At Street Bill, we do a lot of work to eliminate the threat of counterfeit products. Fake products are starting to appear more and more often, especially on the Danish market, and strangely enough, few people can actually differentiate between genuine and fake products - which is completely understandable, because fake products are gradually becoming more identical to authentic products, so how can you tell the difference?
There are a number of elements that come into play when it comes to reviewing a pair of sneakers, but these vary enormously depending on the model being looked at, as well as how good a copy we're dealing with. Furthermore, the quality from Nike also varies wildly, but not only does the quality vary, sometimes so-called "factory flaws" appear on products from Nike - below is a recent example attached where the very Swooshet on the model Nike Air Jordan 1 High "Reverse Shattered Backboard" simply reverses. However, "factory flaws" typically occur to a much lesser degree through, for example, stitching, texture as well as placement of details, all of which only contribute to complicating recognizability among fake and authentic products.
For this verification process, we have acquired a pair of fake Nike Air Jordan 1 High "Mocha", which we put side by side an identical pair, pointing out the differences, as well as elaborating on how we can easily distinguish between the two - precisely because we are experts in the field.
Below you can see the two products side by side, so try to guess which of the two is authentic and which is not before we go through the process!
1. The box
The image below features the two different boxes included on the fake and authentic pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 High "Mocha" respectively, it appears among other things that the font/lettering is significantly thicker on one box label. In addition, there is a "suggested retail" tag on the bottom box label, which is an indicator that the shoes were sold by a US retailer, as retailers in the EU always remove this tag. The majority of boxes on counterfeit goods have this "suggested retail", therefore it can sometimes be considered as an indicator that the product is not authentic.
However, as the font is significantly thicker on the box and the above tag appears on the bottom box, the starting point is that this must be a fake.
The next element to examine is the general appearance of the model, simply to fine tune the material used. This is done to distinguish the leather in this scenario. The upper sneaker has perfectly fine polished leather with a perfectly even shape, something that suggests synthetic material, which is also the case. The material is not natural leather, but rather something chemically produced. This is never a good indicator as this type of material is typically cheaper to produce with.
On the lower model, the leather is much more uneven and thus it can be quickly clarified that this is real leather.
Therefore, the starting point here is that the top sneaker in the picture below must be fake.
3. The smell
Strangely enough, the smell of the shoes is often a solid indicator of whether the product is fake or not - this only applies to brand new pairs - because the scent of authentic sneakers is mild and pleasant due to good production facilities. On fake products, the smell is much stronger and consists of synthetic substances that create a stuffy atmosphere and less optimal production facilities.
On the fake pair we can clearly smell the difference, precisely because the smell is more synthetic and strong.
4. Wings logo
The next thing we quickly notice is the difference between the two Air Jordan logos - also referred to as the wings logo, where the size between the two is not the same. The shoe on the right has a significantly larger wings logo than the one on the left, and even a stronger shine and a highly reflective mirror image about it.
The shoe on the left has a very accurate placement of the wings logo, based on what the standard is for that particular size. In addition, the logo is reflective, but to a more limited extent.
Thus, it is the shoe on the right of the image that is considered to be fake.
5. Toe box
The next step is to check the toe area, also called the toe box area. This is where the manufacturers of non-authentic products struggle to get the structure of the area just right.
On the sneaker to the right, the toe box area is best illustrated by a small hill that peaks around the midpoint and then moves down again. In addition, the breath holes are slightly larger and more precise than the sneaker on the left of the image.
As shown on the shoe to the left, the toe box area is more or less completely flat as well as a smaller precision of the breathing holes.
It is for these reasons that we assume the shoe on the left is a fake.
Next, we look at the shape, but precisely the structure at the back of the shoes. Original and therefore authentic Air Jordans have an hourglass-like structure, which we have tried to show in the picture below.
The shoe on the left in the picture is the authentic one, to which the shoe on the right is the fake one. Although it is difficult to distinguish, there are still a few points we have referred to with arrows that show a more precise structure of the hourglass shape.
The fake sneaker on the right is more bulky and chunky, making the middle part of the hourglass not appear as clearly as the shoes on the left. However, it is not far from having the correct structure, which is particularly scary.
7. UV light
We are now near the end of our verification process, where we always review the entire product and its associated parts with UV light. By using UV light, defects can usually be found on the fake products, whether it is stitching, a stamp from the manufacturer or something else entirely, it can be found with the use of UV light.
In our case we did not find any signs on the box or the outside of the shoes, we had to look inside the shoes. Here, on the other hand, we found several signs indicating a fake product. As the main sign, the inside stitching along the middle of the sneaker started to light up on the fake product, whereas the stitching on the authentic sneaker did not light up at all.
This was more or less our entire verification process, albeit with several caveats. It depends incredibly on which model we're working with. Additionally, the overall production number has an impact, due to a higher number a usually meaning more small "factory flaws".
If you've read through the above process, we can understand if you're shocked at how comparable the two products are - this is also why we recommend shopping through trusted retailers like us, rather than private sellers who often lack the expertise in the field.
We are very accurate in our assessments and almost always hit the mark, precisely because we are so thorough. In the few cases where there is the slightest doubt between us, we have several third parties in the form of working partners, etc. who help us to the finish - so you are guaranteed an authentic pair EVERY time you shop at Street Bill.
Street Bill feels compelled to state that we in no way support the black market in fake products, and this one product is solely sourced to highlight the differences between authentic and fake.