Charlie's Sneaker FAQ and Glossary - T
This FAQ and Glossary defines a number of terms used in regards to athletic shoes, Charlie, or sneakers.
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S T U V W X Y Z #
- A term used in South Africa for either sneakers or tires
in South Africa). Therefore, your "tackies" can either be on your feet or on
your Ford. Also used in Ireland for
sneakers; they also call sneakers "runners"
- The (usually) plastic coating at the tips of sneaker
laces that makes it easier to pass the laces through the eyelets.
Also called an aglet or an ornament.
- An alternative spelling sometimes used for "tackies."
- Taylor, Chuck
basketball player, salesman, and shoe endorser for Converse. His namesake sneaker
held over half of the basketball athletic shoe market until the middle 1970's. Serious
competition came first from adidas and then other
manufacturers. Chuck was honored for his contributions to the industry by
the National Sporting Goods Association.
- The group of young people with the maximum desire
to buy expensive sneakers (like the Air Jordan) but the least amount of
money to buy them.
One exception: If they really like punk rock,
the only sneakers they really like are black high-top Chucks.
- Teenage Sneakers, Charlie's Law Of
- "The price of the basketball sneaker
is inversely proportional to the basketball ability of the teenager."
I (Charlie) determined this by watching
actual teenagers play basketball.
- Teenage Sneakers, Charlie's Law
- "Michael Jordan can beat you
playing basketball if he's wearing Chucks
and you're wearing Air Jordans."
- A primitive time-wasting device whose function was perfected when the Internet became available. Its main remaining use is
providing sneaker advertising at a bandwidth impossible
over most current modem technology.
- A slang nickname for tennis shoes.
- A slang nickname for tennis shoes.
- British Major Walter Clopton Wingfield defined the rules of modern game of tennis in
1874. He called it "sphairistike." (Greek for "playing ball.") Major
Clopton converted the design of an earlier French game to one that could be played in an
open field. In the French game, the server announced "Tenez!" ("Look
here!") and then served the ball. The name soon became associated with the English
- Tennis shoes (common definition)
- For the 99% of humanity who are sloppy on their nomenclature, tennis
shoes are any type of athletic shoe. Anything from
a heavy high-top basketball
shoe to an utterly minimalist track racing shoe gets lumped together
under the nomenclature of "tennis shoe."
- Tennis shoes (technical definition)
A shoe designed to be
worn while playing the game of tennis. Traditionally, white and
non-attention getting. Classic examples include the adidas
Stan Smith and the Tretorn Nylite. However, your average person uses the common definition.
- Tetanus Shoes
- A corruption of the term tennis shoe originated by my
older brother Bruce. Probably so named because the rubber soles could be penetrated by
sharp foreign objects. When this happened (Bruce was always damaging his feet one way or
another when he was a kid), the offending foot went to the family
doctor for an infection check and a possible booster of tetanus toxoid.
A manufacturer of sport sandals,
founded by Mark Thatcher. Named for the Hebrew
word for "nature," pronounced "Teh-vuh." Two different
companies use the name Teva, but for different products altogether: Teva
Sport Sandals and Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries (reportedly the world's largest manufacturer of generic
- An enormous state in the Southwestern United States best known for computers (including Compaq and Dell),
pioneering execution by
oil wells. Where
I (Charlie) live. Texas is easy to find on a map because it's
the same shape as the TI logo.
- Texas Sales Tax Holiday
- The Texas Sales Tax Holiday starts on the third Friday in August and continues through the next Sunday. Many clothing and
footwear items, including sneakers, are
exempt from sales tax these three days. The exemption for athletic
shoes covers only those that can be worn for general use; cleats
and spikes are still taxed. Furthermore,
each item must be under $100, so Air Jordan
models get no exemption (unless they're on sale).
- Thatcher, Mark
- Inventor of the Teva sport
sandal. He hated river rafting in soggy Chucks.
US Patent 4584782 and US
Patent 4793075 describe his innovations.
- "The Brand With The 3 Stripes"
- A slogan used for, and sometimes printed on,
adidas athletic shoes.
- "The Sneaker Book"
- A book, subtitled "Anatomy of an Industry and an Icon," by Tom Vanderbilt
(ISBN 1-56584-406-8, The New Press, 1998). A worthwhile read for anybody interested in the
athletic shoe industry. For what it's worth: This web site is mentioned on page 6.
- Term used for runners in a competitive
track meet. I (Charlie)
think this is a stupid name. After all, so-called "thinclads" get to wear a tank top, shorts, and track shoes.
Competitive swimmers only get tight racing trunks that border on public
indecency.... if Nike racing trunks were any smaller, they'd have trouble
putting a SWOOSH on them!
- Three Stripes
- One of the characteristics of adidas sneakers, but sometimes copied by others. Supposedly,
founder Adi Dassler used three
stripes, one for each of his three sons.
- Title IX
- Part of the Education Amendments of 1972, a law in the United
States, that required equal treatment for men and women in education. Its
effect in the athletic shoe world: The
women finally got to shed their nasty old Keds
and play basketball and volleyball.
Some intrepid souls even tried out for the wrestling
- An outcropping over the Grand Canyon (Tiyo Point). Probably the naming inspiration for
the Nike Tiyo sport sandal.
- A canyon in Los Angeles County, California,
south of the city of Chatsworth. California Route 27 (also known as Topanga
Canyon Boulevard) runs south from Chatsworth to the Pacific Ocean. Probably
the inspiration for the Reebok Topanga hiking
- Ironically, given that the name is an inspiration for a Reebok style,
there is a VANS Factory Store on Topanga Canyon
Boulevard. I (Charlie) have been by (while on a
business trip) but it wasn't open at the time.
- A hard plastic bar in the midsole of certain adidas models that connects the heel to the toe. It allows
trimming away part of the outsole.
- Track Meet (Definition #1)
- An athletic event. Determines that day which extremely quick
participant brought the fastest sneakers to town.
- Track Meet (Definition #2)
- An involuntary athletic event. The main event consists of running back and forth from
one end of the gymnasium to the other, over and over
again. Track meets are usually the result of excess goofing off
in gym class. It typically takes no more
than one or two track meets before the Baby
Boomers behaved. Some coaches also used slippering,
but I (Charlie) had never known it to be
used at the old school.
- Track shoes
- Really fast sneakers for a hot and heavy foot race. In
other words, runners for runners.
- Trail runner
running shoe designed for off-road use.
Usual features include a colorway that
doesn't show dirt and modifications to the outsole.
- An athletic shoe worn in the
- Yet another sneaker (and footwear in general)
"flower" logo used by
adidas starting around 1972. Thought by some to bear a resemblance to a
pot leaf. Probably
drug users hallucinating again...
sneaker. A preppy alternative to
sometimes seen on yuppies.
- "Trimm Dich durch Sport mit
from German: "Trim you by sport with adidas."
Logo seen on some adidas boxes from the 1970s.
- Tube AIR
- A variant of Nike AIR with cylindrical tubes that look very much like
- Tuned AIR
A variant of Nike AIR that combines AIR cushioning components with additional mechanical
elements for motion control.
US Patent 5572804 covers the mechanical
- Tyre Burst
- In the United Kingdom: The automotive equivalent
of having your track shoes fall apart during a race.
Michael Johnson once experienced this to his great
- The automotive equivalent of sneakers, in countries
that learned their spelling from the United Kingdom.
(Or, should we say, "the automotive equivalent of trainers?")
See "tyre burst" for further explanation.
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Last Updated: 2 February 2017
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Charlie's Sneaker Pages 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.