Are My Air Jordan 1’s Authentic? How To Spot A Replica AJ1

Follow these tell-tale signs to know if your Nike Air Jordan 1s are real or fake

It’s so easy to fall prey to fake Nike Air Jordan 1s when shopping for a new pair. This is because there are so many replicas in the market today that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference. You may be surfing the net on a good day, and next thing, you bump into an offer that seems somewhat unrealistic: “Nike AJs going for 40 bucks”. Immediately you are thrilled and don’t hesitate to whip out your credit card to pay for it.

Identifying a fake Air Jordan 1 requires watchful eyes and deep knowledge of Nike shoes. Some of the easiest ways of identifying replica Air Jordan 1s include; performing a comparison of the shoes with those on the Nike and StockX websites, comparing prices and watching out for the threading of the swoosh, and the hourglass structure at the back. Read on, as we break down the steps that prevent you from splurging on fake kicks.

Air Jordan 1 You certainly will take delivery of what you paid for, but here’s the kicker: you may have just purchased a fake Nike Air Jordan 1. Air Jordan 1s are one of the highest-selling sneaker brands on the planet. Because of its popularity and success as a brand, you will find a plethora of poorly-replicated to almost near-perfect replicas of these bad boys all over the market. The funny thing is that these counterfeiters are getting good at it every day by perfecting the master act of deception. 

Even as a sneakerhead, a well-made fake AJ 1 can get way over your head if you are not very smart enough to spot the difference. Only true experts can tell a fake from an authentic pair of Air Jordan 1 sneakers.

This issue forms the topic of this article: Are My AJ1’s authentic or fake?

In this article, we are going a bit down history lane, discussing how the very first Air Jordan 1 came to be. Secondly, we will dive into the main topic proper by showing you 8 ways to easily spot a fake Nike Air Jordan 1. These are little tricks to have at the back of your mind when next you are shopping for a pair of your favourite kicks. 

This article will also show you reliable links to three of the most popular authentic AJ1 deadstock colourways.

Follow along now!

History of the Nike Air Jordan 1

The Air Jordan 1 was a customized edition specially designed for NBA legend, Michael Jordan at the prime of his career. At the time, Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls and was already a star athlete. Popular Nike and Adidas designer, Peter C. Moore was solely responsible for the design of the prototype of Air Jordan 1

The “Black Toe” and “Chicago” signature red and black colourways were introduced to the general public in 1985. Nike followed up the release with a series of promotional ads and the shoes became an instant success.

Nike made subsequent re-releases of the AJ1s (popularly known as retros) in the following years 1994, 2001 to 2004, and 2007 respectively. Air Jordan 1 has gone on to be one of the highest sneakers of all time with a series of collaborations and special limited releases.

How To Tell A Fake Air Jordan 1 From A Real One

Fake Air Jordan 1s are no new thing to the shoe and sneaker market. There is almost no country you safe from a fake Air Jordan 1. Many counterfeit rings are busted from time to time in the US and beyond, yet these copycats are still on the rise.

It’s almost impossible to get completely rid of fake AJ1 counterfeiters and you will most certainly come across a fake pair at one point in your life. This should put you in the right frame of mind to avoid falling into the trap of these counterfeit smugglers.

Now, there are three quick ways to easily tell a fake Air Jordan 1 without probing too much. These are very obvious red flags that even the average sneaker wearer should spot at first glance. 

We will then proceed to give you 5 other tricks to spot the difference between an authentic Air Jordan 1 and a counterfeit.

Three Quick Tips

  • Price: Some fake AJ1s come at ridiculously cheap prices. Imagine visiting an online shoe store and you see an Air Jordan 1 deadstock going for as low as $40. That right there is your cue to walk away. No need to probe any further. There is no that goes as low as that anywhere and that is a fact.
  • The Box: One can tell a fake AJ just from looking at the box. You don’t even need to open it. The structure and look says everything about how authentic or fake an AJ1 is. Fake AJ1 boxes usually come with a lot of deformities like scratches and dents around them. Nike has a reputation for neat well-crafted boxes free of any dentures or anomalies. 
  • Fonts: Another thing you will spot on a quick look is the fonts of the details tag on the box. Fake AJ1s usually have a slightly bigger font than authentic ones.

Now, these are the three fast ways of spotting fake Air Jordan 1 sneakers. If a counterfeit AJ1 beats the three mentioned red flags, it’s time to take things a bit further by opening up the box for further assessment.

This is where we will be making expert analyses on how to spot a fake AJ1 from the shoe itself.

Five Areas to Look at in Detail

1. Stitching

Another giveaway for a fake AJ1 is the stitching pattern, Check for neat and symmetric stitching on both sneakers. Inspect it thoroughly to spot the core differences. A real AJ stitching will normally give a glowing look when placed under dark light. The gap between each stitch should also be consistent across all parts of the shoe.

Are My Jordan 1s authentic
Image Source: LegitCheck

2. The Lace Arrangement

One of the first ways to tell a fake AJ1 as soon as you open the box is the lace bag. Original Air Jordan 1 laces are woven together compactly whereas those from a fake are pieced together haphazardly and without form. Also, there is usually a lot of air space in the lace bag of a fake Air Jordan 1.

Are My Jordan 1s authentic
Image Source: Kicksguru

3. Air Jordan Label

One other way to spot a fake is by inspecting the Air Jordan logo on the side. This one will require a little more attention on your part as it is very easy to get fooled here. If you look closely at an original Air Jordan 1 logo, you can immediately tell the quality in precision. Every bit of the logo is engraved a little deeper. A fake AJ1 engraving would appear flattened and look almost like a painting. 

Another thing to watch out for is the arrangement of each wing fragment. Real AJ1 wing fragments are very close to each other in a compact fashion. The wing fragments on a fake AJ1 have a usual-that-normal spacing between them.

Are My Jordan 1s authentic
Image Source: LegitCheck

4. The Hourglass Figure

If you look closely from behind of an original Air Jordan 1 sneaker, you would notice the back-ankle region is shaped like an hourglass. From the image below, you can easily spot the difference between a fake and a real pair. Fake AJ1s usually have a straighter curve at the edges which is a strong giveaway.

Are My Jordan 1s authentic
Image Source: LegitCheck

4. The Perforations On The Toe Box

The next place to check for fake AJ1s is the tiny perforations on the toe box. One of the first things you would notice on a fake Air Jordan 1s are the perforation on the toe box are usually big and widely spaced out.

Real AJ1s have smaller, neater and more compact holes located almost to the centre of the toe box as you can see in the image below.

Are My Jordan 1s authentic
Image Source: Legit Grails

Where Can I Get Original Air Jordan 1 Deadstock?

We have discussed the many ways to differentiate between a real AJ1 and a fake one. This exercise can be quite gruelling and frankly wouldn’t be necessary if we can just go to a reliable source for a pair of Air Jordan 1.

There are few reliable online stores that you can be sure to get authentic AJ1. They are as follows:

Visit any of the links above to get a pair of original Nike Air Jordan 1 sneakers.

We will however provide links to three of our favourite colourways: 

  • The Mocha, 
  • Obsidian and the 
  • Light Smoke.

Jordan 1 Retro High Obsidian UNC

One of the all time classic AJ1 colourways of all time:

Jordan 1 Retro High Dark Mocha

The Dark Mocha 1 was about the most anticipated releases of the year 2020. To get a pair of the Dark Mocha 1, visit the link below:

Jordan 1 Mid Light Smoke Grey

The Jordan 1 Mid Light Smoke Grey is one of the fastest movers at the StockX site. Visit the link below for more details:

Final Thoughts

Like we stated earlier, it is not always easy to tell the difference between a fake and a real Air Jordan 1. This is because counterfeiters have found a way to perfect the art by paying attention to even the smallest details. Nonetheless, nothing can be as perfect as the original as you can still spot the difference on a thorough examination. 

We believe that with this guide, any average sneaker wearer can differentiate between a real and a fake when next they go shopping for a new pair of Air Jordan 1 sneakers.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, our focus in on answering some of the most common questions on differentiating fake Air Jordans from authentic ones.

How can you tell fake Air Jordan 1 shoes from real ones?

There are many ways to tell a fake from a real one. You can easily spot a fake Air Jordan 1 from a mere look at the box. Fake AJ1 boxes are usually dented and lack great form. They are also slightly bigger than the authentic version. There are many other ways you can spot as a fake AJ. You can do your investigations by checking out the following:

  • Stitching: Real AJ1 stitching is neater and evenly placed
  • Laces: Fake AJ1 laces are clumsily packaged.
  • Price: Counterfeit AJ1s usually sell at ridiculously cheap prices.
  • Logo: Logo fonts on a real AJ1 are usually smaller in size

These are just some few ways to tell a fake from real AJ1 sneakers.

How can you tell a fake white AJ1?

Yes! You can tell a fake white AJ1. All you need is watch out for the shape and structure of the shoe. Observe the pattern of the back heel and the perforation arrangements as well.

Are real Jordans made in Vietnam?

The answer is Yes. Nike makes some of its shoes in Vietnam, China and some other Asian countries.

Are Jordans from China fake?

Not necessarily. Nike has legitimate shoe factories in China so you can equally get an authentic pair of Air Jordan 1s from the homeland of China. That is not to say that there are not a lot of fakes coming from here as well. You need to be extra careful when purchasing so you don’t fall victim to counterfeit products.

Are Jordan 1 Mids True To Size?

The simple answer is YES. The Nike Air Jordan 1 fits true to size and does not go any bigger.

What’s the difference between Jordan 1 High and Mid?

The main difference between a high and a mid-Jordan 1 is the number of lace holes. The number of lace holes on a high AJ1 is 9 while the mid has 8 lace holes.

How taller does the Air Jordan 1 make you?

The Air Jordan 1 mid version has about 2.1 cm sole thicknesses which makes you taller by approximately 0.8 inches.