Holy Grail, Restock, WTB, OG, Retro… Excuse me? The sneaker scene often speaks English or even Denglish. It's easy to get confused here and there and not understand some terms or abbreviations. We'll shed some light on it and explain every term you should know when interacting with sneakerheads.
The ultimate sneaker lexicon: everything you need to know from A to Z
Aglets sit at the end of the shoelaces. They ensure that the laces do not fray. They are usually made of plastic and have the name of the brand on them. But they are also available in metal. In German they are officially called “Stift”, but this is rarely used.
A beater is a sneaker that you always wear. They are usually leather shoes that are super comfortable, go with everything and are not that expensive. It is a shoe for every everyday situation and it can get dirty.
A bot is short for robot and stands for a computer program that can carry out tasks automatically. During sneaker releases , it is often used by resellers to buy a limited sneaker as quickly as possible. Most online shops try to block bots. That's why you often have to confirm that you are human using a picture puzzle or extra click.
Bred is the abbreviation for Michael Jordan’s legendary “Black & Red” colorway. One of the first Jordan 1 High designs came in the Bred colorway and is still the Holy Grail of many sneakerheads today.
A campout is camping in front of sneaker shops in order to be the first to buy a limited sneaker release. It used to be common for sneakerheads to camp out in front of their favorite shop for several days. With the rise of online retail, it is no longer as common to spend the night in front of a store. But it still happens. When the shop opens on the day of the release, the campers are allowed to enter the shop one by one and secure their shoe. In order to reduce camping in front of the store, some sneaker shops have also introduced (waiting) lists. You can then be added to the list in the shop a few days before the sneaker is released. Then you have to go back to the shop at certain times so that the employees know that you are still interested in the sneaker. You can only buy the shoe on the day of release if you are there for all the checks.
Collab / Collaboration
A collab is the short form for the German word collaboration. This is a creative collaboration between two brands or partners. These can be large sneaker brands together with artists, designers but also sneaker shops. We at Asphaltgold also often work with other brands.
Condition means the condition of the sneaker. This is what you will be asked if you want to resell a sneaker. It is often rated on a scale of 10. But terms are also used that scale the condition:
DS means “Deadstock”, it is a completely new, unworn sneaker that is usually offered in an OG box.
VNDS means “Very Near Deadstock”. The sneaker has been worn very little and has no signs of wear.
NDS means “Near Deadstock”. This sneaker has also been worn very rarely and has little to no signs of wear.
The opinions about the condition are subjective and often differ. That's why it's important to photograph the sneaker including the box in good light. Potential buyers can then see for themselves. Above all, make sure to photograph and communicate every defect and every sign of use in order to avoid later problems.
“Copping” means buying a sneaker. After buying a sneaker, you often see pictures on social media with the caption “copped”, i.e. bought.
Cop or drop
With the question “Cop or Drop” you find out whether you want to “cop” a new sneaker release, i.e. buy it, or whether you “drop” it, i.e. skip it because you don’t think it’s that great. So if someone from the sneaker scene asks you “Cop or Drop”, your opinion on the shoe is wanted.
A custom sneaker is a personalized shoe. Even big brands like Nike and Adidas now offer customization tools online. You can also have a custom sneaker modified by artists, usually with dyes, sole swaps or new applications. Many people “customize” their sneakers themselves at home. A popular method for coloring the upper is coffee.
The abbreviation “CW” refers to the colorway of a sneaker. Translated into German, this means the color palette or color scheme. There are famous colorways on certain silhouettes that are particularly in demand. For example, the Jordan 1 High in the “Chicago” colorway or the Adidas ZX 8000 in “Aqua”. The most sought-after colorways are often the OG colorways, i.e. the colors that were used in the first release of a sneaker, or popular collab colorways. The sought-after CWs often come back to the (virtual) shelves of shops as re-releases or retros.
Deadstock describes the condition of a sneaker. The term is used when selling sneakers. It is the best quality feature because deadstock means that the sneaker is brand new, unworn and undamaged. Strictly speaking, deadstock means that the sneaker has never been taken out of its box. Translated, the word means “dead stock”. So a sneaker from storage.
A dubrae or a lace lock is the (usually metal) application that is placed in the middle of the shoelaces. Although it also serves to decorate the shoe, the purpose of a dubrae is actually to hold the shoelaces in the middle.
The story of the Dubrae is pretty funny. The term was coined in 1994 by Nike designer Damon Clegg. He featured the small shield in his design for an ACG boot. He didn't have a name for the element, so he called it "doobrie" - "thingamajig" in Scottish slang. Nick picked up the term from his college roommate. However, those present understood “doobrie” as a technical term. That’s why “Dubré” is often written as if it were a French word. But it's Glaswegian slang. The Dubrae has appeared on every Air Force 1 Retro since 2006. But other brands such as Adidas, New Balance and Asics now also use Dubraes.
Early Access/Exclusive Access
If you are a loyal fan of a brand and frequently use their app, you may be “gifted” early access/exclusive access. This means you have the chance to buy a limited edition sneaker before anyone else.
F&F (Friends and Family)
F&F sneakers mean Friends and Family versions. F&F sneakers are not available for public sale. These are exclusive special editions of sneakers. Exclusive collaborations often also have an F&F version for the team involved or are given away to people. These versions can be resold for a lot of money. However, this is not welcomed because an F&F sneaker is always special and was a gift. And of course you don't want a gift to make tons of money.
The most common name for fake shoes is “fake sneakers”. The terms “Fufu and Replica” are also used.
General Release (GR)
A general release, often abbreviated as “GR”, is a non-limited sneaker that comes onto the market again and again. The best example of this is the Air Force 1 from Nike. A general release is also called an “inline release”.
“Heat” refers to coveted sneakers that are very difficult to get and only with a lot of luck. They usually also have a very high market value.
In the sneaker world, the Holy Grail means THE shoe. The one shoe that is everything to you. The one you may have been looking for for years or decades in your size, or for a good price. Or you will never get it because there are only a very limited number of them available. You could also call the sneaker your favorite sneaker, but that wouldn't do it justice. For many, the Nike Air Mag, for example, is a grail.
A hookup is the help of another sneakerhead who picks up or buys a sneaker for you from a shop you can't go to yourself. He will bring it to you or ship it to you if you are too far away. In German it can best be equated with a favor.
A hot drop is a hot release. A sneaker that is in high demand and not easy to get. In this context, the question is often asked “Hot or Not?”, similar to “Cop or Drop?”.
Hypebeasts are people who always wear the latest (often limited edition) sneakers and the hottest clothing. You are always on the trail of the latest piece. You only buy what is currently being hotly discussed and celebrated.
The jumpan refers to the logo of Michael Jordan sneakers. You can see the silhouette of a person jumping and chasing the ball. Along with Nike's "Swoosh" and Adidas' "Trefoil," the Jumpman is the most recognizable logo in the world of sneakers. The Jumpman can only be found on Air Jordan sneakers.
The term “lacing” refers to the way the shoelaces are laced. There are many ways to thread your shoelaces and almost no sneakerhead avoids the classic “factory lacing”. This refers to the lacing directly from the factories. The majority of people thread the laces through the hole from below, with the shoelace that is on top always being from the inside of the shoe.
A launch (in German: Start/Introduction) is equivalent to a release. The launch date is the day on which the sneaker is released.
A leak refers to the (un)intentional appearance of photos of a sneaker. This happens relatively often. Therefore, one can assume that one or two leaks are wanted or tolerated by the brands.
You should carry out a “legit check” (in German: authenticity check) when you buy a sneaker online. Some resell platforms offer a legitimacy check from professionals. But there are also online communities that try to check a sneaker for authenticity using photos.
LPU (Latest Pick Up)
LPU means “Latest Pick-Up”, which means the most recent shoe purchase you made. On the Internet, the term is often abbreviated as LPU, so every sneakerhead knows briefly what the new addition to your sneaker collection is.
Translated, “Mesh” means “network” in German. Mesh refers to a certain material on the upper of a sneaker. It is a wafer-thin fabric with very thin polyester or nylon threads.
Low, mid, high
The terms “Low”, “Mid” and “High” stand for the shaft length of the sneaker. Some silhouettes come in all variations. The most famous example is the Air Jordan 1, which is available in “Low”, “Mid” and “High”. The most popular is the Jordan 1 High.
Midsole is the middle sole of the sneaker. The entire sole usually consists of three parts: insole, midsole and outsole. The midsole is the most important sole that provides cushioning. The Air Bubbles of the Nike Air Max are also located in the midsole.
GS (Grade School)
With “GS” you can tell if a sneaker only comes in Grade School sizes. “Grade School” means elementary school (7-15 years) in German and indicates that the sneaker only comes in sizes EU 35.5 - EU 39. Since the sizes can also be worn by adults with smaller feet, GS releases are also interesting in the sneaker world. There is also the addition “PS”, which stands for Preschool and the sizes EU 27.5 - EU 35, and “TD”, which stands for Toddler and the sizes EU 17 - EU 27.
The “OG Box” refers to the original box of the sneakers. Especially when reselling sneakers, it is important to state whether the OG box is present and what condition it is in. So it's worth keeping the box if you plan to resell your shoes at some point.
OG sneakers/OG release
“OG sneakers” refer to sneakers that were the first to come onto the market. For example, the Air Max 1 from 1987 in the “University Red” colorway. An OG release is a re-release of an original colorway from before. The releases often enjoy enormous demand, sell out quickly and usually cost more in resale than you would like to pay.
With the addition “On-Feet” you can find sneakers that can be seen worn on the foot. We often use on-feet images for sneakers so you can get a feel for what the shoe looks like. With the hashtag #WOMFT, sneakerheads like to show off their sneakers on feet.
The outsole is the lowest sole with the profile. So the part that actually touches the ground. It often comes in a different color than the midsole.
PE (Player Exclusives)
"PE" sneakers are rare. The addition stands for “Player Exclusives”. They are designed specifically for professional athletes and there are usually no more than a handful of pairs that are not available for sale unless someone resells their own pair.
“Pinroll” refers to a technique for wearing your pants. To do this, fold the trouser legs tightly around your leg and fold them over two or three times. This way you can see the sneakers perfectly. The “Pinroll” is currently no longer worn frequently. Here and there you can see old school sneakerheads sticking to the trend.
A “plug” or “sneaker plug” is someone who can get you sneakers. Either because he is based at a source (works in a store) or has contacts. Plugs you know will resell the shoe to you for the retail price, but there are also people who act as resellers and resell the sneakers for a more expensive price.
PS (Primary School)
You can tell by the addition “PS” whether a sneaker is only available in PS sizes. The addition stands for primary school. The shoes are only available in sizes EU 27.5 - EU 35. There is also the addition “GS”, which stands for Grade School and the sizes EU 35.5 - EU 39, and “TD”, which stands for Toddler and the sizes EU 17 - EU 27 stands.
There are still sneakers here and there that are marked with the addition “QS”. Actually, this once meant exclusive releases that were dropped without announcement and in limited editions. The release dates are now usually known in advance.
It is also interesting that only sneaker stores that have Quickstrike status can sell exclusive releases. Nike decides which shop gets this status.
A “raffle” is, in a sense, a competition. A slightly different competition because you then win the right to buy the sneaker. Raffles are made by sneaker stores to ensure a fair distribution of limited edition sneakers. And: to equalize the traffic on your online shops. If a sneaker appears via Raffle, you must register for it, provide the size, your address and the payment method. On a set date (usually the release date of the sneaker) there is a draw to see who wins the shoe.
A release means the day the sneakers are released. There are exclusive, limited releases or general releases that appear in large quantities without much advertising.
“Resell” means the resale of sneakers. The market for this is now very large, as there are more and more platforms (StockX, eBay, Grailed, etc.) that make it easier to resell sneakers. Some sneakerheads are full-time “resellers”. They buy a lot of limited edition sneakers (often via bots) and resell them for a much more expensive price. This happens via online platforms or in person. Resellers are also part of the world of sneakers, but are often frowned upon because they buy the sneakers from under the noses of real fans who want to buy a sneaker at the normal price.
A re-release means the renewed sale of a specific model. Popular sneakers, such as the Jordan 1 High Chicago, have a re-release every few years so you have the chance to buy a coveted and sold-out sneaker again.
A restock stands for sneakers that come online again. The Air Force 1 is often sold out, but often comes back into the shops via “restock”.
A “retro” is very similar to a re-release. When a sneaker comes back onto the market labeled as retro, it means that it is very similar to its predecessor. There are also re-releases that differ slightly from the actual sneaker, be it because the shape is different or the sole has been modified.
A sample is a prototype of a sneaker. Before a sneaker goes into production, samples are created. These patterns can be used to decide whether certain parts of the shoe still need to be changed. But there are also legendary sneakers of which there are only samples because they were never put into production. A famous example is the Freddy Kruger Dunk, which was never allowed to be produced. However, some samples made it out of the factory and are now being sold for five-figure sums. Sneaker designs are often “leaked” on social media platforms with the first images of the samples.
Scammers are fraudsters. They are trying to sell you a fake shoe as an original. Or they ask you for money and you never get the shoe. There are a lot of scammers in the sneaker scene. That's why you should always be careful when buying shoes privately.
SE (Special Edition)
“SE” stands for Special Edition. Some manufacturers use the term to identify special sneakers.
Shock Drop/Surprise Drop
Shock Drop or Surprise Drop refers to sneakers that appear without much notice or before the release date. At Nike, Shock Drops are also called “Quickstrike”.
Size Run (SR)
In German, the size run refers to the size chart of a sneaker. A size run for men starts at size EU 40. A size run for women starts at EU 35.5.
Sneakerheads are people who care a lot about sneakers and are therefore very knowledgeable or simply collect a lot of sneakers. You could also say sneaker fans, but sneakerheads just sounds better.
A sole swap means exchanging a sole. The original sole is removed and replaced with a new sole. Sneakerheads often do this when an old sole is broken or because they no longer like the original sole but really want to keep the shoe.
The term “stacked” means that your pants fall over your sneakers. The opposite of “Pinroll”.
“Suede” is another word for suede or suede. It describes all types of leather with a rough surface.
You can tell by the addition “TD” whether a sneaker is only available in TD sizes. The addition stands for Toddler, i.e. babies. The shoes are only available in sizes EU 17 - EU 27. There is also the addition “GS”, which stands for Grade School and the sizes EU 35.5 - EU 39, and “PS”, which stands for Primary School and the sizes EU 27.5 - EU 35 stands.
Toe Box is the English word for toe cap. So the part that covers the toes at the front of the sneaker. There are different designs of the toe box and the term is often used to describe the design of a sneaker.
TTS (True to Size)
TTS means “True To Size”. You can use the abbreviation if you want to say that the sneaker fits exactly as stated in the size. You do this because there are also some sneakers that are smaller or larger.
“Unboxing” means “unpacking”. There are a lot of people, especially influencers, who show the unboxing of their sneakers. You can see all the details of the shoe and what else may be in the box.
The “upper” refers to the base of the sneaker. So the entire part above the sole.
W or L?
The question “W or L?” is asked about sought-after and limited releases. It's called: “Win or Lose”. If you got a sneaker that was hard to get, you can answer the question with “W”. If you came away empty-handed, write “L”.
WOMFT (What's On My Feet Today)
“WOMFT” stands for “What’s On My Feet Today”. The term is often used as an abbreviation in hashtags to show many interested people which sneakers you wore that day.
WTB (Want To Buy)
“WTB” stands for “Want to Buy”, which is a quick way to say that you want to buy a sneaker. The abbreviation is often used in communities to indicate whether you want to buy, sell or trade a sneaker.
WTT (Want To Trade)
“WTT” stands for “Want to Trade”, which is a quick way to say that you want to trade a sneaker. The abbreviation is often used in communities to indicate whether you want to buy, sell or trade a sneaker.
WTS (Want To Sell)
“WTS” stands for “Want to Sell”, which is a quick way to say that you want to sell a sneaker. The abbreviation is often used in communities to indicate whether you want to buy, sell or trade a sneaker.