Sneaker culture is rich and deep, however, understanding certain terms and phrases can be confusing for newbies but don’t fret! We’ve compiled all of the Sneaker Terminologies that you’ll need to be aware of whether you’re new to sneaker culture or sneaker reselling.

Stay tuned for the complete guide on sneaker-slang!

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There are many terminologies to learn here so without further adieu, let’s get right to it!

Resale Market Terminologies

Sneaker Buying And Selling Terminologies StayHipp
From StayHipp

Have you ever copped your very first pair of sneakers that you attempted to resell on the secondary market but had no idea how to decipher the codes that were being used rather than basic English? Well, you’re not alone!

It can be confusing to understand any of the abbreviations when you’re new. Thus we’ve compiled a list of pretty much all the commonly used terms that you should know!


WTB: WTB is perhaps one of the most common abbreviations you’ll see on websites such as eBay and it simply means “Want to Buy”. For example, “Want to Buy Air Jordan 1 High Court Purple”. In essence, it’s an advert of a person requesting to buy a specific sneaker.

WTS: Just like WTB, WTS is also one of the most commonly used letters that simply mean “Want to Sell”. The advert is by a person that wants to sell a particular sneaker.

WTT: You’ll also see some texts that read “WTT” which means “Want to Trade”. This is a simple barter system where the publisher of the advert wants to trade one sneaker for another. For example, “Want to trade Air Jordan 1 High Metallic Silver Size 6 for size 9”.

Deadstock/DS/BNDS: Dead Stock or “DS” refers to stock that has not yet been sold and has been sitting on shelves or warehouses for quite some time. BNDS or “Brand New Dead Stock” and “Dead Stock” pretty much refer to the same thing as sneakers that are brand new and never worn.

Factory Laced: Factory laces are also similar to DS. It means the sneakers are un-used and laced the same way as they were out of the factory. DS and Factory Laced can usually be used interchangeably.

PADS/VNDS: Both of these abbreviations mean pretty much the same thing. PADS (Passed as Dead Stock) or VNDS (Very Near Dead Stock) both refer to sneakers that are used but are in excellent condition and can be passed as new judging purely by the sneaker’s condition. These sneakers should usually be selling for below the market price.

OBO: This is an invitation to bid whatever you feel the sneaker is worth. It stands for “Or Best Offer”, meaning you can make an offer and wait until it’s accepted or not. Pretty straightforward stuff. For example, WTB Adidas Yeezy 500 Enflame $350 OBO

NWT: New With Tags, meaning these sneakers are as close to brand new as possible.
People usually use this term when they got sneakers that were not in their correct size,
so they list them on the market again.

LC: An LC or “Legit Check” refers to a request by the buyer for clear and descriptive pictures to authenticate the legitimacy of the sneakers. There are countless fakes flooding the market from all over the world and it’s been a huge problem on unregulated reselling websites for quite some time now. Therefore whenever you’re buying new sneakers off of eBay, always ask for an LC.

PO: This simply means a “Pre-order” which is when a buyer pays someone to order them a sneaker. The buyer is required to pay in advance while someone else receives and delivers the order to them.

Proxy: This is used in conjunction with a bot to make purchases on multiple sneaker sites.
This is to make sure you have the highest chance of coping.

TTS: TTS is a sizing term that stands for “True to Size”. Sometimes, because of the construction and design of the sneakers, they often don’t fit as they should. Sometimes they’re too tight while other times they’re too loose. TTS means that the sneakers fit as they were intended to.

Reseller: This refers to a person who usually sells items on the secondary market for a higher price than originally listed in the store.

Flaking: This is a slang term resellers use when a buyer backs off last minute after all the details of the transaction has been confirmed. It can be quite frustrating for sellers, however, StockX has offered a solution for this problem by introducing bids. A buyer can only bid once their credit card/debit card details have been entered so if a buyer accepts a bid, funds are automatically transferred.

Fufu: This usually refers in the sneaker world as a fake shoe.
People also tend to use this word instead of Flaking as it almost has the same meaning.
“Don’t trade with this guy, the shoes are Fufu”

Bricks: This means that sneakers are worth nothing, or even resell under retail price, making you lose money.

Hypebeast: People who breathe for scarce and limited fashion apparel are usually called Hypebeasts and are different from Sneakerheads.

Sneakerhead: People who have sneakers as their hobby. Sneakerheads are usually collectors with multiple pairs at home and pride themselves on acquiring rare releases.

Cop: This means to purchase. “I copped these Air Force 1’s kicks today”

Kicks: This is another word for shoes/sneakers. “Those are some great kicks you’ve got!”

Instacop: When you see something scheduled to drop and you know the return on investment will double or even triple, you will hear people say “This is an Instacop” meaning Instant Cop (cop means purchase)

Restock: A limited sneaker that was once sold out, but had new pairs manufactured due to popular demand.

Bred/Bread: These words are totally different from each other, bread is a misspelled word for bred. Bred means Black and Red, a popular colorway in Nike shoes while bread means money in slang terms.

NOS: New Old Stock means an old unsold sneaker release that has just been sitting on shelves for a period of time.

Those are most of the reselling terms. However, you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the rankings or classes of sneakers. Here’s what the classifying abbreviations mean.

Sneaker Classifications

Different red jordans sneakers from straatosphere
From Straatosphere

SP-Special Project: This term refers to Nike sneakers that are at the epitome of Nike’s innovative potential. The absolute highest quality Nike sneakers are given the SP title such as the Nike Zoom Fly SP.

HS: HS or “Hyper Strike” is given to the most valuable sneakers you can ever find on the market. They refer to the most exclusive editions that are only a few handfuls in existence and are usually given to employees, celebrities, or Friends and Family (FNF).
HS-labeled sneakers are one of the most expensive sneakers on the market. A good example is the Nike Air Force 1 x Kobe Bryant “Friends and Family”.

QS: QS stands for “Quick Strike” and is a step lower in their ranking than HS sneakers. They’re also extremely limited and often don’t even come with a set release date. QS sneakers are only sold via special tier 0 stores such as Atmos, Undefeated, and Patta.

Toebox: This is the area where your toes are located in the shoe. They usually have breathing holes on top to prevent odors.

Insole: The removable piece inside your sneaker. This is also called footbeds as this is what your foot rests on when you wear the shoe and could make or break the comfort of your sneaker.

Outsole: This is almost the same as an Insole, but for the sneaker itself. This is what’s touching the ground when you walk. The purpose of this is to increase grip for the terrain
you are walking on. This is why we have shoes for different sorts of activities as jagged terrain shoes will not grip well on flat surfaces, and flat outsoles won’t grip well on
smooth surfaces.

Midsole: This is the material under your foot that is between the shoe itself and the outsole.
It represents the shock absorber of your shoe. Running shoes usually have a thicker midsole to make up for the harder impact when running or jumping.

Lateral: The outside of the shoe, meaning the left side of the left sneaker.

Medial: The inside of the shoe, meaning the right side of the left sneaker or the side where
your toe is located.

Tier 0: These are extremely hyped sneakers that will sell for very high resale prices and sold at particular stores and can be used interchangeably with QS “Quick Strike”.

HTM/JTH: This tag refers to an extremely limited triple collaboration. HTM stands for Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield, and Nike’s CEO Mark Parker. This trio has been working together for almost two decades, pushing the boundaries of innovation and sneaker technology. JTH, on the other hand, refers to Justin Timberlake and Tinker Hatfield’s collaboration such as the JTH Air Jordan 3 that includes a few colorways.

PE: “Player Edition” sneakers are designed exclusively for players of a sport and are very limited. They often sell for high resale prices.

NRG: Referring to Nike’s “Energy” team, all special sneakers that have a ton of hype behind them pass through Nike’s NRG team. These include one-off sneakers, collaborations, Player Edition sneakers, and many more. These kicks are almost always reselling for very high prices on the secondary markets.

LE: Simply refers to limited-edition sneakers. Sneakers produced in relatively limited quantities compared to other mass-produced models and are usually sold from a few selected retailers around the world.

GR: Meaning a “General Release” which includes sneakers that can be stocked by most retailers and aren’t particularly limited. People sometimes use this short as Grail, which is the opposite of a General Release.

B-Grade: This is a sneaker that is not up to the normal standards and sells as a defected product
at a discounted price.

Grail: This is a shoe that is super rare and almost impossible to come by.
They usually resell for insanely high prices and this is what every sneakerhead wants to acquire.

Holy Grail: This is almost the exact same as a Grail, but Holy Grails are more like unicorns and
there are usually fewer pairs available than fingers on your hand, especially when it comes to
mint condition pairs.

Colorway: This indicated what colors are included on the shoe, and sometimes nicknames are used such as University Red to pinpoint exactly what type of red is used.

LS: A “Lifestyle” shoe refers to a sneaker that’s meant to be worn casually rather than for a particular sport or exercise.

BNIB: Brand New In Box or BNIB means that the pair have never been touched or worn since they
came out of the factory. This is very important as worn sneakers decrease the resale value
significantly.

PRM: PRM stands for “Premium” sneakers. These include sneakers with the highest quality materials used, however, they’re a standardized release and usually nothing too highly sought after.

ACG: ACG stands for “All Conditions Gear” and includes Nike’s hardcore outdoors sneaker lineup such as Nike’s ACG hiking boots. Recently, there have been a couple of ACG-inspired Nike Dunks, although overall popularity has fallen off for the lineup itself.

SB: Nike has SB branding on some sneakers which means that the sneaker was meant for skateboarding. These sneakers have a more durable toebox and better dampening in the midsole for hard landings.

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Begin your sneaker resale career today. Starts with a FREE preview of our Hypemaster Playbook.
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We respect your privacy. No spam, ever !

Other Terms You Should Know As a Sneakerhead

The PLAYBOOK Asia

Retro: Short for “retrospective”, these releases are usually a re-release of an original colorway.

OG: This refers to the “Original” colorway for a particular sneaker for example the Air Jordan 1 High Chicago. However, it can also mean a brand new release such as the Air Jordan 1 High University Blue.

FSR: “Full-Size Run” as in all sizes are available with a particular seller.
This usually ranges from size 8-14 US sizing.

LPU: Latest Pick-Up, this word is usually used when showing off the latest sneaker raffle win.

WDYWT: A slang for sneakerheads, meaning What did you wear today? and is usually
used for flexing the newly acquired limited apparel.

Beaters: Sneakerheads usually have very expensive shoes that they do not want to wear out. That’s where beaters come in, these are usually inexpensive sneakers that they don’t care if they become rubbish eventually.

ON ice: This refers to a sneaker that is still fresh in the closet, waiting to be used
after the first main pair is broken.

Creps: Crep is a shoe cleaning company with high-quality products that is very popular amongst sneakerheads. Creps is also slang for running shoes.

SE: “Special Edition” sneakers that celebrate an event, such as Superbowl.

ID: “Individually Designed” sneakers that are designed on nikeid.nike.com.
This is also sometimes used as another word for Style Code.

NDC: Simply refers to Nike.com

Uptowns: This is a reference to Nike Air Force as they were very popular in New York.
New York is usually mentioned as uptown.

Deubre: Deubre is a tag usually found on the bottom of the shoelaces close to the toebox.
This iconic piece was first implemented by Nike and is mostly seen on Air Force 1’s.

Aglet: Aglet is a Dutch sneaker company specialized in trading hyped apparel,
very similar to StockX, they also authenticate items before shipping.

Jumpman: This is representing Michael Jordans sneakers. The silhuette is of Jordan himself and has
not changed since 1984 when it was first published.

Flip Flop: This refers to sandals that are usually made for beach walks where normal shoes would get wet or full of sand.
Another term for Flip or Flop means if you should sell the shoe or if it will be worthless.

For more updates on the hottest sneaker releases, follow us on Instagram where we also plan on free giveaways of our flagship Hypemaster Playbook, Subscriptions to our cook group, and more!

Have a profitable week everyone!

Take your reselling game to the next level

Author

Mohammad Yousaf

As a business student, Mohammad was thoroughly impressed with where the secondary market was heading for sneakers. He quickly realized that what used to be considered as a side hustle, was now the main income stream for many. He has studied the game ever since.

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