One of the biggest problems to plague sneaker culture is the constant threat of fakes being introduced to the marketplace. Often referred to as “factory variants” and or “replicas,” these shoes are produced with lower standards and far inferior materials than the genuine article.
Even The most popular of footwear lines such as Nike’s Air Jordan, Air Force Ones and Dunk SB lines have almost certainly been targeted the most by these fakes. Other hugely popular brands such as A Bathing Ape have been effected as well.
On Nike’s corporate website, Nikebiz.com, a statement has been issued addressing the counterfeit products: “Unfortunately, because there is not one specific way to tell you if the product is authentic or not, we are unable to advise or assist you with specific questions about an item already purchased…Products purchased from a non-authorized retailer or auction sites are at your own risk.”
As one can see, the task of identifying these fakes has become increasingly more difficult, as when even the manufacturer has problems determining the authenticity of goods.
Fortunately, the online sneaker community has bonded together in an effort to curb such activity and locate legit sellers. Forums such as NikeTalk and UptempoAirForums allow buyers to post questions regarding the authenticity of footwear from a sellers on sites like eBay and the web.
LegitSellersList.com takes this idea a step further by actually working as a portal for buyers who only wish to purchase authentic kicks and avoid the fakes altogether. This authoritative website investigates sellers on sites like eBay and others then assesses whether they meet the criteria to be considered a legit shoes sites and added to the list.
DirecTrends.com distributes a free “Authentic or Fakes” guide that outlines a few basic tips to avoid buying counterfeit footwear. Users can can download the PDF and spread the word.