TSB’s Sneaker Terminology: Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk!
Y’all didn’t think that we’d forget the newbies, did you? To them, we say: welcome to the fast-paced world of sneakers and drip! The sneaker industry is pretty big, and if you wanna make it there, you gotta speak the lingo. But that’s why we’re here fam, we’re gonna teach you basic sneaker terminology, so you don’t sound like a noob! And if you’re already past that point, why not check out how to cop sneakers? Adding some new drip to your sneaker collection is never a bad idea fam. Now, let’s put our thinking hats on and learn some sneaker ABCs!
Sneaker Terminology: A, B, C, D, E, F, Get Ready to Learn!
Before we go on this highly educational sneaker journey, we have to give you the “syllabus.” So we divided the whole thing into 5 different sections. Each section will have a set of sneaker words related to that section. But in the end, all that shit leads to the same outcome: you’ll be able to have sneaker talk without embarrassing yourself!
PS: Sneakers themselves have many names that people use. We won’t be listing them down there, but here are some of them: kicks, joints, trainers, creps, and runners.
Section 1: General Sneaker Terminology
Beaters: Sneakers that you wear on a daily basis, like them go-to dirty white Air Force 1s!
Bricks: A pair of kicks that everyone expected to be profitable on the resale market. But they turned out to be a disappointment for resellers. Sad!
Sneakerhead: A sneaker aficionado. They know everything there is to know about kicks, and they’re a source of joy for them! Collecting kicks and trading them is a lifestyle fam, and you gotta have what it takes to be one. You’re not really in it for the money as a sneakerhead. You’re in it for the sneaker culture!
Hypebeast: People who blindly follow the trends. They want kicks because everyone else wants them and nothing else. Sneakerheads usually look down on hypebeasts. And if you get called a hypebeast, then you’re not it fam.
TTS: True to size. That means when you buy a pair of sneakers, you don’t have to size up or down. They’ll perfectly fit your foot as they should.
Fufu: Sounds silly, but that’s some dramatic shit right here! Fufu is slang for fake kicks. That’s why you should always check where you’re buying your joints from.
Restock: A drop of kicks that were out of stock. They’re usually a big deal if they happen years later.
Bred: Thanks to Michael Jordan and Nike, breds became a thing. You can use bred for any pair of sneakers with a black and red colorway. It originally referred to Jordans that came in the Chicago Bulls colors! But today, people use it even for kicks like Yeezys, like the Bred Yeezy 350.
Grail/Holy Grail: Now this here refers to each sneakerhead’s personal sneaker bucket list. A grail is a really rare or expensive pair that you wanna own. Now, a holy grail is pretty much the same, but the kicks are usually so exclusive that we sometimes doubt it even exists!
Silhouette: A silhouette is the shape or model of the kicks. For example, Jordan 1s and Jordan 3s are two different silhouettes, and so on!
Colorway: The different color combos that brands apply to the same silhouette (look up for definition). Nike Dunk Syracuse and Panda are two colorways of the same silhouette! See? Easy peasy!
OG: Original release. A 1985 Jordan 1 is an OG because it actually dropped back then. Anything else will become a retro, which is the next definition on the list!
Retro: This word is kinda Jordan Brand-exclusive. It’s a re-release of an older model that comes with minor to no changes. Many sneakerheads weren’t there when the OG Jorands or Dunks or other classic silhouettes dropped. So retros and re-releases are the second chance many out there need!
Sample: This is a prototype that brands usually make for wear tests and promotional work with retailers. These usually are worth a lot on the resale market because that shit is obviously rare as heck!
Js: Slang for Air Jordan sneakers. Really, who has the time to say the whole world? Might save some precious milliseconds to do better things! It also makes you sound cool and like you know what you’re talking about. Jokes aside though, this is the go-to word to refer to Jordans!
Jumpman: The world-famous Air Jordan logo! The logo launched along with the Air Jordan 3, and it’s actually Michae Jordan on there, duh. MJ took the original Jumpman pose back in 1984 for a magazine shoot. And then Nike adopted it for the launch of the AJ1! Fun fact: In 2018, Nike went into a legal battle because they were accused of stealing the logo.
GOAT: Greatest of all time. In sneaker terms, people use it to state that this pair is better than everything else! It’s also the topic of the hot MJ vs. LeBron debate. Now, we don’t wanna get biased because both players are epic. And well, people refer to Kanye as the GOAT, and he ain’t even a baller! So in terms of sneaker terminology, this is a pretty broad one fam. Oh, it’s also the name of one of the best sneaker reselling platforms, so there’s that.
Section 2: Release Terms
SP: Special Project. This is a name for the very special projects that Nike does. Anything experimental can is also under the SP label!
Tier 0: The cherry on top, the crème de la crème of sneaker stores! These are the stores that get the most exclusive releases out there. You wanna catch a hot drop? These stores are where you have to look for it!
QS: A Quickstrike is a release that hits Tier 0 stores, aka exclusive drops. These drops are usually worth the money, especially in resale, and let’s not forget the flex rights!
HS: Hyperstrike releases are even more exclusive than QS drops. They usually drop without warning and could be F&F exclusives sometimes.
F&F: Friends & Family pair. These are wildly popular just because they’re out of our reach! So unless you were in Jordan’s and Travis Scott’s circle, you probably paid lots of $$$$ for that purple Jordan 4! And out of this whole sneaker terminology crash course, this word hurts the most.
GR: A general release, as the name suggests, that shit is almost everywhere. The stock is high, and you can find them at every retailer… and sometimes at outlets! So if we’re making an exclusivity pyramid, GRs would be at the base. But that doesn’t mean that kicks can’t be lit if they’re GRs! The industry can surprise you fam.
PE: Player exclusive or player edition. Although similar, there’s a teeny tiny difference! Player exclusives are usually specifically made for the player and don’t hit retail shelves. Meanwhile, player edition pairs can drop to the public!
LE: Limited edition sneakers, just like QS drops, but not necessarily reserved for tier 0 stores. So they’re rare but not impossible to find. So in our sneaker hierarchy, LEs are pretty high up!
NRG: Stands for Nike “Energy.” The swoosh reserves this name for some of the most hype kicks out there. For example, the Union Jordan 1 has the NRG label. And these babies are worth a lot.
FSR: Full-size run. No, not the show, but the release is actually a full-size run! In other words, the kicks will be available in men’s, women’s, Grade School (GS), Pre-School (PS), and Toddler (TD) sizes!
SE: Brands usually drop special edition kicks to celebrate a certain occasion, event, or even item!
SB: SB is short for the Nike Skateboarding division. All the sneakers that target skaters have SB in them like Nike SB Dunks, SB Blazers, and so on!
W/WMNS: When a pair of sneakers has a W next to its name, then the kicks are women-exclusive!
B-Grade: These are authentic kicks that have manufacturing flaws. Believe it or not, people will still want that shit even with them flaws. So you’ll probably find them for under retail at outlet stores!
Section 3: Sneaker Anatomy
Toebox: The front area of the sneakers. That part of the shoe is very important in Jordan 1 colorways. Why? Because some kicks get their name after the color on there! The toebox is part of the sneaker’s upper!
Upper: Everything that goes around your foot. Uppers can be made of leather, canvas, denim, nylon, knit, and more! There’s no limit to sneaker design creativity fam. The upper usually sits on the sole unit that in turn comes in different parts!
Insole: The insole is the first layer of the sneaker’s sole unit. It usually has cool graphics, and it’s removable and washable. That’s the part that comes in contact with the foot inside the shoe!
Midsole: This is where the magic happens peeps! Air tech? Boost tech? These all go in the midsole to give you the best support and cushioning!
Outsole: The outside part of your kicks. This is where you can find traction patterns like herringbone for movement control. Outsoles are usually made of rubber because, well, it’s rubber!
Deubré/Dubrae: That’s the tag that you can find at the base of your laces. The most famous dubrae is the one you can find on your Air Force 1! See? Classic!
Aglet: They have a name for everything around here fam! But well, we wouldn’t be talking sneaker terminology if there weren’t names for anything. The aglet is that plastic, rubber, or metal tip of your laces that everyone easily misses. Sneaker brands get all meticulous sometimes and even brand these tiny itty bitties!
Highs/Lows/Mids: These refer to the cut of the sneakers. For example, Jordan 1s are available in high-top, low-top, and even mid-tops. Although people kinda tend to ignore the mids like a middle child that nobody pays attention to. If only these kicks could speak!
Section 4: Resale Made It to Sneaker Terminology!
Reseller: A person who’s making some dough out of kicks! They usually catch hot releases and flip them on resale platforms for a lot of profit. Sometimes, they can make thousands of dollars out of one pair if they’re lucky! But it’s usually a long way to start a reselling business.
BTEC: A term that refers to resellers with no experience, aka rookies.
WTB/WTS: These stand to Want to Buy or Sell. Whether you’re a reseller or a desperate sneakerhead who wants a cool pair, you’ll use these. Usually, the seller/buyer follows them up with their sale conditions like the size, price, budget, etc…
WTT: Want to trade, similar to buying and selling, but here you can trade your kicks for other kicks. If you got the pair you want but got the wrong sizing, tradeoffs and barters are the right shit to do!
DS: Deadstock is hands-down the most important word you need to know as a reseller. Nobody wants to pay a lot of money on a worn pair. So a DS pair is brand new, and it comes with the whole packaging as it is. You know nobody messed with that shit if it’s in deadstock condition. The word didn’t always have the same meaning though. So check out the history of this word here for some deeper sneaker knowledge!
VNDS: Very Near Deadstock. If you don’t know your way around kicks, the pair might pass as deadstock for you. However, the sneaker police can catch that slight wear on the kicks!
OBO: Or Best Offer is a sentence that sellers/buyers use to show that there is room for discussion!
LC: You bought a pair and you have your doubts that it’s a fufu? Well, you’ll need a legit check for that! And there are plenty of online legit checkers if you know where to look.
Flaking: The worst thing that can happen to a reseller during a sneaker transaction. A buyer flaking means they backed out of the deal last minute! Kinda hurts, but there’s a lesson somewhere.
BNIB/NIB: Brand new in box. Do we need to say more? Kidding, when a pair is BNIB, it means it comes in its original packaging with its accessories and nothing missing.
Factory-laced: When kicks come in the lacing they left the factory with, they’re definitely unworn as heck!
Section 5: Sneaker Botting
AIO: All-in-one bot. A bot that supports different types of sites like Footsites, Shopify, Demandware, and even Supreme!
Cop: Successfully buying a pair of kicks. That can happen manually or using a bot. Read this to decide whether you wanna do this or that!
Server: A server comes in handy if you want a high-speed computer that won’t crash when you run your bot.
Proxy: You can use proxies to mask your actual IP. That way you’ll have the opportunity to cop multiple sneakers using your bot!
TSB: The Shit Bot, aka the best Nike bot out there. (Okay, we just put that here for shits n giggles.) But for real guys, TSB is unbeatable. Check out our Twitter for the latest success and a chance to win a TSB key!
Now You Know Your Sneaker Terminology: A for the Effort!
If you read this far, then you have some serious dedication to sneakers! And if you really want a pair of kicks, then you really need a sneaker bot. That way, you can start a reselling business and start cashing out on your hobby and sneaker terminology knowledge. So why not check out TSB? With constant updates and success, you’ll have the best chances of owning the hottest kicks! Good luck!