How to Tell if Nike Shoes are Fake – The Ultimate Guide

Due to their high demand and popular nature, Nike shoes are some of the most counterfeited products in the world. If you aren’t careful, you may end up with a pair of fakes. If you would like to know how to tell if Nike shoes are fake, then this is the article for you.

Original Nike Shoes vs Fake

1. Check the Seller

Check the seller or the store you’re thinking of purchasing your Nike shoes from. Make sure the store is an authorized seller or read feedback and reviews of online sellers.

2. Compare the Price

If the price seems a bit too low, then chances are that they’re not authentic. It doesn’t mean that all Nike shoes with a low price are fakes. You should be concerned if the price is less than 50% of the original price. That is unless you are buying from an authorized Nike store and there is a clearance sale -only then you’ll get Nikes for a reasonably low price. Other than that, Nikes usually don’t have big markdowns.

3. Look at the Box

Nike shoeboxes come well labeled and tagged. The color of the box will differ and usually depend on the style you purchase. However, most of the boxes used are orange, brown, and red. You will find important information like the style, size, SKU/serial number, and barcode on the side of the box. Counterfeits will try to imitate these boxes, but they lack the essential prints on the side.

4. Pay Attention to the Style

Familiarize yourself with the details of the style of Nikes you want. Visit the Nike website and browse photos of the specific product you’re thinking of getting. Counterfeits will have colors and shades that are very different from the originals.

5. Check the Uppers

Nike uses high-quality materials and advanced technology to ensure that its shoes are both stylish and comfortable. Knockoffs may look authentic from afar but up you will see inconsistencies and flaws in the design up close. These can include uneven stitching, overlapping colors, or stiff uppers.

6. Look at the Tongue

The tongue of the Nike shoes should show the brand name and the logo. In some instances, the style and model name is also displayed. The inside part of the tongue should include a tag printed with information stating the size, country of manufacture, and the SKU or serial number.

The SKU or serial number, which is typically 9 digits long, should match the number printed on the side of the box. Fake Nikes will have random numbers on the tag that will not match the ones on the box.

7. Weight Difference

Fake Nikes not only look different, but they also feel different. Fake Nikes use cheap materials, so they’ll have a hard time imitating the real feel of authentic Nikes. Counterfeits feel heavier and more rigid while authentic Nike shoes are usually lightweight.

8. Check the Midsoles

The midsoles of fake Nikes will have visible dots from the manufacturing process. Real Nikes do not.

9. Examine the Outsoles

The outsoles in authentic Nike shoes provide traction and support due to the use of high-grade rubber. Imitations will use cheap rubber that feels cheap and heavy. Authentic Nike shoes will have ridges and patterns on the soles that are evenly spaced while fakes will have badly spaced patterns and stiff soles.

10. Inspect the Logo and Small Details

Some of the biggest signs that the Nikes are fake are evident in the small details. The fonts should match and be the same size. Look for crooked stitching on the uppers or misspellings as these are all tell-tale signs the shoes are fake. Also, look for the fake Nike logos which will be too big or facing the wrong side.

How to Spot Fake Nike Air Force 1

  • The text on a fake is usually too thin or too thick.
  • The Swoosh will look a bit too curvy on the fakes.
  • Inspect the rear heel stamp code and insole text for characters that are too thin or have too much space between them.
  • The orange tab looks like a rectangle instead of a boxy square.

Nike Air Max 2015 Real vs Fake

  • Look for glue, alignment, and stitching issues.
  • Inspect the flywire. They should have different tones of the same color and not contrasting colors.
  • Look at the sole as the chip was previously located at the center bottom but is in the insole on the 2015 model.
  • The print color of the Air Max on the side of the soles should be a lighter version of the color of the sole.
  • The logo on the tongue should be the same color as the tongue except in the White/Volt model, which has a yellow logo.
  • The back of the shoe should have a solid panel on each side with a single line going through.

How to Spot Fake Nike Roshe shoes

  • Check to see that the style number on the box matches the shoe label and receipt.
  • The shoe should sit flat on an even surface and curve slightly at the heel and tip of the toe box when viewing its side profile.
  • The mesh tongue will have rounded top corners and the stitch line along the top will follow the edge of the piping perfectly.
  • The outsole should have a fine texture and a steppingstone pattern with small spherical dots in the center of each square.

Fake Nike VaporMax vs Real

  • Check the size tag of the shoes as fakes have their text at the wrong thickness.
  • The toe box on fakes is too curvy.
  • Fakes will not have an inscription on the soles. Real ones will have VAPORMAX and the Swoosh inscribed.
  • Check any text on the shoes as the text on fakes is too thick, wide, or big.

Nike Huarache Fake vs Real

  • Check the pattern and stitching as the original Huarache will have flawless stitches.
  • The tongue should have perfect stitching and engraving of the logo. Although the fake will try to copy all the details, they will have some missing.
  • Look for anomalies in the engravings on the heel and upper heel of the shoes.
  • Perfect patterns and NIKE AIR engraving on the outsole.
  • The sock liner is removable in the original with a stylish centered heel logo.


There you have few ways to tell if your Nike shoes are fake. Be careful and follow all these tips to ensure you are not getting scammed. For more shoe tips, read this article for 21 useful shoe hacks.

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