5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

How to Spot Fake Sneakers

Unfortunately, there are many fakes of famous sneakers out there, and they’re of very poor quality. Because of this, there’s a huge risk of paying more money and not getting the quality you hope for.

In order not to give your money to dishonest manufacturers, it’s better to learn how to tell real sneakers from fakes.

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you how to spot fake sneakers when shopping.


  • Original Converse shoes have a round patch on the inside part of the sneaker. It’s there because it’s been that way ever since the first Converse model was released. It was supposed to protect athletes’ ankles.
  • The patch with the logo on the original sneakers is a white round patch made of thin rubber with red capital letters that read, CONVERSE ALL STAR, along with a dark blue marking that says, Chuck Taylor. In the center of the patch, there’s a dark blue, 5-ended star. The logo for Converse is very tight on the fabric of the sneakers and doesn’t fall off when there’s friction. All of the symbols are clear and easy to read.

Important: Make sure that monochromatic Converse models have different colors on the logo.

  • The round Converse logo is around 4.6 cm in diameter, while fake sneakers might have smaller logos.
  • If you’re buying totally new Converse, make sure there’s no ® symbol under the star. The brand stopped adding this symbol in 2008, while many fakes still have them. Sneakers released before 2008 might still have the ® symbol.
  • All Converse sneakers have a rectangular rubber patch on the heel. This piece also has CONVERSE ALL STAR written on it with a star between the last 2 words. The writing on the original shoes takes up 2 lines. You won’t see any glue on the original Converse. If there’s glue, it’s probably a fake pair.
  • Check the tongue. The original Converse have writing on the outside of the tongue, and on the inside, there’s always info about the model and the serial number. On fakes, it’s hard to read or it’s missing completely.
  • Check the front of the sneakers. Brand models are smooth and round. Fake ones don’t look that good.
  • The soles of the sneakers might also indicate that they’re fakes. Original Converse have a unique waffle-like pattern with Converse ALL STAR and a 5-end star on them. Also, the top right corner should have a 6-end snowflake, which is typically missing on fakes.


  • The first thing you should do is pay attention to the materials and quality of the sneakers. If they’re leather, the material should be soft, the color should be even, and there should be no folds. The lace holes on the original Nikes should be level with the surface of the sneaker. The right and left sneakers should be identical.
  • Nike often uses filon, which is very strong and light. The material is used for the soles since it’s flexible and retains the shape fast. If you fold the sneaker and the folds don’t straighten, it’s probably a fake.
  • Fake Nikes often have bad seams, which are especially visible on the inside of the tongue and the back of the sneaker. Original sneakers have perfect seams that are the same everywhere.
  • Look at the tongue closely. The original Nikes have branded tongues and a tick (sometimes with the model type). On the inside of the tongue, there should be information about the sneakers, such as the size, the country where they were made, and the serial number. Compare the number of the tongue to the one on the box. They should be identical.
  • Look at the soles and the insoles. The soles of the original Nikes are usually glued to the sneakers. Most models have the brand name and logo printed on the insoles.

Air Jordan

  • Pay attention to their perforations. If they don’t go all the way through the leather, or they’re not correctly aligned, they’re fake.
  • The sneakers, or their toes, shouldn’t be bulky when in profile.
  • The embossment of their wings logo won’t be as prominent on the fake pair.


  • Before you buy a pair, always check the serial numbers on each Adidas sneaker — they are on the inside of the tongue. The left and right sneaker serial numbers are different. If you have identical serial numbers, this is a fake pair.
  • Look closely at the Adidas logo. The original sneakers brand them on the sneakers, while manufacturers of fakes have glued-on logos.
  • The original Adidas sneakers have very good seams. If you see even the smallest curves or traces of glue, this is a fake pair. Also, on fake models, the tip of the thread might be loose.
  • Aside from the laces on the sneakers, original Adidas usually have extra laces in the box. Fake ones are usually sold with only one pair of laces.
  • Pay attention not only to the extra laces but also to the pack. The original sneakers have a very good pack for the laces, while fake ones are usually just lying in the box.

New Balance

  • Look at the insoles of New Balances closely. They should be thick and flexible. Many models often have perforations on them that are clearly visible in the light. The original insoles are not flat — they have curves that make wearing them even more comfortable. There should be a logo on top of each of the insoles. The details under the insoles should have very good seams.
  • Original New Balance sneakers have many logos. Check them before you buy a pair. Most original sneakers have “N” on both sides. The letter should be clear, and the seams have to be even. The color of the thread should be the same as the material of the letter.
  • Most models have New Balance written right in the middle of the back. The color should be in contrast to the background.
  • Check the tag on the tongue of the sneakers. It should have basic information about the model (size (US, GB, Europe, and sometimes Japan), the country and date of production, a bar code, and a serial number unique for each sneaker.
  • The soles can be a good indicator of a fake pair. Original sneakers have very good anti-slide protectors. Under the heel, there’s often a clearly visible logo without the ® symbol.
  • The soles of the original New Balance sneakers are made of light and soft materials, which ensure great amortization for the foot. The border between the layers of the soles should be clearly visible without any lines or curves. The upper layer of the sole is marked according to the material it’s made from. For the 998 model, it’s ABZORB, and for the 577 and 574, it’s ENCAP.
  • Also, before you buy a pair, check the quality of the seams and glue of the sneakers. The brand uses suede, leather, and textiles, and they dye the materials very evenly. If you see any flaws, this is most likely a fake pair.
  • The seams on the sneakers should be identical and even. The original New Balance sneakers usually have double seams.
Please note: This article was updated in December 2021 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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