The State of Sneaker Legit Checking in The Market Today

Sean Wotherspoon Wall

Over the weekend one of my customers hit me up telling me that the pair of Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 they received from me were fake.  He explained to me that he tried to resell them and he met the potential buyer at a local resell shop in Toronto to do a legit check.  Crazy enough the “store” claimed they were fake after comparing their store’s pair and ultimately creating humiliation for my customer in front of everyone.  When I first got the message from him, I was very surprised because this is THE ONE shoe I have seen, touched and flipped so many times.  I’ve resold atleast 50 pairs of these by now and still have quite a few of them as you can see above.  BUT for a fake to leak through is extremely rare…the only chance of that being the case is if there was a new version of a fake out on the market so good I was not aware of.  Regardless, cutting straight to the point…the pair was a preowned pair shown below…


My first reaction was ok, I’m sorry maybe this was a mistake on my end as maybe we didn’t check the shoe thorough enough to have this happen so I offered compensation to my customer in swapping him another pair, but at the same time I was super curious where it could have went wrong.  So I met up the customer and exchanged the pair and the moment I got the pair back I was confused because my first instinct is there were no issues with this pair.  I didn’t see no signs of fakes.  Regardless I had to make sure 1000% myself so I brought it back to the storage to do some comparisons myself.  I usually don’t need to do comparisons because I’ve seen so many shoes over the years that once I see or even just touch and feel the box and shoe, I am almost 90% certain if it’s real or fake.  I don’t rely on the internet for comparisons… I rely on my experience. Of course after some thorough checks the pair I gave away was indeed 100% authentic, which kind of made myself feel better.

Used vs Brand New condition side by side comparison

I called the customer back (I never do), but I wanted to find out more about the situation and why the “store” would have claimed them to be fake.  My first instinct was maybe the colour of the corduroy was a little faded, but for this shoe specifically it is normal due to wear over time.  If you know the history of the shoe, this is actually what Sean Wotherspoon wanted when he chose this material…the corduroy to wear over time for the vintage look…And of course this was the first question I asked – did they take a brand new or nds pair to compare to this used pair and OF COURSE…that was indeed the case.  The store said the corduroy colour didn’t match, box didn’t have the “CAD retail” label (SMH), the back heel tab was off and the box looked “sus”….list goes on…and this is the point I’m trying to get at with my write up today….

If a store incorrectly claims a REAL Authentic item to be FAKE, what makes you comfortable they are also able to correctly claim a FAKE item to be FAKE?

I’m not trying to ruin someone’s business nor start any beef today as I know how this market is and the way it is and hence I have left all names out of this.  There’s no class you can go to school to learn how to legit check a sneaker.  The internet is full of shit that even if you search real or fake, you have millions of google results…you don’t even know which one to trust.  We’re at a state in the market that everyone thinks they are an expert and are able to call the shots.  I mean I’m not saying they’re not right majority of the time, but if you don’t know…say you don’t know.  By claiming something is fake can ruin someone’s image or a company’s image…in this case, my name was attached to the shoes…so I had to say something.  Legit checking requires a little bit of common sense and experience…more experience than common sense 🙂 – let’s just say this…if you are not 100% certain…just say you don’t know…don’t act like you know because shit can go real wrong if I really wanted to stir things up.

Sean air max
Used vs used side by side comparison

I personally am not an expert with Adidas Yeezys…I admit that and that is also why you don’t see me selling them in the first place. But I always have people that are expertise in this field I know and trust that can give me a definite and correct answer.  But when it comes to Nike, I think i’m at the top where not many can be better than I am.  Not to sound like i’m bragging…but it’s just simple statistics.  How many people have been doing sneakers for 18 years and ARE still in the market of sneakers…most people I know are stay home dads now.

back side of the wall in case you think I was exaggerating 🙂

At the end of the day, I’m not mad at the situation but rather just worried about where the market is heading.  I mean popping up a store nowadays is not hard…a few friends that have nothing better to do can just decide one day…let’s get into sneakers because it’s cool and become experts in the field.  Many things can go wrong from this.  This was never an issue in the past because most sneaker stores that pop up in the past were retail stores with direct Nike and supplier accounts.  So they don’t have to be sneaker experts to be open for business.   You simply needed to know how to sell their products.  This is also why you never saw many consignment or resell stores in the past because YOU REALLY NEEDED TO BE AN EXPERT to open a store like this because you’re not buying from Nike.  You’re buying from the street!  We all know the street is full of people trying to scam for a dollar.  For real though. If you asked me 6 years ago to open a consignment store I can tell you for certain I was not good enough to do so…not because I didn’t have money, but more so because I didn’t have the product expertise of identifying real of fake products.  Ultimately it’s important who you buy from and trust in this market and as a consumer you may want to recheck who you buy from and understand their history and experience in the game because personally I trust the people and experience.  If I trust the people and experience I don’t even have to look at the product.




One thought

  1. Well said. Crazy that they would call a lighter color on a material meant to fade a fake. You took the high road too and didnt blast them. Keep doing what you’re doing, Net Mag has a name in the streets for selling authentic sneakers and an expert in Nike Dunks. I know that and I’m in California and you’re wayyyy over the other side of the world. You’ve proven your test of time, the guys that open shops that dont have the knowledge, as you said, wont last long.


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