Step 1: Closely analyse the Jordan 1 logo
We will start by having a real vs fake Air Jordan 1 logo comparison, since it’s one of the most reliable tells.
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.
Legit check #1 on the logo – fake vs real Air Jordan 1 letters
Broadly speaking we can point out two major things:
- The authentic Jordan wings logo comes with thinner letters (except for the TM character)
- At the same time, the overall quality of the print is lower on the fake.
We don’t want to leave it at this broad statement, so we’ll explain these two major flaws with the highlighted areas (highlighted with the hand emoji) and then we’re going to show some other comparisons.
Let’s start with the real vs fake Jordan logo comparison explanation from the left. The “A” character is significantly thinner on the authentic pair, but please notice how the fake “A” outlines are also fuzzier.
Up next, we want to point out how the “J” and “O” are not completely separate on the fake Air Jordan 1, whereas on the authentic AJ1 example there is definitely spacing between the two.
Ths same flaw can be noticed between “D” and “A” on the fake Air Jordan 1. If you’re wondering how to legit check Air Jordan 1’s, this is one of the fastest ways — look out for inconsistencies on the size tag, such as this one.
Coming up next, we’ve highlighted the “R” letter for the lack of precision on the fake example — once again, this is a compromise made by the fake manufacturers so that they can save money. This kind of flaw should never ever happen on an authentic pair.
And here’s one of the most important things on how to spot the fake Nike Air Jordan 1:
Pay attention to the spacing between these “wings” elements on the fake logo. Notice how there’s less space between elements on the authentic pair. On top of that, the fake elements are less defined (coming with fuzzier lines).
Last but not least, it seems like the ™ character is too small on the replica Jordans and, as a consequence, thinner.
I wouldn’t base my authentication solely on the TM logo — rather, I’d be looking for some traits of lower quality manufacturing techniques (such as the other ones we’ve pointed out).
Legit check #2 on the Nike Air Jordan logo – real vs fake spacing
Coming up next is our second real vs fake Nike Jordan 1 logo comparison. Over here we can notice that the fake letters are not bold, like in the previous comparison — but they’re also not getting the right amount of weight.
It seems like the fake Jordan logo here has very thin letters — so thin that in some cases they’re not completely legible. Notice the fake A’s horizontal line. Or the highlighted line in the “D” letter that’s thin and inconsistent.
At the same time, the “J” character seems to be different — it’s not only the letter’s shape, but also the sizing. For some reason, the fake “J” is taller than the other letters.
Moving on to the ™ character, the fake example in this case is too thick, quite the contrast from the previously analysed replica. The cause of this flaw is visible to the naked eye: it’s bigger than it’s supposed to be.
However, the most glaring flaw here is that the “wings” elements are too close to each other. So close that they’re touching and sometimes even overlapping.
If there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to telling real vs fake Air Jordan 1 logos, it’s this: the original shoe must have a high level of precision and detail.
That is the only thing you need to spot: whether there are any small details that are not precise enough, which would be there as a consequence of compromises in quality.
I’m not saying Nike is never putting out imperfections, it’s just that they’re never letting pairs with so manyimperfections leave the assembly line.
Legit check #3 on the Nike Air Jordan logo – R and D connecting
This used to be a very common flaw in the past but it’s been majorly fixed. However, most of the time, fake manufacturers fix a flaw and create 2 other flaws.
I was not surprised to see this inconsistency come back as soon as some other big ones were fixed on top-quality replicas.
The R and D in “JORDAN” should always be connected. It’s ironic how top-level fakes have this flaw again, in some cases.
That aside, our go-to thing still applies in this real vs fake comparison above: the wings elements are printed in a poorer manner — fuzzy lines and overlapping areas can be noticed.
Step 2: Inspect the Jordan 1 tongue tag for any inconsistency
Up next, we’ll analyse what we usually look after when starting a guide: an element that’s small (therefore needs high-precision manufacturing tools) and hardly visible to anyone but the wearer.
The reason for our thinking is simple: these elements are where the replica manufacturers will compromise. The tongue tag is no exception and in fact, I’m surprised myself that we didn’t start the guide with this flaw.
The Air Jordan logo is not perfected even though it’s visible on the outside of the sneaker. But I digress. Let’s have a look at how to spot the fake Jordan 1 this way:
There are quite a few things we can look out for but the broad statement is that you need to be aware of two things:
- A thinner font is used on the fake Air Jordan 1 tag
- As a consequence, the font is sometimes illegible
The highlighted points show some quick giveaways for the thinner font, but the most important one is the “CHINA” text comparison.
As you can see, the “A” is not entirely legible in the fake example, while the H letter is wider. Naturally, it’s not easy for you to remember these things, so we recommend either coming back to this legit check’s guide pictures or keeping an eye out for weakly-printed text.
What do I mean by weakly printed text? Look at the highlighted french “VOTRE” on the Jordan 1 tag. Can you notice how the “E” is not entirely printed?
Maybe a better example is the “E” in “GARANTIE”, the neighbour word. If we compare that to the authentic example, yes, they’re not printed with the utmost precision — but we can see the difference in quality.
Worth mentioning as well is that this is a high-quality replica, thus wavy text does not occur as often as we’ll see soon — but even so, you can notice how the “SWOOSH ®” text is not straight on the fake Jordan tag.
Let’s move on to another comparison.
Over here, the wavy text we’ve mentioned earlier is a glaring flaw on the counterfeit Air Jordan 1. It’s very visible on the “SWOOSH®” text, yet there is another inconsistency we want to point out.
We’ve isolated the zoomed-in text to draw your attention to the different font used. That is noticeable in the ® character example but it’s even more visible in the “O” letter’s case.
The fake “O” looks more like a zero, given it’s taller shape.
Last but not least, the real Air Jordan 1 tag says “EN CHINE” for its french translation, while the fake one comes with the “CHINA” text.
That’s an instant callout for a replica.
Step 3: Notice the Nike Swoosh and how pointy it is
But enough micro-analyses (at least for the moment). Let’s head back to the visible parts of the sneaker.
We’ll have a look at the real vs fake Nike swoosh comparison for the Air Jordan 1.
It seems like the fake Jordans sometimes come with a bulky end of the Nike swoosh, when it’s supposed to be pointy.
There’s not much to say here besides the fact that it’s an instant callout for a fake pair, should you spot anything like this.
Step 4: Check how bulky the Jordans seem to be
Something replica creators seem to not get right is the overall shape of the sneaker, making it too bulky. Let’s have a look at this real vs fake Jordan 1 shape comparison below:
The authentic example’s curvature (highlighted on the upper right side) is not something that you will find on every single original pair, so don’t take that as the go-to way every time.
However, most pairs have that kind of curvature, since they’re made using Nike’s higher-quality moulds.
But let’s leave that aside for a second. The bulkiness of the toe box is a more reliable factor. This is a flaw that is easy to spot when you have both the real and the fake pair next to each other — which 99.999% percent won’t have.
What you can remember though is the fact that, from the profile view, the toe box doesn’t have to come with a straight ascending line.
On the authentic pair, it seems like the toe box curves a tiny bit. As a consequence, highlighted in the lower left corner, the sneaker’s sole sits higher.
When we’re authenticating these sneakers, what we keep in mind is that the sole mustn’t be fantastically flat — and that’s all you need to know when it comes to legit checking the sole of the Air Jordan 1.
We’ve attached a second comparison of the AJ1 bulkier construction on the fakes so we can highlight the difference one more time:
Step 5: Check whether the Air Jordan 1’s have the hourglass shape
Speaking of the shoe’s construction, we need to have a look from the rear for this following flaw on the fakes.
It’s been commonly nicknamed as the “hourglass shape” tell and it’s easier for us to explain it visually with a comparison.
Let us draw these lines on top of the comparison to make you understand better.
As you can see, the fake Air Jordan 1 is almost straight when it comes to this angle’s view. On the other hand, the original AJ1 is curving in two places: above and below the medial line.
Below the medial line, keep in mind that the sneaker has to have almost a bell-shaped bottom in order for it to be authentic.
Please note that this flaw is hard to spot when wearing the Jordans but it must be a dead giveaway for a fake.
Top-tier replicas sometimes 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.
In other words, knowing this flaw will enable you to spot most of the fakes in a few seconds.
Let us finish this way of spotting fake Nike Air Jordan 1 by dropping a second example, just to make everything clear:
Step 6: Pay attention to the depth of the toe box perforations/holes
Moving on to the front of the shoe, we’ll have a deeper look at the perforations/holes found on the toe box.
As you can see, not only these holes are too big, but they sometimes come in different shapes and sizes on the fake example.
Besides, they seem to be in most of the cases not fully perforated, thus revealing lower quality manufacturing equipment.
However, that’s not the only flaw. Here’s something else we want to point out when it comes to showing you how to legit check the Nike Air Jordan 1.
Let us make it clear: toe box holes positioning ranges even on authentic pairs. However, it shouldn’t be the case that both shoes have the “toe box formations” positioned differently.
This is the case with the fake Jordan 1 pair above since we can notice different spacing between the formation and the coloured suede panel between the two sneakers.
Step 7: Inspect the NIKE logo on the sole
Let’s flip the shoe over and have a look at the sole. In the middle of the sole, you will be able to spot the NIKE logo.
Over here, we want to highlight the different “R” letter used in the ® character.
As you can see, the fake R in ® comes with a bigger loop.
Step 8: Air Jordan 1 box label fake vs real
Since this is a universal guide for any Air Jordan 1, we won’t analyse the text of the colourway per se, since it ranges based on what edition you’ve got (or looking to get).
However, we want to teach you how to spot inconsistencies. If you pay close attention to the highlighted areas, you’ll be able to spot some.
Pay attention to the enlarged areas we’ve drawn on the side. Notice how the “8” uses a different font on the fake Air Jordan 1 box label, since:
- The bottom end of the 8 is wider
- The overall font for these numbers is bolder on the fakes
- As a consequence of #2, the space inside the holes of the 8 is smaller on the replica Jordan 1 box
The second thing we’ve highlighted is not necessarily the BLACk/STARFISH-SAIL and the BLACK/VARSITY RED-STARFISH text.
Rather, we want to point out how the real Air Jordan 1 box label has these letters almost touching each other.
On the other hand, the fake Jordan 1 box has visible spacing between these letters and the font is different. Besides, some text is not completely printed, thus showing lower quality machines were used.
Step 9: Look at the Nike Air logo on the tongue tag
In the next comparison, we’re going to have a look at the NIKE AIR logo found on the exterior side of the aforementioned tongue tag.
There isn’t a lot to cover here, besides the fact that the Nike swoosh has a different shape. As you can see, the curvature of the swoosh is slightly different.
Besides, the fake swoosh is also fuzzier, as the quality of the print is slightly below what can be found on the authentic pair.
This can be noticed not only on the highlighted area, but also on the rest of the swoosh — pay attention to the fuzzy lines on the exterior edge of the swoosh. In other words, on the right side of the AIR text.
Step 10: Check out the Air Jordan 1 sole
As we’re getting close to the end of the real vs fake Air Jordan 1 comparison, we want to draw your attention to the sole of this sneaker.
Flipping the shoes over and inspecting closely this area, you’ll notice a star/asterisk pattern. We’ve zoomed upon the said area to illustrate that for you.
What we can observe here is that there are differences in density when it comes to these stars.
Step 11: Look out for the leather patch on the rear
To wrap up our legit check guide, we will want to point your attention towards the patch that can be found at the rear end of the sneaker.
As you can see, this leather patch that’s at the intersection point of the two swooshes has a different shape and size than what we can see in the authentic example.
Also worth pointing out is the hourglass shape flaw that’s visible on the replica pair, given the straight silhouette of the shoe.
Nonetheless, this is a hard element to point out to the naked eye, yet it might help some of the readers decide, especially if it’s paired with the hourglass shape flaw
How can I spot fake Air Jordan 1’s in a couple of seconds?
If I’m put in the situation where I need to authenticate the Jordan 1’s in a couple of seconds, here’s how to legit check the Air Jordan 1’s in 4 easy steps:
- I’d quickly check whether the hourglass shape is present. This way, I’d save myself a lot of time if there’s no shape — that’s instantly a fake pair.
- If the hourglass shape is there, I would have a quick glimpse of the toe box holes. If they go deep enough and if they are properly aligned, I’d move on to the next step
- Check out whether the Air Jordan 1 wings logo has any inconsistent letter, whether any wings elements that are overlapping or, on the contrary, too far apart. Lastly, I’d have a look at the ™ character.
- I’d have a nice evening lecture when it comes to the text on the tongue tax — making sure there’s no “FABRIQUE EN CHINA” flaw (instead of “CHINE”) and seeing if the text is wavy/too thin.