Charlie's Sneaker FAQ and Glossary - W

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


  1. To jump to a specific section of the FAQ and Glossary, click one of the letters below.
  2. If the desired term begins with a number or symbol, click on the "#" symbol.
  3. If unsure, try a search.



S T U V W X Y Z #

Nike Waffle soleAn edible baked item whose shape led to the outsole of many inedible Nike sneakers. Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman invented the design.
Acronym for "Wet and Messy." Some people like squishing around in wet sneakers, but not Mark Thatcher (who took matters into his own hands). Look here on how best to dry WAM sneakers.
A mountain range in Utah, home to the Wasatch Mountain State Park. Brigham Young University is in the valley below the Wasatch Mountains. Also, probably much to the chagrin of the teetotalers at Brigham Young University, the inspiration for Wasatch Beer. Probably the inspiration for the naming of the Nike Air Wasatch sport sandal.
Web Browsers
I (Charlie) test this Web site with all the major Mac and Windows (on a ThinkPad) web browsers that support the Web Open Font Format (WOFF) standard. I have found one thing that displays differently. If you use the internal ad blocker provided by the Opera web browser, and you have it enabled for this Web site, certain files are not displayed because they are considered to be ads. There are no ads (there are some old ads that show what sneakers were like in the past) on this Web site. The search function may offer up ads that relate to your search term. Opera's internal ad blocker should be turned off for this site; the AdBlock Plus extension for Opera does not have this problem. There are, also by my choice, absolutely no Adobe Flash animations or frames on this Web site. There's no tricky HTML likely to crash any Web browser; it's generally quite vanilla. After all, a lot of it was first written over twenty years ago. I use decorative display fonts that match the distinctive typefaces used by sneaker companies; they are implemented using the WOFF standard implemented in many recent Web browsers. If you don't have a WOFF compatible browser available on your computer, your Web browser will pick an appropriate replacement font from what you do have.
Wet Sneakers
An unfortunate side-effect of being caught in the rain. Try keeping a pair of Chucks or sport sandals in your desk at work for emergency use. Be careful when drying wet sneakers.
Whitening Canvas Sneakers
The Moms on the USENET "" newsgroup report that they have varying luck with the following techniques for whitening their own (and their teenagers') dirty canvas sneakers:
  1. A bleach-based liquid stain remover.
  2. Vinegar in the rinse water.
  3. Canvas shoe whitener. I (Charlie) just hope it improved from what the Baby Boomers used to have... they came out really nasty looking!
  4. Treating new sneakers with 3M "Scotchgard" fabric protector.
  5. Setting the washed sneakers outside on a sunny day for solar bleaching.

I had a former co-worker who used to throw his dirty leather Nike basketball high-tops in the washer. This practice is NOT recommended by Nike. However, I will admit that they did look better after the treatment than before!

Winner, The
A store brand sneaker marketed by Sears, Roebuck, and Company starting with the Baby Boomers. Sears advertised that they were "Built by CONVERSE" and they didn't get the reputation of being yet another "Cheaper Jeepers" clone. Much to the delight of their marketers, it also let them raise the price substantially!
Willie D's
Nike Air Force 1 Sheed - black patent leather with white SWOOSHOne of my many readers, Patrick, reports that this is a term used for Nike Air Force 1 sneakers in South Carolina.
They are finally getting some respect (not to mention specialized models) from the various athletic shoe manufacturers. Back in the Baby Boomer days, they invariably wore Keds (or something like them) to gym class; except for the one or two rebels who wore high-top Chucks instead. Famous women athletes include (but are not limited to) Brandi Chastain, Cynthia Cooper, Lisa Leslie, and Sheryl Swoopes. They take their workouts seriously... if you whistle or yell "Cute Pink Chucks!" you may get your brains realigned with the flat side of a barbell plate!
Women's Athletic Shoes
Manufacturers who make athletic shoes for women (including Nike and Ryka) point out that their shoes for women have a wider forefoot and a narrower heel than shoes for men. Now, I (Charlie) know why Nikes are typically too tight in the forefoot and too wide in the heel... I got a woman's foot by mistake!
An activity that provides funding to purchase the niceties of life... computers, Internet access, SUVs, and (of course!) sneakers. When work gets too intense, sometimes a trip to the gym can be helpful. Please note that I (Charlie) do not work for an athletic shoe company! I don't work for anyone any more because I put money into my 401(k) plan, along with getting a traditional defined-benefit pension and Social Security, from when I did work!

Work Out
For yuppies: the process of going to the gym, putting on your sneakers, and burning off the stresses of modern work, like being a software weenie.
An identification number assigned to clothing importers and manufacturers under the Wool Products Labeling Act. See Registered Identification Number (RN) for a description of its use.
Wrestling Shoes
Nike Greco Supreme wrestling shoe in red with white SWOOSHSome of the neatest athletic shoes made. Ankle support is critical for effective wrestling. Wrestling shoes are always high-tops as that is what the regulations require. Wrestling shoes are always light as that is what the grapplers demand. Aspiring Baby Boomer athletes frequently substituted high-top Chucks for purpose-built wrestling shoes; similar substitutions are also allowed in youth wrestling programs to this day.

Backward to "V"
Onward to "X"
Back to top of this page
Back to the top of Charlie's Sneaker Pages!

Last Updated: 3 February 2018

Search for more shoes:

Click here to send E-mail to Charlie.

Charlie's Sneaker Pages copyright 1995-2024 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.