Monday, January 26, 2009

What do you call these sort of shoes?

I got the idea for this post from a forum I belong to (American Expats in the UK) and I thought it would be fun to put the question to my readers on my blog: What do you call these sort of shoes? What generic term do you (or did you) use for these shoes, and where are you from? Are they sneakers, tennies, tennis shoes....what? If you are from the states, what did/do you call them? I'm interested to see which states/regions use which terms. I called them tennis shoes (and sometimes I called them "tennies") and I'm from Minnesota. Since residing in England, I have learned to call them trainers. Wherever you're from (not just from the USA) what do you call them?

39 comments:

  1. To me (I'm from WA state) they are "tennis shoes" but to my English husband, they would be "Runners"! :)

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  2. I call them trainers and get blank looks over here!

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  3. Hello mizsuzee! Very interesting. So you call them tennis shoes too. I wondered if that was just people in the midwest who call them that - but obviously not. I like what your English husband calls them! My English husband always calls them "trainers". I like "runners" - I might start calling them that too!

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  4. I bet you do, Sarah! Americans are probably looking for a couple of physical fitness coaches to be nearby instead of your shoes! LOL!

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  5. When I was growing up in the UK, the canvas kind of sneakers you pictured in this blog post were always called plimsolls. They had little to no support and they were always sweaty and stinky! American 'sneakers' were called 'trainers'.

    Here in the northeastern US the shoes in the picture mostly seem to be called tennis shoes (to distinguish them from sneakers which are for running or doing aerobics). Sometimes they're called boat shoes, or by a brand name like Keds, though Keds're less fashionable than they used to be!

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  6. See, now this is where it gets oonfusing for me, as an American living in England. When my eldest started school and I was informed he needed plimsolls for PE (Physical Education lessons) I didn't have a clue what "plimsolls" were so I asked a friend about it and she showed me her son's plimsolls. To me, they looked like canvas slip-on shoes (almost like slippers but they have a rubber sole). I'm struggling to think what I would have called that type of shoe back home in Minnesota, and I still can't recall. I kind of think they would be called sneakers.

    And that's interesting that in the northeastern US, tennis shoes are called sneakers if they are for running or doing aerobics. Funny that, since it seems like it should be the other way around. LOL

    And that certainly adds to the confusion if they're called boat shoes, or by a brand name like Keds! It's a wonder any of us can communicate with each other, isn't it - and this is just a type of shoe we're talking about!

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  7. I grew up in the southern USA, and we called these "high-tops" or "sneakers."

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  8. Thanks for the info about what you called them in the southern USA. I find this very interesting to find out all the different variations.

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  9. yep. ever watch the movie "about a boy" they're called "trainers" there too.

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  10. They're daps. But only people from South West England or South Wales will have a clue if YOU call thrm that. ;-)

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  11. Chuck Taylors, or Chucks.

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  12. New York City here...we call them sneakers.

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  13. This is very interesting.

    In the USA, I think they are mostly called tennis shoes or sneakers and in the UK, I think they are usually called trainers.

    It's funny how many different names there can be for shoes! I like these: "daps" and "chucks".

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  14. Well!Here i would like to call sneaker,because it representation like a sneaker.I also have a pair of ecko red sneakers.

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  15. I live in England and call them 'Converses', because that's what they look like...or trainers...:)

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  16. im from canada- i called them sneakers, or cons/ chucks if they were that particular style of converse brand shoes.

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  17. Thanks! I have been reading a novel by Barbara Vine and she often references "trainers". I had thought she was speaking of a special boot of some sort. This site helped quite a bit.

    wmr

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  18. You're very welcome - I'm so glad my post on this topic was helpful to you!

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  19. I'm from canada.
    We call them "runners" (or maybe "running shoes"

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  20. I'm from the mid-Atlantic. We'd call them "high-tops" if they really were the higher cut shoe, otherwise, "sneakers" or "Converse." Shoes with more support for running/aerobics were usually just "running shoes."

    Good topic!

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  21. Thank you. It's amazing how many different words there can be for a type of shoe!

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  22. I'm from Chicago, and I call mine Chuck Taylors or sneakers.

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  23. I'm from Birmingham, England....

    We call them trainers or 'cons' or baseball boots or pumps or shoes (this one depends on whether you actually own 'real' shoes or not!)
    They are most definitely NOT for running or any other form of exercise.
    Otherwise if they look like a sneaker then they're trainers.

    hope this helps....

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  24. I live right smack dab in the middle of the mid west (Indiana)and Ive grown up calling my shoes, shoes...but they are known here as " gym shoes or tennis shoes, sometimes they are referred to by the 'star' that inspired them..the shoes pictured look more like low top converse all-stars the high top version being called 'Chucks' after the basketball star Chuck Taylor. Other types would be Jordan's 'after Michael Jordan. However for the most part by and large we just call them gym shoes because they can be worn on or off of a hard wood gymnasium floor and cause marring or scuffing.

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  25. I grew up in New York and essentially everyone native to this area calls them sneakers. I think most of the US seems to call them tennis shoes though. I've lived in Florida and Virginia and almost all Southerns I know call them tennis shoes. I don't remember what they were called in Connecticut and Massachusetts, where I have also lived, but I think sneakers is common in the whole Northeast. I've never understood why everyone calls them tennis shoes no matter what sport they're for. Personally, to me, tennis shoes sounds kind of quaint.

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  26. Hi Alex. I think you're right - tennis shoes seems to be the most common term in the USA.

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  27. Old post, but I'll add my two cents. I grew up in Maine with parents who were from Massachusetts, and spent a large part of my time in Massachusetts. I now live in New Hampshire. So, let's say I am from New England.

    I suspect that you chose that picture intending it to represent generic "athletic shoes," but since it actually doesn't, that complicates matters. I NEVER use the term "tennis shoes" to describe generic athletic shoes, but the shoes pictured are, in fact, tennis shoes (AKA court shoes - shoes for playing tennis.)

    I grew up only using the term "sneakers" to describe casual/athletic shoes. I might call the shoes pictured "sneakers," since it's kind of an all-encompassing term, but I would never do the reverse - call shoes not made for playing tennis "tennis shoes." In my experience, people in the midwestern US and sometimes the west use the term "tennis shoes." My husband's family is from Wisconsin/Minnesota/Illinois, and they all say tennis shoes (which drives me crazy!)

    Now I call some shoes - particularly those made by New Balance for running - "running shoes." Occasionally I will also refer to them as trainers. New Balance is a Boston company and they refer to many of their shoes as trainers... not sure if it's a bit of New England mimicking Old England, or if it's because NB has plants in England (which they do) or what.

    Looking at some of the comments above, I am reminded that in the '80s, when I was in elementary school/junior high and bought into a lot of trends, I wore "high-tops." This is just short for "high-top sneakers" - those sneakers which come up around your ankles in more of a boot style. These often had velcro fasteners on the ankle portion.

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  28. I know this is really old but I live in ohio and we call them low tops, high tops if they go over the ankle, converse, or Taylor gangs because that is what's in the circle on the side.

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  29. Should have said I call them Bumpers and I live in UK.

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    1. Where are you from in uk? I only heard them called bumpers by one person in northern ireland.

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  30. I'm from England, and my sister loves to wear that style of footwear in her leisure time - she calls them sneakers. (specifically, she likes to wear Converse All Stars). Sneakers are, I've found, not an uncommon term in the UK, and mean these types of shoes with flat rubber soles and canvas tops.

    Yes, we Brits do tend to refer to running shoes as trainers, but not the sort that are in the pic at the top. This is the sort of shoe we mean when we're saying "trainers"...

    http://www.kippenschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/brooks-Trainers.jpg

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  31. The pictured shoes are Converse or All-Stars.

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  32. The pictured shoes are Converse or All-Stars.

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  33. I'm from South Wales and I call them sort of shoes daps

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  34. I'm from South Africa and we call them takkies. Any sneaker or runner we call takkies.

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