of the Jordan brand

Keeping Up with the Sneaker Slang

K - Keeping Up with the Sneaker Slang - AIO BotAlthough there aren’t many terms that start with the letter K, there is one that represents the entire industry. KICKS!

Kicks (n.): Another word for sneakers
KDs (n.): Nike line designed for basketball player Kevin Durant

Lit Sneaker Slang

L - Lit Sneaker Slang - AIO BotYou’re almost halfway through the alphabet. We think. We gotta sing the ABC song all over again. Anyways! You know what’s LIT? Getting your sneaker slang right!

Ls (n.): loss or failure to cop a sneaker
Lateral side (n.): the side of the shoe on the outside – your little toe’s profile
LE (adj.): Limited Edition
LPU (n.): Latest Pick Up – your newest flex
LC (n.): Legit Check – a check to authenticate the legitimacy of the sneakers
LBJs (n.): Nike line designed for basketball player Lebron James.
Lit (adj.): AWESOME
Lows (n.): the opposite of High Tops – sneakers that sit below the ankles

Stuck in the Middle

M - Stuck in the Middle - AIO BotOkay so now we’re definitely in the MIDDLE of the alphabet. See what we did there? Middle, M? No? Okay, so funny enough, the letter M represents mostly everything in the middle!

Medial side (n.): the side of the shoe on the inside of your foot near the arch
Mids (n.): short for mid-tops – any sneaker that’s in between a high-top and a low-top
Midsoles (n.): the part of the sole that touches your feet

Needing the Heat

N - Needing the Heat - AIO BotThe letter N undeniably has a special place in our hearts. It stands for new beginnings in the sneaker slang – like a NIB sneaker! Or a beautiful nostalgic sneaker memory in the form of a NOS! For instance, like fondly thinking back to your very first Jordan… Chiefly, anything related to new, limited, and innovative!

NIB (n.): New In Box
NOS (adj.): New Old Stock – describes unsold and unworn stock of an old sneaker release
NRG (n.): Nike’s most exclusive and limited product lines
NSW (n.): Nike Sportswear
Nike Lab (n.): the hub for Nike’s leading innovations 

Oh! Sneakers!

O - Oh Sneakers! - AIO BotOh, dear sneaker lords! We’re almost done! At this point, you can basically pull it off as an OG who has been in the game for quite some time!

OG (adj.): original, derived from “Original Gangster” – original release in one of the colorways that a sneaker was first released in
OBO (adj.): Or Best Offer – an offer that means you might pay less for the sneaker. But, also, if someone offers more, they might get it before you
Outsole (n.): the part of the sole that is in contact with the ground

The Sneaker Players

P - Sneaker Players - AIO BotThe evil Ps. You know, it includes PE sneakers or Poop sneakers! Things we don’t like – you can skip this part if you want.

PE (adj.): Player Edition, or sneakers released exclusively for team athletes
Pack (n.): a selection of sneakers that are released as a group
Player Exclusive (adj): a ‘player edition’ sneaker that is exclusive for an athlete and will never be released
Poop Sneakers (n.): sneakers with loops on the back – find out why for a laugh!

Quality Sneaker Slang

Q - Quality Sneaker Slang - AIO BotWe’re almost done! Just hang in there. If you know your ABCs right, you know that we’ve got exactly 10 more letters to go. Sneaker slang doesn’t cater much for the Qs, but we’re okay with that. At least we got the QUICKSTRIKES!

Quickstrike (n.): limited edition sneakers that drop regionally without previous notice! Like shock drops – usually reserved for Tier 0 accounts.

Retrospectives All the Way

R - Retrospectives FTW - AIO BotThe favorite letter for sneaker resellers. Do you even have any idea how much money sneaker resellers make? It’s all about copping the best kicks and flipping them later. 

Reseller (n.): one who cops desirable sneakers and sells them on the aftermarket
Restock (v./n.): when a store receives a new delivery of a previously sold-out sneaker
Retro (n./adj.): re-release of an OG sneaker pair
Red Octobers (n.): sneaker slang for the all-red Air Yeezy II 

Steezy Living

S - Steezy Living - AIO BotS is for SLYTHERIN! No, we’re just kidding – Gryffindor all the way. S is actually for SNEAKERS. Did you guess that? It’s a long list. 

SB (n.): skateboarding, ever not heard of Nike SB Dunk?
Sample (n.): a prototype sneaker – not supposed to sell to the public
Size run (n.): the range of sneaker sizes
SE (adj.): Special Edition – sneakers that celebrate a special occasion
Silhouette (n.): design of a sneaker
Sitting (v./adj.): sneakers whose shelf lives expired long before this list
Slept On (v.): unappreciated and pushed back -“Ima sleep on that” sound familiar?
Sneakerhead (n.): a sneaker enthusiast – someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes sneakers
Steezy (adj.): slick and stylish
StockX (n.): The sneaker community’s LARGEST resale marketplace

To Keep Up with the Sneaker Slang

T - To Keep Up with the Sneaker Slang - AIO BotNow, we would’ve never have guessed the tackies meant sneakers when we first started out. Did you know that? Well, now you do. By comparison, that might seem a little odd to us. But, what do we know? We call them sneakers.

Tackies (n.): South African slang for sneakers
Tonal (n./adj.): sneakers that are one color – monochrome
TTS (adj.): True To Size – when a sneaker fits true to your usual size.
Toebox (n.): the section of a sneaker that surrounds the front
TZ (adj): Tier 0 – Nike’s top retail accounts
Trainers (n.): British term for sneakers.

Uptown Funk

U - Uptown Funk - AIO BotIt’s kinda funny that the UPPERS are actually at the bottom of this list! Isn’t it? We think it is.

Upper (n.): the part of the sneaker that wraps around the foot
Ultraboost (n.): sneakers designed using NASA technology –  has a Boost sole and a Primeknit upper
Uptowns (n.): New York slang for the Air Force 1s


V - For VNDS! - AIO BotA sneakerhead’s V-card? VNDS…

VNDS (n./adj.): Very Near Deadstock or sneakers worn for a moment’s worth because who’ll notice?

For the Sneaker Slang WIN

W - For the Sneaker Slang WIN - AIO BotWookie who? Why does that sound like a freakin’ SASQUATCH? It doesn’t mean that, though. We’re sneakerheads. We’re not freaks… Maybe. Not all of us.

W (n.): win or successful sneaker copping
WTB (v.): Want to Buy – someone requesting (begging) to buy a specific sneaker
WTS (v.): Want to Sell – someone that wants to sell a sneaker
WTT (v.): Want to Trade – trade one sneaker for another
White on whites (n.): American slang for the all-white Air Force 1 Low
Wookie (n.): knock-off

For Being EXTRA!

X - For EXTRA - AIO BotNO WORDS START WITH AN X IN SNEAKER SLANG. Prove us wrong. Come on. Or, just don’t. We really twisted our sneaker brains to find one, but all we could think of was sneaker collaborations. Be honest. Isn’t that the first thing that came to your mind too?

X (prep.): refers to a cross between two brands – also means “by”

Why Not?

Y - Why Not - AIO BotY? Why not! The letter Y in the sneaker slang includes Yeezys. So, we ain’t mad that we had to go so far down in the list. You know Y’s for Yeezys. You know that. But. if you don’t, you kinda have a problem, dear friend.

Y-3 (n.): a collaboration between Adidas and Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto
Yeezy (n.): a collaboration between Adidas and Kanye West

Sneaker Slang Zeal

Z - Sneaker Slang Zeal - AIO BotLastly, the letter Z. You know how the song goes! Now I know my sneaker ABC, tell me what you think of me. Or, just talk some sneaker slang to me. Because you know NOW you can actually do it.

Zoom (n.): Nike’s Air Zoom technology – more responsive and energetic run!
Zapatos (n.): The Spanish word for ‘shoes.’

Whether you’re an industry newbie or loyal enough to sit through a memory quiz, you’re 121 words closer to being a sneakerhead. If you’re a sneaker reseller, you better up your profile and own up to your knowledge. And if you’re a buyer, well that’s just another push toward serious dickering. That’s another word for you!

So, what are you waiting for? Go out and test your sneaker slang!