Hypebeast or Sneaker Head, irrespective of your sneaker game, have for sure come across fake shoes once in your journey. With the rise of online marketplaces and social media, it̵7;s so easy for fake shoes to flood the market. In fact, the market cap for these fake sneakers is estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

In this blog, I will be teaching how to identify real vs. fake sneakers!

The question that arises among every sneaker enthusiast is how to safeguard yourself from falling prey to these fake shoes. I’ll guide you on how to spot the fake shoes. If you did not know already, we constantly push out new educational content on our Instagram and TikTok

Steps to Identify real vs fake sneakers

Looking at The Sole

Examining the sole closely is one of the simplest methods for identifying fake sneakers. Typically, counterfeit sneakers display a slightly off-color sole. This discrepancy arises from the use of lower-quality materials by fake sneaker manufacturers, resulting in a shade variation from the genuine version.

How to Identify real vs fake sneaker
Looking At The Sole

Moreover, the pattern on the sole of fake sneakers is frequently less defined compared to authentic pairs. Therefore, if you observe a pair of sneakers with a slightly off-looking sole, it’s a reliable indicator that they could be counterfeit.

Examine The Stitching

Another way to tell if a pair of sneakers is fake is to closely examine the stitching. In most cases, fake sneakers will have less precise and even stitching than authentic sneakers.

Looking At The Stitching
Stitching Comparison of Air Jordan 4 via Legit Check

This is because the manufacturers of fake sneakers often cut corners to save money, so the stitching on a fake pair of sneakers is usually not as nice as on the real thing.

In addition, the thread on fake sneakers is often not as strong as on authentic sneakers. So if you pull on the thread and it starts to come undone easily, that’s another sign that the sneakers might be fake.  

Check The Materials

When you’re trying to spot fake sneakers, take a good look at the materials used. Most of the time, fake sneakers are put together with lower-quality stuff compared to the real ones.

Let’s take Nike sneakers as an example. The genuine ones usually use top-notch leather, but fake Nikes might use cheaper materials like polyester. This means fake Nikes might look kinda similar at first, but they won’t feel as good or last as long.

Check The Materials
Air Jordan 11 Material Comparison via Houseakicks

Also, fake sneakers often mix up materials in different parts of the shoe. Like, a fake Nike might have a leather top but a fake, not-so-great sole. So, if you notice the materials in a pair of sneakers don’t match up, that’s another sign they could be fake.

Check The Labels

When it comes to authentic sneakers, the labels are usually made with high-quality materials. In contrast, the labels on fake sneakers are often made with lower-quality materials.

Check The Label
Air Jordan 6 Label Comparison via Legit Check

In addition, the labels on fake sneakers are often not as securely attached as on authentic sneakers. So if you notice that the label on a pair of sneakers is loose or seems like it might fall off, that’s a good sign that the sneakers are fake.

Look for Irregularities

When you’re looking at a pair of sneakers, it’s also important to look for irregularities. In most cases, fake sneakers will have some kind of irregularity that authentic sneakers don’t have.

For example, the Nike swoosh on a fake Nike sneaker might be slightly off-center. Or the Adidas three stripes on a fake Adidas sneaker might not be perfectly straight. So if you notice any irregularities on a pair of sneakers, that’s a good sign that they might be fake.

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Check The Price

If you ask me, then checking the price of these fake pairs is the best giveaway of their authenticity. The real pairs are always expensive while fakes are significantly cheaper.

How To Identify Real Vs Fake Sneakers 
Steps to Identify Real Vs Fake Sneakers

If the pair looks too good for the price then rest assured it’s a fake. But there are certain exceptions to this rule. For instance, you can find certain shoes on the official Nike website priced lower but have more retail value in the reselling market. But for most cases this rule is true.

Do Your Research

Like every business and investment, it is always advised to have completed thorough research from the individual end. In short “Do your own research”. We are all well aware that these sneakers are expensive, so it’s always good to look them up on their official websites. Famous sneaker brands like Nike, Puma, and Adidas are the best to check the authenticity of a shoe.

So if you look at a model on the website and it doesn’t show up, it’s the best indicator that the shoe is fake. Another thing is to read the reviews shared by other buyers on this scam marketplace to get a verdict about the overall product. The users usually speak up and can change your decision to consider them.

And if you are about to close a sale, it’s best to get them certified for authenticity by an expert or veteran sneakerhead.

Get a Second Opinion

If you’re doubtful about certain pairs then the best way to eliminate it have a second opinion. The person who has similar experiences to decide on Real vs Fake sneakers. Let’s say you don’t know someone take the shoes to the nearest local sneaker retail store and request the staff to perform an authenticity check.

Other than that post the photos from every angle in sneaker head groups and community pages. Request them also to give an authenticity check.

The best practice to clear any doubt is to do a side-by-side comparison with the real pair which you can get from a friend or request from the nearest retailer.

FAQ on Real VS Fake Sneakers

How can you tell if Nikes are fake?

Spotting fake Nikes involves checking for details like materials and tags. Fake versions often use lower-quality materials and have different tags.

Does StockX sell fake sneakers?

StockX is a highly reputable website that exclusively deals in genuine products.

How can you tell if sneakers are fake on eBay?

Prior to making a purchase on eBay or similar platforms, it’s advisable to review customer feedback.

Are UA sneakers considered fake?

UA sneakers are genuine, but they may not meet quality standards, often having minor defects.


Spotting fake sneakers takes a bit of practice, but it’s definitely doable. By paying attention to the details, you can make sure you’re only spending your money on the real deal.

Find out in detail if StockX sells fake sneakers.

Take your reselling game to the next level



Sarim A

Thanks to sports, Sarim's love for sneakers began and has grown ever since. He's been part of the sneaker culture for many years, seeing it evolve and grow more serious over time. A particular favorite pair of sneakers for him is the Air Jordan 3 'White Cement'


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