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The American term sneakers is a synonym for athletic shoes. More specifically, sneakers refer to footwear made of flexible material, typically featuring a sole made of rubber and an upper part made of leather or canvas. Sneakers were originally sporting apparel, but are today worn much more widely as casual footwear. They are now widely popular. Many children choose to wear sneakers to school because of their comfort and versatility.

Sneaker can also refer to an athletic shoe such as basketball shoes, tennis shoes or cross trainers. These shoes are sport specific shoes worn for various sports.

The British English equivalent of “sneaker” is a “trainer” in its modern meaning, while the traditional “sneaker” (pictured) is closer to the British “plimsoll”. 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. In South African English the term used is tekkies.

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