How to Tell If Nikes Are Fake?

Buying Nike shoes online might be a difficult thing to do nowadays, as the Internet is filled with low-quality fake Nike shoes that will simply destroy your feet.

Bot, how to tell if Nikes are fake before buying them? Don't worry. We've got you covered!

In this article, you'll find nine different methods to spot a fake pair of Nike sneakers, where to buy real Nike shoes, and what to do if you already bought the fakest pair of Air Force 1s in the world. Enjoy!

Check the Packaging

A nike shoe standing on its box

Packaging is a key factor when you try to determine fake Nike shoes. Examine the shoebox for irregularities in color, print quality, and logo placement. The box of authentic Nike shoes is usually perfect. Only counterfeit Nike shoes have abnormalities in packaging.

Also, look for a barcode sticker on the box, and cross-check its details with Nike's official website. Genuine Nike shoes will always show up on the site.

Fake Nike shoes usually don't come with a dust bag and additional laces. This is an easy way to spot fake Nike shoes because counterfeit manufacturers don't go into those details.

Always Compare the Price

If somebody offers you a pair of Nike shoes for $15, but they normally go for $150, you might want to refuse the offer. Especially if those "genuine Nike sneakers" are brand new.

Always compare the price with the retail value on Nike's official website or authorized retailers to spot significant discrepancies. If the difference is 10-15%, they might be original Nike shoes.

However, if the discount is bigger than 50-60%, you should be cautious and look for other details to be sure you're not buying a pair of fake Nikes. On top of that, avoid purchasing from unauthorized sellers or suspicious online platforms. They might have the real deal somewhere, but there is a chance that they won't even bother sending the shoes.

Check the Seller

Ebay Seller Information

Purchasing Nike shoes from an unauthorized retail store or online shop is something you would never want to do. There is a 99% chance that the seller doesn't even have a contract or some kind of agreement with Nike, and he sells only fake Nike sneakers.

Avoid buying from street vendors, flea markets, or suspicious online sources. Authorized sellers always have a direct relationship with Nike, so you won't see authentic Nike shoes supplied to bad-looking retail stores.

Lastly, check for customer reviews. The better they are, the more reputable and trustworthy the seller will be.

Check the Shoes' Style

Nike shoes have a very hard-to-copy design. Usually, fake shoes fail to copy every design element perfectly, and that's what you need to look for.

Small details like the color shade or small labels and holographs will give the fake sneakers away. Also, pay close attention to the quality of materials used, as fake Nikes may feel flimsy or look poorly made.

A easy way to tell if Nike shoes are fake is to can simply go to a 100% legit Nike retail store and look for the model you want there. Compare the real Nike shoes to what you saw online or in another store and make your conclusion.

Check the Shoes' Uppers

a pair of nike shoes on a yellow background

How can you tell if Nike shoes are fake by looking at the uppers? First of all, inspect the material used. Fake Nike manufacturers will always use worse materials than authentic Nike shoes. Leather, suede, mesh, or knit fabrics - they all should feel and look qualitative.

Pay attention to the texture and feel of the uppers, as fake Nikes often have cheap, plastic-like surfaces. Also, check for accurate placement and size of the Nike logo and other branding elements.

The craftsmanship should be perfect, with precise stitching and clean seals. Compare the shoes' overall design with official images, as replicas may have subtle differences in patterns or color shades.

Check the Shoes' Tongue

Authentic Nikes have a well-padded, consistent tongue with precise stitching and clean edges. They are made out of great materials, with no cheap rubber covering them.

Look for the presence of the Nike logo or branding on the tongue; replicas might have misaligned or poorly printed logos. Verify the font and spacing of any text or numbers on the tongue's label, as cheap knockoffs can use the wrong fonts.

Check the Shoes' Midsoles

a nike shoe on a white background

Nike shoes use advanced cushioning technologies for optimal comfort and performance, with highly technological materials and manufacturing techniques. Examine the midsole for consistent molding, as fake Nikes often have poorly shaped midsoles.

Also, depending on the type of Nike shoes, there can be different details that will give away fake Nikes immediately. For instance, if we talk about the Air Max model, the foam and the air pillow must be rigid and with great cushioning potential.

The Air Force has, on the contrary, less cushioning abilities and more stability and stiffness.

Check the Shoes' Weight

High-quality materials are usually lightweight and durable. Fake Nike shoes may feel unusually heavy due to the use of inferior materials. Compare the weight of the suspected Nikes with an authentic pair of the same model if possible.

While this might not be the worst part about shoes, try walking with an additional pound of weight on your feet for a day, and you'll see the difference.

That's why real Nike shoes are much more expensive than fake Nikes. They have better technology, materials, and insights into how the human walks, runs and stays on his feet.

Check The Shoes' Sole

Authentic Nikes boast high-quality and durable soles, often made from advanced rubber compounds for superior traction and performance. Check for accurate and clear patterns on the outsole, ensuring they match the specific model's design.

Counterfeit Nikes may have inconsistent or poorly molded soles, lacking the precision found in authentic pairs. Look for the presence of the registered trademark symbol ® on the sole, indicating legitimacy.

Pay attention to the overall craftsmanship and compare the sole with official images to identify any discrepancies indicating fake Nikes.

Where to Buy Genuine Nike Products

It's actually very simple. You just go to an authorized Nike store or a reputable retailer that doesn't need a lawsuit from Nike hanging on its neck.

However, one of the most reliable options remains the official Nike stores, either physical locations or their official website (Nike.com). This way, you won't have to deal with retailers, higher prices, and so on.

You just go and buy a product you know it's authentic without having to figure out how to tell if your Nikes are fake.

Shopping at major sporting goods stores like Dick's Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, or Decathlon is another reliable option, as they typically carry genuine Nike items.

What to Do If I Bought Fake Nikes


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If you discover that you've unintentionally purchased fake Nikes, don't worry; there are steps you can take to address the situation.

Before trying anything else, contact the seller and express your concern about the product's authenticity. Request a refund or replacement if possible. If the seller is unresponsive, document all communication and evidence of the counterfeit nature of the shoes.

If you purchased through a reputable authorized retailer, contact their customer service and explain the situation. They might offer assistance or guidance in resolving the issue.

If you purchased with a credit card or through PayPal, consider disputing the transaction and providing evidence of the counterfeit purchase to initiate a chargeback.

Lastly, report the counterfeit incident to Nike through their website or customer service. They have a dedicated team to address counterfeit issues and can guide you on the next steps.


Are Nikes Made in China?

Yes, the vast majority of real Nike shoes are made in factories in China, Vietnam, or other Asian countries.

While you might think that the fakes are manufactured in the same fabric, so they must be the same, there is something that differentiates these two scenarios completely.

The counterfeit manufacturer doesn't have the materials and the technology Nike ships from the US to every fabric in China or Vietnam.

Does Footlocker sell fake Nikes?

No, FootLocker is an established retailer that sells genuine Nike sneakers and other accessories. They have direct agreements with companies like Adidas, Puma, and Nike to get the products shipped directly from the factory.

However, it's important to note that counterfeit products can occasionally find their way into the market, and some unauthorized sellers may attempt to sell fake Nikes.

Always be cautious and check for authenticity even if you buy products from established brands like FootLocker.

What Does Nike Stand for?

The company took its name, Nike, from the Greek goddess of victory.

The co-founders of the company, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, named their sports footwear and apparel company "Nike" in 1971, inspired by the winged goddess who symbolized victory, strength, and speed

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