When it comes to slang words, there are certain phrases that can instantly give away where someone is from.  If you're from Illinois, you're easily detectable.

Remember in elementary school when your entire class would go to your lockers and grab your shoes for gym class?  That was always the best part of the day because we got to release all our built up energy!

Take a look at me in 2007 wearing my gym shoes for Spring photos.  I know dang well my mom got me these shoes from Payless.  The chunky sole says it all!

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Well, just like school, we all learn something new every day. If you hear someone refer to their sneakers as "gym shoes," there's a good chance they grew up in Illinois.  In other parts of the Country, that's not the case.

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If You Use The Slang Term "Gym Shoes" You Probably Grew Up In Illinois

But why is this specific slang term so closely associated with the Prairie State?

In the 1970s and 1980s when the term "gym shoes" was first used to describe athletic footwear, it was a common for students in Illinois schools to wear their sneakers to gym class, hence the name "gym shoes." 

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Read More: Illinois’ Top Slang Word Definitely Not About Drugs 

While "gym shoes" may be a common phrase in Illinois, it's not the only way people refer to their sneakers across the Country.  People have come up with different terms to describe their footwear, including:

Tennis shoes: This phrase is often used to describe sneakers that are designed for activities like tennis, running, or jogging.

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Kicks: Younger generations tend to say this to describe sneakers of all types.  At this very moment, I feel old because I don't say kicks at all lol.

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Trainers: I only ever hear workout people use this term.  It's definitely popular among people who are into fitness or sports!

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Chucks: This usually describes Converse All Star sneakers.  I feel cool when I say "chucks."  Why? It's like a Millenial... hipster... term. Right?

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There are tons of other terms people use to refer to the shoes on their feet, but what I do know is you'll totally reveal you're from the Midwest if you say "gym shoes."  Next time you lace up your sneakers, maybe switch up the term so you don't out yourself!

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