Fake sneakers are unfortunately a large part of the sneaker market. You have to be incredibly safe and cautious when purchasing or selling any sneakers, Yeezys in particular. Today we take a look at some of the most noticeable things to take a look at when purchasing Yeezys, so you know how to easily spot fake Yeezys.

Image of Yeezys via Unsplash.
Image of Yeezys via Unsplash.

What Are Yeezys?

A good introduction to this article is understanding what Yeezys are in the first place. Yeezy is essentially an ongoing fashion collaboration between Adidas and American rapper Kanye West

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Yeezy began as a collaboration between Kanye and Nike. Kanye publicly pointed out that Nike did not allow him to release his shoes as often or abundantly as he felt his creativity and influence demanded.

Conversely, Nike did not want an artist as the face of their athlete-oriented brand. After a year of on-stage name-calling, behind-the-scenes banter, and radio rants, Kanye left Nike for Adidas in the fall of 2013.

In the years to follow, the Yeezy brand grew with healthy backing from Adidas and the immutable creativity of Kanye.

Industry veterans like Steven Smith, Mark Miner, and Christian Tresser joined the booming brand, honing Mr. West’s off-the-wall ideas into market-ready releases.

Today Yeezy is one of the largest sneaker brands and one of the most resold sneakers in the game. They can be incredibly profitable, which means there are tons of replicas and counterfeit copies out there.

Image of Yeezy and Adidas logo.
Image of Yeezy and Adidas logo.

How to Spot Fake Yeezy 350s

Following the popularity of the Adidas Yeezy 750, the Yeezy 350 was first spotted in 2015 during New York Fashion Week. Featuring a Primeknit upper paired with Adidas Boost cushioning, the first iteration spawned memorable colorways including the Yeezy 350 ‘Turtle Dove’ and Yeezy 350 ‘Pirate Black.

A slightly redesigned upper arrived in the 350 V2, with a monofilament side stripe and SPLY 350 branding reflected in new iterations including the ‘Onyx’, ‘Bone’, and ‘Turtle Dove’ 2022 colorways.

The Heel Tab

You can see from the image that the fake heel tab is much further away from the ankle of the sneaker.

It’s important to remember that Yeezy and Adidas manufacturers can create thousands of pairs with exactly the same measurements and markings.

The heel tab on a real pair of Yeezy 350s will always look like the one in the image.

Image of fake vs real comparison on the heel tabs. Image via Sole Collector.
Image of fake vs real comparison on the heel tabs. Image via Sole Collector.

The Toe Stitching

This is a very big one, the stitching. Stitching is a really great way to associate Yeezy fakes with legitimate sneakers. The reason is that stitching requires careful and precise machinery, which fake manufacturers can’t always afford.

The best way to compare stitching is by comparing it with an in-hand legitimate pair. You can go into sneakers shops and ask them to compare and they will almost certainly be totally fine with that.

You can also find images online and that may be enough to determine whether or not the sneakers are fake. It is tough to tell from just photos, but if that’s what you need to do then make sure you are finding legit images from the internet.

The Insoles

This is another example of somewhere where fake manufacturers may take shortcuts on. You can see from the image that the real insole has a black font that shines and only contrasts a little bit with the black of the insoles.

The fake sneakers have a white font and one that is certainly more inexpensive to put on, hence why they’ve done it. No sneakers that are selling for way under the market price are going to have quality and legit materials.

Real vs fake comparison of Yeezy insoles. Image via Sole Collector.
Real vs fake comparison of Yeezy insoles. Image via Sole Collector.

How to Spot Fake Yeezy Slides

Adidas Yeezy Slides are slip-on shoes offered via Kanye West’s Yeezy brand. Debuted in December 2019, it’s released in a handful of tonal colorways.

Although Mr. West has previewed dozens of hands-free, laceless footwear since joining the Three Stripes in 2013, very few have seen a retail release.

The Box

The box is something that actually applies to every sneaker, not even just Yeezys. Boxes will be identical among legitimate pairs.

This is something you can look up online, or even take a look at the photo we provided of a legitimate box. You can also order real boxes off of eBay for pretty cheap to have an in-person comparison.

Image of legitimate Yeezy box.
Image of legitimate Yeezy box.

The Sole

This is the big one for Yeezy slides. The sole is meant to be sharp and rigid, which is actually pretty unusual for slides.

You can see from the image that the teeth are less pronounced and even shorter than they’re supposed to be.

Image of Yeezy slide soles.
Image of Yeezy slide soles.

The Firmness

While the Yeezy slide is marketed as a slip-on comfortable piece of footwear, the model itself is solid and high quality.

If you can bend and warp a pair really easily, there is a good chance they could be fake. Of course, this is only really applicable for deadstock pairs, as used sneakers can lose their build depending on wear.

This is something to keep an eye on. If everything else on the pair seems legit, you should be good. Don’t live and die by the firmness of the slide.

How to Spot Fake Yeezy 380s

The Laces

It may seem like an insignificant detail, but, surprisingly, a lot of replica manufacturers get it wrong. The first and the most obvious flaw here is that the shoelaces are the wrong color.

While on the fake pair they are beige, the authentic one has them pinker. And the second, less noticeable difference is that the shoelaces of the fake pair have no structure.

One interesting detail about these Yeezy 380 Mist is that they come in the box already fully laced. Replicas usually do not bother with this small element.

Fake vs real comparison of Yeezy 380 laces.
Fake vs real comparison of Yeezy 380 laces.

The Footbed

If you remove the insole of your shoe, beneath it you can see the footbed. In this model it looks quite unique, just like the rest of the shoe, therefore, there are a few mistakes that manufacturers make when producing replicas.

First of all, it is the stitching. On the authentic pair, the stitching is much smaller and done in a more accurate way. The stitches are thin, equally sized, and evenly distributed along the sides of the footbed. On the fake, however, the stitching is crude and the sews are clearly thicker and larger.

Secondly, pay attention to the holes on the footbed. Since they are all different shapes and sizes, it can be hard to spot the difference between an authentic and a replica, but on the comparison below you can clearly notice that the holes of the fake one are much smaller.

Real vs fake comparison of Yeezy footbed.
Real vs fake comparison of Yeezy footbed.

Why You Need to Be Able to Spot Fakes

This is one of the most important skills to have in sneaker reselling.

As a reseller, you will almost certainly be buying Yeezys at one point or another, and you need to know how to spot the fakes. Distributing just one fake sneaker can irreparably damage your image.

Your image and reputation are incredibly important as a reseller because most of your business is done online, which requires a certain level of trust.

People are probably sending you money before you ship the sneakers, so they want to know that you are a man of your word and someone who is an honest entrepreneur.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it illegal to buy replicas shoes?

It is illegal to purchase counterfeit goods. Bringing them into the United States may result in civil or criminal penalties and purchasing counterfeit goods often supports criminal activities, such as forced labor or human trafficking.

Is it illegal to sell fake sneakers?

Knowingly selling counterfeit goods is subject to legal action by law enforcement agencies. If convicted, someone may face a fine of up to 2 million dollars and a jail sentence of up to 10 years.

Does StockX sell fake sneakers?

After Nike accused the platform of selling fake shoes this week, StockX provided Complex with data on its authentication process. StockX says it’s invested millions of dollars in authentication and that its customers report a 99.96 percent accuracy rate.

Does GOAT sell fake sneakers?

You can rest assured that GOAT does not support the sale of unauthorized or counterfeit items. GOAT not only provides a reliable platform for market participants (sellers and buyers), but they also verify product authenticity to avoid counterfeits and knockoffs on their reselling marketplace.

How big is the fake sneaker market?

The counterfeit sneaker market last year might have been worth $450 billion, more than five times the value of the legitimate market, according to a report from fitness trend reporter RunRepeat.

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Author

Ben Atkinson

Ben has been reselling for over 6 years. Even though he is very experienced, he is still looking for that next level in the reselling game. His favorite sneaker is the Jordan 1 'Chicago'

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