Yeezys are one of the most sought-after sneakers on the market today. With limited releases and high prices, they become a prime target for counterfeiters.
With so many high-quality fake Yeezy on the market, it’s hard to tell the fake from the real.
Luckily there are a few telltale signs that can help you spot a fake pair of Yeezys. This article will list some of the most common ways to tell if Yeezys are fake.
Check the Packaging
The most obvious way to tell if Yeezys are fake is by checking the packaging.
Authentic Yeezys come in a standard high-quality brown colored cardboard box. This box has a smooth finish with smooth, straight edges. The box also has a printed label. This printed label contains the sizing information, colorway, serial number, and barcode.
On the other hand, the packaging of fake Yeezys is usually of lower quality. The box is often made of thinner and cheaper cardboard. The finish is rougher, and the edges are not straight.
Moreover, counterfeiters attempt to dupe customers by going a step beyond, such as providing extra goodies or certificates. They even include matching socks or Yeezy shopping bags, which are never included with legitimate Yeezy sneakers.
Inspect the Logo
Another way to verify the authenticity of Yeezys is by inspecting the Adidas logo.
Yeezys comes with an Adidas Triform emblem. The original logo comprises three straight parallel stripes of different lengths.
So, if you see a Yeezy shoe without the Adidas Triform emblem or find it with defects such as misalignment, it is likely a fake pair of shoes.
Moreover, genuine pair of Yeezy shoes (especially Yeezy Boost 350 v2) has a small embossed “SPLV-350” written on the shoe’s lateral side, near the ankle collar. This logo is an important design element of an authentic Yeezy sneaker.
On fake Yeezys, “SPLV-350” is often misspelled as “SPLW-350,” or it is not present at all. The font, alignment, and spacing of the letters are also incorrect.
Examine the Shoe Tag on the Inside of the Shoes
All Yeezys have a tag on the inside. The tag has a white background with text printed in black ink. If this tag is missing or has any defects, it is a huge red flag.
The shoe tag contains the following information.
- The first line reads: “MADE IN CHINA”
- Abbreviation for shoe sizing standards
- Shoe size
- Factory code (stars with 2 or 3 letters)
- Date of production (MM/YY)
- Style number (starts with ART)
- Purchase number (starts with #)
- A 13-digit serial number made up of letters and numbers
- QR code (on the bottom left side)
- “Adidas” is written below the QR code
If any of this information is incorrect or missing, then the Yeezys you are looking at are counterfeit.
Note – Please keep in mind that the template of the tag will vary depending on the country in which Yeezy is being sold.
Look for the “Sample Made in China” Phrase
Yeezys are manufactured in China and then exported to the US (and other countries). Therefore, on the inside tag of every authentic Yeezy, you will find the phrase “Made in China” printed in black ink.
However, if you see the phrase “Sample Made in China” printed on the tag, the Yeezy you are looking at is a fake. The original brands never add extra words or information such as “sample” on the tag.
“Sample Made in China” is printed to mislead customers into thinking that the Yeezys came from the original brand as samples. Samples are sent to retailers for free, which is why they are often sold at a lower price.
Compare the Information on the Shoe Tag With the Product Details on the Box
Once you have inspected the shoe tag, compare the information with the product details printed on the box. If there are any discrepancies between the two (for example, different style numbers), then it is likely that you are looking at a fake pair of Yeezys.
Moreover, you can also compare the shoe tag information among both shoes. A mismatch between the tags indicates that you have two different pairs of shoes or one of them is fake.
Another way to test the authenticity of Yeezys is by using the “ART number.”
Go to Google and type in “Adidas + “Your ART number.”
This search will return images of the sneakers in their original colorway. If the colorway of the shoes you have doesn’t match what you find on Google, then it is likely that you have a fake pair.
Check the Shoe Material
Original Yeezys are made with a high-quality material called ‘Primeknit.’
Primeknit is a proprietary fabric developed by Adidas. It is a knitted fabric that provides a sock-like fit to support your feet. Primeknit is exceptionally lightweight, soft, and breathable material – in short, perfect for sneakers.
Mimicking Primeknit is one of the most challenging tasks for counterfeiters. As a result, most fake Yeezys are made with cheaper materials such as polyester and nylon.
To spot a fake, look at the fabric of the shoe. If it looks and feels cheap, then it is likely not made with Primeknit (and therefore not an authentic Yeezy).
In addition, you can also check the texture of the fabric. Primeknit has a honeycomb-like or waffle-like texture. If the fabric is smooth or has any other pattern, then it is not Primeknit.
Look for Irregularities in the Stitching
Yeezys are known for their unique stitch work. Irregularities in the stitching are another dead giveaway that Yeezys are fake.
Authentic Yeezys comes with heavy stitching detail that starts from the toe box and goes all the way to the heel counter of the shoe. The stitching is present in the exact middle of the shoe. The stitch pattern alternates X, square, X, square, with a cross between a whipstitch and a cross stitch. Also, the stitching is tight, neat, and evenly spaced out.
With such intricate middle stitching, it is challenging for counterfeiters to replicate the exact same stitch pattern.
As a result, most fake Yeezys have irregular or fake stitching pattern that is not evenly spaced out or straight. Fake Yeezys may even have puffy stitches that may look like they are about to come undone.
Additionally, the stitches on the original Yeezys are known to be UV responsive. So, if you have a black light, you can shine it on the stitches to see if they glow. If they don’t glow, then it is likely that the Yeezys are fake.
Examine the Wave Pattern
Yeezy shoes have a distinct wavy pattern on the side of the shoe. This pattern usually runs sideways. The wavy pattern is well-spaced out and evenly distributed on the entire shoe.
Most fake versions have an irregular wavy pattern that is not evenly spaced out. Some fake Yeezys may even come without the wavy pattern altogether.
Check the Shoe Laces
A pair of genuine Yeezy sneakers have high-quality shoelaces.
Yeezys feature tubular woven laces that are sealed with clear caps. The weaving on the laces is tight and even, indicating high-quality craftsmanship.
Fake Yeezys, on the other hand, come with cheap-looking laces made of thin and flimsy material. The weaving on the laces is often loose and uneven. You will also find signs of fraying on the laces around the eyelets.
Another way to spot fake Yeezy shoelaces is by checking the length of the laces.
The original laces are always the same length, while the fake ones may come in different lengths.
One more thing to remember is that the lace holes on genuine Yeezy shoes are barely visible. Also, they do not come with any metal eyelets.
If you notice any metal eyelets or big lace holes, it is a dead giveaway that the Yeezys is a fake.
Inspect the Insole
Another shoe part that can help you spot fake Yeezys is the insole. An authentic insole is made of high-quality material. It has a smooth and clean surface.
Authentic Yeezy shoe comes with a removable insole. If you cannot take out the insole easily, it is a big red flag.
To verify the authenticity of Yeezys, remove the insole and check for the following.
- “Adidas YEEZY” text with the Adidas trefoil logo separating the two words
- Style code and a sizing printed on the edge
- Adidas trefoil logo on the back side of the insole
If you can find all these elements on the insole, then it is likely that the insole belongs to a real pair of Yeezys.
On the other hand, fake insoles lack all of these elements. They are also made of cheap-looking materials which clearly indicates a fake pair of shoes.
Check the Midsole
The midsole is the part of the shoe that comes in between the outsole and the insole. The midsole is tough to replicate and hence is one of the most accessible areas to spot fake Yeezy shoes.
An authentic Yeezy shoe comes with a Boost midsole.
Boost is Adidas’s proprietary technology that uses expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU) pellets. Boost midsoles provide excellent cushioning and energy return, making the shoes extremely comfortable.
Authentic Boost material has a bubbly structure with a rough finish. This structure is evenly distributed throughout the entire midsole. The rubber ribbing on the material has rounded tips.
Additionally, Boost material is very springy. Therefore, If you press down on the midsole, it should quickly return to its original shape.
Fake Yeezys, on the other hand, have midsoles made of cheap foam. These midsoles are too hard and do not have the same bounciness as the authentic Boost material. You will also find that the rubber ribbing on the fake midsoles has flat edges rather than rounded tips.
Moreover, if you take a closer look at the midsole, you will also notice that the fake Yeezys have an irregular and inconsistent Boost pattern. The bubbles on the fake midsoles are often of different sizes and are not evenly distributed.
Check the Heel Tab Placement
The placement of the heel tab is another area where you can spot fake Yeezys.
On an authentic Yeezy shoe, the heel tab should be placed at a certain distance from the sockliner. This distance is the same on both left and right shoes. Also, the stitching on the heel tab should be tight and evenly spaced.
On replica Yeezy, you will find that the heel tabs are either too close or too far from the sockliner. Additionally, the stitching on the heel tabs is often loose and uneven.
Check the 3 Strips on the Inside
On the inside of the heel counter of an authentic Yeezy shoe, you will find three detailed rubber strips. These rubber strips are embossed on the heel counter. All three rubber strips are parallel to each other and are of the same size.
On fake Yeezys, you will find that the three rubber strips are not present or are of different sizes. The rubber strips may even come off when rubbed.
Examine the Outsole
The outsole is another shoe part that is difficult to replicate and can help you spot fake Yeezys.
The outsole on real Yeezys is made using TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). This material is exceptionally durable and provides good traction.
When inspecting the outsole, look for the following things.
- A stamped “Boost” logo on the heel area of the outsole.
- A white exposed part with flower-like embossing. It is situated above the “Boost” logo. Moreover, the white exposed part should feel soft to the touch.
- Adidas Trefoil and Adidas logo debossed on the toe tip of the outsole.
If you find all these elements on the outsole, then it is likely that the Yeezys are authentic pair.
On the other hand, if you cannot find any of these elements or if the outsole feels hard and cheap, it is probably a fake.
Check for Missing Parts
When inspecting Yeezys for authenticity, you should check for any missing shoe parts. You will often find elements such as the insole, laces, and heel tabs missing on fake shoes.
Smell the Shoes
Smelling shoes might sound like a weird way to spot fakes, but it can be quite helpful.
Counterfeiters often use cheap materials and strong chemicals to make shoes. As a result, fake shoes often have a distinct chemical smell. This smell is very difficult to eliminate and is a telltale sign of fake shoes.
Check for Any Glue Stains or Imperfections on the Shoes
Fake shoe manufacturers often lack the experience and expertise to make shoes. As a result, their shoes often have glue stains and other imperfections.
To spot these imperfections, you should closely examine the shoes for any glue stains, uneven stitching, or mismatched patterns. If you find any of these imperfections, then the chances are that the Yeezys are fake.
As you can see, there are many ways to spot fake Yeezys. The tips we have provided will help you avoid getting scammed by counterfeiters.
When buying Yeezys, always buy from a reputable source. Do not buy from unknown sellers, especially if they sell shoes at a heavily discounted price.
If you find any indicative signs of a fake pair of Yeezys, do not hesitate to return them. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to buying expensive sneakers like Yeezys.
If you want to get a replica of shoes from a famous brand or simply want to learn to differentiate between real and replica, check out “What Does Reps Mean in Shoes.”
We hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.
Happy Yeezy hunting!