Replica shoes or “fake shoes” as they are also called. Come in different versions. Without knowing too much about the replica shoe industry I do know that there are different levels of replicas.
They start out at a grade called A which is the worst tier (an example of A grade is the one shown below) and they go all the way up to AAA and then at the very top you have “UA”.
UA stands for “Unauthorized” and it is used to describe replicas that are almost perfect. In the world of shoes and more specifically sneakers. The topic of UA´s has people divided. A UA shoe is the close as you get to the retail version and unless you are an expert on differentiating replicas from the real deal. You won´t be able to tell the difference.
The reason for this is, that the UA shoe most likely stems from the same conveyer belt where the real shoe was produced. but it is for some reason not included in the production batch which has been ordered by the shoe brand.
The reason for this may either be that the UA shoe didn´t pass the quality test set out by the brand or that the shoe has been intentionally overproduced so that it can be sold elsewhere without the real brand knowing about it.
If two shoes which have been produced with the same materials, in the same factory and have even been assembled on the same conveyer belt, But the only difference is that one pair is meant to be shipped to retailers while the other pair is going to be sold through an unauthorized Chinese website.
Does it then make both shoes “real” or is the one being sold through the Chinese website a replica?
This is the question that many people who love shoes tend to ask, myself included.
But I’m not going to talk about UA shoes in this article.
I’m going to talk about replica shoes and more specifically. I´m going to teach YOU what to look out for if you want to know if a shoe is genuine or if it is a replica.
Smell The Shoe
I know this sounds weird. But trust me I’m being serious here.
Aside from UA shoes. Most other replicas tend to have a much lower quality.
This is due to the fact that they are made with cheaper materials which include cheap industrial glue.
If you ordered a pair of shoes, at an unbelievably low price and you might suspect that you have been sold fakes. Then give the pair a good sniff when you take them out of the box.
It’s hard to describe precisely what a replica shoe with bad industrial glue smells like. But trust me if you have ever bought yourself new shoes. And was hit with that wonderful new shoe smell. You know how your new shoes SHOULD smell like.
The replica will not have this smell and while I can´t compare it to anything else I can promise you can you will be able to tell right away.
All shoes contain a style code. This is to better help the brand organize a catalogue them into the system.
If you take a shoe you own right now and look on the inside. You will most likely find a tag with the brands’ name, the size, where it has been made and the style code itself.
For Nike shoes its usually a six digit number followed by 3 other digits. And if you put these numbers into your search bar or in this case on Nike’s website. Your shoe model will pop up with the name and also in the specific colour that you are holding.
This is not only an easy way to find the name of your shoe but its also a great way to find out if the pair you have bought is genuine or not.
Most replica manufactures will not take the time to insert the right style code number and will most likely just insert any tag with the shoe branding and correct size.
If you insert your style code and a different shoe pops up. Then chances are you are dealing with a fake.
Different brands have different ways of stamping the style code on their shoes.
For example, Unlike Nike who marks their style codes identical on both the right and left shoe. On my Adidas NMD´s the style code for the left shoe is different from the right.
I don´t know why Adidas does this. But just because your shoes may have different codes on their inner tags does not mean that they are fake
If you aren´t sure about your shoes being fake or real. Then look up how each brand tags their style codes and then search for them.
Stitches And Cuts
It goes without saying that most replica shoes are shoes that are cheaply produced and hastily put together.
Due to this the stitches and cuts will not have been given the time that they need to look good. If you spot flimsy stitching or if some stitching easily trembles up quick. Chances are that your pair of shoes are replicas and also bad ones at that.
Some shoes who use different kinds of leather, like patent leather. Also, tend to have “spikes” in the cut due to the manufactures rushing the shoes to production.
These smaller details tend to require a better eye who can spot these things. But this is another way to help determine if your shoes are fake.
The durability also plays a part here. If your shoes begin to “fall apart” soon after you´ve bought them. It´s most likely because you´ve bought replicas.
Labels And Boxes
Most replica manufactures don´t bother trying to hide the fact that the shoes they are selling are fakes. Therefore, if you bought a pair of shoes and the website ships them to you. And you find out they come in a plastic bag instead of a traditional shoe box.
There’s a high possibility of them being fake.
Sometimes you do get a box though, but this is not a guarantee. Check the labels on the box to see if anything looks out of the ordinary and also test the box itself.
Fake Shoe boxes are just as hastily put together as the shoes that they carry. This means that it won´t be as sturdy an authentic shoe box.
If the box itself seems to fall apart before you´ve even opened it. Then this is a good indication of your shoes and your box being fake.
I would like to point out that I don´t care if you wear replica shoes or not.
What you want to wear is your decision and feel like you should have the freedom to make that decision.
Just don´t try to sell of replicas as if they were genuine. You are not being a great salesman you are just being a scummy person. and the same goes for trying to pass your replica shoes as authentic.
Be honest if anyone asks you if your shoes are fake or not because you are not fooling anyone. If being will go as far as to ask you if your shoes are real or not. Then its because it is obvious and you are only making yourself look bad by lying about it
I would like to end this article with my final advice.
If a website doesn’t disclose right away that they are selling replicas and you have a feeling that they might do. The easiest way to spot it. Is to look at the price and see if it is well below the average market price.
If they are offering new shoes for a price that seems too good to be true. Then its most likely because it is.
I know this post was a short one. But I hope you liked it regardless and I also hope that my article helped educate you in some ways to spot replica shoes. and if not then I at least hope you had a good read.
If you have any questions regarding replica shoes or any comments on my article. Then feel free to leave them down below and I will happily get back to you!