How to Tell if Jordans Are Fake in 2024?

a pair of Jordan 1 sneakers

Air Jordan is a line of basketball footwear produced for Michael Jordan in 1984. Nike released the shoe to the public in 1985, when annual sales totaled $126 million.

The "Jumpman" logo is a signature feature of the Air Jordan brand by Nike. It was inspired by a photograph of Michael Jordan, taken before he played in the Summer Olympics in 1984.

Air Jordans have become a status symbol and a staple in street style. Average Jordans retail at $145, so many wish to find a good deal to save money. Remember that the high retail price is justified by the quality and attention to detail. Looking for the cheapest price out there might get you a pair of fake Air Jordans of questionable quality.

How to tell if Jordans are fake? Our detailed guide helps you distinguish between real Jordan vs. fake, so you can avoid spending money on counterfeit footwear. 

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Inspecting the Box

examples of fake vs. real Jordan boxes

The Air Jordan authentication process starts with looking closely at the shoe box. Nike produces sturdy boxes made of quality materials to protect footwear. Besides its protection aspect, the shoe box is essential for branding.

The material, colors, and logo are the points of interest in the first step of the authentication process.

Box Material and Color

How to check if Jordans are real just by analyzing the box? First, the original pair comes in a sturdy box made of quality cardboard. Nike doesn't compromise when it comes to protecting the shoes for transport and storage. On the other hand, counterfeit products come in a box made of cheap material. Therefore you might notice box damage.

The original box comes with the famous "Jumpman" logo on the top. A smaller version of this logo is present on the side of the box. Another indicator of the original box is the color quality. The package should have an intense color without faded spots. A faded color is a sign of a poorly done counterfeit box.

Box Logo and Manufacturing Sticker

To inspect the box further, we recommend checking the manufacturing sticker and logo. While counterfeiters put a lot of effort into creating a replica of the original sticker, the differences are apparent. Looking at the real Jordans vs. fake sticker design, we notice that the elements are positioned differently.

The sizing chart, official website, and QR code have different positions. Of course, the font differs in the fake and real stickers. The fake manufacturing sticker has bold letters, which is especially evident in the pricing, where the black letters stand out against the white background.

Inspecting the Jordan Shoes

When we finish inspecting the shoe box, the next step includes checking every detail of the shoe. To spot fake Jordans, we will compare the overall design, heel, swoosh logo, Air Jordan wings logo, insole, and size label.

example of real vs. fake jordan sneakers by overall look

The Overall Look Method

Analyzing the shoe's overall look reveals the potential signs that indicate a fake pair of Air Jordans. The first thing we can spot is the low-quality stitching which is apparent when looking at the Swoosh logo. The seam that goes right through the swoosh is straight and perfectly executed. It is stitched deep in the material, indicating good quality.

On the other hand, the fake Jordan shoe has low-quality stitching, which can be recognized by the uneven look. It does not form a straight line through the swoosh and isn't stitched deeply into the material.

The Heel

For the next step, we turn the shoe to analyze the heel. How to tell if Jordans are fake in one glance? For this, we need to examine the heel stitching. As the swoosh logo continues toward the heel, it forms a line.

A small heel tab covers the exact place where the stitches meet, and it should have two stitching lines. Fake models have only one stitch, and the material is poorly cut. The fabric for the original pair is cut with high precision, with streamlined seams and quality stitching.

The Swoosh

When we're done with the heel, we move to the sides to further compare real vs fake Jordans. The swoosh logo is a signature feature of Nike, used to brand their products. Counterfeiters don't seem to do an excellent job of copying the logo. We have seen this in other Nike products and confirm that copying the exact details is challenging without sophisticated machinery.

How to spot fake Jordans just by looking at the Swoosh logo? The shape is different, featuring a less pronounced curve that makes the swoosh look thicker at the top. On the other hand, the real pair has a pointy top and curvier shape, giving the unethical Nike swoosh logo look.

Next, the edges of the cutout can reveal if high-precision techniques were used. Nike uses sophisticated cutting machines so the edges will look precise. Also, the material will lie flat and have a seamless look.

The Air Jordan Wings Logo 

The branded logo is another point of interest when inspecting shoes to determine if they are genuine. At first glance, the real vs. fake Air Jordans logo looks identical. But if you look up close, you can notice the difference. How to spot fake Jordans just by analyzing the logo? While the counterfeiters did an excellent job with the graphics, they missed other crucial details.

The logo is embossed deeper into the material for the real pair, and you can notice how this gives depth and distinctive texture. On the other hand, the fake logo is stamped shallowly on the surface.

Another sign that indicates counterfeit is the poor quality embossing. The original has a bold black logo that stands out well against the leather. But the fake pair appears faded, which is more apparent on the trademark stamp.

As we further observe the Air Jordan wings logo, we notice a difference in the font. Obviously, the counterfeiters couldn't copy the exact font used in the original. The fake Air Jordans have the letters very close; the letter style difference is apparent.

How to tell if Jordans are fake by analyzing the logo positioning? The logo is stamped close to the heel stitching in the fake pair and looks odd. Moreover, the original pair looks harmonious thanks to the perfect positioning.

The Insole Logo

When we've finished inspecting the shoe exterior, it is time to move to the insole. Analyzing the Nike Air logo printed on the insole provides essential insights for determining real vs. fake Jordans. The thing to consider is the printing quality. Original Air Jordans feature high-quality print, as this part of the shoe experiences frequent wear and tear. The color makes a bold contrast without any faded spots. On the contrary, the fake pair can have low-quality logo prints and faded areas.

The font is another meaningful sign you shouldn't overlook. The letters can be thinner or thicker than the original and have different shapes. Lastly, the positioning of the letter "E" is very specific in the original. The bottom of this letter is seamlessly integrated into the swoosh logo, a design that counterfeiters often overlook when copying.

The Stitching

How to spot fake Jordans in one step? You can do this by inspecting the stitching. Nike uses sophisticated machinery in the production process to ensure high quality. Thanks to this, the footwear will last long.

On the contrary, counterfeiters are looking for fast ways to earn money. They won't invest in good equipment, which results in poor shoe quality. The fake Air Jordans have shorter and uneven stitches that indicate they have been produced with a basic machine. The thread is thinner, signaling that forgers use cheaper materials.

The Size Label

Real vs. fake Jordan Size Labels

The size label is another feature that can reveal whether the product is real or fake. It is apparent that the counterfeiters did a good job of copying the overall design, having the exact element placement as the original. However, as we inspect the label further, we can reveal inconsistencies.

The most apparent difference is how the label is attached to the fabric. The original label is framed, while the fake one is directly sewn onto the material. Also, we can spot a difference in the "Jumpman" logo design, which lacks precision in the counterfeit label.

The Insole

We already covered the insole logo in this guide, and now we move to analyzing the quality. The original insole is crafted from high-quality foam with a ridged surface that provides comfort. On the other hand, the fake pair has thinner and flat insoles.

When you turn the insole upside down, it should have a light blue color, and any variation in tone could indicate a counterfeit product.

How to Spot Fake Jordan Listings Online

an example of a fake jordan listing online

If you want the best deal for your money, you will shop around. However, this is tricky since you can quickly end up with a fake pair. To avoid being scammed, be very careful with the listings. In addition, we share a few aspects that help you assess the listings and determine if they are genuine products.

Unusually Low Price

When purchasing original Nike shoes, the price should match this brand. Checking the market price for new and second-hand Jordans would be a great starting point. Nike is a reputable brand that provides quality and exclusive craftsmanship, and the price reflects that.

An unusually low price that doesn't match the market price for a pair of Jordans can indicate counterfeit products. While counterfeiters copy the design, they don't have the technology to replicate the same quality. If a brand new pair is selling for less than $100, this indicates a counterfeit product.

Missing or Unclear Images

A seller that offers a genuine product won't hesitate to provide as many photos as needed to attract buyers. After all, their product is original, and there is no reason to hide anything. The seller won't provide detailed photos of counterfeit products so they won't be caught. Scammers provide blurry and low-quality images, so you can't inspect the details and assess the originality of the footwear.

Another case with counterfeit footwear is displaying images downloaded from the internet. If a seller isn't willing to showcase the actual condition of the product in the listing, the product isn't as advertised. If you notice a listing with low-quality photos, images downloaded from the internet, or no photos, it would be best to move on.

Seller Profile

Most online marketplaces display reviews from previous customers, an essential indicator of a seller's reputation. Buyers that aren't satisfied with their footwear purchase won't hesitate to express their experience. If you notice any signs of insincerity, it would be best to look for another seller. This is especially important if you purchase from sites like eBay. Dealers that have low ratings or no feedback at all should be avoided.

Where You're Shopping

Buying from the official Nike website ensures you receive genuine products. The original footwear is available in reputable dealers such as Foot Locker, GOAT, NBA Store, Finish Line, and others. While you can also find reasonable prices on Craigslist and eBay, encountering fake Air Jordans among the listings is more likely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do real Jordans have serial numbers?

Real Jordans have a 9-digit number on the label inside the shoe found below the country of origin. It is also printed on the manufacturing sticker on the shoe box. Check if this serial number matches the one on the official Nike website.

Where are Jordans manufactured?

Nike has manufacturing facilities in different countries. Air Jordans are commonly produced in Vietnam or China. If you notice "made in Vietnam" on your shoe box, this doesn't necessarily mean that the footwear is fake. Vietnam produces shoes for the big footwear brands, and is the world's third-largest producer.


This authentication guide showed you how to spot fake Jordans and avoid being scammed. You can differentiate real Jordans from a fake by inspecting the shoe box, shoes, and the seller. The minor imperfections, stitching quality, and the branded logo reveal if the product is original.


3 easy steps to authenticate an item

Upload photos of the item

Place your order

We verify the item

You get the outcome

3 easy steps to authenticate an item

Planning on getting an item? Having doubts on an item you already have?

Trusted by:
customers and business around the world

Featured with:


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