How To Spot Fake Union Air Jordan 1 (2024)

Written by
Ch David
Air Jordan 1 Union Real Vs Fake Guide.
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Last Updated on January 11, 2024 by Ch David

Just because the interior tongue label has all of its characters at the same thickness, that doesn’t mean they’re 100% authentic. Find out what you have to look for in this ultimate guide.

Since the popularity of the Air Jordan 1 Union keeps on growing, we’re here today to teach you how to spot fakes.

By the end of reading this, you’ll be an expert in telling fake Union Jordan 1s.

This guide works for both colorways: Black Toe & Blue Toe.

We have an authentication service as well — if the situation seems too complicated, we’re happy to help.

Though, our goal is to teach you everything about legit checking the Union 1s with our real vs fake images and explanations

real vs fake nike air jordan 1
This image portrays an infographic guide that applies to 90% of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High colourways. Continue reading for a fully detailed guide!

Since you’re a Union x Jordan fan, also study how to spot fake Jordan 4 x Union.

For now, let’s focus on the Jordan 1s.

How to tell if Union Jordan 1s are fake

You can tell if Union Jordan 1s are fake by checking the interior tongue label’s inscriptions. Fake letters are always slanted and at the wrong thickness.

An authentic pair represents high quality.

1. Interior tongue

1.1. Black Toe

  • The “®” character next to the “SWOOSH” text looks too big and too thin on the fake.
  • Even the circle looks too thin and big as well.
  • The second “®” character next to the 2nd “SWOOSH” text is, again, too thin and too big.
  • The “MADE IN CHINA” text presents the same issue: it is too thin.

1.2. Blue Toe

  • The fake text is too small. Hence, it is harder to read than the original.
  • This may be the most visible on the “MADE IN CHINA” text.
  • The fake word “CHINA” is a lot thinner than it has to be.

The authentic text is visibly thicker and legible.

Expert Legit Check - Let our team look at your Jordans:

2. Exterior tongue

2.1. Blue Toe

  • The Swoosh is too curved on the fake sneakers.
  • The authentic Swoosh is smooth, while the fake pair has the Swoosh curved too much out of a sudden.

2.2. Black Toe

  • There is too much empty space from the letter “I” in the word “AIR” to the Nike Swoosh logo.
  • The whole word “AIR” looks too boxy on the fake pair.

3. Hourglass shape

It’s been commonly nicknamed the “hourglass shape” tell and it’s easier for us to explain it visually with a comparison.

Every Air Jordan 1 High pair presents an hourglass shape: narrow in the middle, bubbly at the top and bottom.

  • The fake pair has a straight shape.
  • The authentic one looks like an hourglass ⏳.

Essentially, an authentic pair is curved at the top and bottom, with a narrowing in the middle.

Let’s have a look at a more detailed comparison:

  • The fake Air Jordan 1 Union is almost straight when it comes to this angle’s view.
  • On the other hand, the original is curving in two places: above and below the medial line with the middle patch.

Note: That is hard to spot when the shoes are on-foot. We recommend checking it when the shoes are not being worn.

Helpfulness: High-quality fakes occasionally get this correct, so it’s not the most dependable indicator.

However, it could spare you some time during authentication, as most counterfeits don’t belong to the premium category.

A quick mention:

  • The steps we’ve written so far are the BEST ways to authenticate this item
  • The next few steps are still reliable methods…
  • … but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item

If in doubt, we recommend double-checking the steps we’ve explained above this line.

4. Air Jordan logo

4.1. Blue Toe

  • Th leftmost wing of the fake Air Jordan 1 Union photo makes contact with the stitching.
    • The legit wing dpesn’t make contact with the stitching on the left side.
  • The “AIR JORDAN” text is too thin on the fake Union 1s.
    • In the word “AIR”, you can spot this eaisest on the “A” and “R”.
    • In the word “JORDAN”, the letters “J” and “D” make it most noticeable.
  • The “TM” text looks too thick.
    • Hence, the “TM” it isn’t understandable to read at all.
    • Meanwhile, the legit “TM” is thinner.

4.2. Black Toe

  • The “AIR JORDAN” text is too thick on the fake Black Toe Unio n1s.
  • Note how the “TM” text is too thin.
  • Generally, there is too much empty space between the wings on the fake.
  • The left side’s wings have space between each other on the fake pair. The real one doesn’t.

See how most of the wings on the left of the real pair are connected.

5. Shape

5.1. Interior

  • The fake shoes miss the chunky silhouete of the real Jordan 1s.
  • The overall look of the fake shoes is too thin and bumpy.
  • The fake pair is less curved, and sharper than it has to be.
  • The fake toe box is also swollen instead of bumpy.

The authentic pair is curvier and smoother.

5.2. Exterior

  • On the fake pair, the toe box is too swollen.
  • It isn’t as curvy as it has to be in the front.
  • The rear heel side less curved and more straightened than it has to be.

6. Perforations

  • On the fake pair, the toe box holes are smaller than the holes on the authentic pair.
  • The holes from around the toe box seem to be less deep than the legit holes.

7. Swoosh

7.1. Shape

  • The tip of the fake Swoosh is too sharp.

On the other hand, the legit Air Jordan 1 Union has the tip of the Swoosh looking bulkier and less sharp.

7.2. Placement

Now that you took a look at the form of the Swoosh, let’s get you to the placement of the real vs fake Air Jordan 1 Union Swooshes.

  • The fake pair has too much distance from the Swoosh to the midsole.
  • Hence, the fake Swoosh is placed too high.

The authentic Swoosh is lower, as it is closer to the midsole.

7.3. Thickness

  • The Swoosh is too curvy and arched at the edges.
  • Automatically, the fake Swoosh looks too thick.

8. Cross stitching

  • The fake Air Jordan 1 Union stitching goes too close to the Nike Swoosh logo.

The real pair has the stitching a bit distanced from the Swoosh.

9. UN/LA

  • The letter “U” is curved too much out of a sudden at the bottom left corner.
    • Hence, the “U” narrows itself in that area.
    • The legit pair has the letter “U” the same size everywhere, with no narrowing.
  • The “L” lacks stitches on the bottom horizontal stick.
    • On the real one, there is stitching covering the whole letters, especially on the “L”.

10. Union stitching

  • On the authentic pair, this stitching has a narrowing below the “UN/LA” text.
  • Fake pairs seem to miss this narrowing — the stitching remains the same throughout the fake pair.
  • The stitching isn’t even as dense on the fake shoes.
  • The same issue happens on the left of the picture:
    • Authentic shoes have stacked stitching.
    • Fakes tend to lack stitching density.
  • The fake stitches are too wide, asthere is too much space between the stitches on the left side.
  • On the right side of the picture, the stitching has the same density problem.

11. Rear patch

  • The fake patch is too tall and generally has a bigger appearance.

See how the authentic pathc is a square, and not a vertical rectangle.

12. Sole

  • The stars on the edges of the fake Air Jordan 1 Union soles don’t actually look like stars.
  • They look more like dots.

See how the authentic pair visibly has stars instead of just dots.

Note: This only applies to unworn pairs. As authentic ones are being worn, the stars are fading and they might look like circles.

Avoid any confusion!

13. Insole

As the insole differs from one shoe to another, we’ll compare the rael vs fake one by one.

13.1. Left shoe

  • Fake Air Jordan 1 Union insoles are grey instead of black.
  • Besides, the fake insoles looks less opaque.

Authentic Jordan 1 Union insoles look flawless and opaque as needed.

13.2. Right shoe

  • On the upper side, the fake Air Jordan 1 insole looks less visible than the legit one.
  • On the bottom side, the word “UNION” is visibly smaller.

14. Size tag

14.1. Comparison

  • The Union Jordan 1 has the “BV1300-146” text looking too thin, and the authentic text looks thicker.

This inscription is the style-code. It will differ from one colorway to another.

14.2. Style codes

  • Jodan 1 Union Black Toe: BV1300-106.
  • Jordan 1 Union Blue Toe: BV1300-146.

The style-code differs only as it helps Nike‘s databases make a disctinction between the two colorways.

It’s just for the same of identifying the Blue Toe & Black Toe as different entities.

15. Box

  • The gap between the numbers “8” and “5″ on fake box labels is too small.
  • The “S” in “Suggested” is thicker on counterfeit box labels, while it’s slimmer on genuine ones.
  • The “$190.00” text on fakes appears too thin and squared compared to authentic labels.
  • On fake boxes, the spacing between “NRG”, the slash, and “UN” is lesser than on legit boxes.

Shortlist: Authenticate your Union Jordan 1s

  1. Tongue interior: Fake pairs often display text that is too thin.
  2. Tongue exterior: On counterfeits, the word “AIR” may appear boxy, and there might be excessive space between “I” in “AIR” and the Nike Swoosh logo.
  3. Hourglass Shape: Genuine pairs display an hourglass shape from the rear, while fakes may appear straighter and less curvy.
  4. Air Jordan Logo: Counterfeits may show the “AIR JORDAN” text as too thin and have excessive spacing between the wings of the logo.
  5. Shoe Bulkiness: Fakes, when viewed from the side or the toe box, might be less contoured and pronounced.
  6. Toe Box Holes: The holes on fake pairs’ toe boxes are typically smaller.
  7. Nike Swoosh Logo: Fakes can have a Swoosh logo that’s too sharp, incorrectly positioned, and appears too thick.
  8. Stitching by Swoosh: The corner stitching on fakes may be too close to the Nike Swoosh logo.
  9. “UN/LA” Patch: On counterfeits, the “U” might be too narrow, overly curved, or have paint scratches.
  10. Medial Stitching: Fakes may have sparser stitching, evident to the naked eye.
  11. Rear Side Patch: Fake pairs might have an overly tall patch where the Swooshes converge.
  12. Sole Stars: On unused or minimally worn fakes, the stars might resemble dots rather than actual stars.
  13. Insoles: Fakes can have greyish, less opaque printings, and the “UNION” text might appear too small.
  14. Size Tag: The style-code text on counterfeits can be either too thin or too thick.
  15. Box Label: Counterfeit labels might display smaller size indications, and the suggested retail price tab can have thicker, less-defined text.

The fifteen steps to distinguish between fake and genuine Air Jordan 1 Union Los Angeles provided above are in-depth and can take time when trying to verify your Union 1s.

To simplify this process, we’ve curated a swift 60-second guide for checking your Air Jordan 1 Union LA.

Above are the key 15 markers to help you ascertain whether you own an authentic pair or a replica of the Air Jordan 1 Union Los Angeles.

Expert Union Jordan 1 authentication

Need assistance in verifying the authenticity of your Air Jordan 1 Union Los Angeles? We’re here to help.

Simply send us high-resolution images of your Air Jordan 1 Union Los Angeles, and our experts will review and provide feedback within 24 to 48 hours. Additionally, we’ll provide a detailed report explaining our verdict on whether your sneakers are genuine or counterfeit.

We hope this guide on distinguishing real vs fake Air Jordan 1 Union has been useful. Stay tuned, as we’ll be updating this guide with newer insights and comparisons as they emerge.

Need our opinion on your item’s authenticity? It’s a service we provide.

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Alternatively, use our free resources: written guides and video tutorials.

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Daniel and Ch David

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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.
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