Charlie's Sneaker FAQ and Glossary - P
This FAQ and Glossary defines a number of terms used in regards to athletic shoes, Charlie, or sneakers.
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- A wilderness area and river in the Western United
States that straddles the border of Utah and Arizona. Probably the naming inspiration
for the Nike Air Paria hiking boot.
- A trademark for a polyether block amine (PEBA) plastic resin
manufactured by the
Arkema Group, a diversified chemical manufacturer. Frequently used for
the outsoles of
cleated athletic shoes, particularly
those sold by adidas and Puma.
Also used in some Nike
- See "Posture Foundation".
- PF Flyers
A brand of
that are now mainly of historic interest. At one time, made by B. F. Goodrich.
Advertised as making their wearer "Run
Faster... Jump Higher." Their sneaker division later on merged with
Converse.. Mainly of
interest to those watching the movie "The Sandlot." The "PF Flyers"
name has been around a few times since the Baby Boomers
- 1962: PF Flyers were made by Hood.
- 1971: Converse bought the Goodrich
athletic shoe brands.
- Converse soon after spun off the PF Flyers brand to settle a Department of Justice
complaint they were monopolizing the sneaker
market (such as it was) of that day. Converse kept the
Jack Purcell line for their own.
- 1991: LJO,
Inc. buys rights to the PF Flyers name and produced some product under
the name... but they looked like a canvas
- 2001: New Balance buys rights
to the PF Flyers brand.
- 2003: New PF Flyers products (updated with New Balance's
ABZORB technology) are rolling out to the stores!
- Nike's brand name for compression-molded
- Physical Education
- Also known as gym class. A part of
modern education in the United States
and many other countries. It gives brain-damaged
football players one class they can do
well at. Excess locker-room
horseplay may result in Physical Education turning into a
- Physical Training
- Gym class in the United
Kingdom. Equally horrible on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Pink Chucks
One of the many colors of Chucks...
but one of the ones that gets attention. When
Converse didn't have these available, desperate readers resorted to using pink liquid embroidery ink on white
Chucks to obtain the desired color.
- In the United Kingdom, a term for old-fashioned canvas sneakers, not
widely seen any more. The ribbing on a Plimsoll bears a
resemblance to the legal load markings (Plimsoll lines) painted on
ships. Most sneakers in the United Kingdom are now referred to as "trainers."
- A trademarked insole material used by ASICS
in many of their athletic shoes.
- A plastic made of polymerized urethane. Used to contain the inert gas in the Nike AIR system.
Also used as a midsole cushioning
material; it is stiffer than EVA.
athletic shoe brand that was popular in
the late 1970's and early 1980's. The rights to the Pony brand went through
several changes over the years.
- Posture Foundation
- The term used to describe the midsole (usually
abbreviated "PF") of the original "PF
- Pot Leaf
frequently heard nickname for the Trefoil logo used by adidas
on certain of their classic products, including the Shell
Toes styles. The adidas marketing department
probably wishes Baby Boomers would stop
thinking this, particularly when their teenagers
want new sneakers.
- Trade name used by the Bata Shoe Organization for their athletic shoes.
During the 1960's and 1970's, the Bata Shoe Organization used the "Bata" name
on their athletic shoes; no more, at least in the US market.
lightweight running shoe from Nike,
part of the Alpha Project. Nike says
it is "like a T-shirt for the feet." Yes, they are extremely comfortable. However, I (Charlie) think an
athletic shoe should be more like a jock
for the feet... even a pair of Air Deschütz
sport sandals seem more stable.
A canvas basketball
sneaker (for men) manufactured by the Keds Corporation.
They are roughly
comparable to Chucks, but there are a
number of detail styling differences. From what Baby
Boomers have told me about their teenage
years in the United States, there
were differing regional preferences for either Chucks or Pro-KEDS. I (Charlie)
only occasionally saw them as our old school
basketball team was always in Chucks except for one year in
Superstar shoes; only once did I specifically notice an opposing player wearing Pro-Keds.
The high-top model of the classic adidas
"Shell Toes" sneakers.
(Compare to "Superstar.")
- The tendency encountered by some runners to have their
feet roll inward while running. In this case, their
running shoes need to have
motion control features.
- Polymerized vinyl chloride. A type of plastic resin sometimes used in athletic shoes.
- An abbreviation for "polyurethane."
- An unpleasant odor: such as sneakers that
have been worn without socks.
- The chemical symbol for plutonium... one stinker of an element!
A brand of sneakers. Their name and logo
come from the cat of the same name. The stripe down the side is known as a
formstrip. Extremely popular with Baby
Boomers but not one of the first-line brands now, at least not in the United States. Interestingly enough, Puma
was started by Rudolf Dassler, whose brother
Adi founded adidas.
- Puma California
retro style from Puma named
for the state of California. Given the
proverbial laid-back nature of California, however, shouldn't it be a
- Puma States
- According to one of my readers Down Under, this is what people call the
- Pump, The
- An inflatable athletic shoe technology
marketed by Reebok. Described in
- "Pump Up, Air Out"
- Advertising slogan for The Reebok Pump that made a
slam at Nike AIR.
Given the current market prevalence of the two technologies (lots of AIR,
very few PUMP styles to be seen), it
looks like the pump has run dry...
- Purcell, Jack
(Jack also played tennis) player of the
1930's. His namesake sneakers are sometimes
referred to as "Jacks." Anyway, they're now a
fun retro style marketed by
Backward to "O"
Onward to "Q"
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Last Updated: 9 January 2017
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copyright 1995-2017 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.