Charlie's Sneaker FAQ and Glossary - G

This FAQ and Glossary defines a number of terms used in regards to athletic shoesCharlie, or sneakers.


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Gang sneakers
Reports that I've heard indicate that the sneakers preferred by gang members vary from gang to gang and region to region throughout the United States:
Chicago: a pair of Chucks with the blue Star changed to a different color.
Los Angeles: Nike Cortez.
Pasadena, Texas: Black high-top Chucks.
Wisconsin: Either red or blue laces in black sneakers.
adidas Gazelle athletic shoe, blue suede with white trimAn adidas athletic shoe of the late 1960's. Worn for many purposes over the years (one reader mentioned that his coach had the track team wear them for practice), but now used mainly for indoor soccer and just having fun.
  1. An abbreviation sometimes used in the labeling of Nike baseball and certain cross-training shoes: "Game Day."
  2. In the vernacular of aerospace-oriented software weenies: General Dynamics.
ASICS GEL-Kayano running shoe, white with green, yellow, and black trimTrade name for an ASICS cushioning technology. It consists of a thixotropic silicone material (in other words, a "gel") inside a PVC capsule.
Gelfand, Ollie
Pioneering skateboard star that developed the stunt known as the "ollie."
Look here for the results of Charlie's genealogy research. Befitting a software weenie, I (Charlie) know how to read and write GEDCOM (the Esperanto of computer-based genealogy).
Converse All Star "Hall of Fame": white shoe with blue trimA lacing system used by many manufacturers. Instead of traditional eyelets, the Ghilley system uses loops threaded through round laces. It makes the fit of the sneaker easier to adjust. Several other examples of athletic shoes using the Ghilley system are the FILA Grant Hill series, the New Balance 820, and the Nike Air CB-34.
  1. The basic biomechanical performance criteria for sneakers, especially those intended for runners.
  2. The basic hardware performance criteria for computers, especially those intended for software weenies.
Yet another slang term for athletic shoes.
Nike "Crested Butte" trail-running shoe (with Gore-Tex linings)A trademarked fabric invented by W. L. ("Bob") Gore, made from expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, and possessing the capability to block incoming water and allow ventilation. Sometimes used as a component in athletic shoes and boots intended for inclement weather.
  1. Wrestlers. A batch of tough young men in high-tops. Occasionally, a tough young woman (thanks to Title IX) will take up wrestling. Some times, the young women teach the young men a thing or two!
  2. Wrestling shoes.
  1. A long-gone brand of sneakers made by the Beacon Falls Rubber Footwear Company of Beacon Falls, Connecticut.
  2. Slang for sneakers in Philadelphia.
  3. Old-time term for luggage (whether or not it contains sneakers). Baby Boomers typically heard the term used by their grandparents and similarly aged relatives.
Slang for sneakers in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland.
  1. Short for "gymnasium." A facility for performing athletic activities.
  2. An adidas sneaker model that I (Charlie) owned in 1972. They were not to be confused with the Airwalk "Jim Shoe," which is a much better sneaker overall.
Gym bag
In the United States, the container for the equipment ("gym kit" in the United Kingdom) required for a trip to the gym (for activities like a Physical Education class). When in use, it typically contains a tank top or T-shirt, shorts, socks, a towel to dry off after taking a shower to wash off the sweat, athletic underwear (like a jock strap for men or a jill strap and a sports bra for women), and gym shoes.
Gym Class
Also known as Physical Education in the United States, or Physical Training in the United Kingdom. An dreadful part of the educational process. It has an important use in career counseling: Convincing future software weenies that they would starve to death playing professional basketball. Most trip over their gym shoe laces and sprain an ankle. Their basketball star friends tell them that they should really be wearing something more protective, like high-tops, but their nascent engineers' sense of biomechanical design says that low-tops will get you through the indignity of gym class having exerted less energy.
Gym for adults
Grown men and women should try the gym after many years of absence. The way it is now:
  1. Dodge Ball has been banned at last except for those who would find it to be fun!
  2. Agile and energetic women can find their aerobic shoes and sports bra were worth every dollar they paid for them.
  3. Narcissists can have fun curling dumbbells while wearing form-fitting clothing and wrestling shoes, all the time preening in the mirror.
  4. Frustrated and tired software weenies can put on their best sneakers and sweat off the frustrations of work.
  5. Even those software weenies that tripped over their sneakers in gym class can work up a rewarding sweat spinning.
Gym kit
Despite the way it sounds, not a collection of parts for a pre-fab gym. Instead, particularly in the United Kingdom, a collection of the equipment required for gym class. Typically includes a a tank top or T-shirt, shorts, socks, a towel to dry off after taking a shower to wash off the sweat, athletic underwear (like a jock strap for men or a jill strap and a sports bra for women), and either plimsolls or trainers.
Gym shoes
In Charlie's opinion, a semantic non sequitur. The term "gym" is derived from the Greek "gymnos" which means "naked." "Naked shoes?" Does that make any sense?
  1. Sneakers worn by Baby Boomers for gym class. Young women Baby Boomers typically wore Keds, or a clone thereof, for this purpose. Young men Baby Boomers typically wore Chucks, or a department store store-brand imitation. Boat shoes were also popular for either gender. Gym shoes always had to have light-colored soles; dark soles left nasty marks on the gym floor.
  2. A term used by Hoosiers for tennis shoes.
A nickname for gym shoes... Baby Boomers sometimes remember wearing their Converse gymmers.

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Last Updated: 11 August 2017

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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.