REAL VS FAKE: Jordan 1 Chicago (Expert Guide)

Written by
Ch David
AJ1 Chicago Fake Vs Real
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Last Updated on January 10, 2024 by Ch David

Trying to learn how to spot the famous Air Jordan 1 Chicago?

Do you want to learn how to check the authenticity of the classic Air Jordan 1s from show “The Last Dance“?

We’ll teach you how to do it.

How to tell if Jordan 1 Chicago are fake

You can tell if Jordan 1 Chicago are fake by checking the label inside the tongue.

Fake Jordans always have slanted and very thick (or super thin) inscriptions when put side-by-side with an original pair.

1. Interior tongue label

  • The first “®” symbol is too boxy and too thick on the fake Jordan 1s.
  • The middle side of the fake tongue label has thicker inscriptions.
    • Most visible on the “ET SON SIGGLE SONT DES” line of text.
  • The next “®” symbol has the letter “R” misplaced into the circle. It is not aligned in the middle.
  • The fake shoes have their letter “R” in the “®” symbol improperly shaped because the bottom right leg of the letter is too long on the fake shoes’ label.
  • The “MADE IN CHINA” on the fake Jordan 1 Chicago is too thin.
  • The fake “EN” in “FABRIQUE” is too big and thin as well.
  • The fake Chicago 1s have their stitching at the bottom side of the label looking too thin and too long.

All of this may be confusing, so let’s have a recap of the flaws on the fake Air Jordan 1 Chicago:

  • The lines of text are commonly improperly positioned and font-weighted
  • The registered trademark “®” symbols have their letter “R” improperly shaped and not centred in the middle of the circle
  • The stitching at the bottom side of the label is too thin and too short
Expert Legit Check - Let our team look at your Jordans:

2. Perforations

  • The third hole is placed lower than the rest of the holes on the toe box.
  • This is yet another important spot to check since if you see a pair with the holes misaligned, then you are 100% looking at a counterfeit pair of the Air Jordan 1 Chicago.

Looking at the authentic sneakers, you can see how all of the holes are placed correctly and on the same line on every single line of perforations.

3. Hourglass shape

This being said, let’s have a look at the reference Jordan 1 Chicago fake vs real reference image.

  • The fake pair look like a straight tube, without any bumpiness or a sign of curviness, leading into the hourglass shape.
  • The authentic Air Jordan 1 Chicago sneakers must look like an hourglass from the rear side.

Looking at the authentic sneakers, you can notice how the bottom and the top sides of the shoes are thick, and how in the middle, they look thinner, making them look like an hourglass.

A more detailed comparison:

  • The authentic sneakers are curvy on the top and the bottom sides, and how on the middle side, they are thinner, and they look like an hourglass.
  • Fakes are also a bit curved, but obvious with the naked eye too, they are not as bumpy as the authentic Jordans.

Note: This is visible only when the sneakers are not on foot.

So, when somebody’s wearing the Air Jordan 1 Chicago, it’s most likely that you won’t see the hourglass shape, but just when the sneakers are not worn.

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 text

  • The letters in the “AIR” text on the fake Air Jordan 1 Chicago are too thin.
  • The letter “O” in the “JORDAN” text, is too thick on the fake pair.
  • The “A” in the fake pair’s “JORDAN” text is also too thick.
  • The “TM” text is too thick and wide on the fake Chicago Jordan 1s.

5. Air Jordan logo wings

  • The fake Air Jordan 1 Chicago has its wings placed too close to each other at both the top and the bottom side of the Air Jordan logo.
  • The smallest wing in the middle of the last row of wings on the fake Air Jordan 1 Chicago is too bulky compared to the authentic one.

The real Jordan 1s have their wings of the logo with more space between them.

More legit check guides: Air Jordan 1 SBB 3.0, Air Jordan 1 Electro Orange.

6. Shape

6.1. Overall

  • The fake shoes look less curvy and bumpy from the rear side.
  • The fake Jordans have their toe box looking too thick and too bulky, leading it to be over-inflated.

6.2. Toe box

Let’s zoom into the toe boxes to have a clearer view of the real vs fake situation.

  • The fake Chicago Jordan 1s have their toe box looking too thin and too little inflated.

THe authentic toe box looks thicker and has a bulkier look compared to the fake.

7. Swoosh

7.1. Sharpness

  • The fake sneakers have their Swoosh looking too thin, less sharp and curvy at the top tip.

On the other hand, the retail Air Jordan 1 Chicago sneaker have their Nike Swoosh logo looking sharper, thicker and curvier at the top tip than the fake sneakers’ logo.

7.2. Placement

  • The fake Jordan 1s have their Swoosh looking smaller, as there is too much distance to the midsole.

On the other hand, the authentic Air Jordan 1 Chicagos have their Swoosh bigger, and there is less distance to the midsole.

7.3. Curve

  • The fake Swoosh curves too late, and hence, it looks longer than the real one.

The authentic Nike Swoosh logo is looking curvier than the fake sneakers’ Swoosh.

8. Cross-stitching

By cross-stitching, we are talking about the L-shaped line crossing the side of the shoes, going over the Nike Swoosh logo.

  • The fake Jordan 1s have their stitching placed too close to the sneakers.

The real sneakers have their cross-stitching placed a bit higher than the replica Air Jordan 1 Chicago’s cross-stitching.

9. Rear patch

  • The fake sneakers have their patch where the two Swooshes meet looking too boxy.

On the other hand, the authentic Air Jordan 1 Chicago have their rear patch looking wider.

10. Sole

  • The fake Chicago’s have their stars on the soles looking less defined and looking curvier compared to the authentic sneakers’ stars on the soles.

Note: This spot applies only to the unworn pairs.

As soon as the soles get worn, the stars are going to be less and less visible. Hence, we don’t consider this a reliable sign of authenticity for worn pairs.

11. Rear logo (2011)

For the eleventh step of the guide on how to spot fake Air Jordan 1 Chicago sneakers, we are going to inspect the Air Jordan 1 Chicago released in 2011, because they have an extra Jumpman printed on the rear side of the shoes.

  • The fake Jumpman has extra threads hanging.
  • He is also placed too low on the sneakers and looks less defined than the authentic shoes’ Jumpman.

The authentic sneakers have their Jumpman stitching on the rear side of the sneakers looking more defined and centred in the middle of the shoes.

Shortlist: How to spot fake Jordan 1 Chicago

  1. Examine the interior tongue label featuring multiple lines of text. Fake Jordan 1 Chicago sneakers commonly display text that is improperly positioned and font-weighted.
  2. Verify the perforations on the toe box. Replica Air Jordan 1 sneakers often have misaligned perforations.
  3. Analyze the rear side of the Chicago 1s. Legitimate pairs typically exhibit an hourglass shape, which can be lacking in counterfeit versions.
  4. Inspect the lettering on the top Air Jordan logo. Fake Air Jordan 1 Chicago sneakers frequently showcase letters with improper font weighting.
  5. Observe the wings beneath the top Air Jordan classic logo. Many counterfeit Air Jordan 1 Chicago pairs have wings positioned too closely to each other.
  6. Examine the sneakers from the side. Counterfeit Jordans may have a toe box that appears either excessively inflated or underinflated. Additionally, the rear side of fake shoes might lack the characteristic curvature of authentic pairs.
  7. Verify the details of the Nike Swoosh logo. Fake Air Jordan 1 sneakers often exhibit a less curvy, less sharp top tip, and smaller Swoosh.
  8. Analyze the cross-stitching on the side of your Jordan 1s. Replica pairs frequently have cross-stitching positioned too closely to the Nike Swoosh logo.
  9. Check the patch on the rear side of the shoes, where the two Swooshes from the sides meet. Counterfeit Air Jordan 1 Chicago pairs commonly feature a patch that appears overly boxy.
  10. Authenticate the stars on the soles of your Jordan 1 Chicago. Fake pairs often have stars that are excessively curvy and less defined compared to authentic shoes.
  11. Check the rear Jumpman (for the 2011 release). Fake shoes may have a Jumpman logo that is improperly centred and includes extra threads.

The comprehensive 11-step process described earlier might not always be convenient, especially in time-sensitive situations or when making online sneaker purchases.

To address this, we have assembled a rapid 60-second authentication method for your sneakers.

Expert Jordan 1 Chicago authentication

If you need help with the authentication of your Air Jordan 1 Chicago we’ve got you covered.

All you have to do is send us good-quality pictures of your Air Jordan 1 Chicago sneakers and we will get back to you with the results within 24 to 48 hours. The results will also come with a report on why we believe your sneakers are fake or authentic.

That brings us to the end of our real vs fake Air Jordan 1 Chicago legit check guide. We will continue to update this article as better and newer comparisons are put out.

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

Get a fully-detailed report for why you have a real or fake item. Takes less than 48 hours!

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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