How to Tell Fake Nikes

Updated April 17, 2017

As the popularity and demand for Nike shoes and apparel increases, so does the proliferation of imitation Nike products. Despite the plethora of fakes on the market, purchasing a genuine pair of Nikes is not very difficult. Understanding the giveaway signs of fake Nike products is important to avoid falling prey to purchasing imitation shoes.

Examine the trademark Nike "swoosh" logo on the sides of the shoes. The logo should be stitched on and not glued. If the logo is glued then the shoes are counterfeit. Additionally, the stitches on fake Nikes are uneven.

Look at the soles of the shoes to see if they are plastic. If the soles are plastic and feel slippery to the touch, they are imitation. The soles in original Nike shoes are produced from real BRS 1000 rubber.

Check the SKU (stock-keeping unit) number printed on the label inside the shoes. Compare it with the SKU number on the shoebox. The numbers should match; if they don't, then the shoes are imitation.

Examine the shoebox. Genuine Nike shoe boxes are made from sturdy cardboard, whereas the cardboard of fake Nike boxes is flimsy and tears easily.

Be wary if you are purchasing Nikes from an online retailer who does not provide the original shoebox. The seller may be selling you a fake. If the Nikes are being shipped from China, Hong Kong or the Philippines, there is a high likelihood that they are counterfeit, as Asian markets are the primary producers of fake branded goods.

Inquire whether arch supports are supplied with the shoes. Original Nikes are sold with arch supports, which are not provided by fake Nike suppliers.


Check whether the seller stocks Nikes in size 9 and above. Imitation Nike goods sellers do not usually stock shoes in these sizes.


Fake Nikes are generally half a size smaller than usual and do not provide true size fits. Genuine Nikes always fit true to size. Be cautious of the authenticity of the Nikes if the seller advises you to buy a size larger than you'd normally wear.

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