Fake Jordan sites have sprung up all over the web in recent years.
While their products are “knock offs”, their techniques have come a long way. A number of manufacturers are able to create sneakers that look almost identical to the real version.
Keyword there is almost.
There’s a ton of ways to find out if your Jordan 11s are real or fake – we’ve compiled them all into this post.
NOTE: The easiest way to tell is buy them direct from a Jordan / Nike retailer, not China.
Table of Contents
1. Check the quality of the box
Jordan’s are a beautifully packaged sneaker. There’s a number of things you can check before even looking at the sneakers:
Nike packages their shoes in a sturdy box with the logo on the lid and on the side of the box.
Examine the box closely for errors in brand logo, spelling, and the alignment and finish quality of the box itself.
Authentic Nike shoeboxes have a tightly-fitting lid, with no gaps.
The color on the box will be uniform and not appear to fade or be lighter or darker on one side or on the lid.
On a deeper note, you can even dig a lot of information by looking at the sticker on the outside of the box:
Nike shoe boxes are made with a label affixed to one side of the box which lists details about the style name of the shoe, the shoe size, the color combination, and country in which the manufacturing took place.
There will also be a style number on the label which is nine digits long.
Pay specific attention to spelling, uniform size text, and even spacing on the box label.
To be one hundred percent positive about the authenticity of the shoes when purchasing Nike Air Jordan 11s, the safest bet is to buy directly from the manufacturer.
Did I miss anything? Leave some additional ways in the comments.
Air Jordans Counterfeit vs. Real
You can find fake Nike shoes in stores all around the world. A counterfeiting ring smuggled thousands of counterfeit Nike Air Jordan sneakers into New York and New Jersey! Five people are each expected to receive 20 years in prison for trafficking copy Air Jordans.
Today we have two pairs of the Air Jordan 1 and we will have a good look at the small details that tell the big story of counterfeit Nikes. We will study the real Air Jordan shoe purchased directly from Nike and the counterfeit shoe imported from South China. You will learn how to tell if a Nike shoe is real or fake.
The price is right?
When shopping for real Nike shoes you should expect to pay real Nike prices. If you find a rare Air Jordan or a unique color at a price that is too good to be true… then it IS too good to be true. Low prices and beat up boxes are your first clue that you have a fake, counterfeit, or illegally smuggled-in B-grade Nike shoe.
Make any mail-order or E-Bay purchases with trusted retailers. Remember, slightly used does not mean the shoes were real Nikes to start with.
Look for the alignment guides, the red shoe is the fake Nike.
Air Jordon wings logo:
Studying the real Air Jordan and the fake Air Jordan side-by-side, you can see the factory making copies did a nice job on the logo. The artwork on the fake shoe is correct but the real Jordan 1 logo is embossed a little deeper into the leather. In this case, it’s hard to tell the difference until you look at the pattern of the cut parts. The real Nike does not have any stitching guides to help the stitchers locate the panels during assembly. The red logo panel of the fake Nike is loaded with these little assembly guides.
The Jordan 1 heel strap stitching:
The Air Jordan 1 has a tiny heel tab that covers the back seams of the quarter panel and the Swoosh. You can see the back tab on the real (grey) Nike has two stitch lines as the quarter top lines cross over. Also, the black thread contrasts with the grey leather. On the fake Jordan 1, a single stitch line crosses the tab and they used black thread on black leather. The stitching on the fake matches the leather instead of contrasting with the leather.
You can also see the centering guides on the red leather parts of the fake Jordan 1. The original Jordan does not show any assembly guides.
The Jordan 1 outsole logo:
If you look closely at the Nike logo on the outsole you can see the fake artwork is wrong. The width of the letters is too narrow. Another obvious mistake is that the “K” of the fake Nike logo is not touching the tail of the Swoosh. Additionally, when you look closely at the tread patterns you can see the fake (red) tread has glossy spaces between the tread features where the grey does not.
The Jordan 1 tongue logo:
Next, get a good look at the woven label attached to the tongue top. The fake Jordan is missing the registered trademark circle “R”. I know it’s strange, but Nike likes to have the circle “R” twice on the woven label. On the back side of the woven logo label (below), you will see the trademark information in English and French. The fake has the wrong lettering style and the tag is stitched on crooked.
The Jumpman size tag
Inside the shoe, you will see the size label with the Jordan Jumpman logo (above). The fake shoe has the tag welded to the back of the tongue. On the real Jordan 1, the tag is sewn down on the inside.
The Jordan 1 tongue lace keeper:
The lace keeper is a small point but a dead giveaway when looking for fakes. The real Nike shoe has simple cuts in the tongue fabric to act as the lace keeper. This construction looks pretty low rent for a $120 basketball shoe but this is how the original was made. The counterfeit Nike has a small piece of fabric added as the lace keeper.