Sneaker Terminologies: A Complete Guide to Sneaker Terms and Phrases
Here we explain Sneaker Terminologies, Phrases, and Jargons to understand the sneaker lingo better.
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 let’s get right to it without further adieu!
Resale Market Sneaker Terminologies
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: Want to Buy
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 for a person requesting to buy a specific sneaker.
WTS: Want to Sell
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 who wants to sell a particular sneaker.
WTT: Want to Trade
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”.
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 laces are also similar to DS. It means the sneakers are unused and laced the same way as they were out of the factory. DS and Factory Laced can usually be used interchangeably.
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: Or Best Offer
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
New With Tags, meaning these sneakers are as close to brand new as possible.
People usually use this term when they get sneakers that are not in their correct size,
so they list them on the market again.
LC: Legit Check
An LC or “Legit Check” refers to a request by the buyer for clear and descriptive pictures to authenticate the legitimacy of the sneakers. Countless fakes are 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.
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.
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: True to Size
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.
This refers to a person who usually sells items on the secondary market for a higher price than originally listed in the store.
This is a slang term resellers use when a buyer backs off last minute after all the details of the transaction have been confirmed. It can be quite frustrating for sellers, however, StockX has offered a solution to 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 to 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”
This means that sneakers are worth nothing, or even resell under retail price, making you lose money.
People who breathe for scarce and limited fashion apparel are usually called Hypebeasts and are different from Sneakerheads.
People who have sneakers as their hobby. Sneakerheads are usually collectors with multiple pairs at home and pride themselves on acquiring rare releases.
This means to purchase. “I copped these Air Force 1’s kicks today”
This is another word for shoes/sneakers. “Those are some great kicks you’ve got!”
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)
These words are 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
New Old Stock means an old unsold sneaker release that has just been sitting on shelves for some time.
Bulk: This means you have multiple pairs and are willing to sell/buy them for a discounted price.
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.
SP: Special Project
This term refers to Nike sneakers that are 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: Hyper Strike
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: Quick Strike
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.
This is the area where your toes are located in the shoe. They usually have breathing holes on top to prevent odors.
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.
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
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.
The outside of the shoe, meaning the left side of the left sneaker.
The inside of the shoe, meaning the right side of the left sneaker or the side where
your toe is located.
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”.
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
“Player Edition” sneakers are designed exclusively for players of a sport and are very limited. They often sell for high resale prices.
NRG: Nike’s “Energy” team
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.
Simply refers to limited-edition sneakers. Sneakers are produced in relatively limited quantities compared to other mass-produced models and are usually sold from a few selected retailers around the world.
GR: General Release
This means 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.
This is a sneaker that is not up to the normal standards and sells as a defective product
at a discounted price.
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.
This is almost the same as the 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.
This indicates 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.
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
Brand New In Box or BNIB means that the pair has never been touched or worn since they
came out of the factory. This is very important as worn sneakers decrease the resale value
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: All Conditions Gear
ACG stands for “All Conditions Gear” and includes Nike’s hardcore outdoor 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.
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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Other Terms You Should Know As a Sneakerhead
Short for “retrospective”, these releases are usually a re-release of an original colorway.
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
“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
Latest Pick-Up, this word is usually used when showing off the latest sneaker raffle win.
WDYWT: What did you wear today
A slang for sneakerheads, meaning What did you wear today? is usually
used for flexing the newly acquired limited apparel.
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.
This refers to a sneaker that is still fresh in the closet, waiting to be used
after the first main pair is broken.
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
“Special Edition” sneakers that celebrate an event, such as the Superbowl.
ID: Individually Designed
“Individually Designed” sneakers that are designed on nikeid.nike.com.
This is also sometimes used as another word for Style Code.
Simply refers to Nike.com
This refers to Nike Air Force as they were trendy in New York.
New York is usually mentioned as uptown.
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 is a Dutch sneaker company specializing in trading hyped apparel,
very similar to StockX, they also authenticate items before shipping.
This represents Michael Jordans sneakers. The silhouette is of Jordan himself and has
not changed since 1984 when it was first published.
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.
Have a profitable week everyone!