A Complete List of Sneakerhead Terminology From A to Z
The love for sneakers is at an all time high and with new models and shoe technology coming every day, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the latest lingo. Our comprehensive sneaker dictionary is an essential guide for all the sneaker terminology you need to know today.
ACG: All Condition Gear. A collection produced by Nike focusing on outdoor sports such a mountain climbing, hiking and long distance walks. The ACG collection is best known for incorporating materials that comply with various weather conditions.
AF1: Air Force One, the first basketball shoe to use Nike Air technology. Originally launched in 1982, this popular silhouette has seen over 1,700 color and texture variations since its inception
Aglet: a small sheath, often made of plastic or metal, used on each end of a shoelace, cord, or drawstring. An aglet keeps the fibers of the lace or cord from unraveling; its firmness and narrow profile make it easier to hold and easier to feed through the eyelets, lugs, or other lacing guides.
Air Max: Nike technology created in 1987 designed to provide maximum impact protection during repetitive landings. Shoes with Max Air technology feature less midsole material and larger-volume airbags for lighter weight and maximum cushioning you can see. Air Max Day is March 14th.
ASG: All Star Game. The popular weekend long NBA exhibition where players have no restrictions on the footwear they can wear on the court. Brands release new and sometimes outlandish colorways to commemorate the weekend.
B-Grade: A shoe with flaws that is made available at manufacturer outlet stores. Often recognized by a “B” stamp located on the inside tag or box of the shoe.
Beaters: Everyday shoes you wear without caring for condition
BHM: Black History Month; a collection of shoes every February that recognize the accomplishments of Black athletes worldwide
BIN Premio: A collection of Air Jordans produced with premium materials and in limited quantities. The releases models include 1, 2, 5, 7 & 13.
Bot: Automated software program that allows people to purchasing several pairs of shoes online at once
Bred: a common colorway on Air Jordan models consisting of Black and Red. Reminiscent of the Chicago Bulls team colors.
CB: Charles Barkley
CDP: Countdown Pack. A series of two-sneaker Air Jordan packs in which both sneaker models added up to the number 23.
COJP: Concept Japan
Colorway: The main colors of the shoe that are used to differentiate it from other shoes with the same model. Used to create nicknames for each shoe.
Customs: Custom designed sneakers created for a client by an artist using an existing model
DB: Doernbecher. Initiated in 2003, the Doernbecher Freestyle program is a yearly collection of highly anticipated sneakers designed by children who are long-term patients at the OSHU Hospital. The proceeds from this collaboration are donated to the hospital.
Deubré: Ornamnetal shoelace tag commonly found on the Air Force One
DMP: Defining Moments Pack. A special edition pack that included a gold-accented Air Jordan 11 and Air Jordan 6 to celebrate the first of Michael Jordan’s two championship three-peats.
DS: Deadstock. Brand new, unworn and factory laced.
Factory laced: The untouched condition of sneaker laces after leaving the factory
Foamposite: A lightweight and durable material Nike created for Penny Hardaway’s popular signature line. Now found on the Foamposite One, Pro, Hyperposite, Flightposite and LeBron XI.
Footsites: Collective name for the stores under the Foot Locker subsidiary including Foot Locker. Kids, Lady, Foot Action, Champs and Eastbay
Fragment Design: An imprint by Hiroshi Fujiwara that has been all over the Nike Sportswear release slate.
FSR: Full Size Run; the complete selection of sizes a store receives from manufacturers
GR: General Release. A model that has been produced in a large production run with distribution to many retailers
GS: Grade school, Nike’s terminology for youth sizes 3.5Y to 9.5Y
Heat: Hot or rare shoes
HOH: House of Hoops. A Nike and Foot Locker collaboration in which Nike allows Foot Locker to carry some exclusive Nike basketball releases.
Holy Grail: A shoe that has both sentimental and monetary value to the owner and supersedes the rest of the shoes in one’s collection.
HTM: A set of shoes designed by Hiroshi Fujiwara (streetwear designer), Tinker Hatfield (Nike designer), and Mark Parker (Nike CEO). HTM is the first letter of each designer’s name.
Hypebeast: someone that likes something because it is very rare, limited or expensive, not because they personally like it (usually in regards to sneakers or streetwear)
Hyperstrike: A shoe that is released in extremely limited quantities and is not advertised or promoted till the shoe is made available to the public.
Icy: Usually referring to the clear sole of a sneaker. Turns yellow over time due to the oxidation process
J’s: Air Jordan’s
JB: Jordan Brand. The athletic brand based around the legendary Hall of Fame, NBA player Michael Jordan. The subsidiary of Nike encompasses athletic footwear, apparel, accessories and its own signature line of athletes including Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul.
Jumpman: name of the Air Jordan logo found on all Jordan Brand trademarked products
KD: Kevin Durant; a Nike athlete with his own line of signature basketball shoes. Currently on his 9th model.
LBJ: LeBron James
LE: Limited Edition. A shoe that is produced in limited quantities and is only available through a select few retailers.
LS: Lifestyle. Meant for casual wear, not athletic performance.
Lunarlon: Nike technology featuring a soft, yet resilient, foam core that is encased within a supportive foam carrier for lightweight, ultra-plush cushioning, springy response and support. The innovative Lunarlon foam is 30 percent lighter than traditional Phylon and allows the force of impact to be more evenly distributed, which helps reduce painful pressure points on feet.
NB: New Balance
NDC: Nike.com (Nike-Dot-Com)
NDS: Near Deadstock; term used to describe the condition of a potential shoe for sale that may have been worn once with minimal signs of wear
NIB: New In Box
NikeLab: Nike’s project of bridging the gab between physical retail, online commerce and digital engagement. NikeLab products include new silhouttes paired with new variations of celebrate performance styles and new collaborations with designers like Jun Takahashi from UNDERCOVER.
NikeTown: Nike flagship stores around the world.
NRG: Not much has been said to define what NRG stands for exactly, but if the nature of the release of NRG shoes such as the Air Yeezy and the Galaxy Foamposite are anything to go by, NRG could well denote shoes that are extremely limited in quantity.
NSW: Nike Sportswear
NT: NikeTalk, one of the longest standing online sneaker forums
OBO: Or Best Offer. Used when offering a shoe for sale
OG: Original or Original Release
Oop: The act of giving someone something of value for free, particular online sneaker carts.
OVO: October’s Very Own. Drake’s record label which is officially collaborated with Brand Jordan.
PADS: Pass as deadstock
PE: Player Exclusive. A specific colorway made exclusively for a professional athlete
PRM: Premium. Uses higher quality textures or materials. Usually priced higher.
QS: Quickstrike. A release limited to certain stores.
Quai54: An annual French basketball tournament, sponsored by Jordan Brand.
Retail: MSRP or manufacturer’s suggested retail price
Resell: the act of selling something higher than its original retail price
Retro: A shoe that is re-released and usually molded to the specifications of the original model, with sometimes minor differences
Sample: A shoe that is used for either promotional or wear test purposes. Many current models were previously samples years ago
SB: Nike’s line of skateboarding shoes
SE: Special Edition
SL: Sport Luxury
Sneaker Con: the world’s largest traveling sneaker convention. Takes place in major US cities as frequently as every 2 weeks
Sneaker Twitter: An international, tight knit community of online sneaker collectors and buyers on Twitter
SP: Special Project. Nike SP represents the highest level of Nike quality, and also an avenue for Nike’s creative endeavors. All NikeLab releases are SP and some collabs are also categorized as SP.
Supreme: the world’s most popular streetwear brand with locations in New York, LA and London
Tier 0: The highest level account a Nike store can hold. Tier 0 accounts can carry both Quickstrike and Hyperstrike releases.
Tinker Hatfield: The most legendary sneaker designer of all time — responsible for the Air Max 1 and many of the Air Jordan models.
UB: Ultra Boost
UNC: University of North Carolina. Michael Jordan’s alma mater.
Un-DSing: Wearing a shoe for the first time.
Uptowns: another nickname for Air Force 1’s
VNDS: Very Near Deadstock. Term used to describe the condition of a potential shoe for sale that may have been tried on once or shoe almost no signs of wear
What The: A popular Nike basketball collection of shoes where each model has many previous colorways incorporated into it
21Mercer: A Nike flagship store located in the SoHo area of Manhattan, New York City, which carries many exclusive releases.
3M: A reflective material created by conglomerate Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company that allows runners to be seen by vehicles on the road at night