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Jordan Brand 101 Nicknames & Terminology

Jordan Brand is the leader in the sneaker industry and is in the forefront of most sneakerhead’s minds. Its history dates back nearly 40 years. In that time, a shorthand has formed when it comes to Jordan Brand related names, terms, and colors. It is easy to sometimes forget, not understand, or have all the knowledge needed to know every nickname and term for Jordan Brand.

Nicknames & Terminology


“OG” is one of the most used terms in the Air Jordan and sneaker worlds. OG means “Original” or in a different context, “Original Gangster.” Jordan Brand arguably invented what we know as “OG” releases. Any time Jordan brings back a classic silhouette, like the Air Jordan 11, in its original form, it is an OG.


Retro is another heavily used term by Jordan Brand. It also ties into the use of OG. Retro refers to an older silhouette that has returned to shelves. The Retro term is usually tied to a classic Air Jordan silhouette that has returned to shelves.


“General Release” is often abbreviated to “GR.” A General Release sneaker from Jordan is usually widely available and can be found easily. A non-General Release sneaker, a limited edition, would obviously be less readily available.


“QS” stands for “Quickstrike.” Quickstrike would be the exact opposite of a General Release sneaker, our previous Term. Quckstrike means a sneaker is in super short supply and limited. Sneakerheads will have to act fast to get their hands on a Quickstrike sneaker from Jordan Brand.


“PE” stands for “Player Edition.” A “PE” is made specifically for an athlete. Player Edition shoes are constructed for a basketball player, football player, or athlete for their use exclusively. PE shoes are hard for fans to get their hands on. Sometimes they are eventually released to the public from Jordan.


“Special Make Up” is often shortened to “SMU.” A Special Make Up shoe, or SMU, is usually a sneaker that is exclusive to a store, region or possibly some sort of event. Shoe Palace has been lucky enough to create SMU sneakers for Jordan Brand in the past.


SB stands for Skateboard when it comes to footwear from the Swoosh Brand. Nike has a popular line of sneakers that cater to skateboarders. Nike SB is designed for skateboarders in both function and style. Nike SB shows the great versatility of Nike. Jordan Brand has released SB branded sneakers.


The BRED colorway is heavily tied to the Jordan Brand and Air Jordan sneakers. BRED stands for the classic colorway that features Black & Red. Black & Red is obviously important to Jordan Brand since MJ played for the Chicago Bulls and his shoes reflected his team colors.


- Adam C. Better