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How to Tell if Your Vans Shoes Are Fake

Vans shoes aren't that cheap, so you don’t want to waste your money on anything less than the real article. You should closely inspect everything from the packaging to the logo to the shoe design. If possible, compare the shoes to a pair that you know are real.

Method One of Three:
Checking the Packaging

  1. 1
    Run the barcode. The box should have a label that includes shoe size, country of production, and a barcode. Use your phone to scan the barcode. The barcode should correspond to the type of shoe in the box.
    • To scan a barcode with your phone, go to the app store that corresponds with your phone. Search for barcode reader apps. Some reliable programs include ShopSavvy and ScanLife. When you are ready to scan a barcode, open the app and use the camera on your phone to run it. [1]
    • If there is no label, the shoes are fake.[2]
  2. 2
    Check the price. Vans are almost always at least $40 per pair. If someone is selling new Vans for less than that, they are likely fake.[3]
  3. 3
    Check for package paper. There should be paper inside the box to protect the shoes from getting scuffed up. If there is no paper, the shoes are likely fake.[4]
  4. 4
    See if the box closes correctly. Even the boxes on Vans shoes are well made. There should be a locking mechanism. A tab on the top of the box will be inserted on the inside of the box, holding it closed.
    • Cheap imitations often have no locking mechanism. The top will drape over the bottom of the box, with nothing holding it in place.[5]
  5. 5
    Compare paper tags. Each pair of Vans shoes should come with a paper tag tied on to it, sporting the company logo. If you have a real pair on hand, compare the size and font of the paper tags. Fake Vans will often have bigger paper tags.[6]
  6. 6
    Check out reviews for the dealer. Look up the dealer's name or business online. See if reviews for the dealer are positive. Be sure that the dealer has published their contact information. If they are unwilling to share their phone number or physical address, they might be fake.

Method Two of Three:
Checking the Trademark

  1. 1
    Look for three trademarks. There should be a trademark made of paper on the side of the shoe. There should be another, printed on the plastic on the back of the shoe. There should be one last trademark on the insole.
  2. 2
    Check for errors in the trademark. The logos should all be spelled correctly. Compare the font on the logos to the font on other Vans shoes that you know are real.
    • The color the trademark is printed in can vary, but the font should always be the same. The “V” should have a long line extending out of its right edge. The “ans" should be under the line.[7]
  3. 3
    Look for a dark, well-made logo on the insole. On many fake Vans' shoes, the logo on the insole will be faded. The real one will be well colored in, bright, and easy to read.[8]

Method Three of Three:
Checking for Shoe Quality

  1. 1
    Check the bottom pattern on the sole. Real Vans have an interlocking patterns of two different shapes: rhomboids and diamonds. There should be a three letter country code printed in one of the rhomboids.[9]
    • The three letter country code should correspond to a code on the sticker on the inside of the box.
  2. 2
    Examine the stitching. Real Vans have tight, even stitching. If there is double stitching, with two stiches in one hole, then the shoes are likely not real. Similarly, if any of the stitching patterns are not straight or the holes are at irregular distances, the shoes are likely fake.[10]
  3. 3
    Feel for firm laces. The laces on the shoes should be firm to the touch. Fake shoes will often have very soft laces.[11]
  4. 4
    Check the rubber collar on the toe. Vans shoes have a rubber collar on the toe that protects it from wear and tear. Whereas the rest of the rubber will be smooth, the toe will have a rough texture. If there is not much of a pattern on the toe, then the shoes might be fake.
    • There should also be a slight gap between the rubber collar and the cloth of the shoe. That gap will be composed of a small layer of smooth plastic, like that around the rest of the shoe. On many fake Vans, the rubber collar will extend all the way to the cloth, with no gap.[12]
    • Compare the rubber collar to a pair that you know is real. The texture should be similar.
  5. 5
    Check for a red piece of cloth on the inside heel. On the inside heel, there should be a little piece of red cloth. It will be at the very top of the heel, but will not extend more than half an inch past the top of the heel.[13]
  6. 6
    Check the angle of the toes. The shoes should bend up slightly, so that the toes face up. If the bottom on the shoes is flat, the shoes are likely fake.[14]
  7. 7
    Check that the toes bend. The toes should be bendable. You should be able to press on the heel and the toe, so that the back and front of the shoe touch. If the shoes are stiff, they're fake.[15]

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • My Vans do not have a trademark on side of the shoes. Are they fake?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • My vans (the original black and white high tops) don't have a Vans tag on the side either and I got them from and actual Vans store, so really it depends on the type of shoe you have.
    Thanks! 38 4
  • There is a flea market in my town and there is a vendor sells Vans and Converse for $30 but they are in their original boxes. So are they fake or real?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • It is possible that they are used. Check the shoes themselves to see if they have the distinctive patter on the bottom, if the bend, and if the logo on the inside is clear.
    Thanks! 14 2
  • What sorts of features can I look for on the inside of the shoe?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Check the bottom of the shoe, near the heel. There, you will find the Vans logo. Keep in mind that this may vary depending on the type of shoe you have.
    Thanks! 22 5
  • Should the white rubber band overlap slightly or be flush where the two ends meet at the heel?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • All Vans overlap slightly, it's how the foxing tape is on all Vans except for the cupsoles. Look up how Vans shoes are made, it's an interesting process.
    Thanks! 13 4
  • How can I tell if my Vans shoes are fake?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Read the tips mentioned above. wikiHow has done an amazing job by letting us know how to distinguish between original and fake Vans.
    Thanks! 8 2
  • If my Vans say Vans on the tongue, does that mean they are fake?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Some real Vans shoes have Vans on the tongue. Research your specific shoe.
    Thanks! 8 3
  • How can I tell if my Vans are real?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Read the tips that are listed in the article above.
    Thanks! 10 5
  • I have two pairs. They have different patterns on one the hexagon is tiny and the diamond larger On the other they are both around the same size with the hexagon being a little smaller. First is fake?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • It sounds like the second pair of shoes is fake.
    Thanks! 5 4
  • If my Vans tag is on the back of the shoe, is it fake?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Maybe, but keep in mind the location of the tag depends on the type of shoe you have.
    Thanks! 9 12
  • If my vans logo are small, that mean it's fake?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • No. Often fake logos will be larger. Compare the shoes to a real pair to see if the proportions are correct.
    Thanks! 2 2
Show more answers
  • My Vans bottom pattern on the sole is evb but in box it is QC /6/ok. Are my shoes fake?
  • What does a Vans size label look like?
  • I bought shoes from mgf store. It's color got faded. So I returned them. How much time the whole process will take after which I can buy a new pair?
  • If I do not have the small logo VANS tag, but the logo is present elsewhere on the shoe, is it fake?
  • If my Vans logo is white, are they fake?
Show more unanswered questions
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Quick Summary

To tell if your Vans are fake, start by looking in the box to make sure the shoes are wrapped in tissue paper and have a paper tag attached. If these things are missing, the shoes are likely not real. On the actual shoes, look for Vans trademarks on the side, the back, and on the insole. Next, check the laces, since fake laces are often much softer than their legitimate counterparts. Finally, try to bend the toes, since real Vans will be flexible and fakes tend to be stiff.



  • Look up pictures of real Vans online, or go to the shoes' website and see if the ones they are selling match yours.
    87 Helpful?  34
  • Compare the shoes with a pair from an actual Vans store.
    0 Helpful?  0

About This Article

121 votes - 83%
Co-authors: 12
Views: 319,701
Categories: Shoes | Footwear

Reader Success Stories

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    Lonzo Donaven

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    Dec 8, 2017

    "Vans are super cool!"
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    Gary Kyle

    Nov 24, 2017

    "I purchased a pair of Vans that didn't have a label on the side. After looking closer on the front of the shoe',s they didn't have the original hexagonal tracking on the outer front. They were smooth. Unfortunately for me, it was an Internet purchase."..." more
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    Awang Juffry

    Apr 20, 2017

    "This helped me a lot! My wife's sister bought a pair of Vans authentic for my son from Vietnam. I spotted nothing like in the pictures shown above. Thanks for the methods."..." more
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    Michael Qiu

    Oct 7, 2017

    "I recently bought a pair of Adidas Superstars for ridiculously cheap and I thought they were fakes, but after checking this guide, turns out that they're actually real!"..." more
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    Destiny Earl

    Aug 25, 2016

    "It helped me know how to find real Vans and not fake, thank you so much!"
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    Jul 19, 2016

    "It was so helpful."
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