- Why this Scam Works
- Spot Fake Yeezys in the Listing
- How to Tell if Yeezys Are Fake: The Product
- How to Avoid Purchasing Fake Yeezys
- What to Do If You Buy Fake Yeezys
- Frequently Asked Questions
If you're a sneakerhead, you've probably heard of Yeezy footwear. The Yeezy shoe line comes from a collaboration with rapper, designer, and entrepreneur Kanye West and the sportswear company Adidas. Since launching in 2015, fake Yeezys have made their way into the market, tricking shoppers all over the world into buying these one-of-a-kind shoes.
Learn how to spot a pair of fake or replica Yeezys and avoid wasting your money.
Why this Scam Works
Before collaborating with Adidas, Kanye West released 3,000 pairs of the lifestyle sneakers with Nike in 2009. The retail price was $215, but the limited-run shoes began selling for nearly $3,000 on resale sites.
The high price increase in reselling limited-edition shoes makes Yeezys a prime target for scammers. Additionally, only a few people can purchase Yeezy shoes directly from Adidas when they're released, making fans and collectors willing to pay a higher price to resellers to own a pair.
Unfortunately, some people get caught up in the excitement of purchasing these exclusive shoes and fall victim to a fake Yeezy scam if you miss the red flags.
Identify Fake vs. Real Yeezy Slides
Yeezy sneakers aren't the only shoes that are regularly replicated. Counterfeiters regularly create fake versions of Yeezy slides also.
Spot Fake Yeezys in the Listing
- Many grammatical errors
- Limited photos
- Vague descriptions
- Too good to be true prices
Many scammers won't take the time to put together a readable post. Also, look out for posts with unbeatable prices. For example, scammers will often post fake Yeezy Adidas shoes at a low price to drive up demand and make you think you're getting a great deal. If you see a pair selling for less than $200, chances are, it's a scam.
How to Tell if Yeezys Are Fake: The Product
Shoe scammers are getting better at making replica Yeezy sneakers, but some common faults in the counterfeit versions separate the fakes from the real deal. Each model of Yeezys may have specific tells for whether the sneakers are real or fake, but pay attention to the following to spot a fake:
- Inconsistent stitching
- Poorly designed size tag
- Poorly placed heel tab
- Sketchy packaging
- Sketchy laces and lace holes
- Spacing around sock liners
- Yeezy and Adidas logo
- Poor quality overall
1. Inconsistent Stitching
Yeezy sneakers are a quality product with pristine stitchwork. An authentic pair of Yeezys will have a consistent stitching pattern. Counterfeit pairs may have a fake stitching pattern throughout the shoe.
Fake versions of the shoe often have messy stitching, and there's no identifiable pattern. You may also notice stitching fraying or being loose in some places.
2. Poorly Designed Size Tag
The size tag is wrong on the majority of fake Yeezy shoes—there will be an inconsistency in the font styles used on the label on fake size tags. For example, you may notice the "2" on the size seems slightly larger than the "2" on the serial number at the bottom of the size tag.
You may also notice numbers and letters blending into each other. The size tag on an authentic pair will have equal spacing and be clear to read.
3. Poorly Placed Heel Tab
The heel tab is close to the ankle collar on a pair of authentic Yeezy shoes. Fake versions and a replica pair of shoes tend to have a larger spacing or even touch the collar. Also, look at how well the tab is sewn onto the shoe—it shouldn't be lifting or feel loose.
You should also check the toe box on the shoe. If the shape and design don't quite match what you'd expect on a genuine pair, you're likely looking at a fake product.
4. Sketchy Packaging
A real pair of Yeezys will ship in an unprinted retail box. On the side of the box, it'll have "Yeezy" and the model name. The box label should also say "Made by Adidas" with the Adidas website and logo on the bottom.
The box should open by lifting the front, not by pulling out from the side. You should find supportive sides to keep the shoes safe when you open the box, and paper should cover the shoes. The package shouldn't be too big for the shoes to move around and not have packing peanuts.
5. Sketchy Laces
Genuine Yeezy sneakers come with tubular woven laces and clear caps. The weaving of the laces should be tight and even. There shouldn't be any fraying of the laces, and both laces should be the same size. A fake pair of Yeezys will likely have fraying or uneven stitching around the lace holes.
Genuine Yeezy sneakers will also have quality shoelaces. The tips should be held together tightly with no signs of fraying. You may notice on a fake pair that the ends are covered in cheap plastic and don't stay on for long.
6. Spacing Around Sock Liners
The sock liner of an authentic Yeezy shoe should mold perfectly to fit the shoe. You won't see any gaping or spacing along the edges of the liner. The liner will also have the official Adidas Yeezy logo printed on the top along with the size code. Make sure the size code on the liner matches the size of the shoe.
7. Check for the YZY and Adidas Logo
Genuine Yeezys will have both the Adidas and YZY logo printed on the inner sides of each pair. Some counterfeiters will also print these logos onto fake ones, but some may miss this small detail.
8. Poor Overall Quality: Dead Giveaway of Fake Yeezys
Take note of the overall quality of the shoe—genuine Yeezys are high quality. The shoe should feel sturdy, and there shouldn't be any loose stitching. The shoe should be well sealed where the fabric and sole meet, and you shouldn't notice any gapping or breakage (you can usually tell if the shoe has fake insoles).
The colorings on both shoes should be the same, so compare the color of the soles, liners, tongue, and details (including the middle stitching).
Compare Yeezy sneakers to legit photos on the Adidas site. Look for inconsistencies in font, color, knit pattern, and overall design to find fakes.
Also, look at the inner details of the hoe—if it has an authentic insole, it will be of high quality.
How to Avoid Purchasing Fake Yeezys
When you spend a lot of money on something like Yeezy sneakers, you want to be sure you're buying an authentic pair. Since many resellers sell Yeezy shoes, it can be challenging to know what you're buying ahead of time, but there are some steps you can take to increase the likelihood of getting a real pair of Yeezys:
- Purchase from a trusted seller
- Do your research and ask the right questions
- Footwear, including Originals, Yeezy's, and Slides
- Men's, women's, and kids' apparel and accessories
- Try before you buy with Prime Wardrobe
Buy from a Trusted Seller
Unfortunately, since many Yeezy models have limited releases, it can be hard to snag a pair from the official seller before they sell out.
Purchasing from resellers can be tricky, but sites that tend to sell authentic Yeezy shoes are:
These sites are similar to community marketplace, meaning anyone can sell or buy, but the company acts as a middleman to limit scamming. They often also have authenticity guarantees and buyer protection policies to protect consumers from scams.
It is possible to find legit Yeezy shoes on Craigslist and eBay, but you have to be more careful as those sites tend to have more scammers.
Do Your Research and Ask Questions
Before purchasing a pair of Yeezys, make sure you know the price of similar models. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions about the shoes or ask for detailed pictures to identify a fake. If the person is selling a real pair of Yeezys, they shouldn't be offended or unwilling to answer questions or send photos.
If the person begins to push the sale or become accusatory toward questions, it's likely a scam, and the seller wants to bully you into a purchase before you realize the shoes are fake Yeezys.
What to Do If You Buy Fake Yeezys
If you've purchased a pair of Yeezys in the past and you think they may be fake, unfortunately, there's not much you can do to rectify the situation.
If the purchase was recent and made through a site such as GOAT or StockX, contact them immediately and provide details on the situation. Since these sites work as a middleman between buyer and seller, they can penalize the seller and reimburse you.
If you purchased them through Craigslist, eBay, or a similar site, contact customer service and tell them you bought a counterfeit product. These sites will most likely not refund your money, but they can ban the seller and keep others from falling victim to the same scam.