Expert’s Advice: How To Legit Check Jordan 1s (2023)

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Ch Daniel
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Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Ch David

Straight to the point: We’ll teach you how to legit check your Jordan 1s with:

  • Jordan 1 real vs fake comparisons
  • Explanations, provided by professionals
  • Shortlist (a simpler guide)

Our expert Jordan 1 authenticators have 11 legit check steps for you in this guide.

Legit check any Jordan 1 colorway with this guide.

No time to waste. Let’s go!

How to tell if Jordan 1s are fake

To tell if Jordan 1s are fake, check the text on the label inside the top of the tongue. Fakes always have misaligned and unclear inscriptions.

An authentic pair of Nike shoes is always flawless when it comes down to athletic and casual footwear[1]. Fakes always have some kind of an issue.

Let’s have a deeper look.

1. Interior tongue

Fast answer: The fake Jordan 1s always have their tongue label’s text waving instead of straight.

This label talks about how the Swoosh[2] is an official trademark of the company.


  1. Clear and legible font on the Air Jordan 1 tag.
  2. “CHINA” text is clearly printed.
  3. “A” in the tag is entirely legible.
  4. Properly printed “H” letter in the tag.
  5. Consistent printing of French words like “VOTRE.”
  6. “E” in “GARANTIE” is clearly and entirely printed.


  1. Thinner and sometimes illegible font on the Air Jordan 1 tag.
  2. “CHINA” text comparison can reveal discrepancies.
  3. “A” might not be entirely legible.
  4. “H” letter appears wider.
  5. Poorly-printed text can be a red flag; e.g., the “E” in “GARANTIE” might not be fully printed.
  6. While high-quality replicas might not have wavy text, they can still show the above-mentioned differences.

Always compare your pair’s label our trusted guide for a more accurate assessment.

For instance, you may find more model information in our other Jordan legit check guide.

Below is another comparison:


  1. Text is clear and consistent.
  2. “SWOOSH®” text has consistent and correct font.
  3. The “O” in “SWOOSH®” is round and consistent with the font.
  4. French translation reads “EN CHINE.”


  1. Wavy text is a prominent flaw.
  2. Visible flaws in the “SWOOSH®” text.
  3. Different fonts used, especially noticeable in the ® character and the “O” letter.
  4. The “O” in “SWOOSH®” resembles a zero due to its taller shape.
  5. Incorrect French translation, displaying “CHINA” instead of “EN CHINE.”

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

2. Hourglass shape

A signature silhouette of the Air Jordan 1 is the hourglass shape ⌛.


  • Curves in two places: above and below the medial line.
  • Below the medial line, the sneaker has an almost bell-shaped bottom.


  • Appears almost straight when viewed from certain angles.
  • Lacks the distinctive curvature above and below the medial line.

Not clear enough? We’ve got you:


  • Displays dual curvature: both above and beneath the medial line.
  • The bottom section, below the medial line, exhibits a bell-like contour.


  • From specific angles, it appears predominantly linear.
  • Misses the unique bends found above and under the medial line.

Top-tier replicas may 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.

Here’s a second example:

  • Authentic: Curves perfectly + narrow in the middle.
  • Fake: Straight, looking like a tube instead of a hourglass.

Please note that this flaw is harder to spot when wearing the Jordans.

Above we’ve compared the real Jordan 1 Pine Green vs the fake Jordan 1 Chicago.

3. Bulkiness


  • Subtle curve in the box.
  • Sole sits higher, especially noticeable in the lower left corner.


  • Bulkier overall appearance.
  • Lacks the distinctive subtle curve seen in the genuine pair.

Let’s look at a second comparison:

Here we’re looking at the real vs fake Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard.

  • Authentic: Thicker, heavier toe box.
  • Fake: Smaller toe box.

See how the top-rear issue applies here as well.

4. Jordan 1 logo

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 on the Air Jordan logo.

Almost every pair of this model has the classic Air Jordan 1 logo with wings[3].

4.1. Best fake

Below we’re comparing the Jordan 1 SBB once again.


  1. Jordan Wings logo has thinner letters, with the exception of the ™ character.
  2. “A” character is noticeably thinner.
  3. Clear and distinct spacing between the “J” and “O” characters.
  4. Adequate spacing between the “wings” elements in the logo.
  5. Sharper and more defined elements in the logo.


  1. Lower quality print for the Jordan Wings logo.
  2. Fuzzier outlines for the “A” character.
  3. “J” and “O” characters touch or are too close, lacking clear separation.
  4. The same spacing flaw is evident between the “D” and “A” characters.
  5. The “R” character is imprecisely printed.
  6. The ™ character is both too small and thinner.
  7. Less spacing between the “wings” elements in the logo, with fuzzier lines making the elements less distinct.

4.2. Good fake

Here is an example of the fake vs real Jordan 1 Bred Banned.


  1. Bold, precise letters.
  2. Correct font weight.
  3. Proportional “J” character.
  4. Correct ™ character thickness.
  5. Wings spaced appropriately.


  1. Inaccurate font boldness.
  2. Thin and sometimes illegible letters.
  3. Taller “J” character.
  4. Thicker ™ character.
  5. Wings are too close, even overlapping.

4.3. Bad fake

Let’s take a look at one of the worst flaws on Jordan 1s.

“Are the R and D supposed to touch on Jordans?”

Answer: Yes, the “R” and “D” are always supposed to touch on Jordans. If not, that is an instant callout for a fake.

See the image below for a better explanation:

This used to be a very common flaw in the past but it’s been majorly fixed.

  • Fake:
    • The R and D in “JORDAN” are not connected.
    • They should always be connected.

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.

5. Swoosh

The “Swoosh” is Nike‘s logo on the side of your Jordan 1s.

  • Authentic: Swoosh is distinctly pointy.
  • Fake: End of the Nike swoosh is bulkier.

6. Perforations

Find these on the toe box of your 1s.


  1. Holes are consistent and of the right size.
  2. Perforations are uniform in shape and size.
  3. Each hole is fully and cleanly perforated, indicating high-quality manufacturing.


  1. Holes are oversized.
  2. Perforations vary in shapes and sizes.
  3. Some holes might not be fully perforated, indicating subpar manufacturing equipment.

Here’s something else we want to point out:


  • Toe box holes are uniformly positioned.
  • Consistent spacing between the formation and the colored suede panel.


  • Toe box holes may have irregular positioning.
  • Noticeable difference in spacing between the formation and the colored suede panel.

7. Sole logo

In the middle of the sole, you will be able to spot the NIKE logo — the written “NIKE” one[4], since Nike’s logos come in a few combinations:

  • NIKE text
  • Swoosh
  • Both at a time

On the sole, we find both at a time: “NIKE” + the Swoosh symbol.

  • Authentic: “R” in the ® character is consistent and of standard design.
  • Fake: “R” in the ® character has a larger loop.

8. Box label

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


  1. The “8” in the font is of standard design.
  2. Numbers have a regular font weight.
  3. Inside the holes of the “8” are of standard size.
  4. The text like BLACK/STARFISH-SAIL and BLACK/VARSITY RED-STARFISH has letters that are closely spaced, almost touching each other.
  5. Font used is consistent and fully printed.


  1. The bottom end of the “8” is wider.
  2. Numbers in the font are bolder.
  3. As a result, the space inside the holes of the “8” is smaller.
  4. The mentioned texts show noticeable spacing between letters.
  5. The font appears different from the authentic version.
  6. Portions of the text might not be completely printed.

9. Exterior tongue


  1. Swoosh has a distinct and consistent shape.
  2. Curvature of the swoosh is precise.
  3. Lines of the swoosh are clear and sharp, especially on the exterior edge (right side of the AIR text).


  1. Swoosh shape deviates from the original.
  2. Curvature appears slightly altered.
  3. The swoosh has fuzzy lines, especially noticeable on its exterior edge.

10. Sole stars

  • Authentic: Star/asterisk pattern on the sole is uniformly dense.
  • Fake: Density of the star/asterisk pattern varies, indicating inconsistency in the pattern.

11. Rear leather patch

  • Authentic:
    • Leather patch at the intersection of the two swooshes has a specific shape and size.
    • Shoe has a distinct hourglass shape.
  • Fake:
    • Leather patch’s shape and size deviate from the original.
    • The shoe displays a straight silhouette, missing the characteristic hourglass shape.

What do fake Jordan 1s smell like?

Fake Jordan 1s have a strong smell of glue, suggesting it was made in a replica factory. You’ll see fake Jordan smelling like chemicals and lots of cardboard, for instance.

An authentic pair doesn’t necessarily have a smell.

Though, you’ll instantly notice a fake pair if it smells a lot like chemicals.

Shortlist: How to authenticate Jordan 1s

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 Legit Check today.

We can easily help you work out the authenticity of your AJ1s.

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 +$1,400 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 +$30k 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 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? Legit Check 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.

Expert Jordan 1 authentication

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.


  1. Notaro, Anna. “Swoosh time: Nike’s Art of Speed advertizing campaign and the Blogosphere.” Nebula 5.4 (2008): 64-83.
    Access at:
  2. Donaghu, Michael T., and Richard Barff. “Nike just did it: International subcontracting and flexibility in athletic footwear production.” Regional studies 24.6 (1990): 537-552.
    Access at:
  3. LaFeber, Walter. Michael Jordan and the new global capitalism (new edition). WW Norton & Company, 2002.
    Access at:
  4. Oswal, Sonam, Roohshad Mistry, and Bhagyesh Deshmukh. “Effective Logo Design.” ICoRD’13: Global Product Development. Springer India, 2013.
    Access at:
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Ch Daniel and Ch David

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About the Author

Ch Daniel is the co-founder and co-CEO of Legit Check By Ch, one of the world's leading companies in product authentications. Daniel's experience: 8+ years in the luxury industry, 7+ years in the authentication industry, 10+ years of business development. Currently, Daniel is overseeing the development of new products of Legit Check By Ch.
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