How to Tell if Nikes Are Fakes: From Tags to the Stitching

Who doesn’t want to get their hands on the latest Nike Air Jordans or Air Force Ones or the newest NFL jersey of your favorite team? Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the popularity of the sportswear brand by producing convincing fake Nike products, which is bad news for sneakerheads, collectors, and sports fans, who may wonder how to tell if Nikes are fake or not.

A counterfeit Nike scam usually looks like someone is selling authentic sneakers or sportswear on sites like eBay, Amazon, and other third-party selling platforms where it’s challenging to authenticate what is being sold. When fake Nikes are sold alongside the real thing, it’s even harder to know the difference between a great deal and a scam.

How to Tell if Nikes Are Fakes: From Tags to the Stitching

How to Tell if Nikes are Fake: Product and Packaging

Nike is one of the most counterfeited brands globally, so it can be difficult to tell the difference between genuine Nike products and fakes as scammers take advantage of the brand’s popularity.

Official reseller site StockX found the most attempted fakes in 2020 were Nike shoes:

  • Off White x Nike Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”
  • Off White x Nike Air Jordan 4 “Sail”
  • Travis Scott x Nike Air Jordan 1 High

All three Nike shoes are limited editions sought after amongst collectors, making them lucrative business for scammers if they can produce convincing fakes.

Scammers have become pretty adept at faking Nike goods, so knowing the minor inconsistencies to look out for is crucial.

Check the Packaging

All Nike shoes are packaged in a box that’s labeled and tagged correctly. The color and print of the box vary depending on style, but usually, the boxes are orange, red, and brown. Printed on the box should be the style, size, serial number and/or SKU, and barcode.

Scammers try to replicate these boxes, but they’ll lack the essential printed details. Scammers may also ship Nike shoes without packaging, which is a big red flag. Ask the seller if the product comes with original packaging and tags/labels if you’re unsure.

Note that sometimes scammers do a pretty good job copying genuine Nike shoes, including the boxes they come in, so you’ll need to pay close attention to little details like font size and layout.


Example of Nike shoe box: real vs fake

How to Tell if Fake Nike Shoes & Clothing From the Style

It’s always helpful to do some research before hitting the “Add to Cart” button. Visit the official Nike website and browse product photographs and the color combination of the products you’re interested in.

Counterfeiters will often sell popular Nike clothing and sneakers, but the color combinations and shades are different from the originals.


Nike Air Jordan colorways

Spot Fake Nike Shoes & Products in the Details

The tell-tale signs of fake Nike shoes and other products can often be seen in the small details. Look out for:

  • Crooked or uneven stitching
  • Unfinished seams
  • Misspelling in any of the small print, such as on the clothing label or the tongue
  • Mismatched fonts
  • The swoosh logo or Jumpman logo being the wrong size or facing the wrong direction
  • Poor quality embroidery on the logo or in other details.


Real vs fake Nike Air Force 1s

Signs of Fake Nike Shoes

Authentic Nike shoes are made from high-quality materials using advanced technology to display comfort and style. If you’re suspicious about the quality of your sneakers, each part of the shoe can help determine if your Nike shoes are fake.

  • The upper should feature even stitching and quality finishing. The material should be soft and supple without any creasing, and there should be no overlapping colors.
  • The midsoles of genuine Nike sneakers are genuinely glued and not stitched. They should be made using quality foam and usually feature the swoosh logo and model name.
  • The outsole should be constructed of high-grade rubber that is light and flexible. Check that patterns and ridges are uniformly spaced and even, and the soles aren’t stiff or have a “plasticky” feeling.
  • The tongue of genuine Nike sneakers features the brand logo on the upper. On the inside of the tongue, the tag should show the product information, including the size and country of manufacture. There will also be a 9-digit serial number, which should match the code on the box.
  • The weight should feel light and balanced in your hand when you wear them. Counterfeiters have a problem imitating the real feel of Nike shoes, with the sole usually feeling clunky and heavy compared to the real thing.

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