Air Jordans, even decades after their original release, are one of the most popular sneakers to date, but sadly, the markets all over the world are plagued by fakes. To help you out, we’ve compiled a few ways how to tell if Jordans are fake.

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There are over 30 different Air Jordans, so it isn’t easy to tell apart fakes from real ones with every release; however, there are general guidelines that you can follow to see for yourself. However, before we tell you how to spot fake Air Jordans, let’s walk through just how rampant fakes have become.

If you want to find out if StockX or GOAT sells fakes, check them out as well!

How To Tell If Jordans Are Fake: How Widespread Has It Gotten?

Fake Sneakers Are On The Rise all over the world and is now a Multi-Billion Dollar business
Fake Sneakers Are On The Rise all over the world and is now a Multi-Billion Dollar business

A trillion-dollar economy has grown up around the world’s market for counterfeit products, and e-commerce has just spread the issue further.

A recent study from the Better Business Bureau, “Fakes Are Not Fashionable,” makes it apparent that counterfeiting can be as damaging to customers as it is to companies and the economy as a whole. Footwear is routinely one of the top targets for fakes.

Almost no one takes any action: Less than 10% of scam victims, according to the FTC, ever approach the BBB or regulatory police with a complaint. 

It also might be difficult to get a refund from a credit card provider since most want to see evidence that the item is fake. (In Canada, Project Chargeback, an anti-fraud project, has streamlined the procedure and assisted 42,000 individuals in receiving $14.7 million in refunds since it began.).

This is also why identifying fake sneakers (Jordans) is so important. 

Ideally, fakes really shouldn’t enter the nation at all; nonetheless, they are sometimes difficult to detect. According to a report by the U.S.

Government Accountability Office, around 88% of the counterfeit items in the U.S. originate in China or Hong Kong.

The practice of importing unbranded products, adding tags and other distinguishing elements like Nike swooshes after the cargo has evaded customs, and forging bills of lading have all been discovered by authorities.

One counterfeiter placed phony Adidas shoes inside packets of napkins.

According to the BBB, footwear was one of the top three categories of counterfeit products that U.S. customs officials did confiscate in 2017. 

Brand protection technology company Red Points conducted a poll of 315 customers who had purchased sports footwear online over the previous six months and discovered that 20% of respondents admitted to purchasing counterfeit sneakers.

Most of those who had began their search by hunting for the real item or a comparable design at a reduced price.

Air Jordan and other high-end brands are popular targets for counterfeiters.  The Global Brand Counterfeiting Report from data service company Research And Markets estimate that luxurious companies lose over $30.3 billion annually as a result of online counterfeit sales.

There is also reason to think that the issue may worsen before it gets better. The American Apparel & Footwear Association was one of several trade associations that wrote a letter to President Trump in June, as the trade conflict between China and the U.S. was starting to get heated.

The letter warned that additional tariffs on imported goods might end up indirectly boosting the counterfeit industry.

Why is This Such A Serious Issue?

Fake sneakers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Almost all silhouettes across companies now have fake counterparts
Fake sneakers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Almost all silhouettes across companies now have fake counterparts

Since many consumers desire to attain a high-end designer appearance for the price of a thrift shop, the counterfeiting sector is regrettably a rising industry worldwide.

A real company’s reputation may be destroyed by purchasing and selling counterfeit items. It may reduce their legitimate profit margin and harm their company as a whole.

The counterfeiting industry not only affects the company whose product it is attempting to imitate, but it also has additional effects that most customers may not be aware of.

You may not be aware of it, but whether you purchase a phony pair of shoes or imitation branded items, your actions have a significant influence on the world in which you live.

Impact on the Local and International Economy

The local and global economies are negatively impacted by purchasing phony and counterfeit items. Approximately 200 billion dollars are lost yearly by American firms alone as a result of counterfeit goods.

Foreign companies like Samsung also experience yearly revenue losses as a result of the market saturation of fake devices.

Items that are fake do not support taxes.

Operations that produce counterfeit goods do not pay taxes, which hurts both local and national economies. Taxes are used to support amenities like paved highways and roads, local hospitals, museums, and other social and economic activities.

Employment Affect

Fake products endanger the employment market in the United States and other developed nations in addition to the income and reputation of a legal brand.

According to research, the counterfeit industry has eliminated approximately 2.5 million employees, including 750,000 in the United States alone.

Encourages Child Labor

The majority of fake goods are made in foreign factories that encourage modern-day slavery and child labor.

Sweatshops are well-known for flouting rules against child labor and violating the fundamental rights of their employees while paying them next to nothing in order to maximize their profits.

Introduction of Risky Products on the Market

Your well-being is not a concern to counterfeiters; they just worry about making a profit. A lot of fake goods are constructed using cheap, inferior materials that might lead to accidents. The ankle and foot may be hurt by counterfeit shoes, and products powered by cheap batteries have been known to explode spontaneously.

Poor Quality 

The adage “You get what you pay for” has never been more accurate regarding the fake goods market. Designer purses and knockoff shoes disintegrate after little to no wear. Because of the materials, they are constructed of, counterfeit shoes are often unpleasant and have led to injuries. Designer clothing is more costly in part because the best materials are used to create long-lasting products.

For the aforementioned reasons, it is crucial to know how to spot fake sneakers, particularly Air Jordans.

So, let’s get right to it!

How To Spot Fake Air Jordan 1

Real Vs Fake Air Jordan 1 Logos Via The Sneaker Factory
Real Vs Fake Air Jordan 1 Logos Via The Sneaker Factory


The first consideration when purchasing Air Jordan 1s is pricing. The $170 starting price for an Air Jordan 1 high is typical. Prices for Mids and Low tops typically range between $140 and $120.

Unless it is being offered through an authorized Nike retailer, anything less is probably fake. Your first indication that you have a pair of fake, counterfeit, or illegal b-grade Jordan 1 sneakers is low costs and damaged packaging.

Do not forget that just because the shoes are a little worn, it does not indicate they were original Nikes. Sellers sometimes use the term “slightly used” to attempt to pass off the telltale indications of fake shoes as regular wear and tear.

Jordan Box 

Typically, phony pairs have extremely poor-quality boxes. When you look at the box, you’ll see that the fake pair is often thinner, the print is frequently less visible, and the tag is typically incorrect.

A lot of imitation Jordan 1 boxes get seriously damaged during shipping from China. Because the phony shoes are delivered out one at a time by the firm selling them, the boxes are sometimes also damaged. Due to improper care being given to the wrapping, this often results in the box being harmed.

Jordan Air Wings

Instead of being flat on the leather, the Air Jordan emblem needs to be embossed. If you run your fingertips over the logo, you should be able to feel it.

To assist the stitchers in finding the panels during assembly, the actual Nike does not include any stitching guidelines. There are several of these tiny assembly instructions on the fake Nike’s red logo panel.


Peaks can be seen on the fake pair; one is located directly on the toe box. Toe boxes on Air Jordan 1s should be flat all the way around and should not have a peak in the center.

Additionally, you’ll see that the toe box’s openings have to be arched. On the phony pair, the holes are often straight and do not have an arch.

Footwear Tongue

Take a look at the tongue tag’s Nike Air logo. The Nike logo located on the tongue will be the subject of our next examination.

The imitation pair’s curve is often a bit different from the original. On the phony pair, the Nike swoosh is likewise less distinct and fuzzy.

The print’s quality is unquestionably worse than that of the original pair. The Nike Air lettering often gets chopped off on counterfeit shoes. There should be a little padding/spacing at the bottom of the text and the end of the tag.

The hourglass shape

The heel is the most obvious and straightforward indicator of a counterfeit pair of Jordan 1s. The hourglass curve of the heel seems to have been a challenge for the designers.

 The actual pair has an hourglass shape, as you can see in the image below. On the imitation shoe, the heel just slopes straight downward in a rectangle pattern. 

Examine the insole’s Nike air logo for durability. The branding on the fake pair will be of poor quality and seem to be about to fade. After a few uses, it will most certainly start to fade. The branding will remain legible on a genuine pair even after several wears.

How To Tell If Jordans Are Fake: General Indications

Cut Lace Keeper on The Left is Real
Cut Lace Keeper on The Left is Real Via The Sneaker Factory

The best method to determine if a pair of Air Jordans is authentic or a huge fake is usually to look at the box they come in.

The logo on an Air Jordan box will nearly always match the logo below, and the box will be of great quality and durability.

Jumpman Emblem

Of course, each one will be unique in some manner, but you get the idea.

The absence of production information on the package is another sign that the Jordans are counterfeit.

Additionally, there may probably be mistakes like sloppy, crooked stickers and spelling mistakes.

A reliable sign of phony Air Jordan shoes.

Under the Tongue Label

The label that reads “Inspired by the most historic season led by the best player ever” may be found beneath the tongue of the sneaker on the majority of authentic Air Jordans.

This embroidered logo will be precisely positioned behind the tongue with no smudges or typos.

The Jumpman logo will also be present, and the spelling is in the color white.

Jordan’s Jumpman logo, however, is cleanly stitched and just seems flawless.

The shoe’s emblem may be seen on the tongue, the rear of the shoe, and sometimes in other locations.

You should also verify this to discover whether it’s a fake or not.

The stitching will always be accurate and well-matched.

The stitching on imitation Jordans, on the other hand, will almost certainly be shoddy, crooked, smeared, and blurred.

Check for craftsmanship and quality

Quality construction, carefully spaced stitching, flawlessly matched logos, and ideal proportions are hallmarks of Air Jordan footwear.

Since this is true of all of their sneakers, authentic Air Jordan sneakers won’t have any shoddy stitching or unprofessional craftsmanship.

99.99% of the time, if you do see anything that doesn’t appear professional (such as incomplete stitching, frayed threads, uneven gaps, etc.), it is a fake.

Check for Authenticity When Shopping Online

It is advisable to determine if a pair of Air Jordans being sold by a vendor is authentic or fake before purchasing them.

Search for the colors on or the official Nike website to do this.

Colorways are combinations of colors, and the two websites mentioned above are the most reliable sources since they come directly from them.

If there isn’t a color choice stated on those official websites, it’s probably a fake. Therefore, you should stay as far away from it as you can.

Be cautious of dealers that label their shoes as “Authentic.”

Authentic indicates that they seem genuine Air Jordans; it has no other meaning.

Affordable Costs

I can practically ensure that you won’t be getting a genuine deal if you find someone offering a brand-new pair for less than $100.

Additionally, a lot of Air Jordans are limited editions. Thus, used Jordans will sell for a lot more money than they originally cost!

Stock images are a warning sign.

People utilize stock photographs for a reason—they want to make the shoe seem as authentic as possible.

But it raises a concern.

Nowadays, with everyone owning a phone, taking 3-5 photos from various perspectives and uploading them to a website for sale is not difficult.

It just takes two minutes.

So, unless you want to be conned, I advise you to avoid stock photographs that are not the real deal.

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Mohammad Yousaf

Mohammad Yousaf

As a business student, Mohammad was thoroughly impressed with where the secondary market was heading for sneakers. He quickly realized that what used to be considered as a side hustle, was now the main income stream for many. He has studied the game ever since.


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