How to Spot Fake Vans

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Vans shoes are widely recognizable athletic shoes commonly worn when skateboarding. Due to their popularity, a thriving black market has emerged for counterfeit Vans. These fake skate shoes are made to resemble the brand-name shoe, but tend to be lacking in quality -- they are less flexible than true Vans and fall apart quickly. Avoid scams by learning to spot the features of real Vans.

  • Inspect the bottom of the shoe for the characteristic Vans pattern. Vans shoes have a sideways diamond pattern that interlocks into a pattern of hexagons near the toe. These interlocking hexagons resemble Stars of David. Knock off Vans may not have this characteristic pattern.

  • Inspect the back of the shoe for the Vans logo: The name "VANS" spelled out in capital letters. The large "V" resembles a square root sign, with a line going off to the right and covering the other three smaller letters. Fake Vans typically don't include this trademark, or use a misspelled version of it.

  • Bend the shoes at the toe. Real Vans have flexible toes, while fake Vans are stiff, and don't bend easily.

  • Examine the stitching. Real Vans shoes have tight, uniform, symmetrical stitches. Loose or missing stitches indicate a counterfeit version.

Tips & Warnings

  • Research your shoe vendor. Well-known shoe and athletic stores at the mall will almost definitely sell genuine merchandise. Be cautious when purchasing shoes online, from a street stand, in a flea market or from an individual seller. If the store has no return policy, or if your seller's online store has poor review, avoid purchasing their shoes.

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