Most people buy shoes online, due to the convenience that online platforms offer. You can compare prices from different outlets, pay on the spot and have the shoes delivered to your doorstep. However, buying shoes online also comes with the risk of ending up with a counterfeit product. The sale of fake brand shoes has increasingly spread even to the major online platforms like Amazon and eBay. So, how can tell whether the brand shoes you want to purchase from Amazon are fake or legitimate?


One of the easiest ways of distinguishing a legitimate pair of shoes from a fake one is the price. If something appears too good to be true, then you should definitely tread with caution. As much as we all love to bargain and buy something at a good price, there is a huge difference between buying something at a discount and getting ripped off. For instance, the current price of New Balance men’s 860v10 running shoes on the official company website is $130. If you come across someone selling a new pair for $50 or even $75, there is a high chance those shoes are fake. It doesn’t matter whether they look exactly like the original ones or the seller claims to be a Nike employee if the price is ridiculously low, chances are high the shoes are fake.

As a rule of thumb, avoid buying designer or brand shoes that are priced 30% lower than the original price. In case you are not sure about the current price for those shoes, you can check different online platforms that sell authentic shoes. While the shoes might be going for different prices across the various platforms, the discrepancy will be a few dollars. After all, why would someone be willing to sell authentic brand shoes for $75 if they can still sell them for $225? It’s unreasonable.

The Seller

Another way of spotting fake brand shoes is by paying close attention to the seller. Outlets and online stores that stock legitimate brand shoes, usually upload high-quality images of the product. Also, most have professionally-done product descriptions, without any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Everything about the product is understandable and clear. Legitimate sellers also provide up-to-date contact information, which you can use to get in touch with them, in case you have a question regarding the product. Also, the way the website is set up should help you to examine the legitimacy of the seller. If the website redirects you to another unfamiliar site where you should buy the shoes, there is a high chance that you will end up with a fake pair. In case you have any doubts about the seller, you should avoid them and look for options elsewhere. After all, there is no rule that you should buy shoes from a certain seller or at a particular date. Therefore, take your time, assess the seller and if you feel they are not legitimate, then you can opt for another seller.


Original brand shoes are made of high-quality materials and the level of workmanship is exceptional. Fake products, on the other hand, are usually made of poor quality materials, and the level of workmanship is poor. Manufacturers of counterfeit or fake products don’t care about the quality of the product, since they intend to sell as many items as possible, at a throwaway price. When it comes to workmanship and quality of the product, you should pay attention to the following areas:

  • Materials: As much as manufacturers of counterfeit shoes are now producing shoes that are almost similar to the original ones, you can still tell the difference between a fake one and the original one. For instance, if both the original and the fake shoes are made of leather, the quality of leather used to make the fake ones will be of lower quality compared to that used to make the original shoes. It will be harder and rougher, as well as odd-looking. Apart from the materials, you also need to pay attention to the stitching. The stitching for the fake brand shoes will be flawed or poorly done.
  • Logo and labeling: The labeling of the shoes should also help you to spot fake brand shoes. For instance, the shoes might be labeled “Adibas” or similar other variations instead of “Adidas.” Apart from that, you also need to pay attention to the design and location of the logo. The majority of fake brand shoes will come with a poorly done and dull logo, where some details have omitted. If you are looking for brand shoes and you come across such an issue, you should avoid them at all costs.
  • Colorway: Legitimate brand shoes adhere to specific color schemes. For example, the Adidas IVY PARK Ultraboost running sneakers, are distinctly maroon, featuring solar orange in the bottom surface of the outsole. Therefore, if you come across the same shoe with different colorways, there is a high probability that it’s a fake one. And if you are still in doubt, you can just check the manufacturer’s website to verify whether there are additional colorways. You can also take an image of the shoe that you doubt, and then post it on the brand’s social media pages. While this process might consume some of your time, in the end, you will avoid purchasing a fake product and save your money.
  • Packaging: A closer look at the packaging can also help you to tell whether a certain pair of shoes is fake or they are original. For example, if you buy an original pair of Air Jordan sneakers, they will arrive in a black and gold box. On the other hand, if they are counterfeits, then the box will come in different colors. However, the colors of the box might sometimes be easy to copy, which means you should pay attention to the quality of the materials used to make it. If the shoes are fake, you will notice that the cardboard used to make the box will be cheap and thinner. It might also be ripped or all beat up. Also, the box might be missing important labels, stickers, and tags.


The majority of fake brand shoes that you will find on the market today come from China, Singapore, and Hong Kong. As much as some major brands have set up their manufacturing bases in these regions, you need to be extra cautious if someone is selling an original pair of Nike sneakers and they are based in Asia. Also, you need to pay attention to where the items are being shipped from. If an online seller has 40 pairs of discounted Adidas shoes and they are shipping them from an address in Hong Kong, you should think twice before making that purchase.

Closing Remarks

If you are a budget-conscious shopper, you might be tempted to purchase the cheapest brand shoes that you can find on the market. And if you are not careful, you might end up buying fake brand shoes, labeled as original ones. Apart from being poorly made, fake brand shoes are less durable than original ones, which means you will be forced to replace them after a few months. Therefore, whenever you are buying brand shoes, be diligent, patient and careful. You’d rather buy second hand but original Nike shoes, as opposed to buying new but fake ones.

About the Author Cindy

Hello, I'm Cindy. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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