Here’s how to legit check a sneaker in a couple of seconds. The first thing we recommend when legit checking an item is scanning the barcode on the box. We highly insist on doing this first as it will clear out 98% of the replicas or fakes out there.
If your shoe is recently released, you might want to read the “Barcode Scan” article for new releases. Otherwise, if your sneaker’s release date is older than 6 months from the moment you’re reading this, read further.
Here’s why the barcode scan test is so important. For every size and colourway combination, there’s one specific code.
For instance, there is one certain barcode for Yeezy Boost 350, Oxford Tan colourway, size US10.
Then, there’s another one barcode for the same Yeezy Boost 350 Oxford Tan, size US11. And so on. All these serial numbers are unique.
Think of it this way: fake manufacturers will not waste time and money (especially money) on buying every single size of the shoe they replicate.
They would do that if they would want to get this unique code right for every fake they produce.
What they do, in fact, is they probably buy a few authentic pairs and focus on the shoe rather than the box. At the end of the day, people wear the product, not the box.
How do we authenticate through the barcode test, then? We will be checking whether our barcode matches other authentic barcode labels on the market.
We’ll explain below how to do that easily.
In my opinion, I don’t think the barcode will ever be right on the fakes, as there’s no point for fake manufacturers to invest time and money in this extra small detail.
If anything, this serial number is the last 0.5% in the process of perfectly replicating authentic shoes.
Sometimes, though, the barcode is correct on the fake shoe box: a broken clock is right twice a day. If the fake manufacturers bought a retail US9.5, the replica US9.5 will have the correct code — but the rest of the size run will not.
What our barcode scan function does is it generates a Google search for the UPC/EAN product code.
Here’s where the reader has to judge — if there are some or a lot of confirmations on Google for that code (thus, the size-colourway combination), the box is authentic.
However, it doesn’t mean the shoe is definitely legit — anything is possible, including a scammer taking the original box and swapping them with fake shoes.
There are also some other points on the checklist that need to be verified — see our app for the curated library.
Very easily, go to our app’s home screen and use this button:
Once you do that, point the camera at the barcode you’ll be authenticating. As soon as a serial number is recognized, a Google search page result will pop up.
Alternatively, you can simply type in yourself the number that appears below the barcode. The scanner simply copies the serial number for you, so using it in real life can save time.
While you can use the scanning function for a picture of the box label’s barcode, sometimes pics are not high-quality enough for it to work — that’s when you’ll have to type the number in yourself in a Google search.
Read the note at the end of the article if you’re typing manually a Nike barcode.
Here’s how a Yeezy barcode scanner test would look like, for the sake of an example.
Let’s say we’re barcode scanning these Yeezys above. Point the camera at the serial number over there. You can try with the exact same picture above, if you can screen it on a computer.
Here’s what the result page will show:
This is what a confirmation point is. One result showing the exact colourway and size you’re testing.
As you can see in the case above of the Yeezy barcode scan, all four results are confirmation points. If we scroll down, we’ll see more of them.
Let’s see what happens if we barcode scan a fake pair of Yeezy sneakers. Here’s a replica box:
And this is the result page for this specific serial number:
As you can see, three different sizes are returned on the Google result page. Not only we don’t have any confirmation points, but we get random figures and colourways.
Now, let’s try another fake barcode. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just attach the result page that pops up after using the Yeezy barcode scanner.
Not only we don’t have any confirmation points, the page is missing any result at all. That leads to the conclusion that the barcode we’re testing is 100% fake and made up.
A results page returning multiple confirmation points that match the pair we’re checking indicates an authentic box.
A result page returning either (A) nothing or (B) different size+colourway combinations indicates a fake box.
I wouldn’t recommend going directly to these websites — sometimes they don’t have the full database of sneaker-barcode combinations. If you, however, see them in the Google results page, they are an important confirmation points.
Alternatively, what you can do is: find a source where you can get pictures with legit pairs box labels.
Once you do that, compare the serial numbers on the pair you’re checking with what you’ll be seeing on those boxes that you’ve found.
To explain this process visually, please have a look at our example on the “Barcode Scan Legit Check: Recent Releases” guide.
Note for Nike pairs: if you will input manually, sometimes you might be tempted to type in extra numbers, like the “14” below. If you’re going to input the numbers manually, pay attention to the picture below.
Again, using the barcode scanner (if possible) will avoid the need of paying attention to this.
The main idea behind this app’s strategy is that most reps fail to have the correct barcode and a lot of checks will stop there. This is the reason why we focus a lot on barcode scanning — it’s time efficient and clears out 98% of the fakes.
As stated before, if you still have doubts, we’re covering up some more things you should check in order to make up your mind.
Need our opinion over your item’s authenticity? It’s a service we provide.
Thank you for reading this,
Ch Daniel and Ch David