Sneaker is a synonym for “athletic shoes,” the generic name for the footwear primarily designed for sports or other forms of physical exercise. Additionally, sneakers have come to be used for casual everyday activities. The term describes a type of footwear with a flexible sole made of rubber or synthetic material and an upper part made of leather or canvas. Examples include athletic footwear such as: basketball shoes, tennis shoes, cross trainers and other shoes worn for specific sports.
Sneakers is the more common term used in northeastern United States and southern Florida. The British English equivalent of “sneaker” in its modern form is “trainer”. In some urban areas in the United States, the slang for sneakers is kicks. In Hiberno-English, Canadian English and Australian English the term is runners or sneakers or running shoes. In South African English the term used is takkies.