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Sneakers 101: Sizes & Terminology

Sneakerheads are an enthusiastic group of people. An enthusiastic group of people who absolutely love and adore sneakers. Sneakers are something we all have, and use, often. There are a lot of terms in regard to sizes, and shoe designs, which are not necessarily common terms for those who are not completely obsessed with shoes. Below is a rundown of sizes and terminology to help the average Joe understand what they are reading online and in Shoe Palace stores.

Sizes & Terminology

Some shoe companies also offer Infant and Crib sizing for children, in addition to the below.


GS stands for “Grade School.” Grade School sizing is usually worn by children. But there are some adults that can wear Grade School sizing shoes.


PS stands for “Preschool.” PS sizes are smaller than Grade School sizes and are produced for younger children. Some collectors purchase PS school sizes since they are cheaper than bigger sizes.


TD stands for “Toddler.” There can be an overlap between TD sizes and GS sizes. TD sneakers are generally available in smaller sizes.

Design & Terminology


Lateral is the technical term for the outer sidewall of a sneaker. You will often hear the term lateral used when the design, color or materials are discussed for a sneaker.


Medial is the technical term for the inner sidewall of a sneaker. Like Lateral, it is a term that you do not really need to know unless you are obsessed with sneakers.


The Insole of the shoe is a strong part of how the shoe fits, and the comfort you feel while wearing the shoe. A great pair of insoles can make all the difference when it comes to comfort.


The Midsole unit that sits in between the insole and the outsole of a sneaker. The midsole is usually mixed with tech that allows it to offer comfort and cushion.


The Outsole is the outer sole of a sneaker. The outsole is usually made from rubber and has grooves for traction. The Outsole is obviously an important piece of the shoe.


- Adam C. Better