Green’s Dictionary of Slang

kicks n.2

(US black/campus) shoes; in later usage, spec. athletic shoes.

[US]J. London ‘’Frisco Kid’s Story’ in High School Aegis X (15 Feb.) 2–3: Dere wuz nothin’ left but his kicks, I mean shoes.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 56: On his kicks were a pair of radiant spats of white with red polka dots.
[US]Morn. Tulsa Dly World (OK) 13 June 19/2: Kicks — Shoes.
Indianapolis Sun. Star 15 June 4/7: Why do you call [...] a pair of shoes kicks?
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 57: Better take off your kicks, Blondey, your feet’ll feel better in the morning.
[US]Joe Archibald ‘Time Will Tell’ in Phantom Detective Sept. [Internet] You admit ya wore these kicks last night, eh?
[US]C. Himes ‘The Something in a Colored Man’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 403: He [...] minced across the Avenue on his tan and white kicks.
[US]G. Lea Somewhere There’s Music 101: ‘She bought me these kicks,’ he said and held up a foot.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Mama Black Widow 82: Ah’m goin’ to [...] score fer some tan knob-toes kicks.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 38: That’s a nice pair of kicks you’re wearing, buddy.
[US]E. Bunker Little Boy Blue (1995) 232: ‘Those are pretty nice kicks you’re wearin’.’ He was looking at Alex’s shoes.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 4: kicks – baseball shoes.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 6: kicks – tennis shoes, sneakers.
[US]J. Stahl Permanent Midnight 343: ‘You lookin’ at my kicks, right?’ [...] He did, indeed, sport a classy pair of shoes.
[US]Hip-Hop Connection Dec. 45: Kicks are trainers/sneakers. If you’re going to brag about your kicks, make sure they’re Nike or Adidas.
[US]P. Beatty Tuff 36: Yo, your pop groovier-than-a-motherfucker. Look at those pointy kicks and the tight-ass straight legs. June 28 [Internet] Athletic shoes come in many types and many nicknames [...] Kicks [...] whatever ye’ calls ’em, I like Sneakers!
David Banner ‘Yao Ming’ [lyrics] So ghetto, my kicks so retro.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Shore Leave 104: [He] drew out his kicks and shorts.