How to spot fake Yeezys

A comprehensive guide to identifying a fake pair of Boost 350s


Yeezys are a rare shoe. Fake Yeezys are less rare. Retailing for £150 and, because of hype and exclusivity, resale for anything up to £2,000.  You don’t need to have an A* in Further Maths to identify room for profit in the fake market. Trainers are advertised as fakes and perfect replicas at genuine RRP, and sold.

Daniel Cordas describes himself as a sneakerhead and an artist. Specialising in bespoke footwear, he’s combined a love for art with collecting trainers. He paints bags and other items freelance but specialises in shoes. And they look good. Cordas has just finished running a pop-up painting footwear in Harrod’s.

The wall is coming along.. (?: @barryscowenphoto)

A photo posted by Art Not Customs (@danielcordas) on

He says out of any 10 pairs of Yeezys on one day, six or seven would be fake: “The worst thing is that some people, often with more money, will just get told they’re real, and they don’t know any better. People are making £300-£400 upwards from selling you that pair of trainers. There’s always going to be a person that doesn’t mind doing that, even though they know they’re selling a fake pair. That’s just a hard reality.”

So how are you, the biggest mug on the shelf, going to avoid being mugged off?

Price

There are specific style points, that we’ll get into later, but the first indicator of a dirty stinking pair of fake Yeezys is their price. We’re all a sucker for a bargain, and unfortunately a lot of people think they can grab one. The reality is that if you’re after a reasonably rare pair you should be expecting to pay upwards of £450. anything less than retail is screaming “ENJOY THE RESOLUTION CENTRE PAL.” If your mate is bragging about fleecing a 16-year-old kid for his Turtle Doves, they’ve fucked it.

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Daniel says: “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.” The easiest way to avoid this is by dealing with reputable resalers, or asking someone with a bit of knowledge. Avoid eBay, “a minefield” according to Daniel. “Even if someone buys a pair online they may advertise legitimate pictures then send fakes. I’ve even heard of people sending a sack of potatoes so they have proof of postage and PayPal cannot prosecute them as it’s your word versus theirs. For high value shoes I record myself opening them for security.”

Boost midsole

Yeezys have a very specific pattern on the midsole, made by Continental for Adidas, and Daniel declares this is as a pretty sure fire way to judge a fake. “Some fakes are getting so good it’s hard to tell the difference. The thing about the fakes is that they read the guides, like this one, themselves and try and replicate them, but they can’t really get the Boost right.”

You should be able to identify a circular pattern of seven dots, placed seven times around the Boost, as seen below.

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Shape, colour and pattern

Boost 350s, probably the most popular Yeezy, feature a very specific Primeknit pattern. It’s dotted and should not move in a straight line, but curve out to the side , the stitching should also cross the pattern. On their colour, Daniel says: “The original colour was called the Turtle Dove and it was like this grey, black and white. On some fake pairs, they’re so bad, it’s so contrasted it’s nearly white.”

Shape is another good thing to compare, and it’s easy to see the differences if you place two silhouettes against one another. Look out for a  downward sloping sole (fake) and the position of the heel tab. It’s supposed to be almost touching the sock liner.

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Packaging

Often, it’s not the shoe that gives away its maker. Most sneakerheads who buy shoes will keep the box. Daniel agrees: “If you have a pair of shoes that’s just a pair of shoes alarm bells should be ringing.”  He elaborates that it’s more difficult to fake them, and that often it’s just another thing to fake, and that counterfeiters can’t be arsed to replicate it. There will also be a style code on the box, each shoe’s is different. You can find them on a retailer’s website to make sure they correlate. Daniel also says it’s a good idea to ask for a receipt or, as most are now won in online raffles, proof of raffle and proof of receipt.

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Is it worth buying a pair of fake Yeezys?

So here’s the dilemma. You can knowingly pay retail for a decent pair of fakes that will trick most of your mates, or, go to a respected retailer or resaler. Daniel says: “Just buy from someone who does have a legitimate bit of respect about them, even if they might cost slightly more.”

All pictures by Daniel Cordas, follow him on Instagram.