How to Tell if Adidas Shoes are Fake

By Sara . Updated: May 5, 2017
How to Tell if Adidas Shoes are Fake

Adidas is known worldwide for its quality products. The quality of these products means the price is not always affordable to everyone, so some people revert to buying fake Adidas. Others are perhaps a little more naive and are unaware that these shoes they buy are fake. This is because the counterfeit market of Adidas shoes is large and bootleggers are becoming more adept at imitating the real thing. Although they might seem authentic at first, a closer look will reveal the differences between fakes and the real deal. As a consumer, the difference between fake and original products is quality. In this oneHOWTO article we'll show you how to tell if Adidas shoes are fake.

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Heel Tag

Like all clothing, there are tell tale signs that a product is real or fake. The heel tag is a triangular shaped material on the upper leather and is situated at the place where the upper leather meets the second layer of leather. It is situated at the heel of the shoe. This is the most common way of differentiating between fake and real Adidas shoes. If you are holding an Adidas shoe containing the heel tag then it is a fake product for sure. Adidas stopped including the heel tag in their shoes around 2004/2005.

The image below shows a fake Adidas shoe (black) and an original (white). You can see the shape of the back area is different in both shoes. The original is a bit taller on the back than the fake shoes. The difference is easy to see when you put one shoe next to the other. However, there are other differences that can be spotted without having to compare both shoes.

How to Tell if Adidas Shoes are Fake - Heel Tag

Shoe Lace

Most Adidas models come with a pair of new laces. So, if you are buying a new pair of Adidas shoes then its best to look for the neatly packed pair of laces in the box. If there are extra laces in the box but they are loosely packed then they are not authentic. Real Adidas shoes come with neatly packed extra laces which are rolled tightly and sealed in plastic.

But since not all shoes comes with the extra lace; it’s best to check on internet about the model you are going to buy and if it comes with extra shoe lace or not.

How to Tell if Adidas Shoes are Fake - Shoe Lace

Lace eyelets of shoes

Lace eyelets are the holes in shoes through which the shoe laces are passed. Except for some old model of Adidas shoes their eyelets are non-metal. So, if you are holding a pair of new model of Adidas shoes and they have metal eyelets then beware because they are fake.

These eyelets will also come out more easily, even from general wear and tear like pulling your laces in tight. If you finds that one of the eyelets has come out and is poking the sole of your foot because it isn't where it should be, this is most likely because it is a fake Adidas shoe.

Stitch of the shoe

Adidas is known for its quality gear. Hence, its shoes are immaculately stitched with even spacing. If you are holding an Adidas shoe in which the stitching is uneven, unfinished seams or if you can spot a loose end of thread then it’s definitely a fake shoe.

The image below shows fake Adidas shoes with a poor quality finish. Good quality stitching is almost as much of a trademark of Adidas as is the trefoil logo itself (the three pronged logo you see in the shoes below). This goes the same for the three stripes and three bars logo which are also found on Adidas products.

Usually the leather of fake Adidas is much shinier than the original product. The lackluster quality of fake Adidas shoes also make it much more likely to poke a toe through the front of the shoe or for the rubber sole to come off from the rest. This make the shoes both ugly and impractical.

How to Tell if Adidas Shoes are Fake - Stitch of the shoe

Serial number

Not all fake products are counterfeit, but a legitimate pair of Adidas trainers or sneakers will have certain standards to meet. To maintain quality control of these standards, the pairs will be given a unique serial number corresponding to each style of shoe. You can find the serial number for Adidas shoes on the tags situated on the label on the tongue. You will need to look at the inside the shoes to see it properly. A real Adidas shoe will have two different serial numbers for both right shoe and left shoe. A fake always has the same serial number on the tongue label of both shoes. Also make sure that the digits on the tongue label match the serial number printed on the box.

Which comes to our next point. Did your shoes come in a shoe box when you purchased them? If they came wrapped in a plastic bag, then it is most likely that your Adidas shoes are fake. It is possible if you are buying a pair second hand, then they have simply lost the box. However, there is little reason for the pair to come in anything else but a shoe box. This is of course, unless they are fake.

How to Tell if Adidas Shoes are Fake - Serial number


A real Adidas logo is never a sticker. It is either stitched or carved on the sole or tongue of the shoe. In the image below you can see how the logo on the black Adidas shoe is a sticker, while the logo on the white shoe is carved on the tongue. The fake Adidas shoe is simply printed on and will wear off even more quickly than a real one.

The real one in our picture is simply older with a little more wear and tear. However, as it is a real Adidas shoe, its longevity means it has stayed together and has much better longevity.If you're concerned about the authenticity of other products check out this article and find out how to identify original Nike or Reebok shoes.

How to Tell if Adidas Shoes are Fake - Logo

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1 comment
Jagjit singh
Can you revert me is this art no. QBI2789 by adidas running shoes is original
If yes why the UK 8 size not coming in my feet
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Jagjit,

We're afraid we can't source shoes for you. Good luck on your quest!

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