Air Force 1 Legit Check: How To Spot Fake Vs Real (2023)

Written by
Ch David
fake vs real nike air force 1
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Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Ch David

You are in the right place if you wish to know how to spot the fake vs real Nike Air Force 1.

This is Nike‘s most popular shoe, so knowing how to tell a fake is important.

Authenticate any Air Force 1 colorway with this guide.

Let’s go!

How to tell if Air Force 1s are real

You can know if your Air Force 1 is original by looking at the size tag’s text (the label inside the shoes).

Fake pairs always have very thick text and misplaced inscriptions. A real pair of Nike Air Force 1s has perfectly detailed inscriptions.

  • The second best way to spot fake Air Force 1 is to inspect the stitching and the “Nike AIR” text on the rear side of the sneakers
  • The rear side of the Nike AF1 sneakers is the most flawed of the whole sneakers in almost every case of fake AF1 pairs

Let’s see the steps we need to take to tell the difference between a real Nike Air Force 1 and a fake.

1. Rear details

The rear side of the Nike Air Force 1 sneakers is almost always the best spot to look at in order to spot fake Nike Air Force 1 pairs.

We’ll share the picture first, with the key explanations on how to authenticate Nike Air Force 1 pairs below.

Fake Vs Real Nike Air Force 1 – Rear Details
  • Authentic:
    1. Swoosh logo is smaller and appropriately sized.
    2. “A I R” text is neither too thick nor too thin and is well-placed.
    3. Stitching on the side appears dense, reflecting higher quality.
    4. Stitching lines on the midsole are of better quality.
  • Fake:
    1. Longer Nike Swoosh logo, noticeable on the rear side.
    2. “A I R” text on fake pairs can appear either too thick or too thin, often placed too high, almost touching the Swoosh.
    3. Side stitching is less dense and shorter than on authentic pairs.
    4. Stitching lines on the midsole appear longer and thinner.

Expert's Opinion - Let us verify your Nikes:

2. Size tag

Legit Check Air Force 1 – Size Tag
  • Authentic:
    1. The “VF” print is consistently thicker.
    2. Authentic tags have thicker “BR” print as well.
    3. “FABRIQUE EN VIETNAM” text on genuine pairs is thicker.
  • Fake:
    1. “VF” print in the top right corner tends to be too thin.
    2. The “BR” print typically mirrors the thinness of the “VF” text on fake tags.
    3. Fake tags often have thinner “FABRIQUE EN VIETNAM” text.

Check out these other Nike legit check guides: Air Max 97, Air Max 90.

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.

3. Swoosh

Real Vs Fake Nike Air Force 1 – Swoosh Logo
  • Authentic:
    • Frontal Swoosh logo has a smooth, natural curve.
    • Rear side of the Swoosh is placed closely to the sock liner.
  • Fake:
    • Swoosh logo at the front appears more sharply curved.
    • Swoosh on the rear side is positioned further away from the sock liner.

4. Side holes

Nike Air Force 1 Legit Check – Side Perforations
  • Authentic: Two holes on the side are positioned higher.
  • Fake: Side perforations are placed too low, too close to the midsole.

5. Toe box

The area in which your toes fit inside the sneakers is the toe box.

How To Spot Fake Air Force 1 – Toe Box
  • Authentic: Toe box is less inflated, sitting lower, appearing less arched and curvy.
  • Fake: Looks over-inflated, too arched, and curvy at the front.

If you’re not sure whether you’ve got fake Nikes, we’re here to help you decide.

Get our opinion

6. Perforations

You will have to flip your sneakers to the frontal area, but from a top-down view, in order to inspect them in a better way.

How To See Fake Nike Air Force 1 – Perforations
  • Authentic:
    • Perforations are of consistent and correct size and shape, fully perforated.
  • Fake:
    • Holes are sometimes too big or too small (in this case, too small) and may vary in shape and size.
    • Perforations often not fully completed…
    • Suggesting lower-quality manufacturing equipment.

7. Box label

  • Authentic:
    1. “AIR FORCE 1 ’07” text on box label is appropriately thin.
    2. Box label is light grey.
    3. New box labels appear pristine without scratches or wear.
  • Fake:
    1. Box label text “AIR FORCE 1 ’07” is noticeably thicker.
    2. Incorrect dark grey color is used for the box label.
    3. New box labels may show scratches or worn-out appearances.

Shortlist: Legit check Air Force 1s

  1. Back: Usually, fake Air Force 1s will have a longer Swoosh symbol. You’ll also find that the ‘A I R’ text will be too thick and placed too close to the Swoosh. The stitching on the rear will also be too thin and small.
  2. Size tag: Make sure that the text on the size tag isn’t too thin, as fake Air Force 1s will have a thinner and lighter font.
  3. Side holes: Fake Air Force 1s will have their side holes placed too close to the Midsole, which is far too low.
  4. Swoosh: The top of the Swoosh logo being too curvy is a telltale sign that you own fake Air Force 1s. The back of the logo will also be further away from the sock liner.
  5. Toe box: If your Air Force 1s are fake, the toe box will be too curvy and elevated.
  6. Peforations: On fake Air Force 1s, the holes on the toe box will be too wide and large.
  7. Box label: A pair of fake Air Force 1s will have a box with a different coloured label than an authentic pair, which is usually light grey. The text can also be thinner than usual on a fake box label.

Use this shortlist whenever you are on the go.

It’s best using it when you don’t have enough time to go through the 7 ways to legit check Air Force 1s.

What are Nike Air Force 1s?

Nike Air Force 1s are an iconic pair of sneakers created by Nike in 1982. They were the first Nike Basketball shoe to use the ‘Nike Air’ technology and preceded the ever-popular Nike AirMaxes. 

These shoes are adored by resellers and collectors and have become an icon for the ‘Sneakerhead’ community due to the ubiquitous nature of the shoe. With Nike’s huge range of Air Force 1 variation, their resale value can vary anywhere from $100 to $10,000.

The original shoe isn’t as valuable as other Nike products due to the sheer volume produced throughout its original run. However, expensive variants such as the Playstation Air Force 1 Lows, can command asking prices upwards of $20,000. 

Even if you’re buying on the cheaper end of collectable shoes, you still want to make sure that what you’re buying is legit. After all, nobody likes being ripped off, and fake Air Force 1s aren’t going to be as high quality or durable as the real deal.

Is it easy to legit check Air Force 1s?

Yes, it is easy to legit check Air Force 1s. Start with the size tag and the details on the back of the shoes, as fakes never detail those right.

Sneaker counterfeiting is getting out of hand. Not only are fake Air Force 1s flooding the market, but they’re getting much harder to spot. 

This is especially true of the Air Force range, as there are multiple iterations of the sneaker.  This is why it’s crucial to ensure that you’ve got the knowledge to know if your sneakers are the real deal or not, or at least have access to a professional authentication service that can do all of that for you, like Legit Check

At LegitCheck, we want to help you make sure that every product you’re buying is the real deal. Modern scams and fakes make it quite risky to buy products online.

Our service helps get rid of that worry. We offer a fast and expert authentication service, with which you can ensure that your collectable goods are real. We can even issue a forgery-proof Certificate of Authenticity or provide proof of non-authenticity if you want to fight for a refund.

In any case, making sure that you LegitCheck Air Force 1s as soon as you get them is crucial. Realising you have fake sneakers too late might make it difficult to get a refund from the vendor or seller you brought from. 

If you’re worried about purchasing fake goods or you don’t want to authenticate them, buying from Nike or a trusted reseller is a great way to ensure that the goods that you’re getting are real.

You should still legit check every pair of sneakers you purchase, even from trusted sellers.

Fakes can still fall through the cracks, so it’s always best to make sure.

Expert Air Force 1 authentication service

Our professional Air Force 1 legit check team is happy to help you:

  • Send us picture of your sneakers
  • We’ll issue a detailed authenticity report
  • You’ll get +5 reasons for why your shoes are real or fake.

We aim to help you understand why you have original or fake Air Force 1s.

That is for now with the Nike Air Force 1 legit check guide.

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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