You’re here, and that means one thing. 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 sneaker 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 slang for shoes cheat sheet! Something that will definitely help you get some sneaker scoop!
Once you’ve mastered this list, you’ll naturally start creating your own slang- nothing sparks creativity like confidence! And there’s definitely nothing sexier than a sneakerhead who represents!
Is Sneaks Slang Mastery Enough To Earn the Sneakerhead Status?
Well, that would be a simple NO. Other than learning the sneaker slang alphabet and flashing off your epic sneaker collection, you gotta work on your sneaker-copping skills to truly be part of the sneaker culture. In other words, you need to learn how to catch limited-edition sneakers for retail. And now that we think of it, you can’t even collect hype sneakers solely off the resale market. Because you’ll be broke one sneaker purchase into that shopping spree unless you come from old money, that is.
Actually, YOU can be the one selling those sneakers on sites like StockX. People have been making tons of money on the sneaker resell market for years now. It even got to the point where some sneakerheads made a living off sneaker reselling alone. So, who knows, maybe you’d start with a side hustle and end up with a full-time job!
How To Cop Sneakers At Retail?
Question is, how exactly can you catch sneakers like the upcoming Jordans lineup for retail? Well, it all starts with finding the right sneaker bot. Of course, you can customize your own, but unless you’re a genius developer, that might have you breaking your bank account and missing on all the Holiday drops. So, the best way is to refer to veterans of the industry who have been spending years updating and improving their sneaker bots to make it easier for you to cop and beat the competition to checkouts.
And in case you didn’t know, unlike manual copping, sneaker botting helps you cop sneakers IN BULK. Meaning that, you can buy more than a pair of the same sneaker drop. So all in all, to embrace the sneakerhead title, you gotta master the slang for shoe language, as well as sneaker copping. The former you can accomplish by referring to the A to Z list below. As for the latter, click on the button below to get the full CHEAT SHEET on how to cop sneakers for retail on release day!
All in All Sneaker Slang
Starting 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 sneaker 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 adidas.com
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
Next 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. They can also refer to beat up shoes.
BIN (v.): Buy It Now – the price a sneaker reseller sets. No negotiations, no haggling.
Bricks (n.): bricks shoes are sneakers that quickly drop in value on the resale market shortly after or as soon as they’re released
Boost (adj.): innovative midsole technology for maximum cushioning developed by the German company BASF – licensed to Adidas
Copping the Sneaker Slang
Do 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
So, 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 Adidas.com
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 (currently closed down)
Finding Your Inner Sneakerhead
You 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.): fufu shoes mean 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
When 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
Bring 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 who 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
It’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
Just another day, another sneaker cop! Our favorite words that start with J include Js, Jordan, Jumpman… Anything related to the Jumpman really.
Keeping Up with the Sneaker Slang
Although 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 or another word for shoes
KDs (n.): Nike line designed for basketball player Kevin Durant
Lit Sneaker Slang
You’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
Okay 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
The 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, 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
OD (adj.): used to describe sneakers with overly done designs – OD sneakers refer to kicks that are too flashy
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
The 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
We’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 to the Qs, but we’re okay with that. At least we got the QUICKSTRIKES!
Quickstrike (n.): QS shoes – limited edition sneakers that drop regionally without previous notice! Like shock drops – usually reserved for Tier 0 accounts.
Retrospectives All the Way
The 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
S 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
Now, we would’ve never 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
It’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
A sneakerhead’s V-card? VNDS…
VNDS (n./adj.): VNDS sneakers – Very Near Deadstock or sneakers worn for a moment’s worth because who’ll notice?
For the Sneaker Slang WIN
Wookie 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!
We really twisted our sneaker brains to find a sneaker slang that start with X one. At first, all we could think of was sneaker collaborations. Be honest. Isn’t that the first thing that came to your mind too? But then we’ve looked more into it and we found a special sneaker material, called Xeno, used in sneakers like the Adidas ZX Flux Xeno.
X (prep.): refers to a cross between two brands – also means “by”
Xeno (adj.): a type of material used in sneakers that can change colors and appear reflective with varying angles of light.
Y? Why not! The letter Y in the sneaker slang includes Yeezys. So, we ain’t mad that we had to go so far down the list. You know Y’s for Yeezys. You know that. But. if you don’t, you kinda have a problem, dear friend.
Sneaker Slang Zeal
Lastly, 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 125 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!