Buying shoes

How to Tell if Vans Shoes Are Fake

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. April 18, 2017
How to Tell if Vans Shoes Are Fake

Vans is an America based company that is renowned to manufacture and distribute high quality sports goods, including shoes, backpacks, socks, hats, T-shirts and others. Being a branded name in the industry for more than 50 years, its products are expensive, and an entry-level pair comes for at least $40. So, while you are investing such a big amount in your shoes, you would never want to be cheated with fake Vans shoes. Here at oneHOWTO, we are going to give you a few tips on how to tell if Vans shoes are fake or not.

You may also be interested in: How to Tell if Adidas Shoes are Fake

Steps to follow:


Beware of a deal that seems too good to be true. As already mentioned, an authentic pair of Vans shoes comes for at least $40. A couple of dollars low or high may be acceptable if they are second hand, but if you can find them for as low as $15, chances are that it is fake, especially if they are sold brand new. Not all knock-offs sell low, but a bargain that seems too good to be true is a sure sign of a sham.


Look at the details of the shoes. If you already have an original pair of Vans shoes or if someone in your circle has, compare it to the pair you are planning to buy. Pay some attention to their make and details, and you will be able to spot a counterfeit more easily.

  1. If you are not sure of a certain symbol on the bottom of a Vans shoe, then compare it to an original and check if it also has the same symbol. If not, then the one in your hand may be a fake. Original vans shoes have a criss-cross sole like the one in the picture below, with two different patterns. As these sneakers are great for skateboarding, they usually have a sticky coating for better grip. If it doesn't have this coating they may be fake.
  2. Look for Vans trademark on three places of the shoes, one on the side of the shoe, the second on the back and third in the insole.
  3. When you see the bottom sole of the shoe, you will see an interlocking pattern of diamonds and rhomboids, with the three letter country code in one of the rhomboids. If you can’t find any, steer clear. Try bending the sole too. If it's rigid and it doesn't easily bend, it's probably fake.
  4. The laces should not be soft, original Vans have laces that are firm to touch.
How to Tell if Vans Shoes Are Fake - Step 2

Stay away from a product that seems poorly made or flimsy. If the suspected pair of shoes is made by a counterfeiting operation, then chances are that it will not have a quality control system. If you can spot a workmanship defect in the shoes in your hand, then it may be a sign of fake. Although defects can happen in original shoes as well, you should give more attention to the quality of the product. If it is poorly made or has loose ends or threads on all sides, then it is better to stay away from it. Vans shoes come with a paper inserted inside to protect against scuffing up.


Inspect the packaging. Reputable companies like Vans give great care to the packaging of their products. Beware of the packaging that has substandard printing, running colors and opened packages. Take a few minutes to actually read its packaging. Counterfeit Vans shoes often come with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Packets of Vans shoes also come with a lot of information on them, including their trademark, bar code, patent information, recycling symbols etc. Fake product manufacturers will usually not spend so much time on the packaging details of the products. So, if your package is plain or if it misses some of the important information, then perhaps it is forged. Also look at the way it closes and secures. If there is nothing to hold it in place, then it probably is fake.

How to Tell if Vans Shoes Are Fake - Step 4

Look for over-used terms. According to expert, fake manufacturers often over-use terms like ‘real’, ‘authentic’, ‘genuine’ etc. This is because they are trying to convince the buyers that they are authentic and can be trusted for originality. So, if you see over-use of such terms on your packet, then perhaps it is a knock-off. Also look for the term ‘inspired by’. In the industry, this term is a synonym for fakes and replicas.


Scan the barcode. There are apps that you can download on your smartphone to read the barcode of the Vans shoes in hand. This barcode should be corresponding to the shoes inside the package. If you cannot find any barcode on your package, it is fake for sure.

Now that you know how to tell real Vans from fake ones, take a look at how to tell these other well-know sneaker brands from their fake counterparts:

How to Tell if Vans Shoes Are Fake - Step 6

If you want to read similar articles to How to Tell if Vans Shoes Are Fake, we recommend you visit our Fashion & Style category.


  • Make sure you always purchase your Vans shoes from a trusted retailer in order to avoid imitations.
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How to Tell if Vans Shoes Are Fake