Charlie's Sneaker FAQ and Glossary - T

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


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Tackies
A term used in South Africa for either sneakers or tires (spelled "tyres" 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" in Ireland.
 
Tag
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.
 
Takkies
An alternative spelling sometimes used for "tackies."
 
Taylor. Chuck
Converse 'Chuck Taylor' All Star red high-topEarly 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.
 
Teenagers
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 Of (Corollary)
"Michael Jordan can beat you playing basketball if he's wearing Chucks and you're wearing Air Jordans."
 
Television
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.
 
Tennie-runners
A slang nickname for tennis shoes.
 
Tennies
A slang nickname for tennis shoes.
 
Tennis
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 game.
 
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)
The adidas Stan Smith tennis shoe, with dark blue trimA 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.
 
Teva
Storm Universal - brown color schemeA 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 pharmaceuticals).
 
Texas
An enormous state in the Southwestern United States best known for computers (including Compaq and Dell), pioneering execution by IV, and 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.
 
Thinclads
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 team!
 
Tiyo
An outcropping over the Grand Canyon (Tiyo Point). Probably the naming inspiration for the Nike Tiyo sport sandal.
 
Topanga
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 boot.
 
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.
 
Torsion
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
Nike "Air Pegasus Trail" trail-running shoeA running shoe designed for off-road use. Usual features include a colorway that doesn't show dirt and modifications to the outsole.
 
 
Trainer
An athletic shoe worn in the United Kingdom.
 
Treads
Yet another sneaker (and footwear in general) nickname.
 
Trefoil
The adidas Trefoil logoThe trademarked "flower" logo used by adidas starting around 1972. Thought by some to bear a resemblance to a pot leaf. Probably drug users hallucinating again...

 
Tretorn
Tretorn Nylite leather tennis sneakerA Swedish sneaker. A preppy alternative to Keds, sometimes seen on yuppies.
 
"Trimm Dich durch Sport mit adidas"
adidas box logo from the 1970sTranslation 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 Converse Helium.
 
Tuned AIR

Nike Air Max Plus running shoe, blue with black and yellow trimA variant of Nike AIR that combines AIR cushioning components with additional mechanical elements for motion control. US Patent 5572804 covers the mechanical elements.
 

 
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 embarrassment.
 
Tyres
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: 18 April 2012 11:32


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Charlie's Sneaker Pages copyright 1995-2012 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.