How Does Each Brand Choose Their Sneaker Names?

by: Tilda
August 7, 2020

The sneaker industry is really interesting. From shaping part of the street culture to being the spotlight on the ball court, kicks are all about the drip. But you can’t be cool without a matching name. So today, we’re here to talk about the coolest sneaker names in each of the top sneaker brands. Of course, the industry is much bigger than one blog post. That’s why we’re gonna cover the best names out there!

sneaker names nsb

Sneaker Names: Brands and Their Identity

Every brand needs to have an identity. And the silhouettes are definitely the biggest vibe source out there. However, a sneaker name can leave a certain connotation in a person’s head! “Rainbow” makes us think of happy and colorful things, while “The Grim” takes a much darker turn. So what are the names that stuck with us the most? And how do brands choose their sneaker names?

Nike

The company’s name itself takes after the Greek goddess of victory. Nike usually takes a simple approach for their sneaker names. They simply described the technology in “Air Max”, and named the “Blazer” after the company’s city team. They also usually go for naming the kicks after some of their collaborators, and co-designers like the Air Jordan line and Nike Cortez!

sneaker names nike

The name that sticks out the most to us is probably the Nike Mag, where Mag probably stands for magnetic. And that makes sense when the kicks are inspired by a science fiction movie! The runner-up would definitely be their newest cushioning system: Nike Joyride. You’d think it’s an odd name for a pair of kicks, but once you look at them, you’ll know.

Air Jordan

Although it falls under Nike, we can’t ignore the fact that the brand made a standalone legacy for itself. However, most sneaker names simply describe the colorway. Moreover, some kicks feature the name of collaborating designers and artists e.g Melody Ehsani, Travis Scott. Others are named as a tribute to milestones in MJ’s career like the Flu Game 12s and Shattered Backboard 1s.

Our favorite name? It’s hands down the “Bred”, the mix of red and black. Jordan Brand normalized the name with the first “Banned” Air Jordan 1! Since then, a lot of sneakers donned the same name, even Yeezys, and it has since become a classic.

sneaker names jordans

Adidas

The company’s name is a mashup of the owner’s name Adolf “Adi” Dassler. Now we can’t really wrap up all the sneaker names, but we can say that their sneaker names are definitely interesting. Some have obvious meanings, and some don’t! Adidas Ultraboost and Primeknit don’t really need an explanation. However, the Gazelle and the Samba are some of the more obscure names that nobody really knows their origin. The brand also didn’t miss naming some of their kicks after athletes like Kobe and Stan Smith!

New Balance

The simplest and the most straight-forward naming strategy: Numbers! Every New Balance silhouette name is a number. That way, you can easily memorize the name and the silhouette! On the other hand, some NB sneaker names reflect the tech incorporated in their designs. And occasionally, the name of the collaborators. And speaking of New Balance, they’re playing the hype game just right in 2020!

sneaker names New Balance 2020

Yeezy

We saved the best for last, no cap. Kanye is a really controversial artist, and maybe president soon! And an interesting person will definitely come up with some of the most interesting sneaker names! The silhouettes actually have specific numbers 350, 500, 700, 750, and 950. And if you’re wondering what the numbers mean, they’re the height of the kicks! You see, Yeezy 350’s height is 3.5’’, 750s are 7.5’’ tall, and so on… However, the colorway names are stories on their own! That’s why we’ll tell it soon in an independent post. Meanwhile, let’s do a fast recap.

The Simple Times

The most popular silhouette of them all! The 350 V1 names were pretty simple, just the name of the colors. The first V2 colorways were also true to their colorways like the Blue Tints, Black Red, Black Green, etc…. However, as we got deeper into Yeezys, the names got wild with inspiration nodding at times to animals like the Belugas and Zebras!

sneaker names yeezy zebra

Yeezys Unite With Nature!

The second level was when sneaker names became inspired by nature and natural phenomena. Maybe that was related to his surge of sustainability. Some of them are Yeezy 350 Earth, Lundmark, Yeezy 500 Stone, and many more. Interesting though they are, they’re not very weird. And we were digging that as long as Ye served us some sexy kicks!

Kanye and the Bible

Although the nature-inspired kicks were interesting, they don’t even compare to these. Kanye was embracing his new-found Christianity and some pretty biblical sneaker names ensued. The names are mostly from the Bible and in Hebrew. Some of the most notable names are Yeezy 700 Azael, Yeezy 350 V2 Israfil, Yeshaya, and Yecheil.

sneaker names Yeezy Israfil

If you wanna know what all of these names mean, keep checking our blog for the next post! Whether they’re inspired by religious beliefs, nature, or simply reflect their model number, sneaker names are a thing. A big thing in the industry. And if not done right, a sneaker’s hype could quickly sink into a big pool of memes, sarcasm, and withered hype.