Charlie's Sneaker FAQ and Glossary - C
This FAQ and Glossary defines a number of terms used in regards to athletic shoes, Charlie, or sneakers.
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An abbreviation in more than one model name of Nike basketball
sneakers named after Cynthia Cooper.
("C" for Cynthia, "14" for her jersey number.)
- A state in the Western United
States, approximately the shape of a sock.
- Another possibility for the center of the sneaker universe, along with Massachusetts and Oregon.
- Many skate shoe companies have their headquarters in California.
- LA Gear derived their
name from the California city of Los Angeles. Either Chucks or VANS are probably the true "LA
Gear" given the incredible popularity of both of them in California.
- Hard core runners will take solace that the headquarters
of ASICS is in California.
- The California zip code most frequently seen on television is 90210.
- A model name used by Puma for one of
their retro sneakers (see
- California Last
- An alternate name for the slip last.
- Carolina Blue
Sometimes, this color
is called "light blue" and associated with tiny little baby boys. On the other
hand, White and Carolina Blue are the traditional colors of the University of North Carolina "Tarheels." Michael Jordan would likely scowl
at you (or worse) if you accused him of wearing "baby boy" colors when he played basketball in college.
A patented (US Patent 4372058) design feature of
athletic shoes, featuring a concave
heel. This design is intended to stabilize the heel and lessen landing forces.
- A term frequently used for a cotton or linen cloth that is used to make sneakers with fabric uppers. This fabric probably should be
called "canvas duck" or "duck" as it is lighter than
the heavy canvas used for tents and tarpaulins. Typical canvas sneaker
construction techniques consist of applying foxing
along the shoe bottom, followed by
- Canvas Duck
- A light-weight fabric, similar in appearance to canvas but
lighter, used for sneaker manufacture.
- Canvas sneakers, whitening
- Look here for some techniques used for whitening
- Cat Heads
- In the 1970s in New York: Cheap wannabe Chucks.
As reported by one of my readers, they sang the following words to the tune
of the Colonel Bogey March from the movie "The Bridge over the River Kwai":
"Cat heads, they make your feet feel fine,
Cat heads, they cost a dollar ninety-nine,
Cat heads, they come from
So run to Kmart and get your cat heads todayyyyy!"
On the other hand... I (Charlie) associate that
tune with the following questionable ditty about a famous household cleaner:
it makes your teeth turn green.
Comet, it's made from gasoline.
Comet, will make you vomit.
So eat some Comet and vomit today!"
cushioning design used by Puma in their athletic shoes. As far as I am concerned, these shoes had little shock absorptive capacity.
The Webmaster of this
fine Web site. Before you ask, I (Charlie) have never
worked in the athletic shoe
industry. I retired from Boeing in 2010.
- Chastain, Brandi
Soccer player for the
States team. She gained her fifteen minutes of fame by whipping off her
jersey in the excitement of winning a match and showing off what was
was a black Nike sports bra, just like many
use when they work out.
- Cheaper Jeepers
- A derogatory reference to the clone (namely, less-than-Chuck)
status of Sears Jeepers brand
used by some Baby Boomer boys.
- Cheerleaders (Baby Boomer)
- As I (Charlie) remember the
old school days before
Title IX: the only event in which young
women Baby Boomers got to
display their athletic skills. Cheerleaders were usually very
cute and athletic. Cheerleader
outfits include sweaters, short short skirts, and
shoes. During the Baby Boomer days, the young women in
their Keds cheered on the young
men playing basketball in their
Others have said that the two most important
attributes for a cheerleader are an attitude and a nose job.
- Cheerleaders (Internet)
- On the Internet,
cheerleaders are frequently the centerpiece of risqué stories
involving making whoopee with football or
basketball players. Internet cheerleaders are always getting caught in
various acts of moral
turpitude, for which Mother displays where her child got their athletic ability by hosting
a follow-up athletic event, like a slippering.
- Cheerleaders (Presently)
- During an athletic event, they have exactly the same function as they did in the
days. Except, now, some schools also have young men
- Cheerleading Shoes
- For Baby Boomer
- Nowadays: an all-white, relatively smooth-bottomed low-top or
mid-top athletic shoe
(most similar to a cross-trainer) with team color trim.
- Chuck Clone
- A sneaker that looks like a pair of
but aren't... always an inferior imitation. Usually a
- Chuck Conners
- Another nickname for Chucks, particularly in
Texas. I (Charlie) have lived in Texas since 1992, and I've never heard anyone use the term. But I've had other readers of Charlie's Sneaker Pages tell me that!
- Chuck T's
- Another nickname for Chucks, particularly in New
- Another nickname for Chucks, particularly in New
- Chuckie T's
- Another nickname for Chucks, particularly in New
A friendly nickname
for Converse "Chuck Taylor"
All Star sneakers,
usually used by their fanatics. Also known as Chuck
Conners, Chuck T's,
Chuckies, Chuckie T's,
Flyers, or Skippies.
- Chuck Patch
Probably the most prevalent high-top
ankle patch design. A circular logo on the
of Converse "Chuck Taylor"
All Star sneakers,
featuring the All Star brand name, the
Converse Star and the signature of the one
and only Chuck Taylor. Of course,
Clones feature an imitation Chuck Patch. Reputedly has a protective
- Chucks (pink)
- See "Pink Chucks."
- Chucks (rumors of discontinuation are highly
- People hear reports that the classic Converse "Chuck Taylor"
All Star sneakers have been discontinued. Here are the facts of the
- This is a nasty, nasty, horrible rumor spread by the grossly misinformed.
- The FACT is that Converse sells several million pairs annually... a
significant contributor to the sales of their corporate parent,
- Converse Customer Service can point you to a dealer over the phone.
People who have used this have told me "I didn't know about this place that
had lots of Chucks just a few miles from where I live!"
- That a particular store has discontinued selling Chucks
doesn't mean anything other than the store shoe buyer is a clueless bozo who
really wants you to buy shoes elsewhere.
- A United States National Forest near the Alaskan
city of Tatitlek, at the mouth of the Straits of Valdez; probably the naming inspiration
for the Nike Air Chugach hiking boot.
- Cleaning Sneakers
- There are a number of things to be considered when cleaning dirty sneakers.
Most manufacturers recommend the following:
- Keep sneakers out of the washing
machine. Notable exceptions:
- Converse said (half a century ago) that
Chucks could be put in the washing machine. They don't
recommend it now.
- Keds were also advertised as being washable
but a number of people have told me that the white ones come out dingy
(yellow, brown, or gray).
- If the shoe has a suede or suede-like finish, most manufacturers
that the shoe dry out if it is wet, then
use a suede brush.
- Otherwise, use the "damp cloth and mild soap" treatment.
- Some people have ignored rule #1 and gotten away with it. I (Charlie)
found my Nike Air
Trainer Escape quite tolerant to trips through the washing machine.
After cleaning the sneakers, be careful when drying
A type of athletic shoe used for playing sports like
baseball, football, or soccer.
Cleats have some type of projections, either metal or rubber, on the outsole.
Cleats are subject to sales tax during the Texas
Sales Tax Holiday. Also known as studs in the
- A pair of sneakers that look like a
famous sneaker... but they aren't. Also see: Bobos,
Cheaper Jeepers, Chuck
- A nickname for 1970's basketball player Walt Frazier, who played hoops
cool and easy in his Puma suede sneakers. Prospective Puma purchasers got to view Walt's
infectious grin on the label end of the box. These sneakers are known as "Puma States" in Australia.
- A long-distance track meet, usually
held in the fall, where each
team fields an equal number of runners (most
typically seven). It is held over
open terrain (up and down hills, if any are available). When scoring a cross-country meet, the first runner to finish
gets one point, the second gets two, and so on. The team with the lowest score
is the winner!
- For all intents and purposes, a Chuck Clone
sold under the Converse brand name... undoubtedly
better than the rest.
- The individual in charge of teaching gym
class. Must be a bit of a sadist... after all, they sometimes have
track meets and insist that future
software weenies with glasses play Dodge Ball.
- Cobain, Kurt
- A grunge rock "musician" and
member of the group Nirvana who died wearing black Converse One Star sneakers.
- Color-Coded Sneaker
- The sneaker pictured below has the visible components
(this sneaker is a CVO) is
The remainder of the
upper (the vamp
is part of the upper) is
The inside of the
The insole (sometimes called the
- The foxing is black.
- The specific color combination used on an
athletic shoe. Many sneakers come in
- Combination Last
- An athletic shoe construction
technique that combines the features and benefits of both a
board last and a
slip last. Combination lasted shoes have a
stiffening board only in the heel area.
- Compression-Molded EVA
- A midsole made out of
that is injected into the shoe mold. Generally more durable than
sheet-formed EVA. Nike refers to
compression-molded EVA with the trade name "Phylon."
- A name for some Converse
models. Possibly, but not necessarily, felony shoes.
Makes Converse a four-letter word, particularly at Nike and
Puma. Saves on typesetting costs at Converse
headquarters in Massachusetts.
- Constant Positive Airway Pressure
- The most frequently
used therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea;
abbreviated "CPAP." Invented by Dr. Colin Sullivan of the
University of Sydney in Australia. CPAP
uses a tiny blower to maintain a low positive pressure (typically 4 to 20 grams per square
centimeter above ambient, selected depending on patient response in a
sleep lab) in the nose and throat during sleep.
Dr. Sullivan received US Patent 4944310
and would receive the Nobel Prize if most
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
sufferers had anything to say about it. If the patient can adjust to the sensations of
CPAP (it's a
bit like the sensations going up in an airplane; about 70% adjust to it long-term), the
lifting of fatigue and other problems can be dramatic. My personal experience: I
(Charlie) knew it was going to work the night they first
tried me on CPAP in the sleep lab.
It took a few days to find out how well!
- An athletic shoe company founded in
1908, best known as makers of
Chucks. Their logo is the
Star. The company is named after the founder, Marquis M. Converse.
Converse has had numerous owners over the years. They went into bankruptcy in 2001, but they reorganized and became a division of
Nike in 2003.
- Converse One
- The same basic idea as NIKEiD but with
Chucks in your choice of either
low-top (if you really insist on having
pseudo-Chucks) or the world standard high-top.
Given the notorious reports about words that NIKEiD won't accept, I (Charlie)
spent some fun time putting the Converse One
naughty-word checker through its paces. Interestingly enough, Converse One
won't let you personalize your Chucks with several Converse-related names:
- And for those who remember vintage sneakers... it will take
JEEPERS... but it won't take
- Cooper, Cynthia
- As to basketball ability: the female
doppelgänger of Michael Jordan. She
played for the WNBA
Houston Comets in
the 1997-2000 seasons. She served as head coach of the
during the 2001-2002 season... but she couldn't resist playing again. So,
she signed again with the Comets in 2003 and played another year.
An early design by
Nike co-founder Bill
Bowerman. Originally designed for training runners.
Now, strictly for fun.
- Court Shoes
- A generic term like "tennis
shoes" for sneakers that could be
worn on the basketball court,
court, volleyball court, etc. Of
course, Baby Boomers wore Chucks
on all of them when they were teenagers.
Acronym for "Constant Positive Airway
Pressure." See that entry for more details; this is a picture of the
CPAP mask that I (Charlie) use at night, a Philips Respironics True Blue nasal mask. I've been using CPAP since 1998, so I'm an old hand at it.
- Cross-Trainer (in the 1960's and 1970's)
- The Converse "Chuck Taylor"
All Star. Baby Boomers
remember fondly; teenagers are bemused.
- Cross-Trainer (in the 1980's and beyond)
- An athletic shoe carefully optimized by its
manufacturer to be useful for no athletic activity whatsoever. Usual optimizations
guarantee the cross-trainer is too heavy for a fast
track performance, while providing insufficient support for
- A Converse abbreviation for "Chuck Taylor"
All Star. Frequently seen on recent boxes of Chucks.
- Cushioning Shoes
- The subset of running shoes that
have cushioning as a prime feature. However, running in overly cushioned shoes
can result in a condition informally called "Nike
- The words "cute" and "fun" are quite
likely the two most overused in the English language. Cute
include the Freestyle and the
- Acronym for "Circular Vamp
Oxford." (Some sources have said the "C" is
Canvas, but shoe manufacturers make CVO models from
leather or other non-canvas materials.) An oxford where
the vamp portion forms a roughly circular shape. Usually a
boat shoe construction detail. Shown on the
Backward to "B"
Onward to "D"
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Last Updated: 13 April 2018
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Charlie's Sneaker Pages copyright 1995-2023 by Charles L. Perrin.
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.