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How to Identify Original Nike Shoes

By Mary Smith. Updated: September 15, 2019
How to Identify Original Nike Shoes

Authentic original Nikes generate millions in income each year, but counterfeiters take advantage of this fact by selling fake Nike shoes. Sometimes it's very easy to distinguish the genuine from the fake Nikes, but as counterfeiters are getting more skilled, it can be harder to tell whether or not your Nike shoes are real. The Nike brand is well known worldwide by its renowned tick symbol. Nike (pronounced 'Ni-key' after the Greek goddess of victory) clothing, footwear and other sporting goods was founded in 1968 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. The brand is known for the "Just Do It" slogan and many celebrity endorsements. oneHOWTO shows you how to identify original Nike shoes in our guide below.

You may also be interested in: How to Identify Original Reebok Shoes

Look at the material

Everything from Louis Vuitton designer bags to Ray Ban sunglasses are commonly sold as fakes, but often the best way to know whether they are authentic is to look closely. Nike shoes are made with the highest quality standards. If you see frayed seams or that the sole has come undone from one of the shoes, even slightly, then it may be a forgery. This is one of the main ways to determine original Nike shoes vs fake Nike shoes.

Below we can see some pictures of a fake Nike shoe with frayed seams. If you want to tell if your Nike shoes are fake, simply start by evaluating the material. Take the shoes in hand and try to feel the leather or fabric. Nike uses only high quality materials to make their shoes. If the shoes say they are made of leather, then they need to feel like it. If the shoes feel soft and flexible then you're probably looking at a real product. If the shoes are hard, rigid and uneven they are likely to be fake.

How to Identify Original Nike Shoes - Look at the material

Stock keeping number

Check for the SKU number (stock keeping number). This is the number used to keep track of the shoes and it should always correlate exactly on the shoes as well as the box. If you have a pair of Nike shoes which have a different SKU number to the one on the box, it is most likely that they are fake shoes. Otherwise someone is selling the wrong shoes in the wrong box, which also may imply something fishy is going on with your Nike shoes.

However, you will need to double check with where you purchased the Nike shoes. It is possible the original box was misplaced or there was a genuine mix up when packing up the box and making the purchase.

How to Identify Original Nike Shoes - Stock keeping number

Are the shoes made of Phylon.

Phylon is a material made from ethylene-vinyl acetate. It is lightweight, but durable. This is why Nike uses it for their shoes. Check to see if your suspicious shoes are made from Phylon. If they are, they should be very soft and should return to normal after folding.

If you notice that the soles are not smooth and do not quickly recover their shape, you are looking at a fake Nike shoe. If there is rubber on the shoe it will be BRS-1000 rubber which is of a high quality and you can usually tell the difference. This is important as fake Nike shoes will not control movement very well, so if you are trying to use them for sports purposes, then they may end up being dangerous, especially if used in wet conditions.

How to Identify Original Nike Shoes - Are the shoes made of Phylon.

Check your Nike label

Look at the label on the Nike shoe. Forgeries may be misspelled. Do not trust the source of the shoe because Nike manufactures worldwide. Moreover, authentic Nike labels in the interior of the shoe have a black sign in white letters reading: nikebetterworld.com. Most fakes will have the "Made in China" sentence at the top.

The picture below does have the Nike site written on, but this label is just a sticker. Real Nike shoe labels should be sewn at the tongue of the shoe. It is these small details which can best show you whether you have been scammed by buying fake Nike shoes.

There are some rare exceptions to the ‘sticker rule’. These tend to be special limited edition shoes or there is an additional label put on as a sticker. Older shoes bought as a collector item may also vary. If this is the case, look at the other ways to identify an original Nike shoe to be sure or check on a sneaker forum to ask other sneakerheads about your particular shoe edition.

How to Identify Original Nike Shoes - Check your Nike label

Buying fake Nike shoes online

You may be able to spot fake Nike shoes before you even have them in your hands, especially if you are buying them online. There are many warning signs that you may be purchasing fake Nikes and it starts with where they come from. The reason people are able to make fake shoes so convincingly in the first place is thought to be due to workers stealing designed and templates for these products. These trades are most commonly carried out in third world countries and China is one particular nation where the practice is rampant.

If you are buying from a vendor who is operating out of China, there is an increased risk of counterfeit Nike shoes being on offer. This becomes more difficult if a buyer from outside of China or another country where counterfeits are produced in large numbers, buys the fake Nike shoes and then sells them as a third party seller.

Check the terminology

Check the website and look at the pictures. If they are stock images, have words like "variant", "custom" or "clone" then they will most likely be fake Nike shoes. If all of the feedback is positive, this does not necessarily mean that it is legitimate. In fact, it may point to the likelihood that this seller does not have genuine Nike shoes. Try to see if there are other reviews on the website which have been hidden as otherwise, they might be fake. Also, check the company website with a business watchdog such as the Better Business Bureau. If the site has a lot of pop-ups, poor language and grammar usage or confusing information, it is likely because it is illegitimate.

How to Identify Original Nike Shoes - Check the terminology

Do the Nike shoes come in a box?

If you have bought the Nike shoes and they have been successfully delivered, but they come in plastic wrap rather than a box, this may mean trouble. If selling second hand, it is certainly possible that the Nike shoes are still genuine, but the seller has thrown away the box. If they are supposed to be new, then there is little reason they wouldn't have a box. Counterfeit shoes will almost always come in a plastic bag (or maybe nothing at all), so be wary. For some reason, counterfeit shoes rarely come in size 9 for men, women or unisex sizes, so if you notice none of the Nike shoes online or from the person you are buying them have lots of sizes except size 9, this may be a warning they are not genuine Nike shoes.

Similarly, sample shoes only come in sizes US 9, 10 and 11 for men, 7 for women and 3.5 for children. If the seller says it is a sample, but is not one of these sizes, they will be fake, not genuine Nike shoes.

How to Identify Original Nike Shoes - Do the Nike shoes come in a box?

How expensive are they?

If the shoes are priced very low, but do not claim to be second hand, this is also a warning sign they are not genuine Nike shoes. Retailers are sold in a competitive market, so there would be mitigating circumstances why genuine new Nike shoes are being sold at a very discount price. Even people who buy liquidized stock or legitimately come into possession of good Nike shoes will still sell them to make a profit.

If the margins are very low or if they have some implausible reason behind selling them for so low ("there was a fire in my local Footlocker", "my grandfather bought 2000 pairs of Nike shoes instead of 2", etc.), it is quite possible they are not genuine Nike shoes and will need to be verified before you should buy anything from the seller. If the Nike shoes seem to good to be true, it's probable they are fake. Double check with other sellers to find the R.R.P.

How to Identify Original Nike Shoes - How expensive are they?

Get to know your brand

If you try your Nike shoes on, you will quickly notice the difference between the quality of real shoes and fake ones. Whether online or in person, only buy Nike shoes from trusted sources and look for all of the above signs whether or not the Nike shoes are fake or genuine.

People who have been buying Nike shoes for years will be in a much better position to determine whether they are real or fake Nike shoes. They may be able to tell from slipping their foot in the shoe and gauging the sensation. Eventually, you will be able to look at them and be able to tell if they are fake Nike shoes.

Now that you know how to identify a pair of authentic Nike shoes, you may also want to find out how to clean nylon Nike shoes or how to tell if other brands of sneakers are fake such as Adidas shoes or Reebok shoes. If you want to know more about spotting fakes, you can read these articles on how to spot fake news or how to tell if your bank notes are fake.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Identify Original Nike Shoes, we recommend you visit our Fashion & Style category.

Write a comment about How to Identify Original Nike Shoes

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20 comments
Jamie p
At least one Part of this is wrong. The label inside the tongue is a sticker in genuine ones. You had me worried because i bought an expensive pair of collectible airmax 95 and they had a sticker so I went and cross referenced them with 3 pairs I bought from footlocker in store and they were also stickers

Note the sticker has a sort of border on it where as fake ones probably don’t
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Jamie,

Thank you for your comment. There are some very rare exceptions to the sticker rule, one of them being older shoes bought as collectors items as they may vary. We have added a clarification to the correct section. All the best!
Sarik ali
Nike ki koi ek pahchan jo ki har koi wakti Asani se jan sake
thomas
I know understand the different in fake shows in this brand good
Tekola Beyene
I am understand how to identify original NIKE.where and where the company found?
cata
hey,i got a question. the nike shoes got the nikebetterworld sewed on the tongue and also it says ''made in vietnam'' but the size conversion it's pretty weird. like us 8.5=uk 6=eur40=cm 25.5 , while on the nike website it doesn't give the same equivalence
john albert
I bought a pair of Nike shoes priced at almost 4k. That was 2 months ago from a trusted department store in the Philippines, to mention SM Department store. After reading this article, i immediately looked at the tongue of my shoes, i noticed that all the features of the original nike shoes mentioned above also have on my shoes except the "nikebetterworld.com"......is this mean that my shoes are not original?
Krishna
Nike shoes me maja nahi hai
Rating:
gopal
how check in Nike original shoe in market ( with pictures ) fake and original both (with pictures ) please this is my hambale riqust
Rating:
Agu ifeanyi Gerald
I am from Nigeria and i also have a boutique were i sale shoes so i want to know if i can partner with you
Rating:
Krissy
This was not helpful. I have authentic nikes from the factory that proved some of this wrong.
OneHowTo Editor
Which of the characteristics mentioned in the article do not match your shoes?
What model of nike shoes do you have?
If you're so sure they are real, how come you were searching for this question?

Let us know the answers so we can improve our article and help people further.

Regards

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