How To Spot Fake Sneakers: Complete Guide

The most disappointing part when it comes to getting a brand new sneakers are realizing you just received fake sneakers.

With the advancement of technologies being used to replicate authentic sneakers, imitations are passed off as originals and can go undetected if you’re incapable of identifying the real ones from the knock offs.

This a good reason why you have to master the skill on how to spot fake sneakers right away if you don’t want to end up wasting your hard-earned money and your time.

Being able to tell if sneakers are fake can be valuable and save you a lot of money and time in the long run.

How To Tell If Sneakers Are Fake Or Not

Main Reason Why There Are Fake Sneakers

The main reason why people replicate or imitate original sneakers is to make money.

Factories don’t just make fake sneakers because they don’t have a choice, but because they can get easy money out of it.

All they have to do is imitate the design, use cheap materials, and make the shoe look like the original as much as they can.

And they have more than a handful of options on how they are going to sell these fake sneakers. They can market them through a third party company, using their own online store, or open a physical shop and sell their fake sneakers there.

If their production team is well-equipped and well-trained, they can make fake sneakers look like the original ones. And this is bad not just for popular shoe brands, but also the consumers, us.

The good thing is as good as these fakes are, they are still ways you can do to spot fake sneakers.

Obvious Signs To Tell If Sneakers Are Fake Or Not

The clear signs that the sneakers you’re planning to purchase are fake can be identified by a thorough visual inspection.

Your eyes will be our primary tool in determining if the sneakers you want are authentic or not.

Midsole and Outsole

The midsoles of original sneakers are usually glued, and not stitched.

They are made from lightweight materials that do not feel heavy when you wear them.

The same can be said to the outsole, they are easy to lift and are made of high-grade rubber for proper support and traction for its user.

Fake sneakers use low-quality rubber that feels off and often weighs more.

Glue Stains

Excessive glue stains on the outside of your shoe, specifically the midsoles, can only imply that those sneakers did not go through rigorous inspection. And this often means they are knock offs, not genuine sneakers.

How To Spot Fake Lebrons

Right vs Left

One of our best tips to tell if the sneakers are fake or not is to check their height both the right and left shoe. Authentic sneakers should be identical in height and size.

One should not sit higher than the other. One should not have a thicker material. And of course, one should not be wider than the other.

If one of them looks different, then you could have a pair of fake shoes on your hands.

Heel Tabs

This does not apply to all sneakers out there, but can be a useful indication if you’re getting a pair of sneakers with heel tabs.

Heel tabs should not look messy and always have perfect finish on them. Your shoe’s original manufacturer will not release them if they see that the tabs look off.

How To Tell If Sneakers Online Are Fake

Most online stores, especially those with limited followers and information about their business, are often the place where fake sneakers are sold. It does not require much capital to set up an online store for fake sneakers if you have those in your inventory.

An appealing domain name and a cheap web hosting can do the trick. And those two may only cost them $20 at maximum.

If they can sell a pair of their fake sneakers, they’ll be able to get their investment back and maybe more.

So how can you tell if the sneakers online are fake or not?

Unrealistic Price

The most obvious sign that an online store is selling fake sneakers is if their prices are too good to be true. Similar to other items sold online, a hard to believe price is often a good indication that you might not get the authentic or original version of the product you’re looking to buy.

A pair of Jordan 1s are typically sold for $170. If an online store is selling those for less than a hundred bucks, then you should look into it first. It’s either they are selling you used Jordans or they are selling you fake ones.

Also, checking the store for other products they sell can be a good way to see if they can be trusted. Here’s an example of an online store selling fake sneakers at unbelievable low prices.

Alibaba Fake Sneakers For Sale
Just look at those prices. You can get a pair of Jordans for less than $15 and Yeezys for less than $50.

Number of Available Sizes

Sneakers that are known to fetch a great amount of money in the open market are usually the ones that get replicated more. So an easy way to tell that the sneakers being sold online are fake is when the sizes for these rare sneakers are all available.

The chances of a small online store to have more than a handful of sizes for rare sneakers are slim to none. And without the need to check the sneakers personally, you can easily tell that they don’t have the original set with them.

Plagiarized Pictures

More often than not, the pictures you see of the sneakers sold online are from the shoe manufacturer’s website. And if you’re buying sneakers online, you should verify with the seller if he can take a picture of the sneakers that he is selling on his site.

Asking if he can take a selfie with the shoes can easily prove that he has the sneakers with him. If he doesn’t agree to that, you can ask if he can write a note on a piece of paper instead, and place it alongside the shoes when he takes a picture of them.

Also, asking for the picture of your soon-to-be sneakers should be of high priority to you whenever this is your first time buying from their store and you can’t find anyone to verify that the seller is only selling authentic sneakers.

How To Spot Fake Sneakers On Hand

If for some reason, you’ve already got your sneakers, but you are not confident that the pair you recently bought is 100% authentic. Then be aware of these clear indications to determine if your sneakers are real or not.

Wrong Box

The box of your sneakers can be a great indicator if the shoes inside them are real or not.

The box should be properly tagged and labeled. It should not be any plain box or a white box with no labels on it.

Typically, it should be colored similar to other shoe boxes made by your sneakers’ manufacturer.

Nike Sneakers Box

For example, Nike shoes may come in different colors but the most common Nike boxes are orange, brown, or red.

Wrong Color Combinations

Most fake sneakers resellers advertise their products as unique or one of a kind. But checking with them on the original’s manufacturer’s website should tell you the available colors and shades for their authentic sneakers.

If a color or shade is not one of the specific color combinations specified there, then those sneakers are likely counterfeit ones.

Feels Off

It’s easier to tell if sneakers are fake when you can wear them to try them out.

If the materials feel lackluster, or the inside of the sneakers feel too narrow or small, then there’s a good chance the sneakers are not authentic.

Another thing you should look out for is their weight, knock offs are usually heavier than original sneakers.

Fake Tag

The most convincing way to tell if the sneakers are fake or not is by checking the tag inside the sneakers and the one on its the box.

The tag is often placed on your sneakers’ tongue, heel, or arch. And it has your shoes’ size and tells the location (usually the country) your shoes were made. It may also show when it was manufactured and your sneakers’ product number too.

The tag on the box is usually on the shorter side, and almost has the same amount of information that the tag on your shoes has.

If any of the information on the tag on your sneakers are different from the one on the box like the size, product number, manufacture date, or place of manufacture, then this only means the sneakers are not authentic.

How To Spot Fake Sneakers Checklist

Are the sneakers priced correctly?
Is there a difference between the tag inside the sneakers and the one on their box?
Is the item posted on a trusted website?
Can I see the actual photos of the sneakers?
Are there any noticeable defects?

Any “No” answer requires further investigation to determine if the sneakers are real or fake.

Solution: Buy Authentic Sneakers From Legit Sellers

Tired of buying fake sneakers?

Let’s get you acquainted with reputable sneaker websites that can help you cop the pair of sneakers you’ve been looking for.

No fakes. No replicas. No imitations.

Just 100% authentic sneakers.

We highly recommend getting your sneakers from these trustworthy sources.

Fake Sneakers FAQs

What’s the easiest way to spot fake sneakers?

The easiest way to spot fake sneakers is by checking their tags. The tag inside the shoes should match the one on the box. Any difference between them should tell you that what you have are imitations or knock offs.

How do you know if sneakers are original without seeing them personally?

If you are buying sneakers online, then you want to be sure that the sneakers you’re getting are 100% authentic.

And since we already told you how to check if the sneakers are fake or not, you should ask for the picture of the sneaker tag and its box from the seller.

One good way to know if he is using the actual sneakers or not is by asking him to put your name on a piece of paper and put it on top of the sneakers or have him hold it near the tag of your sneakers and your sneakers’ box.

If the seller refuses to do those, then it’s not worth your time and money to close a deal with them.

Can I return fake sneakers?

If you have to ask this question, then you may get disappointed with our answer.

Fake sneakers sellers won’t let you return the item even if you begged them. They might give you some instructions on how to return the sneakers, but you cannot be certain that they’ll be refunding your money or if they are capable to replace your sneakers with authentic ones.

If you’ve been sold an imitation, try to verify first the business address of the seller if it’s real or not. You may also try and dispute your purchase with your credit card company or with Paypal if you used it to pay for your sneakers.

Tip: Use Paypal when paying for your sneakers online. They typically hold the amount you paid before releasing them to the seller, and their resolution team may assist you when the seller won’t cooperate.

Which sneaker is knocked off the most?

If you’re wondering the most knocked-off sneakers today, they’re the Yeezys.

Yeezys gained popularity due to the influence of Kanye West and how other popular personalities made wearing one a fashion statement.

The most affordable pair of Yeezys cost around $200, this gives potential fake resellers great earning potential and sufficient market demand to sell their replicas.

My Nike shoes have a tag that says “Made in China”, does this mean they are fake?

Nike has more than a hundred factories in China, and it’s not rare to get an original Nike sneakers that has a “Made in China” tag on it.

If you want to know what country Nike manufacture most of its shoes, check out this Nike Factories Map.

Do Nikes all come with an orange box?

As mentioned earlier in this guide on how to spot fake sneakers, Nike boxes come not only in orange color but also red and brown depending on the sneakers you’re getting.

Are real Jordans made in China?

Jordan sneakers are usually made in China and in Vietnam. Nike has several factories in Asia, so it would not be wise to use the country where the shoes were made as the only criteria in determining if they are authentic or not.

Are Yeezys made in Vietnam fake?

Since 2010, Adidas has been steadily moving some of their factories from China to Vietnam. They’ve also tapped Indonesia to manufacture some of their footwear.

Yeezys made from Vietnam does not necessarily mean they are fake or faux.

Is Adidas made in the USA?

Adidas have factories all over the world, and they have about 71 factories in the United States that help them make some of their well-renowned shoes.

Are Reebok shoes made in Vietnam?

Similar to Nike and Adidas, Reebok also has some of its factories situated in Vietnam. Authentic Reebok shoes can come from Vietnam, the same can be said to fake Reebok sneakers. This is the reason why it’s hard to spot fake sneakers by just using the countries where they are made from.