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2. Size tag
The fake pair’s “MADE IN VIETNAM” text is too thin.
The fake NMDs also have their text improperly spaced.
Some of the letters have too much spacing between the letters.
Retail NMD Human Race shoes have the same amount of space between each letter.
The “MALE/MÂLE” text is missing on this pair.
Other pairs have it but if it’s missing that’s a red light for US and European pairs.
Pay attention to the ® symbol: it is illegible on fakes.
Fake Pharrell Williams NMDs have their registered trademark ® symbol looking too thick compared to the one met on the retail pairs.
The fake sneakers have their ® symbol touching the “adidas” text, which is an instant red light.
The authentic ® character is always placed further away from the “adidas” text.
There’s less spacing between numbers.
Look at 275 and 265.
Note: This may vary depending on the size
The code should match the one found in the box.
See the picture below for reference.
Look out for the numeric code, as “EAN” is written on this label.
You could also have UPC there instead on an authentic box.
Above you can see the position of the “EAN” number on an authentic NMD box.
3. Extra label
These labels which we are going to talk about are assimilated with the box label since they also have the barcode number and other information about the shoes.
Naturally, these labels won’t come with the shoes unless they’re deadstock (unworn, in the same condition as from the factory).
But if they do, here’s what you need to look after.
The “®” symbol is too big on the fake label.
The “adidas” text on the fake label is also too thick and too big.
Improperly spaced between, the letters are noticeable on the fake label.
The spacing should be a little bit bigger between “PW HUMAN RACE NMD” and “ORIGINALS” on the fake label.
The letters on the fake NMD Human Race’s label are placed too close to each other.
In the “RACE” text, the fake label’s letters “RA” are connected.
On the authentic label, the letters are not connected.
These four rows should be aligned to the right, while on the fake label, they are aligned to the left.
The “PO#” text should be smaller, as seen on the authentic label.
Also, make sure to check if it checks the PO number on the box and on the size tag.
Let’s check out what the PO + size tag should look like:
This is where you can find the PO number on both the size tag and the box label.
4. Boost sole
In the image above, we have placed an authentic example of the Pharrell Williams Human Race’s boost sole, and below, you can find the example of the fake shoes.
The boost dots are misaligned or awkwardly positioned, which is a dead giveaway for fake pairs.
There are no factory flaws ever regarding the alignment of the dots on the legit Pharrell Williams NMD Human Race.
All original Pharrell NMD pairs should have these, unlike the fake sneakers, which have their dots improperly positioned on the boost sole.
5. Interior heel stripe
The heel stripe isn’t transparent enough on the fake shoes.
On the fake shoes, you can’t really see through the stripe.
On the other hand, the authentic HMD Human Race have their heel stripe looking more transparent.
This flaw is noticed on the fake NMDs in the following colourways:
Exception: Black, Red, and Green have this stripe in black.
6. NMD logos
At this step, we are going to check a few colourways of the real vs fake NMD Human Race individually.
On a side view, you’ll notice the leather patch is visibly bigger on the fake NMD Human Race sneakers.
This is the easiest callout point on the replica NMD Human Race.
This applies to each colourway of the fake Human Race shoes, even though in the image above, we’ve linked the black colourway for both the real vs fake NMD Human Race shoes.
The fake shoes have their rear leather patch looking defective in material-wise terms, being less shiny and having a different texture.
The next three flaws are:
At the top of the shoes, the stitching is different on the fake pair. The stitching on the authentic pair is more defined and has better quality than the fake shoes.
The fake NMD Human Race PW have another shade/nuance of orange for the logo.
The fake nuance is darker than the one visible on the legit Human Race shoes.
The highlighted line is black on the fake NMD Human Race black shoes, rather than dark brown-purple as seen on the retail pairs.
The stitching at the top of the sneakers on the rear side appears to be too thick and too dense on the fake sneakers, while on the authentic shoes, the stitching is thinner and more spread out.
The fake sneakers have their lines looking too thin compared to the ones visible on authentic shoes.
Again, the fake shoes have their line looking too thin and small.
Also, the fake sneakers have their purple line coloured too dark compared to the one met on the retail shoes.
The second “a” is also black on the fake NMD Human Race shoes, instead of the dark brown-purple (and barely legible on the fake pairs) used on the authentic sneakers.
On the fake NMDs, you can see how there is used a darker shade of purple compared to the authentic sneakers, which are lighter.
The fake sneakers have the stitching at the top of the shoes looking too thick and too big on the fake sneakers, while on the retail pair, the stitching is thinner and smaller.
The three lines in the middle of the Adidas logo are too thin, and on the fake shoes, the line which we’ve highlighted is too dark on the fake shoes, as it is black, instead of the authentic sneakers, which are coloured dark purple.
The first letter “a” in the “adidas” text met on the replica Human Race NMDs is too thin compared to the met on the retail shoes.
The second letter “a” in the “adidas” text is too thin on the fake shoes.
On top of that, it is also black instead of the dark purple used on the letter visible on the authentic NMDs.
The letter “s” in the “adidas” text is too thin and it has a shade which looks too dark, making it not in tune with the authentic shoes’ letter.
6.5. Orange (Tangerine)
The shade of the orange used for the left foil in Adidas’ classic 3-foil logo is too light on the fake shoes compared to the one met on the retail ones.
The highlighted line on the fake shoes is actually black, while on the authentic shoes, the line is supposed to be a dark brown-purple.
The letter “i” is barely legible on the fakes due to the lighter orange shade used for the letter, whereas on the retail pair it’s distinguishable since the letter is darker than the one met on the fake shoes.
The second letter “a” is coloured as dark instead of the authentic dark brown-purple colour.
Besides, it is also too thin on the fake shoes.
The letter “s” is too thin and it has a darker nuance on the fake sneakers, while on the authentic shoes, the letter is thicker and it is also lighter.
The stitching met on the upper side of the fake NMD Human Race orange sneakers is also too thick and looking differently attached to the sneakers compared to the authentic shoes. The real shoes have their stitching looking thinner and attached to the sneakers in a different way than the fake shoes.
The highlighted line on the fake shoes is coloured as black instead of the authentic sneakers’ line which is a dark brown purple.
The highlighted foil in the Adidas classic 3-foil logo is too light, too thick and too wide on the fake sneakers, while on the authentic shoes, it is thinner and smaller.
The stitching type at the top of the fake Human Race NMDs is different than the one attached to the authentic shoes since the fake shoes have their stitching looking too thin, improperly spaced between, and looking too long compared to the retail pair’s stitching.
The second letter “a” on the fake sneakers looks like it is too dark compared to the letter seen on the retail pair.
The letter “s” on the fake shoes is too light compared to the authentic sneakers’ letter, which is darker.
The left leaf should be coral-orange instead of purple. This is an instant red flag.
All three leaves are actually different but the leftmost stands out the most on the fake Human Race yellow NMDs.
Also, the overall print is of lesser quality on fakes Human Race NMDs, whereas on the authentic sneakers, you can see the better quality.
The yellow line is indistinguishable on fakes, while on the authentic sneakers, it is differently coloured, as it has a different shade which makes it visible.
The letter “i” should be coloured coral-orange instead of purple.
Note that the dot is connected to the body of the letter.
Once again, the overall quality of the print seen on the fake NMD Human Race is poorer than the quality of the legit shoes.
The same yellow-colouring problem is seen in the letter “d”, as it is indistinguishable on the fake NMDs.
It is visible in the NMD Human Race real vs fake image above how the fake sneakers have a different shade of colour on the letter “a”, as it is black instead of the authentic dark brown purple.
Letter “s” should be a dark brown instead of the purple found on the fake NMDs.
The type of stitching at the top of the shoes is different on the fake sneakers compared to the stitching met on the retail shoes, as the fake shoes have their stitching looking too thin and improperly spaced between.
The footbed is the area between the insole and the sole of the sneakers which makes the sneakers easily wearable.
Check out the print on the footbed of the shoe and be careful with the “PHARRELL WILLIAMS” text.
It can be read on the authentic shoe (although it’s not very clear), yet on the fake shoe, it’s illegible.
The fake shoes have their text looking poorer in terms of quality than the authentic shoes’ text.
By that, we mean that the text is less visible on the fake shoes than it is on the authentic Human Race NMDs.
Also, looking at the Adidas originals logo, you’ll notice several colour differences (both on the trefoil and on the text) between the real vs fake NMD Human Race shoes.
That’s because the fake sneakers have darker nuances for the colours used on the footbed.
8. Rear logos
8.1. Best-quality replica
Pointers 1 & 2: The fake shoes have their lines looking fuller and more filled than the authentic sneakers’ lines.
On the other hand, the retail NMD Human Races shoes have their lines looking more scratched and emptier than the fake shoes’ two lines.
Pointer 3: The fake shoes have their “PHARRELL WILLIAMS” text looking too thick, which is especially visible on the “LL” letters.
8.2. Mid-quality replica
Let’s look at another comparison:
The fake shoes have their lines filled too much.
On the right shoe, fakes can be spotted by looking at the letters – some of them are floating, and others are sinking (in this case, the first “d” is floating) on the fake shoes.
Besides being aligned properly, they also have weird spacing.
The authentic shoes’ lines are emptier on the scratched sides.
8.3. Low-quality replica
In this example, the “a” is too far from the rightmost “s” on the fake NMDs, while on the retail pair, all of the letters are perfectly aligned.
An authentic box is from a thick cardboard material, whereas a fake box is using a shiny one.
Have a look below.
9.1.1. First example
See the quality of the cardboard material.
The authentic box does not shine in the light, unlike the fake boxes which we’ll analyze in a second.
9.1.2. Second example
Lets’ look at another authentic example:
The authentic box doesn’t shine, once again.
9.1.3. Third example
Just to have another angle to analyze the box from, you can see how there is no light reflecting or shining on the authentic sneakers’ box.
9.2.1. First example
See how the box of the sneakers does shine when in the light.
Let’s have a look at another fake NMD Human Race box example in order to understand it all properly.
9.2.2. Second example
Notice how the fake box shines, once again, when put into light.
Remember from the previous authentic example of how the authentic box does not shine when put into the light.
9.2.3. Third example
As for a third and last example of the fake box shining flaw, we are going to check out two fake shoes on their box.
We have placed a hand-emoji pointer on the box below the red Human Race NMDs, showing you how the box shines when put into the light.
Shortlist: How to spot fake NMD Human Race
Here’s a numbered list of steps to follow for authenticating your NMD Human Race sneakers:
Examine the NMD Human Race size tag for inconsistencies in printing quality.
Inspect the extra labels for flaws, as fake sneakers often have improperly positioned and font-weighted label text.
Analyze the boost sole for proper alignment of pellets; fake NMD Human Race sneakers may have misaligned pellets.
Check the interior translucent stripe, as fake Pharrell Williams NMD Human Race sneakers commonly have a transparent stripe.
Scrutinize the rear details of the sneakers, particularly the characters, for improper font-weighting, positioning, and coloring (often too dark).
Verify the footbed colors and text; fake sneakers may have overly dark colors and small, illegible text.
Examine the logos on the back of the shoes; fake sneakers might have a thicker “PHARRELL WILLIAMS” text logo and excessively filled lines.
Carefully inspect the shoe box. Fake Pharrell Williams NMD Human Race sneakers may exhibit excessive shine when exposed to light.
Certain circumstances might arise where you’re unable to follow each intricate step outlined earlier while attempting to verify your NMD Human Race.
This is the reason we’ve created a rapid 60-second method for verifying your sneakers’ authenticity.
Presented above are the top ten cues that aid in distinguishing between a counterfeit pair of sneakers and the genuine Adidas x Pharrell Williams-manufactured Human Race NMD.
Expert NMD Human Race authentication
Should you require assistance in authenticating your Pharrell Williams NMD Human Race sneakers, rest assured, we’re here to assist.
Simply provide us with high-quality images of your Pharrell Williams Human Race NMD sneakers, and we’ll respond with the results within 24 to 48 hours. Our response will also include a detailed report outlining our assessment of whether your sneakers are genuine or counterfeit.
This concludes our guide on distinguishing between genuine and fake Pharrell Williams NMD Human Race sneakers.
We’ll consistently update this article as more improved and up-to-date comparisons become available.
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About the Author
David is the co-founder and co-CEO of Legit Check By Ch. David's experience: 5+ years of creating educational content in the fashion industry. 6+ years of authenticating luxury items. Currently, David is the Head Editor of the LCBC Library, where 1,000,000+ words have been published, in free guides, for over 1,000 items.