When shopping for Converse it’s important to be able to spot the difference between real Converse vs fake pairs. You want to make sure you’ll be spending your money wisely, and treating your feet to authentic quality and comfort.
In this post I have included photo and video comparisons of my own pair of real Converse vs a fake pair I purchased by mistake. I’ve provided 15 fake-spotting tips, to ensure you don’t get ripped off!
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1. Check the packaging
Converse sneakers should come in a high quality shoebox that features Converse branding. There should be Converse branding on the lid of the box, with Converse written in large letters along the side. The box should be black and white.
On the end of the box there should be a large sticker featuring a barcode, the size and model of the sneakers, as well as a small picture of the sneakers. There will also be a small QR code.
Either side of the lid there should be a small Converse logo printed also. Inside the shoebox there should be high quality tissue paper that wraps around the sneakers. Authentic Converse tissue paper is white and crisp.
Inside the box stuck to the lid there should be a small round sticker in white and red that features a code. Here’s what mine says:
The fake sneakers I purchased by accident didn’t arrive in a shoebox at all. Instead they were wrapped simply in a clear polyethene bag, without any branding.
It was a dead giveaway that they were fakes. All the real Converse I have ever purchased have always come in a nice, branded box.
2. Inspect the Converse logo patch
On black and white Converse the patch should feature a navy blue star, not black. The star is black on colored Converse. The patch should be evenly cut, without messy edges, and well glued to the canvas.
The Chuck Taylor lettering should be fine looking not thick.
You can see in the below image how the lettering looks quite thick on the fakes.
The blue dashes that make up the outer logo circle should be finely printed also. On the fakes you can see how they look thicker.
The fake logo patch also isn’t a crisp white, like the real one. It almost has a bluesish hue and an obvious shine to it, which shouldn’t be the case. You can really see the shine difference in artificial lighting.
The fake logo is also slightly smaller in size than the real one. The real logo measures 1.9 inches and the fake measure 1.8 inches.
Another thing to note is a ® symbol should not be present in patches made after 2008. If your new Converse feature the ® then they are counterfeits.
Here is a video of me showing some of the key differences between fake and real Converse:
3. Check the Converse insole and stamp
The Converse brand stamp should appear on the insole of the shoe. It should be printed clearly in black or dark blue ink and feature the Converse logo, complete with a star and arrow. If a ® symbol is present then they are fakes.
Additional markings showing the shoes construction and material should be stamped insole the shoe on the insole.
The Converse logo should measure 3.1 inches from the beginning of the ‘C’ to the end of the arrow. If it’s any smaller, or larger, it’s a fake. On the pair of fakes the insole stamp logo only measures 2.5 inches.
The Converse insole itself should provide nice cushioning for the feet and should compress slightly when pressed. If it feels hard to the touch or is generally uncomfortable then it’s likely a fake.
If the insole is cut with jagged, uneven edges then they are fakes. Converse have a meticulously checked production line that produces high quality insoles without flaws.
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4. Look at the rubber heel tab
When comparing the rubber heel tab of a real pair of Converse vs a fake pair there are a few things to look out for:
- The rubber heel tab should be a nice crisp white color. Off white, or greyish means it’s a counterfeit.
- The tab should feature the words ‘Converse all star’ and a black star logo between ‘all’ and ‘star’.
- On the word ‘Converse’ there should be no star on the letter ‘o’. If there is a star then the pair of sneakers are fake.
- The ‘Converse’ part of the logo should measure an equal length to the below ‘all star’. If the ‘Converse’ part is shorter, it’s a fake pair.
5. Buy from a reputable source
Making sure to purchase your Converse from a reputable source is key to avoiding counterfeit pairs.
Alternatively go to a reputable retailer in person.
If you are buying your Converse from eBay or a marketplace be careful as you may be swindled into buying a dupe.
6. Compare the weight
Checking the weight of your Converse is a great way to see if they are real or fake.
Fake sneakers are made with low quality materials and will weigh significantly less than a real pair due to this.
In the above photo I compare the weight of my real Converse and the fake pair I bought by mistake. As you can see the fakes weigh less coming in at 10 oz, when compared to the 12 1/4 oz of the real deal. For reference both pairs are a UK women’s size 6 (US women’s size 8).
The fakes will also feel quite light overall, even if you don’t have a real pair to compare them to.
7. Look for high quality materials
Your Converse should be made with high quality materials that look good. Any patching, fading or fraying is a clear sign of a fake.
The rubber toe caps should be of an excellent quality and feel quite firm to the touch. The outsole should be a nice rubbery texture, without plasticky looking shine.
The canvas upper should feel tough yet soft, and the metal eyelets should be of a good grade.
The insole should be nicely padded with some flexibility when compressed. A thin feeling insole is a sign of a fake.
8. Check the stitching is well done
Making sure the stitching looks even, nicely spaced and without errors is really important when trying to determine if your Converse are real or fake.
Stitches should be of equal length and look very neat along the canvas upper.
As you can see on the below photo comparing the stitching on my real vs fake pair the real pair looks neat whereas the fake has mistakes:
Messy stitching indicates a low quality production line and is a dead giveaway for fakes. There should be no loose threads either.
9. Check the outsole
Another great way to check if your Converse are real or fake is to carefully inspect the outsole.
The outsole should feature the following:
- It should be made of a high quality flexible rubber.
- The mid section of the outsole should NOT feature the shoe size. Instead it should only show the Converse logo, complete with a star symbol and the ‘all star’ wording. There should not be a ® symbol next to the star.
- The outsole should not have a plastic looking shine to it. Instead it should have the appearance of quality rubber.
- The outsole should feature the signature Converse patterning, with diamond shapes and lines.
10. Compare the laces
Comparing the laces of fake and real Converse is a quick way to spot a fake pair.
Real Converse laces should feel nice and thick, and be a crisp white in color. They should measure 9mm across. The laces on the fakes I have only measure 7mm across.
The fakes are an off, almost bluish white, and feel really thin and flimsy compared to the real ones. They are very soft to the touch.
11. Check the sneaker tongue sticker
You can check if you have a pair of fake Converse quickly by inspecting the sticker on the inside of the sneaker tongue.
Real Converse will have the following features on the sneaker tongue sticker:
- It will not feature the Converse logo.
- At the top of the sticker the manufacturing location will be printed first, then production codes will follow.
- The sticker should feature a QR code.
- The sticker will also feature the shoe sizing, including the cm measurement. The fake pair shows a mm measurement instead.
- It will also be well sealed to the sneaker tongue. If you are able to peel off the sticker, it’s a fake pair of Converse.
- The sticker should measure 3.7cm across. If it’s any smaller or larger, it’s sign of a counterfeit.
The sneaker tongue itself should be longer than the sneaker collar. On the fake high tops you can see this runs short.
12. Look at the midsole paint
Making sure the painted lines on the midsole are straight and nice looking is a good way to check for fake Converse. If they are crooked or faint then the pair of Converse are likely fake.
The black line should stretch all the way around the midsole, meeting the front rubber foxing. The midsole itself should have a faint diamond patterning. On the fake pair you can see the midsole is smooth instead.
The front section of the midsole that wraps around the rubber toe cap should have a grid like, square looking design, with lines above, and small lines and dots below, as pictured above.
If the pattern on your Converse deviates from this, then they are counterfeit.
The midsole should be a nice crisp white color. If it looks off white, or greyish then the sneakers are fake.
13. Double check the price
Making sure to double check the price of your Converse is a good way to weed out fakes, especially if you are buying online.
If the price is too good to be true, it generally is. Converse usually run between $60 and $85, or over $100 for a special collaboration.
Of course they will sometimes be available for lower, depending on whether or not they have a sale on. It’s best to check converse.com to be sure.
Often when I come across outrageously cheap Converse online, they are fakes. I can usually tell straight away from the listing. Just be careful, and make sure you aren’t falling for a shady deal.
If you are purchasing a second hand pair of Converse then the price will depend on the level of use. You may be able to get your hands on a cheap second hand pair, but make sure you double check the listing photos and look out for some of the things I have identified in this post: the logo patch, rubber sole tab etc are dead giveaways.
14. Inspect the All Star logo on the tongue
High top Converse should not feature the all star logo on the tongue, as you can see in the below photo comparing my real and fake pairs:
The sneaker tongue on the fake pair is also too short, and doesn’t come above the sneaker collar.
Low top Converse do feature the all star patch on the tongue. On the monochromatic styles the patch is in blue, red and white, whereas on colourful styles the patch is black and white.
The patch should be neatly attached to the sneaker tongue and there should not be a star on the Converse ‘o’. If there is the pair is a dupe. The patch should also be stitched on.
15. Check where they are made
Double checking where the Converse are made is a great way to spot a pair of fakes. Converse are made in factories in in Indonesia, China, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Pakistan.
They used to be made in the USA, however the production moved abroad after 2001. If you get your hands on a pair of brand new looking pair of Converse that seem fake/poorly constructed, and have a USA production of origin printed on them, they are likely fake.
Alternatively you could be dealing with a vintage pair, which are worth good money. Double check them against the above tips for authentication.
For more info on where real Converse are made, I have a full guide here: Where Are Converse Made? Production FAQs Guide.
Thank you for reading this post on spotting real Converse vs fake Converse. I hope you now feel confident to perform authenticity checks to identify fakes.
Double check Converse against the tips in this article to ensure you purchase a genuine pair.
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Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).