Believe it or not, but we’re already approaching two years since Kanye linked up with adidas to release the first YEEZY Boost 350. What started as a snowflake (albeit a big one) has snowballed into a seemingly unstoppable avalanche, with the latest releases only intensifying the hype.

Unfortunately for sneakerheads, that came at a price. Pairs are so scarce, thanks to both bots and people with inhuman mouse-maneuvering skills, that fans around the world are now wearing fake YEEZYs — whether knowingly or not. Read below for how to spot fake YEEZYs.

The online community is split into two camps: the larger, louder bunch that thinks fake shoes are the ultimate faux pas any sneakerhead can ever commit; and the smaller, coyer group who are simply fed up with resell prices and are willing to forego the real deal to get the look.

Both groups, however, need to know how to spot them. The former because, you know, they might actually die if they knew they were rocking fake kicks, and the latter so they don’t get ripped off paying official prices for unofficial shoes. So, let’s take a look.

How to Spot Fake YEEZYs

The fakes are getting closer to real deal than ever before, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few telltale signs to look for when spotting a dud. Here are the big ones for the YEEZY Boost 350 V1, courtesy of Klekt.

Look carefully at the direction of the wave pattern


What you’re looking for here is for the tiny lines that make the design so unique to be running left to right. Many fakes erroneously have them running from top to bottom. Eagle-eyed sneaker freaks can mark these ones as fake from a mile away.

The middle stitching


The stitching straight down the middle of the upper should run all the way down and under the tip of the outsole — you can check this fairly easily by simply running your finger along the seam. It goes without saying that each shoe should be symmetrical.

The heel tabs


The heel tabs should have nine stitches across the center box. Many fakes manage to get this right, but the back stitching is often wrong. There should be stitching on both sides, and the side boxes should have five red stitch spots. The tab and collar is one centimeter.

The insoles


The insoles should be going in opposite directions both on top and bottom. Pretty simple, but it’s a common mistake.

The laces


The pattern on the laces should be different from that on the upper, resembling something like a cross. They should also be lighter in color.

If you’re still not sure how to spot fake YEEZYs, check out this video below.

In other sneaker news, adidas Consortium and Sneaker Politics’ new Gazelle is inspired by Mardi Gras.

  • Words: Douglas Greenwood
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Words by Daniel Pearson
Life Editor

Daniel is the editor of Highsnobiety Life. He grew up in north of England and is now based in Berlin.