The Best Way To Spot Fake Air Jordan 1 Sneakers in 2023

April 13, 2023

Do you want to know how to identify fake Air Jordan 1s? Are you worried about getting scammed? Our Nike Air Jordan 1 legit check guide is the most comprehensive available.

In a nutshell, that’s the story. Our head-to-head comparisons of real and fake are naturally easier to understand if you see them side-by-side. See them below by scrolling down.

If the situation seems too complicated, we’re happy to help with our authentication service. Despite this, we strive to make these guides as easy to understand as possible.

There is no doubt that sneakers are one of the most counterfeited products in the world. When investing in collectible sneakers, such as Air Jordan 1s, you should stay vigilant due to their collectibility and the trend of counterfeiting in the fashion industry.

Despite the large amount of counterfeiting in the industry, real Air Jordan 1 have certain signs of authenticity that counterfeiters can’t replicate. 

The best way to avoid getting scammed when buying Air Jordan 1 sneaker is to learn how to spot fakes vs. real ones.

LegitCheck believes that anyone buying collectibles should know how to ensure they’re getting genuine items. 

That’s why we’re going to discuss how to spot fake vs. real Air Jordan 1s in this article. 

In this image, you can see an infographic guide that applies to 90% of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High colorways. Read on for a detailed guide!

Air Jordan 1s are basketball sneakers manufactured by Nike in collaboration with Michael Jordan, the legendary basketball player.

How do Air Jordan 1 sneakers work?

Air Jordan 1s were the first line of sneakers launched by the Air Jordan brand. In 1985, they were designed for Jordan’s basketball career with the Chicago Bulls. As a result, they’ve become one of the world’s most iconic sneakers.

Over the years, Air Jordan 1s have been made in many different styles. Due to the iconic nature of the shoe and the rarity of some of the more valuable variations, many of these have become collectibles. 

On StockX, the Jordan 1 Retro High Travis Scott sells for $1,489, for example. Despite their retro style, these shoes were created in late 2019. Since their release, these sneakers have become extremely collectible due to their unique design and limited supply.

StockX listings for original 1985 Air Jordan 1s command $38,150, making them one of the most valuable shoes of all time. No matter if you’re a collector or just like wearing them, making sure you’re buying Air Jordan 1s that are legit is important.

What are the benefits of Legit Checking Air Jordan 1 sneakers?

As with any other high-value collectible, Air Jordan 1 sneakers are incredibly susceptible to counterfeiting. To make sure you’re aware of the differences between real and fake Air Jordan 1s, make sure you legitimately check them.

If you don’t verify your sneakers are real Jordans right away, you won’t be able to dispute them with the marketplace or payment processor.

The best way to avoid being scammed is to buy sneakers from reputable sellers and official stores. You should still make sure to legit check Air Jordan 1s wherever you purchased them, because a reseller may have missed a fake.

Do you want to know how to legit check Air Jordan 1 shoes? Are you looking for a full certificate of authenticity to verify their authenticity? You can avoid getting scammed by fake Air Jordan 1s and other fake sneakers and collectibles by using LegitCheck.

The legit check guide begins now.

The best way to spot a fake Air Jordan 1 High (Any Colourway)

The tongue tag of a fake Air Jordan 1 can be detected by closely inspecting the text. Take a look at our fake vs real visual comparison below if the text is unclear, wavy (slanted), or too thin. Moreover, check the Air Jordan logo for any inconsistencies, such as overlapping elements, too much space between elements, or uneven letters.

Check the tongue tag of the Jordan 1 for any inconsistencies

The fake Jordan 1 pairs always have wavy text instead of straight text.

When creating a guide, we usually try to make it small (which requires high-precision manufacturing tools) and barely visible to anyone but the wearer.

In our opinion, these elements are where replica manufacturers will compromise. It’s surprising that we didn’t start the guide with this flaw in the tongue tag.

Despite being visible on the outside of the sneaker, the Air Jordan logo is not perfect. However, I digress. Here’s how to spot a fake Jordan 1:

The general rule is that you need to be aware of two things:

  1. The fake Air Jordan 1 tag uses a thinner font
  2. Due to this, the font is sometimes difficult to read

There are a couple quick giveaways for the thinner font, but the most important is the comparison of the “CHINA” text.

The “A” in the fake example is not entirely legible, while the “H” is wider. Since these things aren’t easy to remember, we recommend either checking out the legit check’s guide pictures or looking for weakly printed text.

How do I define weakly printed text? On the Jordan 1 tag, you can see the highlighted French word “VOTRE”. Notice how the “E” is not entirely printed?

The “E” in “GARANTIE”, the neighbour word, might be a better example. In comparison to the authentic example, they’re not printed with the greatest precision – but we can see the difference.

This is a high-quality replica, so wavy text doesn’t occur as frequently as we will see soon – but even so, you can notice how the “SWOOSH ®” text isn’t straight on the fake Jordan tag.

Next, let’s look at another comparison.

We’ve mentioned earlier that the counterfeit Air Jordan 1’s wavy text is a glaring flaw. We want to draw your attention to another inconsistency in the “SWOOSH®” text.

The zoomed-in text has been isolated to highlight the different fonts. In the ® character example, this is evident, but it is even more evident in the case of the “O” letter.

Given its taller shape, the fake “O” looks more like a zero.

Last but not least, the real Air Jordan 1 tag says “EN CHINE” for its French translation, while the fake one says “CHINA”.

It’s an instant call for a replica.

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The second step is to check if the Air Jordan 1’s have an hourglass shape.

The fakes have the following flaw in their construction when it comes to the shoe’s construction.

This tell is commonly referred to as the “hourglass shape” and is easiest to explain visually with a comparison.

For a better understanding, let’s draw these lines on top of the comparison.

When viewed from this angle, the fake Air Jordan 1 looks almost straight. The original AJ1 curves above and below the medial line in two places.

An authentic sneaker must have a bell-shaped bottom below the medial line.

This flaw is difficult to spot when wearing Jordans, but it must be a dead giveaway for fakes.

In some cases, top-tier replicas get this right, so it’s not the most reliable way to tell. Since most fakes are not top-tier, it might save you minutes when authenticating.

Knowing this flaw will enable you to spot most fakes within a few seconds.

Here is a second example of how to spot fake Nike Air Jordan 1s:

Other Air Jordan 1 High legit check tutorials: Travis Scott AJ1 High,

Union AJ1 High, Dark Mocha AJ1 High.

Check how bulky the Jordans seem

There is something replica creators don’t get right about the overall shape of the sneaker, which makes it too bulky. Here’s a comparison of real and fake Jordan 1 shapes:

The authentic example’s curvature (highlighted on the upper right side) won’t be found on every original pair, so don’t blindly follow that rule.

There seems to be a slight curve in the toe box of the authentic pair. In consequence, the sneaker’s sole sits higher, as shown in the lower left corner.

As we’re authenticating these sneakers, we keep in mind that the sole can’t be exceptionally flat – and that’s all you need to know about legit checking the sole on an Air Jordan 1.

To emphasize the difference once more, here is another comparison of the AJ1 bulkier construction on the fakes:

Do you have a fake Jordan 1 pair? Whether your pair is real or not can be determined by our experts.

Analyze the Jordan 1 logo closely in Step 4

The most reliable way to tell the difference between a real and fake Air Jordan 1 logo is to compare the two.

In the pictures below, fake manufacturers manage to replicate 90 to 98% of the logo correctly, but there are some errors.

The fake vs real Air Jordan 1 logo – legit check #1

In general, we can point out two major points:

  1. In the authentic Jordan wings logo (except for the TM character), the letters are thinner.
  2. However, the print quality is lower than the fake.

Let’s start with a comparison of the real and fake Jordan logos on the left. On the authentic pair, the “A” character is significantly thinner; on the fake pair, the outline is also fuzzier.

On the fake Air Jordan 1, the “J” and “O” are not completely separated, while on the authentic example, there is definitely spacing between them.

There is the same flaw between “D” and “A” on the fake Air Jordan 1. Check for inconsistencies on the size tag, such as this one, if you’re wondering how to legit check Air Jordan 1’s.

We have highlighted the “R” letter on the fake example for the lack of precision – again, this is a compromise made by the fake manufacturers to save money. An authentic pair should never have this kind of flaw.

Here’s how to spot a fake Nike Air Jordan 1:

On the fake logo, notice the spacing between these "wings". The authentic pair has less space between elements. Additionally, the fake elements are less defined (with fuzzier lines).

Lastly, the TM character appears too small on the replica Jordans, resulting in a thinner shoe.

My authentication process would not be based solely on the TM logo, but rather on some characteristics of low-quality manufacturing techniques (such as the others we have discussed).

Fake Jordans often have this flaw! This flaw can also be found on fake Air Jordan 1 University Blue pairs.

Check #2 – real vs fake spacing in the Nike Air Jordan logo

The next comparison is between the real and fake Nike Jordan 1 logos. Here we can see that the fake letters are not bold, as in the previous comparison – but they’re also not getting enough weight.

The fake Jordan logo here has very thin letters – so thin that they’re sometimes not readable. Take note of the horizontal line on the fake A. The thin, inconsistent line in the “D” letter.

Meanwhile, the “J” character appears different – not only in shape, but also in size. The fake “J” is taller than the other letters for some reason.

In this case, the fake example of the TM character is too thick, quite the contrast from the previously analysed replica. This flaw is obvious to the naked eye: it is larger than it should be.

The “wings” elements are too close together, which is the most obvious flaw. They’re so close that sometimes they overlap and are touching.

In order to tell real Air Jordan 1 logos from fakes, you need to keep one thing in mind: the original shoe must have a high level of precision and detail.

A legitimate check #3 on the Nike Air Jordan logo – R and D are connected

Previously, this was a very common flaw, but it has been greatly improved. Fake manufacturers usually fix one flaw and create two others.

After some other big inconsistencies were fixed on top-quality replicas, I wasn’t surprised to see this one return.

“JORDAN” should always have a connection between the R and D. Ironically, some top-level fakes have this flaw as well.

Apart from that, our go-to thing applies in this comparison: the wing elements are printed in a poorer manner – fuzzy lines and overlapping areas are evident.

To authenticate this item, we recommend following the steps we’ve written so far.

These steps are still reliable signs of authenticity, but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item. To avoid drawing the wrong conclusions, we recommend sticking to the steps we described above.

Notice how pointy the Nike Swoosh is in Step 5

But enough microanalysis (at least for now). Now let’s take a look at the visible parts of the sneaker.

Check out the real vs fake Nike swoosh comparison for the Air Jordan 1

Occasionally, fake Jordans have bulky Nike swooshes instead of pointy ones.

Should you spot anything similar, it’s an instant callout for a fake pair.

We just want to let you know about two things we do if we’re here. If you consider it valuable, we’d love for you to follow our Instagram page.

Our goal is to build a community, so we’re trying to make it as valuable as possible.

In addition to the IG page, we offer authentication services. Even though we strive to make these guides as easy to understand as possible, we understand that sometimes time is a constraint.

As a result of getting scammed with fakes, we are likely to be able to assist you if you need an opinion on a particular pair or your money is stuck with the bank/eBay/PayPal

Pay attention to the depth of the perforations/holes in the toe box

We will take a closer look at the toe box’s perforations/holes on the front of the shoe.

As you can see in the fake example, not only are the holes too large, but they also come in different shapes and sizes. In addition, they are not fully perforated in most cases, indicating a lower quality manufacturing process.

It’s not the only flaw, however. When it comes to showing you how to legit check the Nike Air Jordan 1, we want to point out something else.

Toe box hole positioning varies even on authentic pairs. It shouldn’t be the case, however, that both shoes have different toe box formations.

With the fake Jordan 1 pair above, we can see different spacing between the formation and the coloured suede panel.

Watch out for this flaw on the Air Jordan 1 Pine Green as well. It’s pretty common for them to have this issue on the toe box!

The seventh step is to inspect the NIKE logo on the sole of the shoe

Let’s look at the sole of the shoe. NIKE’s logo can be found in the middle of the sole.

Here, we want to highlight the different “R” letters used in the ® symbol.

The fake R in ® comes with a bigger loop, as you can see.

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We have compiled a list of over 80 places where you can buy genuine items online.

There's streetwear, designer, bags, watches, you name it!

What is the difference between a fake and a real Air Jordan 1 box label?

Due to the fact that this is a universal guide for every Air Jordan 1, we won’t analyze the text of the colourway per se, since it varies depending on what edition you have.

Nevertheless, we want to teach you how to spot inconsistencies. You’ll be able to spot some of them if you pay close attention to the highlighted areas.

Be sure to pay attention to the enlarged areas we’ve drawn on the side. On the fake Air Jordan 1 box label, the “8” uses a different font, since:

  1. There is a wider bottom end to the 8
  2. Fake numbers have a bolder font overall
  3. Due to #2, the space inside the holes of the 8 is smaller on the replica Jordan 1 box

The second thing we’ve highlighted is not necessarily the BLACK/STARFISH-SAIL and BLACK/VARSITY RED-STARFISH text. The real Air Jordan 1 box label has these letters almost touching each other.

The fake Jordan 1 box, on the other hand, has visible spacing between these letters and uses a different font. Additionally, some text is not completely printed, which indicates lower quality machines were used.

On the tongue tag, look for the Nike Air logo

Next, we’ll examine the NIKE AIR logo found on the exterior side of the tongue tag.

Apart from the fact that the Nike swoosh has a different shape, there is not much to discuss here. There is a slight difference in the curvature of the swoosh.

Furthermore, the fake swoosh is fuzzier, as the print quality is below that of the authentic pair.

Pay attention to the fuzzy lines on the exterior edge of the swoosh, not only in the highlighted area, but throughout the entire swoosh. That is, on the right side of the AIR text.

Check out the sole of the Air Jordan 1 in step 10

We’re getting close to the end of our real vs fake Air Jordan 1 comparison, so let’s take a look at the sole.

Upon turning the shoes over and closely inspecting this area, you will notice a star/asterisk pattern. To illustrate this, we have zoomed in on the said area.

These stars differ in density, as we can see here.

On the rear of the vehicle, look for a leather patch

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the patch on the rear of the sneaker to conclude our legit check guide.

This is often seen on fake Jordan 1 Bred Banned colourways. It’s quite a small flaw, isn’t it?

The leather patch at the intersection point of the two swooshes has a different shape and size than the authentic version.

The replica pair also has an hourglass shape flaw, which is noticeable due to the shoe’s straight silhouette.

This is difficult to see with the naked eye, but it might help some readers decide, especially if paired with the hourglass shape flaw.

What is my Jordan 1 size?

The Nike Air Jordan 1s are true to size. As a result, Jordan 1s fit just like any other sneakers. There is no difference in size between them.

How are real Jordan 1s made?

The real Air Jordan 1 sneakers are made in China. The Dior Jordan 1s are made in Italy, for example.

How can I tell if a pair of Air Jordan 1s is authentic?

Are you in a hurry? As a quick recap, here are today’s steps: 

  1. The text on the shoe tongue should be straight and clear instead of wavy.
  2. Fakes often have a rounder, more hourglass-shaped shape.
  3. An authentic Air Jordan 1 has less bulk and a slimmer curvature around the shoe.
  4. Generally, real Jordan 1s will have a thinner and fuzzier logo.
  5. Any inauthentic Jordan 1s will have a thicker Nike Swoosh.
  6. Ensure the toe box is not overly bulky and that the holes are both the right size and fully perforated.
  7. Check the Nike Logo on the Sole: Make sure the ® symbol looks correct and is not too large.
  8. It is important to ensure that the box label is correct: Fake box labels will often have incorrect fonts and look different from a standard label.
  9. Fake Jordan 1s usually have fuzzier Nike Air Logos on the tongue tag.
  10. On a fake, the star pattern on the sole will look different, since the size and density of the stars will be different.
  11. A fake trainer may have the ‘hourglass shape’ flaw on the leather patch on the rear.

Get in touch with LegitCheck if you have any doubts about the authenticity of your Air Jordan 1s. Identifying real Air Jordan 1s from fakes is easy with our help. 

Make sure your Air Jordan 1s are legit by getting them checked today

To avoid being scammed by any bad-faith actors, make sure your knowledge is up to date before making any large collectible purchase. Check your Air Jordan 1s for basic signs of counterfeiting with this guide. 

Legit Check, however, is the best way to verify the authenticity of your collectible sneakers. We can easily verify that you’ve received the item that you paid for instead of worrying about whether you’re checking correctly. 

Our experts are knowledgeable and fast, allowing you to have peace of mind that your collectibles are genuine. Additionally, we offer top-tier services, such as certificates of authenticity and the Legit Check Club, where you can save on everything on our site.

Send us pictures of your pair and we’ll get back to you in 24 to 48 hours (sometimes even faster).

Best Selling Rep Air Jordan 1 Sneakers

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