02.06.2015

The ABCs of Sneakers

Cool kicks let you walk the walk – can you talk the talk?

A is for…

Aglets, which are those hard bits at the end of your shoelaces. Back in the day these used to be plastic but now they can be in materials as lux as gold. (Honourable mentions: Adidas, Asics, athletic shoes, Air Max, AF1, Anthea Poulos, All Stars…)

 

B is for…

Beat-up, the sneakers you always wear. Your old-faithfuls with the scuffs, stains, sloped sole and stench to prove it. Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars look significantly better when beaten. (Honourable mentions: Buscemi, Blacktoes, Bapes, Bespoke, Boost…)

 

C is for…

Colourway, a term you probably already know, but in case you don’t, we’ll tell you. A colourway is the combination of colours that a sneaker is available in. So there you go. (Honourable mentions: Camouflage, Chucks, capsule, clever marketing…)

 

D is for…

Deadstock, a term that’s up for debate. Some believe it to be unsold older stock of a long discontinued sneaker. Others swear that it’s simply a box fresh sneaker that’s never been tried on. Take both of these explanations and come up with your own meaning and we can write it off as a collaboration. (Honourable mentions: Dunks, Disc Blaze, dayum!...)

 

E is for…

Elephant, the crackled print that was first used on the uppers of the Air Jordan III. (Honourable mentions: Euro sizes, empty cart, Excite!...)

 

F is for…

Flyknit, a material introduced by Nike in 2012 that uses a knitted weave for the shoes bootie-style upper. Comfy as slipping into a warm bath. (Honourable mentions: Fong-Kong, fakes, friends and family, Foamposites…)

 

G is for…

G.O.A.T, Greatest Of All Time, which, depending on your tastes could be the Air Force 1, the Chuck Taylor or the adidas Samba. LL Cool J has tried to appropriate the acronym, but the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th. (Honourable mentions: Gazelles, gift, game, grape…)

 

H is for…

Hyperstrike, a sneaker that is kept a secret until its release and then limited to the line of guys camping outside the store, sponsored affiliates and three boutiques in Tokyo that our man Hayden Manuel is probably on his way to. (Honourable mentions: Hypebeast, Huarache, heat, Hakesy…)

 

I is for…

Ice, as in, kept on ice, which is to purchase and then not wear a pair of sneakers in order to sell or wear after the hype’s died down. (Honourable mentions: Insole, IT guy, influencer…)

 

J is for…

Jeremy Scott, the eccentric designer who has done things like put wings, toys and other off-the-wall (apologies to Vans) on shoes for Adidas. (Honourable mentions: Jumpman, J’s, Jordans…)

 

K is for…

K-Swiss, not exactly our sneaker of choice, but it makes the list for two very important reasons: we couldn’t think of anything else that begins with “K” and their Kenny Powers advertising campaign. (Honourable mentions: Kenny Powers, Kenny Fucking Powers, Kenny Powers for K-Swiss…)

 

L is for…

Lows, which is a sneaker cut below the ankle and can also be referred to as a low-top if you want. (Honourable mentions: Losers, limited edition, lining, Labrons, laces, laceless…)

 

M is for…

Mids, the baby-bears of the sneaker world: Just right. Think Dunks and Air Force 1s. (Honourable mentions: 3M, metallic, McQueen…)

 

N is for…

Nubuck, a type of leather that has been sanded on the grain side.  (Honourable mentions: Nike, New Balance..)

 

O is for…

OGs, not a retro or re-release but the first edition. The original. (Honourable mentions: One piece upper, Originals, Onitsuka Tiger…)

 

P is for…

Pack, which is a collection of sneakers, often themed, then released over a short period. (Honourable mentions: Puma, Peter Fahey, prototype…)

 

Q is for…

Quickstrike (or QS), a slightly easier-to-get-hold-of sneaker than a Hyperstrike. It's still limited in quantities and only available via select channels, one of which is our shop. (Honourable mentions: quality,

 

R is for…

Retro, a re-release of a sneaker that gives sneakerheads a chance to grab what they missed out on first time round or have since turned into beaters. (Honourable mentions: Ronnie Fieg, Reebok, reflective material, reseller, Roshe, Red Octobers…)

 

S is for…

SB, which stands for skateboard. Nike’s skateboarding line was introduced in 2002 and Stefan Janoski has a pro-model with the brand. (Honourable mentions: Sneakerhead, Sneaker Pimps, sample size, Shelflife, Shelltoe, signature models, Stan Smith, SK8-Hi, Saucony, Swoosh…)

 

T is for…

Tonal, a single-colour makeup. The sneaker is all one colour. Great for colour blocking if you’re into that sort of thing. (Honourable mentions: Three Stripes, Tongue, tastemaker, Tinker Hatfield…)

 

U is for…

Upper, the part of the sneaker that sits on top of the sole. (Honourable mentions: uptowns, US sizes, Undefeated…)

 

V is for…

VNDS, an acronym you’ll see a lot of on eBay that stands for Very Near Dead Stock, meaning that the shoes are in pristine condition but may have been worn or tried on.  (Honourable mentions: Vans, vault, Visvim…)

 

W is for…

WorldWideWeb, and we’d like to use this opportunity to thank the interwebs for its role in sneaker culture. Not only does it allow us to connect with like minded sneaker heads, (S/O Peter Fahey!) but you can also shop your favourite shoes online, keep up with all sorts of news and there’s a reason why sneakers were so boring before the advent of the net. (Honourable mentions: Waffle sole, worth the wait, waxed, woven…)

 

X is for…

Collaborations, the X means “and”, so a Nike x Superbalist would be our dream of collaborating with Nike on a very special pair of sneaks. Your move Nike. (Honourable mentions: Nope, nothing, help us out in the comments section if you know of anything…)

 

Y is for…

Yeezy. After collaborations with BAPE and Louis Vuitton, Kanye West aka Ye aka The Louis Vuitton Don aka Yeezy, collaborated with Nike and the Air Yeezy was born. Rumour has it that after Nike refused to give Kanye royalties on his product sale he responded by signing a deal with adidas because he needs to feed his family. (Honourable mentions: Yohiji Yamamoto…)

 

Z is for…

Zzzz, which is to say, sleep, something that you should avoid if you want to stay ahead in the sneaker game. So stay woke, look dope and make that paper so you can spend it on sneakers until you’re flat broke. (Honourable mentions: Zipper, zigzag, Zebra print, ZX…)

 

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