How To Spot Fake Shoes
Spotting a pair of awesome kicks at a bargain price is always a thrilling experience and a temptation that we’ll forgive you for caving in to. What we don’t want, however, is for you to fall into the trap of buying shoes that are far from the real deal when its authenticity that you’re after.
While street vendors and online stores push for sales and can make a product sound too amazing to turn down, we’re about to show you the ropes so that you don’t get fooled into buying a suspicious pair of Nike, Adidas or Ballstars.
Here’s What You Need To Look Out For:
Look at the box. Your first warning sign is a pair of sneakers that comes without packaging. Branded shoes always come in a box that match their specs and branding to the tee. You also want to make sure that the box is in good condition and that price tags haven’t been meddled with.
Do the shoes match? Take the shoes and place them side by side so that you can see if they match in size and shape. Authentic makes will match to the finest detail but if one shoe sits higher or wider than the other, then there is a cause for concern.
Check the stitching. From color changes and flawed stitching to unraveling threads, how the different shoe materials have been sewn together is an important factor that should be studied closely. Replicas tend to have many faults in their stitching while authentic brands will have flawless seams.
Feel the materials. Fake shoes tend to cut corners so that sellers can make a good profit. It’s therefore not uncommon for counterfeit shoes to be made from “pleather” instead of “leather” or other cheaper versions of the promised materials. Give the pair in question a good feel and if the materials feel flimsy and fake, then it’s very likely that they are.
Pay attention to the finer details. If you can hold the shoes on your hands so that you can scrutinize the smaller details then a good starting point is to study the logo. Is it positioned at a skew or arbitrary angle? Is it missing any information? Do the colors match the advertised pair? Are there two stripes instead of three? Since replicas are not legally allowed to match the originals with 100% accuracy, there will always be something fishy when it comes to the tinier titbits.
Is the price too good to be true? When a store is advertising latest releases with a 50% percent markdown, then the warning bells should already be ringing. 9 times out of 10, a price that’s too good to be true usually isn’t. Life’s just not fair that way and a pair of Fakelys are all you’re going to end up with.
But What If You’re Buying Online?
Purchasing shoes online is a little trickier. You don’t get to hold, study, and compare the pair like you would if they’re smack-bang in front of you. You also don’t know if what you see in the photos will be the same as what’s delivered to you on purchase. Again, there are, however, some precautions you could take before you give away your credit card details. For instance:
Investigate the seller. First thing’s first, how transparent is the website you are planning on buying from? Do they have information on the store owners? What are the reviews like (always search for reviews – no reviews are a reason for concern). A website can also manipulate is own ratings, so third-party reviews hold more weight.
What’s the return policy like? You’ll be surprised by how many fraudulent websites there are out there. So, one thing you definitely check for is what the return policy is like, and if there is one. Follow the seller’s claims up by looking for reviews that match their promise.
What kind of photos are they using? A big warning sign is the use of stock photography. A photo that has excellent graphics has very likely been taken from a stock photography site or has been copied from the brand’s original marketing images.
Shoe sizing? Shoe size is a big deal. Nike shoes, for example, only come in men’s U.S. sizes 9, 10, and 11 – there are no “half” sizes. For some unknown reason, counterfeiters are common for selling “in between” sizes, like 7 ½, 8 ½, etc.
Has the shoe been officially released? If you have the right connections, then it’s not impossible to get your hands on a pair of sneakers before the actual launch date. Finding them online at a bargain price, however, should sound the loudest alarm bell of all. It’s just way WAY too good to be true!
Verify your purchase. Last but not least, if you do take the gamble and make your purchase, then you can verify the authenticity of your new kicks by comparing them with images of the original shoe. You can also take your investigation one step further and contact the manufacturer to see if the supplied serial number matches the numbers on their database.
From Nikes and Vans to Allstars and NMDs, replicas far exceed the original stock. While some are happy to buy the knock-offs and are only concerned about aesthetics, if you want a shoe that performs and lasts, then you’re going to want to make sure that you sift through the fakes to get an authentic pair of kicks at a competitive price. Applying our tips, titbits, and tricks of the trade will make you an expert when it comes to shopping for shoes that feature a bona fide kick!