Are Those Trainers Real Or Fake?
As any parent knows, trainers are a vital item of fashion ware for kids, especially teenagers, and name-brand trainers carry the kind of cool cachet many teens feel they need. That's all well and good, but they don't consider the amount parents have to shell out to help them fit in with the crowd.
The temptation, inevitably, is to try and find them for sale somewhere at an affordable price. There's only one problem with that - those bargains usually turn out to be counterfeits. But how do you tell the real thing from the fakes? As the latest styles keep changing it's almost impossible to keep on top of everything, but there are some guidelines that can help.
Nike is probably the biggest name in trainers and their Air Max and Air Jordan shoes remain perennially popular - which equates to perennially faked. Perhaps the first thing to check is the Nike trademark "swoosh" logo on the sides. These should be stitched, not glued, on - if glued, you know they're fakes. The leather of Air Max should be smooth, sometimes with tiny air perforations, whereas that's generally not the case with fakes, which usually also have a strong odour of plastic. With genuine trainers you shouldn't be able to push in the air bubble on the heels with your fingers - fakes will offer no resistance. Genuine Nikes will also have the arch supports that are almost invariably missing from copies. With Retro Air Jordans, the tag that's inside each shoe should be glued there. Also, if the seller advises you to buy a size larger than you'd normally wear, beware: the sizing should be perfect in genuine Nikes.
Puma has become big again, especially with the Ferrari Futurecat shoe, which reflects the popularity of Formula One as a sport. Real items have the Puma cat logo at the centre of the sole, as well as at the top of the heel, where it appears as a moulded design. That logo will also be inside the tongue of the shoe, along with a label stating "Official FI Licensed Product." As a general rule that label will be missing from the fakes, as will the moulded design on the heel. Check the sole, too; the Puma there will often be badly misaligned, and look as if it's an awkward join onto the sole itself. If the colours seem especially unusual, and unlike those seen in shops, there's a very good chance they're fake.
Fake Adidas shoes are commonplace, and generally very well done these days. With the shell toe shoes, the numbers on right and left shoes should not match, according to some sources. Adicolors should have Adicolor in white on the sole, while on the box the bar code should only be on the bottom left of the label.
With all brands, inspect the stitching. It should be tight and even - fakes are often slipshod and ragged. Although it can be hard to keep track of all the colours in which different types of trainers are released, checking is a fairly simple procedure. Finally, of course, look at the price. If they're a popular brand and design but being offered for £50, they're probably not the real thing.