The fastest way to spot fake Nike Air Max 97 sneakers is to check the size tag inside each shoe. The counterfeit-produced Air Max 97s never have their text on the size tag at the correct font weight, as there are many differences in terms of thickness for the inscriptions.
If you are here because you want to learn how to spot fake Nike Air Max 97, then you are in the right place.
By reading this article, you will easily learn the main ways to spot fake Nike Air Max 97, with the help of our reference fake vs real Air Max 97 images.
Before we begin the real vs fake Nike Air Max 97 legit check guide, we’d like to mention that this guide applies to all of the colourways of the Air Max 97s.
How to tell if Nike Air Max 97 are fake
You can tell if Nike Air Max 97 are fake by checking if the size tag has bolded or thin-scratched inscriptions. These always indicate a counterfeit pair!
Let’s check out the tutorial.
1. Size tag
The fake shoes have product ID numbers too thick and small (“921826-001”).
The fake Air Max 97s have their “04/05/17” date print improperly font-weighted, as the font-weights differ on that line of text.
The “04” text is too thick, and the rest of the numbers are thinner than what they are supposed to look.
The legitimate Air Max 97s have their whole printing at the same font weight.
The fake “MADE IN VIETNAM” and “FABRIQUE EN VIETNAM” prints have their letters with varying font-weight, once again.
The fake shoes have their first two words on both of the two rows of text looking too thin.
Then, the last words are thicker than supposed to be.
On the real shoes, the two lines of text are at the same font-weight.
The fake shoes have their Nike Swoosh logo looking too thick.
The fake Air Maxes have their Swoosh logo too short and boxy.
The counterfeit Nike Air Max 97s have their tongue Swoosh looking too thin.
The fake shoes’ stitching is too short and improperly weighted on the sides.
The stitching is too thick at the top, and on the sides, it narrows as it gets thinner.
On the other hand, the authentic Air Max 97s have their stitching on the tongue looking longer than the fake shoes’ stitching, and on top of that, it also has the same weight on each side.
4. Pull tab
The fake shoes don’t have their text placed in the middle of the tab.
The fake shoes have their text placed too close to the left edge of the tab, therefore leaving too much empty space to the right edge of the tab.
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. Toe box
The fake shoes have their toe box over-inflated, while the legit shoes have their toe box looking deflated.
The fake shoes have their toe box looking too bulky and thick.
6. Sole bubble
The authentic shoes have their Swoosh placed in the precise middle of the bubble, while the fake shoes have their logo misplaced.
In fact, the fake shoes have their Swoosh placed too low, as it is too far away from the top of the bubble.
The fake shoes have their 3M Reflective material shining poorly when they are compared to the real ones.
On the other hand, the authentic 97s shine in a better way than the fake shoes.
Shortlist: Quickly tell fake Air Max 97
Check the size tag inside of your shoes. Most of the time, the fake Nike Air Max 97 sneakers have their text on the size tag improperly font-weighted.
Verify the Nike Swoosh logo on the side of your Nike Air Max 97s. Mostly, the counterfeit shoes have their Swoosh looking too short, small and thick.
Inspect the Nike Swoosh logo on the tongue. Usually, the fake shoes have their logo on the tongue looking too thin, and the stitching all around the badge is commonly looking too small and thick on the fake Nike Air Max 97 pairs.
Analyze the text on the rear heel tab. Mostly, the fake shoes have their text misplaced, as it is commonly not centred in the middle of the tab.
Look at the toe box of your shoes. The counterfeit Nike Air Max 97 pairs commonly have their toe box over-inflated and look too thick.
Examine the Nike Swoosh logo on the sole of your shoes. Usually, the replica Nike Air Max 97 pairs have their Nike Swoosh logo on the sole misplaced, as the fake shoes commonly don’t have their Nike Swoosh logo centred in the middle of the bubble.
Turn the lights off and check the 3M Reflective material on your shoes. Most of the time, fake shoes have their material shining too little.
There are situations, where you may be unable to go through each detailed step, explained above when you need to authenticate your Nike Air Max 97.
That is why we have compiled this quick 60 seconds solution to authenticating your sneakers.
Expert Air Max 97 authentication
If you need help with the authentication of your Nike Air Max 97, we’ve got you covered.
All you have to do is send us good-quality pictures of your Nike Air Max 97 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 fake vs real Nike Air Max 97 guide. We will continue to update this article as better and newer comparisons are put out.
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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.