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How to Tell if Jordans Are Fake

Air Jordans are frequently counterfeited in foreign factories because of their popularity. There are a number of details you can check out to confirm you’re getting an authentic pair. Examine the details of the box and confirm the style number on the shoes matches it. Inspect the shoes themselves for quality and particular details specific to Jordans. When buying Jordans online, always buy from established sellers who post accurate pictures and product details.

Method One of Three:
Checking the Box and Style Number

  1. 1
    Examine the quality of the box. Real Jordans come packaged in a sturdy box. The lid should fit tightly, with no gaps. There will be an Air Jordan “Jumpman” logo on the lid and also on the side of the box. The printed colors on the packaging should appear even and uniform, with no areas of fading. The texture of the box itself will be consistent.[1]
    • The boxes vary in color and style depending on the year and type of Jordans, so you may want to run a Google image search to see what the current boxes look like.[2]
  2. 2
    Check for spelling errors and logo imperfections. Make sure all of the words on the box are spelled correctly. Ensure that the Jordan Jumpman logo appears complete, without any unusual looking proportions or fading. Everything on the box should be aligned properly, with nothing looking unusual or crooked.[3]
    • If you are unfamiliar with the Jumpman logo, Google the image and make sure the logo on the box looks exactly the same.
  3. 3
    Look for a manufacturing sticker on the outside of the box. All Air Jordan boxes will have an official manufacturing sticker on the side. Check for the accurate style name of the shoe, the shoe size, color combination, and country of manufacture. The text should look uniform and the words will be evenly spaced out and properly spelled.[4]
    • The sticker should be firmly attached to the box, with no air bubbles underneath. It ought to look complete and easy to read.
    • Fake Jordans will often feature a misshapen or crooked manufacturing sticker. If it is sloppily placed or hard to read, this is a red flag.[5]
  4. 4
    Confirm the nine digit style number on the manufacturing sticker. All Jordans have a style number listed on the outside sticker. In almost all cases, it will be nine digits long.[6] Check the Nike website for the style number of the shoes you’re interested in purchasing and make sure the style number on the actual box matches what you see on their website.
    • The style number is usually listed right below the country of manufacture on the sticker.

Method Two of Three:
Inspecting the Shoe Construction

  1. 1
    Match the style number of the tag to the one listed on the box. Locate the small tag on the inside of the shoe. All of the information listed on the manufacturing sticker should also be on this tag. Make sure the information is exactly the same as what’s on the box sticker, especially the style number.[7]
    • The stitching on the tag ought to look uniform and neat.
    • Spelling errors on this interior tag are almost always an indicator of inauthentic Jordans.
  2. 2
    Examine the label under the tongue. Jordans have a very specific label under the tongue. Lift up the tongue and check out the underside. You should see the words “greatest player ever” embroidered there. The embroidery should be white, easy to read and look professional.[8]
  3. 3
    Check the proportions of the Jumpman logo. Double check the details on the logo located on the back of the shoes (or sometimes on the tongue). The logo should appear crisp and uncompromised. Look at the hands, basketball and feet to ensure everything looks properly proportioned. Nothing should look blurry or smudged.[9]
    • Fake Jordans may have an uneven or lumpy Jumpman, with poor stitching and unusual proportions.
  4. 4
    Inspect the detail around the laces. The spaces between the shoelace tabs should be even. All of the shoelace tabs will be the same size and shape. Make sure they are all attached firmly, with the same amount of tension. Fake Jordans will often have some shoelace tabs that are looser than others.[10]
  5. 5
    Look for high quality stitching. Inspect the shoes carefully for neat and professional looking stitching. Everything should look evenly spaced, with no unfinished edges or frayed threads. The stitching on the heel is often a giveaway – if it looks poorly done or uneven, question the authenticity of the shoes.[11]
  6. 6
    Check for a midsole point. This is where the side fabric transitions into the front of the shoe. It is usually a different fabric and color than the toe section. On real Jordans, the midsole point will be in front of the bottom lace hole. On fake Jordans, the midsole point will often match the bottom lace hole.
    • View the midsole tips. The “mountains” of the sole molding should be sharp tips, not curved edges.
  7. 7
    Research the known colorways for that particular type of Jordans. Go to or Nike’s own site to find the authentic colorways. Colorways are a color combination that is updated with each new style of shoe. Occasionally there are special edition colorways.
    • If a site or individual seller is selling a colorway that is not listed on any direct Nike supplier site, it is a counterfeit product.

Method Three of Three:
Being Aware of Selling Practices

  1. 1
    Be doubtful of any new Air Jordans that are sold for under $100. Many of these shoes are limited edition and sell out quickly, so there is no motivation for a seller to drop the price below retail value. It is very rare to find Jordans for under $100. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. 2
    Make sure the shoes are labeled “100% Authentic.” If you’re looking at a pair online that are listed just as “Authentic” you should be suspicious.[12] Don’t buy Air Jordan shoes that are advertised as “custom,” “sample,” or “variant.” This indicates that Nike did not commission them. If you’re looking at Jordans online and no style number is included, email the seller to inquire about it.
  3. 3
    Confirm that the shoes come with the right box. Fake Jordans are often sold in boxes that list details which don’t match the shoes themselves. Real boxes will feature correct colorway descriptions and all style numbers should match. If the shoes you’re considering don’t come with a box at all, purchasing them is not recommended.[13]
  4. 4
    Avoid online purchases unless the images are clear and detailed. When buying shoes online, make sure multiple pictures are posted and you can clearly see the detail in each one. If a photo of the interior tag with the style number isn’t included, email the seller to request one. Stock photos of shoes are usually a red flag. The descriptions should be clear, not vague.
    • If the images provided are extremely small, ask the seller for better ones. If they aren’t provided, avoid the purchase.
  5. 5
    Avoid buying Air Jordans from an overseas seller. Unless you are sure of the seller’s authenticity, avoid overseas purchases. Nike may import from their overseas factories, but they supply from major hubs in the United States and Europe. Most fake Jordans are manufactured in Asia, especially China.[14]
    • Your chances of purchasing fake Jordans go up substantially if the shoes are shipped from Asia.
  6. 6
    Check seller feedback on sites like eBay. Look for established sellers with a lot of solid feedback. Avoid buying from sellers who have very little or no customer feedback; the merchandise is most likely inauthentic. Before you bid on a pair of Jordans, do your homework and make sure all of the information and pictures look right.[15]
    • Trust your gut; if something feels off about the sale, it’s safer to avoid it and buy from someone else.

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • If some concord 11s have skinnier laces than the other ones, are they fake?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Not necessarily, because laces are interchangeable. The best way to check if your 11s are fake or not is look and feel the carbon fiber -- it shouldn't be smooth -- you should feel some texture and good bumps to it.
    Thanks! 16 1
  • What is the best way to determine the authenticity of Nike shoes?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    Thanks! 17 2
  • How do I check Jordans' authenticity on Google?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • That's near impossible. Search YouTube, most have reviews showing real and fake pairs side by side.
    Thanks! 20 3
  • What if I pull the insoles back, and it's white?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • They are legitimate then. Fake Jordans are turquoise when you pill the insole back. There are a few more colors also. If it isn't white then it isn't right, just remember that.
    Thanks! 21 5
  • Do Air Jordan's always have a Nike swoosh?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • No, they do not always have the swoosh. For example, the only retro Air Jordan that has a swoosh is the Air Jordan Retro 1.
    Thanks! 14 4
  • If I buy my Jordan's at Nike, does that mean they're real?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes. If they are from a Nike store, then they're real, because Nike owns the Jordan brand.
    Thanks! 13 4
  • I found Concord 11s that are less than half the retail price, and they look exactly like the real ones. Even if they are fake, will they be good quality, meaning will they last?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Maybe. Fakes usually have lower quality materials and there is no quality check, so it's a chance you would have to take. It might work out, or it might not.
    Thanks! 10 3
  • I found some Jordan Retro 13's for $84. Could they be real?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The retro 13's are usually quite expensive and if they are real, the cheapest would be at least $180. However, if the retailer is a legitimate one and is having a genuine sale or a liquidation sale, then the price alone isn't enough to judge by. If it's online, ask plenty of questions before reaching your decision on whether or not to purchase them.
    Thanks! 27 14
  • Where I can find the ID number?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The ID number shouldn't be too difficult to find. For real Jordans, you should go on Flight Club and it should be somewhere there. On the "suspected" J's, find them on that page too.
    Thanks! 29 17
  • If you find a dot under the sole, are they real?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The 11's and a few other pairs usually have a "hole" right under the insole if you take the foot liner out. It's common on real pairs.
    Thanks! 12 6
Show more answers
  • Do Jordan sneakers come individually wrapped in soft dust free bags inside the box?
  • If your threading comes out a bit are your shoes fake?
  • I just ordered a pair of Retro Jordan 3 cement black from Flight Club and they told me that they're being shipped from Japan but they got here in 4 days I don't know if they're real?
  • If my Jordans don't have a tag under the tongue, are they fake?
  • If my Jordans are making a squeaking sound does that mean they are fake?
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About This Article

123 votes - 81%
Co-authors: 11
Views: 549,973
Categories: Shoes

Reader Success Stories

  • A


    Dec 12, 2017

    "Knowing that the lower price means most likely they are fake."
  • JS

    Jake Schauinger

    Nov 11, 2017

    "The midsole point helped. I was unaware of this technique and now realize I have bought 2 pairs of fakes. Same place, so now I know to avoid that store and tell others!"..." more
  • A


    Sep 6, 2016

    "I found that you went into great detail to help the reader see and understand the topic."
  • JK

    Joshua Kellman

    Jul 4, 2017

    "At first I would be getting something fake, thanks, now I know real and fake!"
    Rated this article:
  • GA

    Gerson Andres

    Sep 16, 2017

    "This helped me to identify the real and fake Jordans much better."
    Rated this article:
  • A


    Feb 22, 2017

    "I liked the detailed interpretation."
  • A


    Sep 5, 2017

    "The ID number helped me the most."
  • EM

    Eric Mukenya

    Jun 5, 2017

    "I found a lot of helpful info!"
    Rated this article:
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