How to Spot Fake Air Jordan’s

by Jamie Wilson

Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA

Nike Air Jordan’s are some of the most popular sneakers on the market. However, this also mean that the market has been flooded with fakes. We’ve put together this guide to help you avoid wasting your time and money on buying a fake pair, so read on for more. 

Purchasing a new pair of kicks is without a doubt one of the most exciting parts of being a sneakerhead. In this day and age, with many releases being so hyped and selling out instantly, the only place you can grab the hottest pair is the resell market. This is all well and good, but with there being literally thousands of sellers out there, there’s always the possibility you could get hit with a fake pair. There really is nothing worse than this. No one wants fake shoes, and it can often prove rather difficult to get your money back. We’ve put together this step by step guide to avoid getting stung by a pair of fake J’s.

1. Check the Box and Style Code

air jordan box

We understand that this can be difficult when purchasing pairs online, but if you have the chance always do this beforehand. Real Air Jordan’s come packed in a sturdy and high quality box. Makes sure that all Nike and Jordan branding on the box looks correct and not deformed – there should be no spelling errors or misprints. Check that the colours are bright and not faded, and that the overall texture of the box is consistent.

Do some research on the style you’re buying and make sure the style code printed on the box matched up with the pair that you’re buying. Boxes can vary between different styles of Jordan’s, so run a quick check online to make sure everything is as it should be. The box is often an instant giveaway when it comes to fake pairs. For some reason the factories producing these fakes seem to think that the box isn’t a crucial detail.

2. Inspect the Shoe’s Construction

ajiv closeup

Once again, if you have the pair in hand, inspecting every minute detail is crucial. Locate the tag on the inner of the sneaker and make sure that the style number matches exactly to the one on the box. The stitching on the tag should look uniform and neat, with not a stitch out of place, and make sure everything is spelt correctly – a lot of fakes tend to mess up here. Check the proportions on all the Jumpman logos featured on the pair and compare them to an image online. Nothing should be blurry, smudged or deformed.

The spaces between the shoelace holes should be even and each hole should be pretty much the same size and shape. Inspect the stitching on the entirety of the outer shoe – it should all look neat and proper. Messy stitching on the heel of Air Jordan’s is an instant giveaway that the pair is a fake. Finally, make sure the colourway is actually legit. A lot of fakes on the market are of colourways that never even existed in the first place. Check Nike archives or known sneaker websites to make sure what you’re buying was actually made by Nike in the first place.

3. Be Aware of Selling Practices

stadium goods

One of the many ways to avoid being stung before even making a purchase is to know the obvious giveaways when a site/seller is adverting fake Air Jordan’s. The first thing to look out for is the price. There’s an old phrase that goes “if it looks too good to be true – it probably is”. This is very apparent here. Be aware of any Jordan’s for sale under £100 – especially when it comes to hyped releases, you’re looking at paying a lot more than that. Make sure that the listing has clear images, and if you’re buying from a reseller then look out for tagged images to confirm that the seller has the pair in hand. Stock photos are a red flag.

If you’re buying from a site such as eBay, check the seller’s feedback. Legit sellers will have good reviews and positive feedback. If you’re buying from a Facebook group or similar platform, many people like to run a “legit check” on a seller before purchasing from them. The buyer will make a post in the group asking others if they’ve purchased from the seller, and what sort of service they’ve received. Good sellers are often known within the reselling community and will attract positive feedback on these posts.

4. Always Make Sure You’re Protected


Before you purchase a pair online via the resell market, you need to make sure you’re protected in case you end up buying a fake. Sites such as eBay and other official marketplaces have their own protection services, meaning if you do end up getting stung with fakes you can claim back via the site. However, if you’re purchasing via and independent seller and paying via Paypal, it’s important you know which method to use.

There are two options when sending money via Paypal, one is labelled “friends and family” and the other “goods and services”. It may seem obvious, but always pay via the goods and services option. Many sellers of fakes will ask for payment via the friends and family option, meaning if you discover the pair is fake you have no right to claim any money back.

5. You’ve Been Sold Fakes – What Next?

paypal buyer protection

So, if it’s come to it and you realise you’ve been stung with a fake pair, you need to know what to do next. There are multiple ways to go about this. If you’ve made the order via eBay or another established website, as we mentioned earlier, the site will have its own protection system in place. You’ll need to find the part of the site where you can dispute an order and notify the site that the product you received was a fake. Sites like this usually have a zero tolerance counterfeit policy, so getting your money back should be pretty straightforward, and in some cases you may not even have to send the item back.

If you’ve purchased the Jordan’s from an independent reseller, we’re assuming you’ve paid via Paypal goods and services as we stated above. In this case, find the transaction via your Paypal history and open a dispute against the seller. You’ll have to provide a statement and often a lot of evidence to prove the item is fake, however Paypal will almost always take sides with the buyer. If the pair was indeed a fake, you should have your money back relatively fast.

aj11 on foot

On That Note

Although we can’t completely rule out the chances of you purchasing a fake pair of Jordan’s (especially as fakes are getting more accurate by the day), hopefully by reading through this guide and taking our advice on board you can minimise your chances. The majority of resellers on the market are perfectly legit and sell hundreds of pairs without a problem, however as always there are bad people out there who will happily take your money and send a fake pair. If you do find you’ve been stung with fakes, follow the necessary procedures we’ve listed here and you should be able to get a full refund.

Where to buy a pair of Air Jordan

Stadium Goods – check the latest price – click here
StockX – check the latest price – click here
Flight Club – check the latest price – click here

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Feature image from Pinterest

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