Fake Sneakers

Fake sneakers have been around since when Nike first launched the Air Jordan 1 in 1985. The counterfeit footwear business has long been a plague on the shoe industry. It’s often difficult to distinguish what’s fake from what’s real, as people sell pairs that look identical to the authentic sneakers. Knockoff shoes have come a long way. Gone are the days of see-through Air Force 1s or shoes with Gucci print on them. Factories in Asia will often steal the real shoes and do their best to duplicate them. Nike and Air Jordan aren’t the only brands that have had this happen to them, as Adidas’ Yeezys are routinely knocked off, too. It’s not uncommon to see U.S. Customs bust large shipments of sneakers attempting to enter the country. In recent times, many fake pairs of the Dior x Air Jordan 1 were seized by border agents. Websites such as StockX have authenticators that attempt to make sure every pair they sell is real, but even fake sneakers have slipped through the cracks in the past. Fake sneakers in the past were sold out the back of cars, often by what people refer to as the “sneaker man.” In the early 2000s, it wasn’t uncommon to see fake Air Jordans in colors that were never manufactured. In the modern era, fake shoes have created what is referred to as a “grey market,” where bootleg sneakers are often produced by the same factories, or the workers, who make the real thing.

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