North Face is a well-regarded supplier of cold weather performance gear. Like most popular and well-known clothing brands, the market for fake versions is almost as large as that for authentic articles. Fortunately, most fakes miss important details that, once you spot them, make the knockoff easy to identify and avoid. Learning the difference between real and counterfeit North Face shoes and jackets potentially saves you both money and embarrassment.
Find out where the item was sourced. If it's from a North Face outlet or boutique, there is almost no chance that the article is a knockoff. Conversely, if it's from one of many online auction sites or even secondhand, further inspection is warranted.
Evaluate how realistic the asking price is. If you see a North Face product advertised as "new" but it seems oddly inexpensive compared to known authentic items, there's a good chance the item is a fake.
Look carefully at the inner tags and labels. Authentic items feature crisp logo embroidery, without loose threads or touching letters. The font may be shorter, more squared and thicker on a fake item. Authentic pieces feature white, elongated tags with proper care details. Internal tags may be black on fakes, and knockoffs typically do not feature care instructions.
Inspect the location of zippers on coats such as Denali or Summit. Very often, counterfeits feature zippers on the left side of the jacket as opposed to the right. This tell is common to all North Face products.
Feel the fleece material on pullovers and jackets featuring that material. Real North Face fleece features a deeper nap, while fakes use a lower-grade, smoother version.
Look and feel the nylon material comprising the jacket or boot accent. Genuine North Face material does not show a wider weave, but offers a smoother hand and appearance. As with jackets, look at discrepancies in inner labels and stamped logos.