How to Tell If Jordan 1's Are Fake
The Nike Air Jordan 1 is arguably one of the greatest sneakers of all time, but in light of this, it's one of the most heavily counterfeit sneakers of all time too.
After the release of the popular Netflix documentary "The Last Dance" that covers both the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan's journey in the '90s, the Nike Air Jordan 1 sneakers have never been more popular.
As a result, it's never been more important to know how to tell if your Jordan 1's are fake.
So how much of a problem is counterfeit sneakers?
It may surprise you, but the counterfeit sneaker market is estimated to be worth around $450 billion, and it's thought that Nike alone is losing 10% of their annual revenue to fake sneakers.
Sneaker copies are popping up everywhere these days, from eBay to your local sneaker store. You can never be too sure that your kicks are authentic.
In 2018, 5 people were charged with trafficking over $70 million worth of Nike Air Jordan sneakers from China into the US and are facing up to 20 years in prison.
Thankfully Nike is known for executing excellence on the assembly line, and as a result, there are some typical identifiers and standouts that enable us to spot the real ones from the fakes.
As Jordan 1's increase in popularity, more and more collaborations form.
You can go from J-Balvin's collaboration on the Jordan 1 to Travis Scott's long catalog of sneakers with the Air Jordan brand.
Each of these collaborations will bring their tells.
Our aim here is to give you the detailed guide you need to identify whether your Nike Air Jordan 1's are genuine or just another counterfeit.
How To Tell If Jordan 1's Are Fake?
-The Price, If it's too good to be true, it usually is.
-The embossment on the Air Jordan wings logo.
-Wavy font on the label inside the tongue and other label inconsistencies.
- The quality of the heel strap stitching.
- They should have an hourglass profile
- The profile of the toes and sneakers shouldn't be bulky.
- The Nike swoosh should be pointed
-Check the perforations on the toe are punctured all the way through and aligned with one another.
-Check the embossment of the stars.
Feel free to Fast forward to the end of the article, where we highlight the easy steps to identify fake jordan1's quickly.
You can also fast forward to the bottom of this article, where we give you the easy steps to identify fake Jordan 1's fast.
How much are your Jordan 1's? If it's too good to be true, it usually is.
Do your market research; Jordan 1's vary in the price range. Multiple factors determine how much your Jordan's should cost, for instance are you paying the retail price from a store or are you paying the resale price from a reseller?
A great way to determine the going rate for any sneaker would be to cross-check the asking price with the price on stockx.com.
StockX is the world's 1st live bidding marketplace for all things sneakers and beyond and a great way to determine the value of your Kicks.
Check the embossment on the Air Jordan wings logo.
As you can see with the real Air Jordan wing stamp on the left, there is a clear indent or debossing on the shoe; on the fake pair, the symbol is far less prominent.
So pay attention to the iconic wings logo, which was initially designed on the back of a cocktail napkin, as it may be the key indicator to if your sneakers are legit.
Check the Font On Your Jordan's Tounge Label.
The issue with the tongue tag on the Nike Air Jordan 1's is twofold:
1.The outer tag and the common issues with the swoosh.
2.The inner tag detail and wording.
Source: Legit Check
Looking at the front label, you can see clearly on the fake version that the swoosh has a waviness to it, a common pattern amongst fake Jordan 1's.
Source: Sneaker Factory
When we look at the inner tongue label, there are two common errors here, but it shows only one in the image above.
If you look at the left-hand-side label on the real Air Jordan 1's, you will notice the bulk of the text is slimmer and less crunched, whereas the fake pair does not use the space as well, and the font type is far more compressed.
It does not display the second common error on the back of the tongue label in the above image, but this is a sure-fire way to ID a fake pair of Jordan 1's.
Look out for the french translation at the bottom; it should read:
"Fabrique En Chine" as above.
If it reads "Fabrique en China" however, you are looking at a fake pair of J's.
Check the quality of the heel strap stitching on your kicks.
Source: Sneaker Factory
Now let move to the back of the sneakers; the 1st item I would like to draw your attention to is the heel strap stitching.
Notice with the authentic pair; there is a clear double stitch that runs through the tag and onto the back of the shoe.
The replicas have difficulty in executing this, with their version only having a single stitch.
The stitching is a common issue with the fake Jordan 1's.
Check For The Classic Jordan 1 Hourglass Shape.
Do your sneakers have the classic hourglass shape?
Some sneaker silhouettes are hard to master, and the Jordan 1 is one of those.
Look at the distinct hourglass shape shown at the back of the kicks.
Coming in at the swoosh and then out again at the top of the kicks this iconic shape has been problematic for factories to mimic.
As a result, copy's end up looking something like the image below with no shape.
Check Your Jordan 1's Toe Profile Isn't Too Bulky.
Source: Legit Check
Let's now move towards the front of the kicks.
Do you notice how the profile on the authentic pair is shaped at the toe?
The design should give the foot a more snug feel and is created with performance and function in mind.
Neglected qualities in the fake pair, a corner cut that highlights a lack of excellence in these factories.
Check Jordan 1's Nike Swoosh Is Correctly Pointed.
Source: Legit Grails
Now, let's look at the iconic Nike swoosh of the Jordan 1's.
Typically, on the Unauthentic pair, the swish tip is not as pointed as on the genuine pair.
Also, notice where the swoosh and the white leather underlay join at the heel; these should sit flush with one another.
If they are not level, you are likely looking at fakes.
Also, look out for irregular stitching here; any bumps or jumps would highlight a defect not common in Nike's practices.
You can also see that the stitching on the genuine Air Jordan 1's follows right to the tip of the swoosh, while the fakes cut corners, another issue that's highlighted above.
Check Your Sneakers Perforations.
Source: Sole Collector
Another major red flag with these trainers is the toe perforations.
There are two significant errors with the perforations that would highlight your J's were fake.
The first being that the perforations do not go all the way through the leather with a clean circular puncture.
And the latter being that the perforations are not aligned correctly as per the image above.
Having either of these errors on your creps would suggest they are fake
Check The Embossment Of The Stars On The Sole Of Your Nike Air Jordan 1's.
Source : Unknown
Finally, we get to the sole of the sneakers.
As you can see, the Jordan star pattern on the genuine pair cuts far deeper than the bootlegs.
In a similar fashion to the Jordan wings logo, it looks like the factory is reluctant to create that stronger stamp on the shoe base.
Is it another corner cut or a lack of resources that causes this mishap?
All we know is it's another highlight for sneakerheads when looking to ID fakes.
If you are under a bit of pressure or have little time, here is the easy way to tell if your Jordan 1's are fake.
A Quick And Easy Guide To ID Fake Nike Air Jordan 1's.
- The first point of call is the wings Logo, is the logo debossed as it should be with that great Jordan shine? The authentic logo should appear stamped into the leather; the fakes look more glossy and painted in. Also, check the lettering is as it should be, such as no unusual spacing.
- Can you see the apparent Hourglass shape? If the top-heavy silhouette isn't present from the back of the shoe, they are fake, and no further testing is required.
- Next, check the perforations on the toes. Are they fully punctured and aligned as they should be? This is a standard error on fake Jordan 1's.
- Check that the tongue label text is as it should be the most common error here would be the "Fabrique en China" mistake as it should read "Fabrique en Chine."
To be sure that the Jordan's you've purchased are legit, you are best off buying from an authorized Nike dealer and if you are unsure, then be sure to reference our guide.
Do you think your friend has a fake pair of Jordan 1's?
Be sure to share this guide with them so they can check.