Do you know your beaters from your bespokes? Your deadstock from your deubre? Chances are, unless you’re a certified sneakerhead, you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about!
As sneaker culture has grown over the past few decades, so has a fascinating vocabulary of strange new words that only those passionate about footwear would actually understand. For those new to the world of exclusive sneakers, grasping this new vernacular can be somewhat tricky, so we decided to give you a leg-up and offer a brief explanation of some of our most commonly-used words.
Ever wondered what those little plastic things are on the end of your laces are called? Well, now you know.
Your beaters are that pair you always wear, despite the fact they’ve seen better days. We all have a pair of beaters and they often form the backbone of most sneaker head’s collection.
Many designs will be released in a range of different colour palettes. Usually nothing is different except the colour, and down here in Sneaker-Ville we refer to them as colourways.
If you’re purchasing a pair of kicks that a referred to as Deadstock, it means they’ve never been worn.
This word was invented by Nike, and it’s the name for an ornamental shoelace tag centred between the first two eyelets. Okay, so it’s a fancy word for shoelace tag, but I know which one sounds best!
These are a sneakerhead’s most prized pair of kicks, which they’ll do practically anything to own. Without your grails, your sneaker collection will never be complete – and neither will you!
This refers to the collaboration between the trio Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker – 3 legends in the sneaker world. The 3 letters denote each of the designers’ first initial.
This one’s easy, but in case you’re a true novice who’s just entering the arena then high tops are taller sneakers that have a high back, which was traditionally invented to provide added ankle support.
These are the most exclusive sneakers of all. Usually, these will have been given to the friends and families or artists or designers. Chances are you’ll never come across any, but it’s worth knowing the terminology, nonetheless.
This generally refers to a person who is passionate about fashionable items, be it clothing, gadgets or in our case shoes.
Ever seen the logo on the Jordan Brand gear? That silhouette of Michael Jordan is the Jumpman logo… don’t forget it.
Lows or low tops are sneakers that are cut low below the ankle.
No prizes for getting this one right. Yep, you’ve guessed it – mids are a style of shoe with a mid-cut.
Whenever a shoe is referred to as an OG, it means the first time it was released. There may be retros or re-releases which are basically reintroductions of the OG.
When a shoe is designed for a specific player before hitting the shelves – say for instance the Jayson Tatum from Jordan Brand – then they’re known as player-edition.
Similar to the player-edition but with this type of shoe, the design was never meant for retail and will usually only come in the size of the athlete. Often extremely rare.
if you’ve got a pair of sneakers boxed up that have yet to be worn, you’d refer to them as being “on ice”.
These are rare sneakers, although not quite as rare as Hyperstrike. They’re usually only released in the most exclusive sneaker outlets dotted around the world, so better save for your flight ticket if you plan on bagging a pair!
This one’s pretty self-explanatory but it’s one of the most important phrases in the game so we thought we’d explain it anyway. A reseller is someone who buys sneakers and sells them on at a profit.
When a sneaker that’s come out before receives a new release, this is known as a retro.
This refers to the number of trainers a retailer or reseller has. If there’s a full size run then the shoe should be available in 6-12.
In short, if you come across the word “tonal” then it means the style in question is all the same colour.
That’s you, probably! A sneakerhead is someone who’s passionate about sneakers, so presuming you haven’t landed on this page by accident then you probably qualify as one yourself.
So now we’ve taken you though many of the most commonly-used words and phrases, hopefully you won’t feel like an alien from out of space the next time you come across some of them. If you’re here because you’re on the hunt for exclusive style from Yeezy, Air Jordan or any other popular brand then head over to our resale market and check out our massive selection now.