We show the differences between the original Nike Air Max 90 and the fake

Nike Air Max 90 original vs copy Cloth

Today, you won’t surprise anyone with the fact that the Chinese counterfeit Nike Air Max sneakers at an incredible speed and the entire market is filled with these copies (replicas), including many online stores. It's good if the sellers admit that they are selling fake products, but there are times when scammers, under the guise of the original, try to sell a high-quality replica.

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The concept of “quality” should be understood as the maximum visual similarity, but nothing more, because a fake is a fake and you should not expect much from it.

History of appearance

Nike Air Max 90 sneakers were released back in 1990. Then they bore the proud name of Air Max 3. And only with the advent of the two thousandth they were renamed to the current name.

They have gained their popularity due to their faithfulness to classic design and a large selection of colors.

Therefore, the likelihood of acquiring a fake, especially in an online store, is very high. After all, scammers also want to make money on such a popular shoe model. This article will help you navigate the world of fakes and original Nike Air Max 90 sneakers.
Nike Air Max 90

It is recommended to start researching a product with a careful examination of its packaging. Sneakers are placed in boxes of red color. Only the original box has a matte surface, while the fake one has a glossy surface.

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The box is the first thing you should pay attention to.

If the seller claims that they sell sports shoes without a box, referring to the cheapness, then feel free to say goodbye to scammers.

The box must be in proper condition, strong and with all markings. Please note that the name and serial number match the sneaker tag.

Read also: Converse original or fake - we determine in 5 minutes

There is a sticker on the side of the boxes. It shows the size of the sneakers, their color, model number and barcode.

The information label is located on the tongue of the shoe. Make sure the data on both shoes match. Look at the very quality labels. There should be no rough seams or blurry inscriptions. In no case should it move away from the fabric.

On this sticker alone, there were several differences:

  1. The serial number of the model on the original sticker is exactly the same as the number on the label under the tongue of the sneakers. In fakes, the numbers are completely different.We show the differences between the original Nike Air Max 90 and the fakeWe show the differences between the original Nike Air Max 90 and the fake
  2. The label of the fake box shows a completely different color of shoes - black, although the sample in question is white.
  3. The boxes themselves are not the same size.Box of Nike Air Max 90

Read also: distinguish Reebok original from forgery

Producing country

Enter 13 digits of the barcode:

You should not look for loud inscriptions “Made in USA” on the label, etc. Most Nike Air Max models are really made in factories in China, Vietnam and Indonesia. But the original sneakers are produced exclusively at the brand's branded enterprises.

I would like to say that if the Air Max 90 sneakers are made in China, then this is not a clear sign of a fake, since today the original Nike products are produced both in China and in Vietnam and even in Indonesia. As they say, China is different for China, so do not find fault with the country of the manufacturer too much, because there are many myths among the people about this, the exposure of which it would be time for everyone to know.

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We hope that we have helped you deal with the issue of choosing original sneakers and remember that following a similar principle, you can also choose other airmax models, since the Chinese make the same mistakes almost everywhere.

Read also: what they look like sneakers with the letter N?

Original Nike Air Max

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Appearance of the shoes

Differences in the appearance of sneakers are due to the fact that completely different materials are used in their production. This is noticeable not only during a visual inspection of the shoe, but also during tactile contact with it.

  1. Genuine leather is used to produce the original Nike Air Max 90. Fakes are made of leatherette.
  2. Since the sneakers are made of leather parts, pay attention to the processing of the edges of these parts. In the original shoes, the edges are processed in such a way that from the side they merge into one. When examining a fake, gray lines are immediately noticeable, outlining every detail from which the shoe is made.
  3. The inserts between the leather parts of the original sneakers are made of plastic. Rubber is used for inserts in fakes.
  4. The lining of both sneaker options is made of synthetic fabric with padding. However, it is worth noting that in fakes, the lining fabric is more textured.Nike Air Max 90
  5. In a fake, the insole is removed once or twice. In the original shoes, this number will not work - in them the insole is planted on glue.Nike Air Max 90
  6. The sole in both samples is practically the same. Of course, if you have original shoes at hand, then you can notice minor differences in the pattern of the grooves of the sole. Without the original, it will not be so easy to distinguish a fake sole. Windows with air inserts are also made neatly.Nike Air Max 90
  7. If visually the pattern of the sole is no different from the original, then the fake sole is slightly softer in terms of stiffness. This can be felt when bending the shoes.Nike Air Max 90 outsole

Read also: how to tell the real Dr Martens from the fake

Nike Air Max Men's Size Chart

American European centimeters
7 40 25
8 41 26
8.5 42 26.5
9.5 43 27.5
10 44 28
11 45 29
12 46 30

Nike Air Max Women's Size Chart

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American European centimeters
4 35 22
5 36 22.5
6 37 23.5
7 38 24.5
8 39 25.5
9 40 26
10 41 26.5


Both in the fake and in the original, the logos are present on the tongue, sides, heel and outsole of the shoe. The nature of the execution of the logo in the copy and the original differs only in the font size and background.

Nike Air Max 90Nike Air Max 90Nike Air Max 90

However, on the tongue of the shoe, the logos are completely different. The logo on the original tongue is embroidered with gray threads, and on the fake tongue it is embroidered with white threads, because of which it merges with all the shoes and it seems that it is not there.

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Nike Air Max 90Nike Air Max 90

Not only the boxes do not match in size, but also the sneakers themselves. Fakes usually run small, although the length of the foot is indicated, as in the original.

The price of this pair of shoes also varies. I had to pay a hundred dollars more for the originals than for the replica.

Read also: how to identify genuine leather

Comparison of original Nike Air Max and fake

Smooth seam

Pay attention to the overall workmanship. Carefully study the appearance of the seams so that there is an even stitch pitch.

There should be no angular lines, torn parts, "burrs" on plastic parts. And the holes for the laces should be even and without any flaws.

Original: all seams are perfectly even, there is a uniform stitch step.

Fake: seams, as a rule, even visually look of poor quality, you can see the imposition of threads, uneven stitch pitch, as well as partial duplication of the seam in some places.

Flat seam of the Air Max 90

Glue spots

Check the density of materials, the presence of protruding glue at the joints of parts. A very small amount of glue is acceptable near the sole, but not around the entire perimeter of the shoe.

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Original: complete absence of traces of glue.

Fake: The adhesive is visible along the perimeter of the connection between the sole and the upper part of the shoe. This is the most basic and catchy sign of a fake, which you first need to pay attention to.

Read also: we check the crosses, and are you sure that yours easy original, not a finger?

Air Max 90 sneakers traces of glue on a fake

Ideal Design

Original: all the details of the upper part of the sneakers fit perfectly to each other, the joints are even, no collisions of one element with another are visible. The original Air Max 90 sneakers always look as neat and harmonious as possible.

Fake: there are ugly folds, patches and in some cases even gaps between the elements.

Original Nike Air Max

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Original: The eyelets for the laces have a neat appearance, their clear cut and symmetry are visible. Often, Air Max 90 sneakers are equipped with metal or plastic temples on the holes for the laces, which ensures the rigidity of the lacing.

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Fake:: in appearance, the holes for the laces are made with an ordinary awl, the lace does not pass through them well, there are no fixing arms, and an asymmetric arrangement of the holes is also observed.

Lacing on Original Nike Air Max


Original: anatomical structure, soft and pleasant to the touch material, there are holes for ventilation. In some models, the insoles are additionally rubberized for a secure fit inside the shoe.

Fake: single layer thin insole with solid construction. It is rare to find a hint of anatomical structure, which can only be expressed in small protrusions in the heel zone.

Air Max 90 sneakers

Read also: Alexander McQueen sneakers - how to distinguish a fake?


Original: the unpleasant smell is completely absent.

Counterfeit: There is an unpleasant chemical smell, indicating the use of poor-quality materials and toxic glue.

Original Nike Air Max


Original: Air Max 90 sneakers in recent years are made on a multi-layered phylon, which is characterized by good elasticity, cushioning and roughness. There are rubberized inserts in the nose and heel area (some models may have a solid insert) for reliable contact with the surface.

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Fake: The sole is made of regular rubber with a typical sheen. Rubberized inserts are either absent or made of low quality hard rubber.

The sole in no case should be shiny and glossy.

Nike manufactures soles only from high quality materials. The surface of the sole has a structure close to matte. It should also be flexible and a bit stretchy, no company will make sneakers with heavy and “oak” soles in 2016. No wonder there are legends about the cushioning properties of Airmax, which is achieved precisely through the sole and the patented Nike Air technology.

The texture of the sole of the Air Max 90 sneaker

Read also: Vans original or fake - we determine in 5 minutes

Air bag

Original: The air module returns to its original position when pressed and resistance is felt.

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Fake: often in fakes the presence of an air module is simulated, although in reality there is nothing there. A window is created in the sole through which the rubber sole is visible, and when pressed, the material falls through and may not return to its original position.

Air Max 90 outsole

Read also: ecco biom - one of the top running shoes of the year

Video: Nike Air Max 90 how to distinguish an original from a fake

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What to do if you sold a fake?

Where to go if you sold a fake?


Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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Add a comment

  1. Anton

    The article is certainly good. The article quite accurately describes the signs by which you can determine the original from a fake. But in my opinion, you can always buy quality shoes from a local manufacturer. And save yourself from waiting for sneakers or other shoes due to distant lands. And still soar about its originality.

  2. Alexey

    I think it is best to take such shoes in a company store. There, the likelihood of acquiring a fake is practically reduced to zero. But even there, it doesn’t hurt to carefully examine the shoes before buying!

  3. Vitaly

    The Chinese are already doing everything and it is difficult to understand what is fake and what is not. Since they do just about anything, it's hard to find the original. Not many distinguish where there is a fake. This, of course, requires experience. Thank you for an interesting article that I really liked.

  4. Vladimir Zaitsev

    It always becomes a shame that the high price of a product is not identified with its high quality. And, often, a fake can not be detected immediately. And there are two options:
    Either buy only about the official representatives of this brand, or read similar articles and become an expert on their basis.

  5. Ulyana

    Nikes are probably the most counterfeit sneakers in the world. Due to their huge popularity, sneakers of non-original type can be easily found in any trading platform and all markets. And since the quality of the originals has decreased in the past few years, and prices have skyrocketed, you still need to think about what to take

  6. Лев Чинарев

    Nike – марка популярная, поэтому подделывают часто. Раньше на рынках много подделок продавалось. Сейчас уже реже встречаются.

  7. Paul

    Блин до чего интересная статья и прочитать бы ее раньше если бы знал, то точно бы не купил подделку Nike кроссы, подошва после двух недель носки просто отклеялась.

  8. Yana

    Замечательные кроссовки известного бренда. Расскажу чем они меня покорили и почему я больше не хочу покупать китайские подделки
    Я большая любительница ходьбы. Обожаю куда-то добираться пешком или просто гулять.