Here’s How To Spot A Pair Of Fake Sneakers

By Nikolina Skoric
10 June 2019
Sneakers, Sneaker-con, Fake sneakers
Sneaker Con’s Head of Authentication on how sneaker conventions are dealing with counterfeit kicks

The fake designer market is a lucrative one. These days, you can buy almost any newly-released cop from one of the many websites offering counterfeit goods – sneakers included.

But it’s how good these fakes can be that is the craziest part, with even the most seasoned enthusiast not being able to pick them from a line-up.
In 2014 a vender tried to head into New York Sneaker Con with a bunch of seriously convincing fakes, to the surprise of the event organisers.

“…there was a guy who had nothing but fakes on his table," Ray Cruz told Complex, one of the guys behind Sneaker Con's Authenticated table, a service that gives the show's stamp of approval on 100 percent real kicks. "He had a table full of stuff like Oregon IIIs and it was all fake. We had to make him take it down, because we're trying to protect the people."

For Bryan Mora, Head of Authentication for Sneaker Con, he agrees that there’s nothing that can plague the convention's reputation more than being known for selling fakes, so protecting businesses and the attendees from getting duped is high on the priority list. So we sat down with Mora to find out a bit more about the effect of fakes, and how you can know whether you're being duped.

Was there a certain time you noticed a growing amount of fakes on the market?
I would say around 2015 – when Nike released the remastered Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” and Adidas released their first shoe with Kanye West, the Yeezy Boost 350 “Turtle Dove” – is when we saw a spike of coming across fakes.

How do fakes impact the sneaker economy?
Fakes flooding the market on a specific shoe brings up the hype and demand on authentic pairs which makes the price rise.

Have you ever had any fakes that were unbelievably convincing?
Yes, the fake market is a constantly evolving thing. Once a batch of fakes come out the next batch would look better than the last one that they released. Some of the best fakes I've seen are Yeezy Boost 350s where the replicas are very close to the authentic pairs, but the biggest giveaway would be the packaging on the shoes and the size of the tag inside of the shoe.

What are some of the signs to look out for when buying sneakers?
When buying shoes in the secondary market you must always do your research, make sure you are buying from a reliable source and getting different opinions on the shoe if you are unsure on the authenticity. Part our process of studying and inspecting shoes is really digging deep into the small details like matching the exact colour codes and grabbing measurements on certain parts of the shoe. We enter that data into our private database that we use internally for our LEGIT Check operation.

Where can people go if they're unsure whether sneakers are fake or not?
Definitely come to a Sneaker Con event in your city! All day, our Sneaker Con authentication team will be authenticating and attaching our special NFC chip LEGIT tag on shoes to make sure you feel safe about the shoe you are buying. And if you can’t make it to an event, people can contact us at any time for a LEGIT Check via email at We’re also always producing content and shooting videos on legit checks and legit comparisons on our Instagram (@sneakercon) to help drive awareness within the community.

Via GQ Australia