Known as "sneakers" on the East Coast and "tennis shoes" in the south and western United States, gym shoes are used for exercising and oftentimes are worn in normal, informal settings. The term "gym shoes" is limited mostly to Chicago and the immediate area, even though it is the correct term and the rest of the country is incorrect.
Person 1: "I have my sneakers!"
Person 2: "We aren't from New York. They're called GYM SHOES."