How You Can Spot Fake Air Jordan 1 In 2023

Ch Daniel
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Want to learn how to spot fake Air Jordan 1s that are out there on the market? Scared of getting scammed? We’ve created the most comprehensive legit check guide for the Nike Air Jordan 1.

That’s the story in a nutshell. Naturally, the things we’re pointing out are easier to follow if you see our head-to-head real and fake comparisons. Scroll down below to see them.

And remember, we have an authentication service as well — if the situation seems too complicated, we’re happy to help. At the same time, we work very hard to make these guides as simple to understand as possible.

Sneakers are easily one of the most counterfeited products in the world. With their collectibility and a rampant upward trend of counterfeiting in the fashion industry as a whole, it’s important to stay vigilant when investing in collectable sneakers, such as Air Jordan 1s.

While it may be worrying to hear about the sheer volume of counterfeiting in the industry, real Air Jordan 1s have certain indicators to confirm their authenticity that counterfeiters can’t replicate. 

Informing yourself on how to spot fake Air Jordan 1s vs Real Ones is the best way to ensure you don’t get scammed when buying them.

At LegitCheck, we believe that anyone buying collectibles should know how to ensure they’re receiving real products. 

That’s why in this article, we’re going to go over how you can spot fake vs real Air Jordan 1s. 

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!

What are Air Jordan 1s?

Air Jordan 1s are basketball sneakers produced by Nike, in collaboration with legendary basketball star Michael Jordan, under the Air Jordan brand.

The Air Jordan 1s were the first line of sneakers launched for the Air Jordan brand. They were created in 1985 for use in Jordan’s basketball career, during his Chicago Bulls era. Because of this, they’ve become one of the most iconic sneakers in the world.

Many different types of Air Jordan 1s have been made over the years. A lot of these have become collectible due to the iconic nature of the shoe, and the rarity of some of the more valuable variants of the Jordan 1. 

For example, the Jordan 1 Retro High Travis Scott has an asking price of $1,489 on StockX. While appearing retro in style, these shoes were created in late 2019. However, the unique design and low supply has led to these sneakers becoming incredibly collectible since their release.

With StockX listings commanding $38,150 for original 1985 Air Jordan 1s, these shoes are easily one of the most collectible ever. Whether you’re a collector or just love wearing them, ensuring to legit check Air Jordan 1s is important when purchasing them.

Why should you Legit Check Air Jordan 1s?

As with any other high-value collectibles, Air Jordan 1s are incredibly susceptible to counterfeiting and fakes. This is why it’s important to legit check them, and to make sure you’re knowledgeable about the differences between real vs fake Air Jordan 1s.

Checking straight away to ensure that your newly bought sneakers are real Jordan 1s is crucial., Realising too late means that you can’t potentially file a dispute with the marketplace or payment processor you bought them from.

Buying sneakers from reputable sellers and official stores is the best way to ensure that you’re not going to be scammed beforehand. Still, making sure to legit check Air Jordan 1s wherever you’ve bought them from is incredibly important, as a reseller may have missed a fake.

Unsure about how to legit check Air Jordan 1s? Want to make sure that they’re real with a full certificate of authenticity? LegitCheck is the best and easiest way to make sure you don’t get scammed by fake Air Jordan 1s and other fake sneakers and collectibles.

Let’s begin the legit check guide.

How to spot fake Air Jordan 1 High (Any Colourway)

To spot the fake Air Jordan 1 pair, you will need to closely inspect the text on the tongue tag. If the text is unclear, wavy (slanted) or too thin, then you’re looking at a fake — have a look at our fake vs real visual comparison below. Besides, inspect the Air Jordan logo for any inconsistency such as overlapping elements, too much space between elements, or uneven letters.

Step 1: Inspect the Jordan 1 tongue tag for any inconsistency

Fast answer: The fake Jordan 1 pairs always have their text wavy instead of straight.

Let’s analyse what we usually look after when starting a guide: an element that’s small (therefore needs high-precision manufacturing tools) and hardly visible to anyone but the wearer.

The reason for our thinking is simple: these elements are where the replica manufacturers will compromise. The tongue tag is no exception and in fact, I’m surprised that we didn’t start the guide with this flaw.

The Air Jordan logo is not perfected even though it’s visible on the outside of the sneaker. But I digress. Let’s have a look at how to spot the fake Jordan 1 this way:

real vs fake air jordan 1

There are quite a few things we can look out for but the broad statement is that you need to be aware of two things:

  1. A thinner font is used on the fake Air Jordan 1 tag
  2. As a consequence, the font is sometimes illegible

The highlighted points show some quick giveaways for the thinner font, but the most important one is the “CHINA” text comparison.

As you can see, the “A” is not entirely legible in the fake example, while the H letter is wider. Naturally, it’s not easy for you to remember these things, so we recommend either coming back to this legit check’s guide pictures or keeping an eye out for weakly-printed text.

What do I mean by weakly printed text? Look at the highlighted french “VOTRE” on the Jordan 1 tag. Can you notice how the “E” is not entirely printed?

Maybe a better example is the “E” in “GARANTIE”, the neighbour word. If we compare that to the authentic example, yes, they’re not printed with the utmost precision — but we can see the difference in quality.

Worth mentioning as well is that this is a high-quality replica, thus wavy text does not occur as often as we’ll see soon — but even so, you can notice how the “SWOOSH ®” text is not straight on the fake Jordan tag.

Let’s move on to another comparison.

fake vs real jordan 1

Over here, the wavy text we’ve mentioned earlier is a glaring flaw on the counterfeit Air Jordan 1. It’s very visible on the “SWOOSH®” text, yet there is another inconsistency we want to point out.

We’ve isolated the zoomed-in text to draw your attention to the different fonts used. That is noticeable in the ® character example but it’s even more visible in the “O” letter’s case.

The fake “O” looks more like a zero, given its taller shape.

Last but not least, the real Air Jordan 1 tag says “EN CHINE” for its french translation, while the fake one comes with the “CHINA” text.

That’s an instant callout for a replica.

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Step 2: Check whether the Air Jordan 1’s have the hourglass shape

Speaking of the shoe’s construction, we need to have a look from the rear for the following flaw in the fakes.

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

how to spot fake air jordan 1

Let us draw these lines on top of the comparison to help you understand better.

air jordan 1 legit check guide

As you can see, the fake Air Jordan 1 is almost straight when it comes to this angle’s view. On the other hand, the original AJ1 is curving in two places: above and below the medial line.

Below the medial line, keep in mind that the sneaker has to have almost a bell-shaped bottom in order for it to be authentic.

Please note that this flaw is hard to spot when wearing the Jordans but it must be a dead giveaway for a fake.

Top-tier replicas sometimes get this thing right so it’s not the most reliable tell. Nonetheless, it might save you minutes when authenticating since the large majority of fakes are not from the top-tier category.

In other words, knowing this flaw will enable you to spot most of the fakes in a few seconds.

Let us finish this way of spotting fake Nike Air Jordan 1 by dropping a second example, just to make everything clear:

how to legit check air jordan 1

Check out other Air Jordan 1 High legit check tutorials: Travis Scott AJ1 High, Union AJ1 High, Dark Mocha AJ1 High.

Step 3: Check how bulky the Jordans seem to be

Something replica creators seem to not get right is the overall shape of the sneaker, making it too bulky. Let’s have a look at this real vs fake Jordan 1 shape comparison below:

air jordan 1 shape legit check guide

The authentic example’s curvature (highlighted on the upper right side) is not something that you will find on every single original pair, so don’t take that as the go-to way every time.

On the authentic pair, it seems like the toe box curves a tiny bit. As a consequence, highlighted in the lower left corner, the sneaker’s sole sits higher.

When we’re authenticating these sneakers, what we keep in mind is that the sole mustn’t be fantastically flat — and that’s all you need to know when it comes to legit checking the sole of the Air Jordan 1.

We’ve attached a second comparison of the AJ1 bulkier construction on the fakes so we can highlight the difference one more time:

air jordan 1 fake vs real check guide

Not sure whether you have a fake Jordan 1 pair? Let our experts help you decide definitively whether your pair is the real deal or not.

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We will start by having a real vs fake Air Jordan 1 logo comparison since it’s one of the most reliable tells.

As you will see in the pictures below, fake manufacturers manage to replicate 90 to 98% of the logo right, but there are some shortcomings.

Legit check #1 on the logo – fake vs real Air Jordan 1 letters

how to spot real vs fake jordan 1

Broadly speaking, we can point out two major things:

  1. The authentic Jordan wings logo comes with thinner letters (except for the TM character).
  2. At the same time, the overall quality of the print is lower than the fake.

Let’s start with the real vs fake Jordan logo comparison explanation from the left. The “A” character is significantly thinner on the authentic pair, but please notice how the fake “A” outlines are also fuzzier.

Up next, we want to point out how the “J” and “O” are not completely separate on the fake Air Jordan 1, whereas on the authentic AJ1 example there is definitely spacing between the two.

This same flaw can be noticed between “D” and “A” on the fake Air Jordan 1. If you’re wondering how to legit check Air Jordan 1’s, this is one of the fastest ways — look out for inconsistencies on the size tag, such as this one.

Coming up next, we’ve highlighted the “R” letter for the lack of precision on the fake example — once again, this is a compromise made by the fake manufacturers so that they can save money. This kind of flaw should never ever happen on an authentic pair.

And here’s one of the most important things on how to spot the fake Nike Air Jordan 1:

Pay attention to the spacing between these “wings” elements on the fake logo. Notice how there’s less space between elements on the authentic pair. On top of that, the fake elements are less defined (coming with fuzzier lines).

Last but not least, it seems like the ™ character is too small on the replica Jordans and, as a consequence, thinner.

I wouldn’t base my authentication solely on the TM logo — rather, I’d be looking for some traits of lower-quality manufacturing techniques (such as the other ones we’ve pointed out).

This is such a common flaw for the fake Jordans! For instance, you’ll always see the fake Air Jordan 1 University Blue pairs with this flaw as well.

Legit check #2 on the Nike Air Jordan logo – real vs fake spacing

Coming up next is our second real vs fake Nike Jordan 1 logo comparison. Over here we can notice that the fake letters are not bold, like in the previous comparison — but they’re also not getting the right amount of weight.

air jordan logo real vs fake

It seems like the fake Jordan logo here has very thin letters — so thin that in some cases they’re not completely legible. Notice the fake A’s horizontal line. Or the highlighted line in the “D” letter that’s thin and inconsistent.

At the same time, the “J” character seems to be different — it’s not only the letter’s shape but also the sizing. For some reason, the fake “J” is taller than the other letters.

Moving on to the ™ character, the fake example, in this case, is too thick, quite the contrast from the previously analysed replica. The cause of this flaw is visible to the naked eye: it’s bigger than it’s supposed to be.

However, the most glaring flaw here is that the “wings” elements are too close to each other. So close that they’re touching and sometimes even overlapping.

If there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to telling real vs fake Air Jordan 1 logos, it’s this: the original shoe must have a high level of precision and detail.

Legit check #3 on the Nike Air Jordan logo – R and D connecting

fake air jordan 1 logo

This used to be a very common flaw in the past but it’s been majorly fixed. However, most of the time, fake manufacturers fix a flaw and create 2 other flaws.

I was not surprised to see this inconsistency come back as soon as some other big ones were fixed on top-quality replicas.

The R and D in “JORDAN” should always be connected. It’s ironic how top-level fakes have this flaw again, in some cases.

That aside, our go-to thing still applies in this real vs fake comparison above: the wing elements are printed in a poorer manner — fuzzy lines and overlapping areas can be noticed.

The steps we’ve written so far are the best ways to authenticate this item.

The next few steps are still reliable signs of authenticity but are for non-top-versions of replicas available for this item. We recommend sticking to the steps we’ve explained above to make sure you’re not drawing the wrong conclusions.

Step 5: Notice the Nike Swoosh and how pointy it is

But enough micro-analyses (at least for the moment). Let’s head back to the visible parts of the sneaker.

We’ll have a look at the real vs fake Nike swoosh comparison for the Air Jordan 1.

how to authenticate air jordan 1

It seems like the fake Jordans sometimes come with a bulky end of the Nike swoosh when it’s supposed to be pointy.

There’s not much to say here besides the fact that it’s an instant callout for a fake pair, should you spot anything like this.

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Besides the IG page, we’re letting you know that we offer authentication services. While we’re trying to make these guides as easy to understand as possible, we understand sometimes time is a constraint.

If you want our opinion on a specific pair or your money is stuck with the bank/eBay/PayPal, as a result of getting scammed with fakes, we’re likely able to help.

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Step 6: Pay attention to the depth of the toe box perforations/holes

Moving on to the front of the shoe, we’ll have a deeper look at the perforations/holes found on the toe box.

how to tell fake air jordan 1

As you can see, not only these holes are too big, but they sometimes come in different shapes and sizes in the fake example. Besides, they seem to be in most of the cases not fully perforated, thus revealing lower quality manufacturing equipment.

However, that’s not the only flaw. Here’s something else we want to point out when it comes to showing you how to legit check the Nike Air Jordan 1.

air jordan 1 fake check guide

Let us make it clear: toe box hole positioning ranges even on authentic pairs. However, it shouldn’t be the case that both shoes have the “toe box formations” positioned differently.

This is the case with the fake Jordan 1 pair above since we can notice different spacing between the formation and the coloured suede panel between the two sneakers.

Keep an eye out for this flaw on the Air Jordan 1 Pine Green as well. They’re pretty common with this issue on the toe box!

Step 7: Inspect the NIKE logo on the sole

Let’s flip the shoe over and have a look at the sole. In the middle of the sole, you will be able to spot the NIKE logo.

fake air jordan 1 high

Over here, we want to highlight the different “R” letters used in the ® character.

As you can see, the fake R in ® comes with a bigger loop.

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Step 8: Air Jordan 1 box label fake vs real

Since this is a universal guide for any Air Jordan 1, we won’t analyse the text of the colourway per se, since it ranges based on what edition you’ve got (or looking to get).

air jordan 1 real vs fake guide

However, we want to teach you how to spot inconsistencies. If you pay close attention to the highlighted areas, you’ll be able to spot some.

Pay attention to the enlarged areas we’ve drawn on the side. Notice how the “8” uses a different font on the fake Air Jordan 1 box label, since:

  1. The bottom end of the 8 is wider
  2. The overall font for these numbers is bolder on the fakes
  3. As a consequence of #2, the space inside the holes of the 8 is smaller on the replica Jordan 1 box

The second thing we’ve highlighted is not necessarily the BLACK/STARFISH-SAIL and the BLACK/VARSITY RED-STARFISH text. Rather, we want to point out how the real Air Jordan 1 box label has these letters almost touching each other.

On the other hand, the fake Jordan 1 box has visible spacing between these letters and the font is different. Besides, some text is not completely printed, thus showing lower quality machines were used.

Step 9: Look at the Nike Air logo on the tongue tag

In the next comparison, we’re going to have a look at the NIKE AIR logo found on the exterior side of the aforementioned tongue tag.

how can i spot fake air jordan 1

There isn’t a lot to cover here, besides the fact that the Nike swoosh has a different shape. As you can see, the curvature of the swoosh is slightly different.

Besides, the fake swoosh is also fuzzier, as the quality of the print is slightly below what can be found on the authentic pair.

This can be noticed not only in the highlighted area but also on the rest of the swoosh — pay attention to the fuzzy lines on the exterior edge of the swoosh. In other words, on the right side of the AIR text.

Step 10: Check out the Air Jordan 1 sole

As we’re getting close to the end of the real vs fake Air Jordan 1 comparison, we want to draw your attention to the sole of this sneaker.

how to tell fake air jordan 1s

Flipping the shoes over and closely inspecting this area, you’ll notice a star/asterisk pattern. We’ve zoomed upon the said area to illustrate that for you.

What we can observe here is that there are differences in density when it comes to these stars.

Step 11: Look out for the leather patch on the rear

To wrap up our legit check guide, we will want to point your attention towards the patch that can be found at the rear end of the sneaker.

how to spot fake air jordan 1 high

This is often noticed on the fake Jordan 1 Bred Banned colourway. Quite a small flaw, isn’t it?

As you can see, this leather patch that’s at the intersection point of the two swooshes has a different shape and size than what we can see in the authentic example.

Also worth pointing out is the hourglass shape flaw that’s visible on the replica pair, given the straight silhouette of the shoe.

Nonetheless, this is a hard element to point out to the naked eye, yet it might help some of the readers decide, especially if it’s paired with the hourglass shape flaw.

How do I know my size in Jordan 1?

Nike Air Jordan 1s fit true to size. This means that Jordan 1s fit just like any other sneakers. They don’t run smaller or bigger.

Where are real Jordan 1s made?

Real Air Jordan 1 sneakers are made in China. There are some exceptions, like the Dior Jordan 1s that are made in Italy.

Key takeaways: How can I spot tell if Air Jordan 1s are real?

In a rush? Here’s a quick summary of the steps we’ve shared today: 

  1. Check the tongue of the shoe for inconsistencies: The text on the shoe should be straight and clear instead of wavy.
  2. Check the shape of the shoe: Fakes will often have a rounder, more hourglass-like shape.
  3. Check the bulkiness of the shoe: Authentic Air Jordan 1s will usually have less bulk and a slimmer curvature around the shoe.
  4. Check the Logo for any inconsistencies: Generally, the logo on real Jordan 1s will be thinner and fuzzier.
  5. Inspect the Nike Swoosh: The Swoosh will be thicker on any inauthentic Jordan 1s.
  6. Check the Toe Box: Ensure that the holes are both the right size and fully perforated and that the toe box isn’t too bulky.
  7. Take a Look at the Nike Logo on the Sole: Ensure that the ® symbol looks correct and isn’t too big.
  8. Ensure the Box Label is Correct: Often, fake box labels will have incorrect fonts and look different to a standard box label.
  9. Check the Nike Air Logo on the Tongue Tag: The swoosh will usually be fuzzier on fake Jordan 1s.
  10. Look at the Sole: The star pattern on the sole will look different on a fake, as there will be a difference in the density and size of the stars.
  11. Look out for the leather patch on the rear of the shoe: Fake trainers may have the ‘hourglass shape’ flaw.

If you have any doubts about the authenticity of your Air Jordan 1s, get in touch with our experts at LegitCheck today. We can easily help you work out whether you own real vs fake Air Jordan 1s. 

Get your Air Jordan 1s Legit Checked Today

It’s crucial to ensure that your knowledge is up to date before making any large collectible purchase, as you don’t want to be scammed by any bad-faith actors. With this guide, checking your Air Jordan 1s for basic signs of counterfeiting is simple. 

However, the best way to ensure that your collectible sneakers are real is with Legit Check. Instead of having to worry about whether you’re checking correctly, we can easily ensure that you’ve received the real item that you’ve paid for. 

Our expert team is knowledgeable and swift, helping you have the sanctity of mind that your collectibles are in fact legitimate. Plus, we offer top-tier services such as certificates of authenticity and the Legit Check Club, where you can subscribe monthly to save throughout our site.

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The process is simple: send us pictures of the pair you want legit checked and we’ll come back with a verdict in 24 to 48 hours (sometimes even faster).

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Daniel and Ch David

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About the Author

Ch Daniel is the co-founder and chairman of Legit Check By Ch. Daniel is leading the development of new products of Legit Check By Ch, as well as strategising how else the company can reach its main mission: building the infrastructure for safely buying luxury items.
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