Slang for Shoes

Welcome to the Slangpedia entry on “shoes”!👟👠👞

Stepping into the world of fashionable footwear lingo? For style enthusiasts and the curious, familiarizing oneself with slang terms, words, and their meanings linked to “kicks”, “sneaks”, or “creps” is an intriguing venture. Without further ado, here’s our comprehensive guide to slang terms for ‘shoes’, rounded off with related phrases and idioms that lace up the world of shoes with flair:


  • Meaning: Shoes, especially stylish or new footwear.
  • Origin: The term is believed to come from the verb “kick” as shoes are worn on the feet which we use to kick. The usage became popular in urban communities and has been frequently used in hip-hop culture.
  • Usage: “Check out my new kicks! Just got them yesterday.”


  • Meaning: Refers specifically to Jordan brand sneakers.
  • Origin: “J’s” is short for “Jordans.” Michael Jordan, the basketball legend, has his line of sneakers, and they are among the most popular and recognizable in the world.
  • Usage: “He’s rocking the latest J’s; they look fresh.”


  • Meaning: Highly sought-after and rare shoes that someone has been wanting for a long time.
  • Origin: Derived from the term “Holy Grail,” which is an object of quest or great significance. In sneaker culture, it means a pair of shoes that is extremely desired.
  • Usage: “Those limited edition Nikes are my grails.”


  • Meaning: Really stylish, sought-after, or popular shoes.
  • Origin: In various cultures, “heat” can refer to something that’s hot or on fire. In the sneaker world, a pair of “heat” is a pair that stands out or is highly desired.
  • Usage: “He’s always got some heat on his feet.”


  • Meaning: Shoes that are worn out or old. Typically used for everyday activities and not taken care of as much as other pairs.
  • Origin: The term likely comes from the idea that these shoes “take a beating” because they’re worn so frequently and in various conditions.
  • Usage: “I just wear my beaters when I’m running errands.”


  • Meaning: Refers to Nike Air Force 1s.
  • Origin: This term originated in New York City. The Nike Air Force 1 is popular in Harlem (located uptown in Manhattan), leading to the nickname.
  • Usage: “I got a clean pair of white uptowns yesterday.”

Lo-tops/Low cuts

  • Meaning: Shoes that do not cover the ankle, as opposed to high-top shoes.
  • Origin: The name describes the cut of the shoe, which is lower than ankle height.
  • Usage: “I prefer lo-tops for summer, they’re more breathable.”


  • Meaning: Shoes that have a height between low-tops and high-tops.
  • Origin: Short for “mid-tops,” these shoes hit the ankle but don’t cover it entirely.
  • Usage: “These mids are perfect for both style and comfort.”


  • Meaning: A person who collects, trades, or is passionate about sneakers.
  • Origin: The term combines “sneaker” with “head,” a slang term used to describe someone who is very involved or interested in a particular culture or activity.
  • Usage: “My friend is such a sneakerhead; he must have over 100 pairs!”


  • Meaning: Refers to Nike Dunk shoes.
  • Origin: Named after the Nike Dunk model, which has become popular and iconic over the years.
  • Usage: “Those Dunks are limited edition, right?”


  • Meaning: Someone who can provide hard-to-find shoes or sneakers, often at retail price or lower.
  • Origin: The term “plug” in general slang refers to a reliable supplier or connection. In sneaker culture, it’s someone who can source rare kicks.
  • Usage: “I need the new releases! Do you know a plug?”

Deadstock (DS)

  • Meaning: Shoes that have never been worn and are in their original condition.
  • Origin: “Stock” refers to inventory, and “dead” means it’s been untouched or unsold. In sneaker culture, it indicates pristine condition.
  • Usage: “I got these Jordans in deadstock condition.”


  • Meaning: Original or first release, often used to describe a shoe that’s the first of its model or colorway.
  • Origin: Short for “original.”
  • Usage: “These aren’t the retros, they’re the OGs.”


  • Meaning: Re-releases of original shoe designs.
  • Origin: Derived from “retro” which means imitative of a style from the recent past.
  • Usage: “The retros are cool, but I wish I had the OG pair.”

On Ice

  • Meaning: Shoes that are kept in mint condition and not worn, often stored safely to preserve their condition.
  • Origin: Items kept “on ice” are being preserved or saved for later.
  • Usage: “I have those sneakers, but they’re on ice until a special occasion.”


  • Meaning: Refers to losses, often used when someone misses out on a shoe release.
  • Origin: “L” stands for “loss.”
  • Usage: “Took major Ls trying to get those Yeezys this morning.”


  • Meaning: Successfully purchased, especially in the context of shoes.
  • Origin: Urban slang for having acquired or gotten something.
  • Usage: “Just copped the latest drops from the store.”


  • Meaning: A popular colorway in sneakers, usually black and red.
  • Origin: Combination of “black” and “red.”
  • Usage: “The bred colorway always sells out fast.”


  • Meaning: Refers to the Adidas NMD line of shoes.
  • Origin: NMD stands for “Nomad.”
  • Usage: “Those NMDs are so comfortable for daily wear.”

Triple White

  • Meaning: Shoes that are all white, including the sole, upper, and laces.
  • Origin: The term describes the monochromatic white color scheme.
  • Usage: “Triple whites are sleek, but they get dirty easily.”

That’s it for our list of slang phrases for “shoes”. We hope you’ve found this compilation enlightening. While the world of slang is ever-evolving, these terms have stood the test of time and are universally recognized. If you think we’ve missed any synonyms for “shoes”, do let us know in the comments below. Keep expanding your vocabulary!👍😊

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