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Nike 101 Nicknames & Terminology

Nike has had a large and enthusiastic fanbase for decades now. Fans talk passionately about Nike online, in person and anywhere else they correspond. When enthusiastic people talk passionately about things a shorthand can happen. The history of names, terms, etc. can start to be shortened for time, and sometimes just to be “cool.”

Terms, Abbreviations & Verbiage

Nike has a long list of terms, abbreviations and verbiage that may not be completely clear to those not deeply invested into the lore of The Swoosh. Below are some Nike Nicknames & Terminology you should know.


“OG” is one of the most used terms in the Nike and sneaker worlds. OG means “Original” or in a different context, “Original Gangster.” Nike often rereleases OG models of a shoe, which would mean the shoe is a reissue. It can also often refer to a shoe in the past.


Retro is another heavily used term. 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 basketball sneaker, or Air Max model, returning from Nike.


“General Release” is often abbreviated to “GR.” A General Release sneaker from Nike 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. Quickstrike means a sneaker is in super short supply and limited. Sneakerheads will have to act fast to get their hands on a Quickstrike sneaker.


“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.


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 Nike 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.


- Adam C. Better