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China is a great exporter of these copies, with thousands entering the UK every month. As a company, we receive a large quantity of emails from these manufacturers trying to sell their products to us—some for as little as £10 per pair. All such emails are forwarded by us to the relevant authorities but this is unfortunately nowhere near enough to tackle the huge problem.

Nike in particular is targeted by the illegal factories, employing workers in “sweat shop” conditions, and loses a lot of money through the trade. Air Max and Jordans are two of the styles favoured by replica producing factories, however the fakes can come in virtually any form.

There are many sites and auction traders out there that will happily take your money in exchange for fake shoes, or just take the money and run.

The appearance of the majority of fakes is very close to the real thing, which makes them even harder to spot. The quality however is far from that of authentic trainers.

Fake trainers affect the buyer, responsible online retailers and the manufacturers. In order to help with the battle of fakes, we have put together a few pointers to help you spot fakes so you don’t become a victim.

Spotting fakes - a guide

1. Is the deal too good to be true? Counterfeit trainers are sold , often in large quantities and size ranges, for incredibly low prices. Although there are some good bargains to be found on auction sites, the fact is there are more fake trainers listed on them than real.

2. Check the small print on the site or auction you are buying from. Some sites admit that they are selling fakes, or “variants” as they are often described as for the purpose of fooling the consumer.

3. Research auction sellers. If you are buying from an online auction, check the seller’s feedback and look for negative comments - although all their previous customers may have been fooled enough not to question the authenticity. Check for a history of selling large quantities of “rare” trainers and contact previous buyers to ask them to check their purchase.

Unfortunately, there are no comprehensive methods of spotting fakes because of the closeness of the imitation however we will be more than happy to help you if you would like to contact us with any concerns about trainers you are thinking of buying.

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