English help, meanings and way of saying

There is a recent song that I like, for its sound and music, but the lyrics are a bit obscure to me.
Even with the help of some sites and automatic translators, I am not able to get the “real” meaning.

The song is “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People or, more recently, there is this version by Klingande:

The refrain says:

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet

In this context, what does really mean “the kids with the pumped up kicks” ?

  • kids ready to kick someone?
  • kids wearing the latest and greatest shoes (boots)?
  • kids who are simply ready to play some running race game?

Thanks for your help :blush:

It means kids who focus on the latest and the greatest shoes (or, maybe more generally, clothing).

Thanks @LowLevel. So, it should be…

Italian speaking

Quindi sarebbe: tutti quegli altri ragazzini con le scarpe firmate, correte via, più veloce della mia pistola/proiettile.

Sounds good to me!

Yep, I’d agree with @LowLevel.

I’m going to have that song in my head for the rest of the day now!


Specifically I assumed “Pumped up kicks” means the latest and greatest sneakers. It’s a bit dated now to say it but “nice kicks” is a way to compliment someone’s shoes here in the US.

Also, I think a lot more is implied by the type of kids that are obsessed with sneakers. Hard to explain but it’s kind of a “type”, like jock, nerd, wastoid, etc.

Good song!

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Didn´t there use to be a craze where you had sports shoes you actually physically could pump up with air, too?

You mean, the non-infringing-copyright Mike Air Pump?

I think so, yes!

At school I had shoes that had a massive key embedded in the sole as part of their trademark.

Actually that would make quite a good adventure game puzzle. You’re welcome, Ron.

Take off shoes
I don’t wanna take them off! * Beep * you!

Are you implying I have clown size feet? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Go on…!

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I had to look that up. Had no idea he has a (supposed) foot fetish! Makes sense though.

OK, now that we have clarified that:
What about all this gun shooting?

There is no way you will ever see his movies the same way again, knowing that.

Indeed. It certainly explains the toe-wiggling scene in Kill Bill. And she doesn’t even have the nicest feet.

Also the scene in From Dusk Till Dawn, which is a movie he has written and stars in.

Oh yeah that one too!

In American urban sub-culture, “kicks” is a synonym of sneakers (sports or running shoes), and “pumped up kicks” mean something like the best or the latest and greatest, but alludes specifically at the newest trendy ones promoted by the big brands.

Moreover, in such a sub-culture, especially in lower-end or poor areas of the inner-city, such shoes have a rather high street value, and so it was common at some point in the past (it may still be, I don’t know) for people to get assaulted at gun point for their shoes.

<feel free to insert right here your own commentary on American gun and violence culture. :roll_eyes:>

This was so prevalent that it formed part of the popular culture, and is reflected in music and movies as a condition of the youth’s inner-city life.

That song is a reference to this pop cultural meme.