Every culture has its own unique slang that helps dedicated connoisseurs stay in tune with what they love to do. Sneakers aren’t much different, fanatics use these terms on a daily basis to communicate with each other. Ever wonder what does DEADSTOCK mean? Well, you came to the right place. We will school you on all of the trendy words that make up the sneaker culture.

Types Of Collectors

Sneakerhead – A person who is decently knowledgeable about many brands of sneaker models, styles & history. Also, collect and WEAR their sneakers.

Jordan Head – A person who collect/wear Jordan sneakers and is decently knowledgeable about the history and sneakers by Jordan Brand. Normally just their signature models.

Sneaker Collector – A person who appreciates the sneaker culture and collects (sometimes rare) sneakers for the purpose of displaying or stocking them, without the intentions of wearing them.

Hypebeast – A person who takes the Streetwear culture up a notch and wears some of the most sought-after items available ONLY Because there’s hype surrounding it. (see ‘hype’ below)

Conditions Of Sneakers

Deadstock – DS – Is one of the most common terms used amongst sneakerheads. It implies that the shoe up for sale is brand new and never worn or tried on.

Very Near Deadstock – VNDS – If a shoe is worn slightly but is close to deadstock condition.

Near Deadstock – NDS – If a shoe is worn consecutively and shows slight wear but can pass as deadstock if cleaned and worked on.

New In Box – NIB – Shoes that are never taken out of original packaging and are offered to consumers using the aforementioned terminology.

Beater – A shoe that is worn on a daily basis without care. They are likely in a very ‘worn-down’ condition.

Original – OG – A shoe that was introduced before a retro version was released. This term is best associated with Nike shoes.

Type Of Release

Retro – A shoe that is re-released and molded to the specification of the original model.

Limited Edition – LE – A shoe that is produced in limited quantities and is only available through a select few retailers.

Lifestyle – LS – A special release typically associated with Jordan Brand which ties in matching clothing and sneakers. Generally, lifestyle releases are limited.

Special Edition – SE – A shoe that celebrates a certain occasion and is released in limited quantities. This term is best associated with Nike shoes.

Player Exclusive – PE – A shoe that was produced under the supervision of a specific athlete and customized with certain colors or patterns that are designed accordingly to the athlete’s team or country affiliation.

Quickstrike – A shoe that is released in limited quantities in specialized retail stores.

Hyper-Strike – A shoe that is released in extremely limited quantities and is not advertised or promoted till the shoe is made available to the public.

General Release – GR – A shoe that is made available by most sneaker retailers, it is not a limited model and can be obtained quite easily when released.

Heat – Sneakers that are extremely sought after for both their limited quantities and their attractive aesthetic design. Some may be hard to find shoe models that are no longer available in retail stores.

Holy Grail (or just Grail)- A shoe that has both sentimental and monetary value to the owner and supersedes the rest of the shoes in one’s collection.


Air Max – AM – Nike initially introduced the Air Max technology in 1987 on the Nike Air Max 1. The shoe is supported by an air cushioning that is placed underneath the foot.

Aglet – The tips on the shoelaces. Often plastic or metal material.

Reflective Material – 3M – A reflective technology commonly placed on sneakers produced by corporate conglomerate Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.

No Fly Wire – NFW – Futuristic Nike models have incorporated the special flyer wire material, several pairs that are associated with the material were not produced with it and were categorized by NFW.

ACG – All Conditions Gear – Is 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.

Brand Specific

Jordan Brand – JB – A shoe line based on Michael Jordan. Sneakers that part of the line are also associated with the Air Jordan trademark. – NDC – An abbreviation/shorthand way of referring to Nike’s official website.

Blue Ribbon Sports – BRS – The original footwear company started by Phil Knight. It would eventually lead to the establishment of Nike.

Nike SNKRS App – SNKRS – Reference to Nike’s mobile application for sneakers. Available for iOS & Android.

Defining Moments Package – DMP – A package which consisted of an Air Jordan XI and Air Jordan VI, the release celebrated two pivotal points in Michael Jordan’s career. The package was limited and is a highly sought after item.

Air Force 1 – AF1 – One of the first trendsetting shoes that comes in a traditional white/white colorway and over 3000+ random colorways. The shoe is produced by Nike and is one of the best selling shoes of all time.

Colorway – Referrer to the colors of the sneaker.

Bred – A Jordan shoe with a black and red colorway.

Cool Gray – CG – CG – Cool Grey, usually used when talking about the Air Jordan 3, 4, 9, or 11


Grade School – GS – Shoes produced for infants and children often in ‘gender neutral’ colors. (Size 3.5y – 7) Extended Grade School goes up to a size 9.5 (in men)

Boys-Grade School – BG – Shoes produced for children but designed with more ‘masculine’ boyish colors. (Size 3.5y – 7)

Girls-Grade School – GG – Shoes produced for children but designed with more ‘feminine’ girl-ish colors. (Size 3.5y – 7)

Pre-School – PS – Shoes produced for pre-school sized children. ( size 10.5c – 3)

Toddler Sizes – TS – Shoes produced for toddler children. (Size 02.0c – 10c)

Production Types

Legit/Authentic – Sneakers produced by and with the consent of the official brands in their factories & with their knowledge. Guaranteed legit at popular chain stores (ie: footlocker, Eastbay etc), sneaker boutiques & respective brand stores/website.

Sample – A shoe that is used for either promotional or wear test purposes.

Prototype – A sample that is never released to the public and is typically used for wear test purposes.

B-Grade – A shoe with flaws that are made available at manufacturer outlet stores.

Unauthorized Pair – A shoe made in the same factories as OFFICIAL sneakers, but without the knowledge of Nike, adidas etc.

Replica – Sneakers made to look like the Authentic authorized pair, often of decent quality and similar (but different) materials.

Fakes – Sneakers produced by unauthorized manufacturers. Often in colors and materials never used by official brands, of VERY poor quality and cheap materials.


Hype – A product that receives a lot of attention & interest; often before the actual release date.

Collaboration – X – It is common among footwear companies and streetwear brands to collaborate on projects. To symbolize the combination an “X” would be used between the two company names I.E. adidas x 10 Deep.

HTM – A set of shoes designed by Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield, and Mark Parker. HTM is the first letter of each designers name.

P-Rod – A line of shoes themed behind skateboarder Paul Rodriguez.

Skateboard – SB – A shoe line dedicated to Skateboarding.

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