Why understanding these terms is important for navigating the market.
B-grade - A pair of sneakers with minor cosmetic flaws that are sold at a discounted price.
Beater - A pair of sneakers that are heavily worn or damaged, often used for everyday wear.
Camp out - The act of waiting outside a store or location for an extended period to ensure the chance to purchase a highly coveted sneaker release.
Collab - Short for collaboration, this term refers to a sneaker produced through a partnership between two brands or designers.
Cop - The act of purchasing a pair of sneakers.
Deadstock - Refers to a brand-new, unworn pair of sneakers that are no longer in production.
Deubré - A small metal or plastic tag that is attached to the laces of a sneaker, typically near the toe box. Deubrés are often used for branding purposes, and can feature a logo or other design.
Drop - The release of a new sneaker, often accompanied by hype and excitement.
Exclusive - A sneaker that is only available in limited quantities or at specific retailers.
Fake - A pair of sneakers that are not authentic or genuine.
First come first serve - A release method where sneakers are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Fire - A slang term used to describe a particularly desirable or popular sneaker model.
Friends and family - A sneaker release that is exclusive to the friends and family of a brand or designer.
FSR - An abbreviation that stands for "full size run." This term is commonly used by sneaker retailers to indicate that they have a particular style of shoe available in all sizes, from men's size 4 to men's size 13.
General release - A sneaker that is widely available and not limited in production or distribution.
Goat - An abbreviation that stands for "Greatest Of All Time." This term is often used to describe particularly sought-after or iconic sneaker models.
Grail - A term used to describe a particularly rare or coveted sneaker model. The "grail" sneaker is often considered the ultimate goal for collectors.
Hype - The excitement and anticipation surrounding a highly coveted sneaker release.
Hypebeast - A term used to describe someone who follows the latest trends in streetwear and sneakers, often at the expense of individual style.
Laceswap - The act of changing the shoelaces of a sneaker to customize its appearance.
Legit check - The process of authenticating a pair of sneakers to ensure that they are genuine.
Locklace - A type of shoelace that is designed to stay in place once tied. Locklaces are typically made of elastic material and feature a locking mechanism that keeps the lace from slipping or coming untied.
LPU - An abbreviation that stands for "Latest Pick Up." This term is often used on social media to indicate that someone has recently acquired a new pair of sneakers, and is sharing photos or information about the purchase.
On ice - A term used to describe a pair of sneakers that a reseller is holding onto, waiting for the right time to sell. Sneakers that are "on ice" are often in high demand and can command higher prices later on.
Plug - Slang term used to describe a source for limited-release sneakers. A "plug" can be a person or a website that provides early access to sneakers or insider information on upcoming releases.
Proxy - A network or server that allows a user to access a website or online service from a different location than their own. Proxies are often used by resellers to conceal their location and identity when purchasing limited-release sneakers.
Quickstrike - A sneaker release that is unexpected and often without prior announcement.
Raffle - A release method where sneakers are distributed through a random selection process. We have a detailed article about this topic here.
Restock - The act of a brand or retailer restocking a previously sold-out sneaker.
Rock - The act of wearing a pair of sneakers.
Sample - An early version or prototype of a sneaker model produced before the final release to the public. Samples are limited in quantity and highly sought after by collectors for their uniqueness and rarity.
Silhouette - The shape and design of a sneaker.
Slept on - A term used to describe a sneaker model that was initially overlooked or undervalued by collectors, but has since gained popularity and increased in value on the resale market. If a sneaker is "slept on," it means it was underestimated and is now considered a hidden gem by collectors.
Sneaker rotation - The selection of sneakers that a person regularly wears.
Sneaker trade - The act of trading sneakers with other collectors or enthusiasts.
Sneaker trend - A particular style or design that is popular in the sneaker market.
Sneaker verification - The process of authenticating a pair of sneakers to ensure that they are genuine.
Sneakerhead - Someone who is passionate about sneakers and collects them as a hobby.
Sneaker culture - The subculture that has developed around the sneaker market, including collectors, enthusiasts, and designers.
Sole swap - The act of replacing the sole of a sneaker to customize its appearance or improve its performance.
Take an L - The act of losing out on the chance to purchase a highly coveted sneaker release.
Tier zero - A limited edition sneaker release that is only available at select retailers.
UNDS - Short for "unbox and wear," this term refers to the act of unboxing a brand-new pair of sneakers and immediately wearing them. It comes from DS “deadstock, meaning a perso having a pair and keeping it unworn.
Vintage - A term used to describe older, often rare or collectible, sneakers.
Brand related terms
Bred - Refers to a sneaker model that features the classic black and red colorway that was first introduced by the original Air Jordan sneakers in 1985. This iconic color combination has become synonymous with the Air Jordan brand and is a highly sought-after design among sneaker collectors.
HS - "Hyperstrike" is a term used to describe sneakers that are even rarer than QS models and may only be available at Nike.
NRG - It's term that stands for "Energy," and Nike typically reserves this designation for particularly noteworthy, hype-worthy projects, such as the Air Yeezy 2 and Union x Air Jordan 1.
PRM - "Premium" is an acronym that Nike uses to describe sneakers that are a level above GRs due to their use of high-quality materials and intricate design details.
SP - "Special Project" is an abbreviation commonly used by Nike to indicate that a sneaker is constructed from premium materials, created by the NikeLab team, or the result of a collaboration.
QS - Stands for "Quickstrike," and if a Swoosh sneaker incorporates QS into its name, it means that it was or will be released in limited quantities. As a result, sneakerheads must act quickly if they want to get their hands on a pair of QS kicks.
Cooked: A term used to describe a successful purchase of a limited-release sneaker. If a reseller has "cooked" a pair of sneakers, it means they were able to purchase them successfully and can now sell them for a profit.
Backdoor - The act of obtaining a pair of sneakers through unofficial channels, such as insider connections or special favors.
BIN: "Buy It Now" refers to a fixed price set by a seller for their sneakers. It typically indicates that the price is non-negotiable and there is no room for haggling.
Bot: A software program that automates the process of purchasing sneakers online. Bots are often used by resellers to quickly buy up limited-release sneakers before they sell out.
Brick - A pair of sneakers that are difficult to sell and often sit on shelves for an extended period, or the act of buying a sneaker that ultimately fails to hold its value or sell for a profit.
Resell - The act of buying a sneaker with the intent to sell it for a profit.
Sitting: A term used to describe a pair of sneakers that are still available for purchase, even after the release date has passed. Sneakers that are "sitting" may not be in high demand and may not sell for as high of a price on the resale market.
WTB: If you're a collector or a hypebeast in search of a particular pair of sneakers, you might come across the acronym "WTB," which stands for "Want To Buy." This abbreviation is commonly used in buying and selling groups.
WTS: When someone wants to sell a pair of sneakers, they may use the abbreviation "WTS," which stands for "Want To Sell." This acronym is frequently used in the resale market.
WTT: "Want To Trade," abbreviated as "WTT," is a term that you may encounter several times in sneaker forums. The person may also provide a list of sneakers they're willing to accept as part of a trade.
Now that you have a better understanding of the language of the sneaker market, you can confidently navigate the market and engage with other collectors and enthusiasts. Whether you're looking to build your collection, stay on top of trends, or just appreciate the artistry of sneaker design, this glossary will help you speak the language of the community.