Charlie's Sneaker FAQ and Glossary - A
This FAQ and Glossary defines a number of terms used in regards to athletic shoes, Charlie, or sneakers.
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adidas cushioning technology that uses a
midsole with multiple cylinders.
- A trademark for a cushioning material developed by
New Balance and used in their
athletic shoe products.
- "All-Cotton Elastic." A trademark for a type of bandage material made by
3M. The ACE product line used to feature
jocks but they have dropped that product in
preference to compression shorts.
- ACE Bandage
- A bandage (made of ACE material) sometimes used to compress and
support a sprained ankle.
See "All Conditions Gear."
- Achilles tendon
- A feature of the human anatomy, derived from the story of the death of Achilles in Greek
mythology. Paris shot Achilles in the heel, as this was his only vulnerable spot. The term
refers to the tendon at the back of the heel. Sometimes, sneakers
tend to rub and irritate the skin around this area.
- Achilles tendon notch
tendon notch" can be seen as the notch in the back of the heel in this picture. This
notch can help decrease irritation of the area around the Achilles
- Active Ankle
A trademark for an ankle
brace made by Active Ankle Systems. The Active Ankle brace is a hinge and pad structure designed to let
the ankle go back and forth easily, while strongly resisting
side-to-side motion. Its development seems to be concurrent with the decline
in demand for most high-top
athletic shoes. I (Charlie) wish they would have had it for Baby
Boomers. Gym class would be less
synonymous with ankle damage!
- Athletic shoe brand preferred by customers
who know "addidas" isn't the right spelling but still
haven't mastered the art of spelling "adidas"
- Sneaker brand preferred by customers who love
adidas but never mastered the art of spelling it correctly.
athletic shoe manufacturer. Their name is a contraction of the
nickname of their founder, Adi
his brother Rudolf founded
Puma. The National Sporting Goods Association inducted Adi into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame, but not Rudolf. The adidas athletic shoe models generally share
three stripes and
(in the old school models) a
Trefoil logo. The
tennis shoe is the major exception to the
"three stripes" design.
- Brand of shoes preferred by those who know it's not
addidas, or even adidads, but haven't yet learned
to spell adidas! Before you ask, I (Charlie)
get asked for all the above!
- A. D. One
- Defunct sneaker company started by
Dassler, the grandson of adidas
founder Adi Dassler. Also see
- Aerobic shoes
Like "gym shoes," a phrase that makes no sense. The word
"aerobic" means "uses air." Sneakers,
being 100% dead, never used air and never will. Of course, this statement excludes
Nike AIR which is really an
A term used to describe the athletic shoes
usually worn by women for
aerobic dance: the Reebok
and its technologically improved successors, such as the pictured Nike Air Max Pulse. When the
shoe manufacturers sell them to men, they use the term "fitness" shoe. A pair of really heavy
high-tops would likely increase conditioning (and exhaustion) levels even faster than a so-called "fitness" shoe.
- The (usually) plastic coating at the tip of sneaker
laces that makes it easier to pass the lace through the
Also called an ornament or a
Nike trademark for a patented cushioning
system based on an inert gas encapsulated in
The first Nike AIR patent (US Patent
4219945) expired in 1997, which
means that competing shoe companies may develop similar technologies.
Converse (not then a Nike subsidiary) brought out a
system in November 1999. Subsequent enhancements to the basic AIR technology
include Air Max, Air Max 2,
Tube AIR, Tuned AIR,
VisiZoom AIR, and
Zoom AIR. Nike AIR subsystems are manufactured by Nike subsidiary Nike IHM.
- Air Carnivore
- A cross-training shoe sold by
Nike in the 1993 time frame. Ironically, despite the name, the
Air Carnivore was completely vegetarian.
- Air Huarache
athletic shoe series first sold by
around 1992. Remarkable for its minimalist (most specifically,
sandal-like) construction details.
- Air Jordan
athletic shoe made by Nike but
marketed essentially as a separate brand. Recent models have the
JUMPMAN logo in lieu of the
Nike SWOOSH. Named after
Jordan, basketball player (though not all models
with the Air Jordan name are basketball shoes; the 1998 Air Jordan Trainer
was more like a wrestling
shoe than anything else).
- The Air Jordan line is a relatively small portion of the
sales of the sneaker industry, but it gains most of the
news coverage. For example, Air Jordan models go on the shelf on Saturdays so that
teenagers have no reason to play hooky from
good old school to get
the highly coveted kicks. Despite their attention, other
brands and models almost always have higher sales volumes: some
mentioned in the press over the years as outselling the Air Jordan include various
Charles Barkley Nike
models, the FILA Grant Hill,
the Nike Air Max Triax, the
Converse "Chuck Taylor" All
Star and even the Nike Air
Deschütz sport sandal.
- Air Max
term used by Nike for shoes with extra-large
- Air Max 2
term used by Nike for shoes with extra-large
AIR components, featuring two separate AIR chambers: an
inner, low-pressure chamber (for cushioning) combined with an outer,
high-pressure chamber (for stability).
- Air Republican
- A possible future Nike
sandal model, named in honor of the Republican River of
Kansas. Kansas is the home of
Bob Dole, where it seems appropriate that even the rivers are
Republican. As far as I can determine, the
has no namesake body of water; location information welcomed.
- A California-based
manufacturer, best known for the Jim shoe and
- Means "The God" in Arabic; the word "Allah" is usually
associated with Islam, but Arabic-speaking Christians also use the same
their 1997 model line, Nike created a series of
sneaker models where the word "AIR"
was intended to look like it was on fire. The resulting graphics looked like the Arabic
writing for "Allah." Nike eventually recalled the
offending sneakers. I (Charlie) have seen some of them turn up
with the "burning AIR" graphics covered up by a piece of
adhesive backed material with a non-offensive SWOOSH on
it. Unfortunately, the material falls off. That's how I found out about it... somebody's SWOOSH sticker came off, and I noted they had a
"burning AIR" on the left and a "SWOOSH" on the right! The "Air Bakin" model
even had the name on the outsole where it was guaranteed to be
extremely offensive to religious readers of Arabic. Other models in this line included the "Air
Melt", "Air Grill", and the "Air-B-Que".
- All Conditions Gear
- Nike product terminology for
and apparel designed for rugged outdoor activities. Frequently abbreviated "ACG."
- All Day I Dream About Sex
- Humorous (but untrue) acronym for "adidas." Slang used
by teenagers in certain regions of the
United States, considerably predating the album
"Life is Peachy" by the musical group
The album featured a song titled "A. D. I. D. A. S." based on the acronym.
Also see All Day I Dream About Soccer.
- All Day I Dream About Soccer
- Another humorous (but untrue) acronym for "adidas."
A G-rated version of All Day I Dream About
- Hypersensitivity reactions can occur to almost any material. People on the
alt.clothing.sneakers newsgroup have reported that
Keds contain natural latex rubber. Natural latex allergy
sometimes develops in individuals exposed extensively to medical supplies. Most
CPAP masks, however, use
medical-grade silicone or medical-grade vinyl.
- All Star
autographed by Chuck Taylor (on the circular
ankle patch on the high-top version,
and on the heel patch up through the 1970s). Sometimes still seen in the
gym, a classic for leisure wear, and almost mandatory for
punk rock fans and the cast of the musical West Side Story.
Converse used to state in their SEC filings (when they traded as a separate
company) that the All Star was the best-selling sneaker
of all time. The One Star is quite similar, but in
- Alpha Project
- A term used by Nike for their cutting-edge
akin to Rbk styles at Reebok.
Some Alpha Project products on this Web site include the
Deschütz (some years' models) and the Air
- Ancient Sneakers
- They are basically "where-is, as-is." There are cases where
absent-minded shopkeepers pass away and their family finds that they
inherited a cache of ancient sneakers but it's
the proverbial needle in the haystack. I (Charlie)
say to forget trying to get some: after all, all the
Baby Boomers have been ruined for old
canvas and rubber
sneakers by wearing way too much comfy Nike
- 1. A joint above the foot. Intended to go back and forth, but can be made (painfully)
to go from side to side. Excess side-to-side motion results in a condition known as a
"sprain." Unpleasant but useful; keeps one out of
class for several days.
- 2. The location of the ankle is approximately where the
star is on a pair of Converse
All Star sneakers.
3. A part of the body that
Baby Boomers were told to grab in the
old school days when
activities like slippering were a regular part of the curriculum.
- Ankle Patch
- See "Chuck Patch" and
"High-Top Ankle Patch."
- A cushioning methodology used by POWER in their
athletic shoes. It consists of one of six plastic plugs that are
inserted in a slot cut into the midsole. The designers intended
that the end user select the plug that provides the best combination of cushioning and
stability (or a tradeoff between the two).
- A premium brand of electronic products. Their products include (but are
not limited to) the iPad tablet, iPhone smartphone, iPod music player, and the Mac personal computer. The stuff Apple makes sometimes works better than the competition's products, making it worth the (always considerably above average) price. That said, I (Charlie) have a ThinkPad instead.
- Artificial Turf
- Carpet-like material developed because the grass in The
Astrodome died. Usually known by the name Astroturf, even though that is the
brand name of its original manufacturer.
- Artificial Turf Shoe
cleats with numerous tiny
projections on the outsole. However, some
players prefer basketball shoes
(including Air Jordan models and even
high-top Chucks) on
- ASA Mask
- What users in over 80 countries outside the
States should call the Aspirin Mask. The
mask does not require the Bayer AG
trademarked product. Generic acetylsalicylic acid tablets work even better.
Bayer Aspirin has a coating on it that slows down dissolving just enough that users
don't get that icky "aspirin taste" in their mouth.
- A brand name of athletic shoes preferred by those who like ASICS but can't spell the name correctly.
If you think "application-specific integrated circuits,"
you need to spend more time in the gym and less being a
software weenie. ASICS is
the name of a Japanese athletic shoe company founded by
Kihichiro Onitsuka. The name is an acronym for the
Latin "Anima Sana in Corpore Sano," which means "A Sound Mind in a Sound
Body." It must work. After all, they didn't bring in the Unabomber wearing ASICS.
A brand of athletic shoe loved by jocks who have grown tired of wearing addidas shoes and want to try something other than Nike or Reebox, but they also can't spell ASICS correctly.
- Aspirin Mask
- A simple, very inexpensive procedure frequently recommended on the
USENET alt.fashion newsgroup to help improve skin imperfections.
NOTE: DON'T TRY THIS IF YOU CAN'T TAKE ASPIRIN OR OTHER SALICYLATES, AS IT MAY CAUSE
AN UNEXPECTED REACTION! For example, it can be used on the feet to help improve
rough, calloused skin so things look really good for
NOTE: Readers outside the
should note that in many countries,
is a brand-name product of Bayer AG. If
available, try inexpensive acetylsalicylic acid tablets instead. They
are typically known as "ASA tablets."
- Take a cotton ball or pad (one alt.fashion reader praises the Swissper cotton
pad for this purpose) and moisten with fairly warm water.
- Take one or two tablets (the tablet must be acetylsalicylic
works great for pain and fever, but not an aspirin mask... also forget
ibuprofen and ketoprofen... also your left-over Feldene and Vioxx) and place on top of
the cotton ball. Don't use a "coated" aspirin, such as that Bayer
it doesn't dissolve rapidly. Several readers of
alt.fashion mentioned Kmart aspirin is
dissolves quickly. Others mentioned that aspirin-based headache powder is pricey but it
- Rub gently against the skin area. If the aspirin won't break up with warm water
and gentle rubbing, smash it first.
- Allow the aspirin-water mixture to sit for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse well.
- It seems to work best if used no more than twice a week. More than that tends to be
Many expensive skin care preparations contain ingredients such as salicylic acid.
Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, which is chemically closely related. Aspirin
was developed because it had the pain-relieving properties of salicylic acid,
but it wasn't as hard on the GI tract. However, scientists have found that one
of the metabolic products of acetylsalicylic acid is salicylic acid. The
"sometimes hard on the stomach" is partly because of cyclooxygenase-1
inhibition, not the acidity of aspirin.
The final steps in
the assembly process are inserting the insole and
adding any laces.
A brand of athletic shoe preferred by brain-damaged jocks who have grown tired of wearing addidas shoes and want to try something else, but they also can't spell ASICS correctly.
- Astrodome, The NRG
- Officially, it's the "Harris County Dome Stadium," but people
look at you funny if you call it that. Groundbreaking indoor stadium (named
after Houston electric company
NRG Energy) located in
Former home of the Houston Astros
team; they now play at
Minute Maid Park (formerly Astros Field, and before that Enron Field).
Of interest to athletic shoe fanatics because it
resulted in the development of the artificial turf
- Athletic shoe
- A high-class name for the sneaker.
athletic shoe brand that was popular in the 1980s,
disappeared from production from a while, and is returning old favorites to
the market in the 2002-2003 time frame. Once owned by Reebok, but no more; AVIA is now (2017) owned by the Sequential Brands Group (who also owns And 1 and Heelys in the footwear market). The
Cantilever outsole is a distinctive and patented (US Patent 4372058) AVIA design characteristic.
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Last Updated: 2 February 2018
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READERS PLEASE NOTE: Names of athletic shoe manufacturers, shoe styles, and technologies may be trademarked by the manufacturers. Charlie's Sneaker Pages uses these names solely to describe the shoes with the same familiar nomenclature used by the manufacturer and recognized by the reader.