How To Tell If Your adidas Yeezys are Real or Fake
How to spot a Fake Yeezy
How to spot a Fake Yeezy


Legit Check The Adidas Yeezy 500

You will find fake Adidas shoes in stores all around the world. Our goal is to help you spot these fake counterfeit shoes and teach you some shoemaking tips.

How can I tell if my Yeezys are fake?

Today we have two pairs of the Yeezy 500, and we will have a good look at the small details that tell the big story of counterfeit sneakers. We will study the Yeezy 500 purchased directly from Stock X and the counterfeit shoe imported from South China. You will learn how to tell if an Adidas shoe is real or fake. The secret to making a ‘sneaker legit check’ is understanding the signs of quality shoemaking.

The price is right?

When shopping for real Yeezy sneakers you should expect to pay real Yeezy prices. If you find a rare Yeezy 350 Boost or a unique color at a price that is too good to be true… then it IS too good to be true. Low prices and beat-up boxes are your first clue that you have a fake, counterfeit or illegally smuggled-in B-grade shoe.

You should make any mail-order or E-Bay purchases with only trusted retailers. Remember, slightly used does not mean the shoes were real Yeezys to start with.

Inspecting the Yeezy 500

The first thing I look at when comparing the fake and the real Yeezy 500s is the materials and workmanship. When reviewing the materials of the Yeezy 500, you don’t need to have an authentic shoe in your hands. If you know what to look for, a few high-quality photos of the real shoe is all you will need to check the materials.

While looking at the Yeezy materials, also study the build. Adidas’s real Yeezy does not have perfect build quality, but the counterfeit Yeezy is clearly not made to the same quality standards.

What is a ‘real’ Yeezy 500 made of?

The real Kanye West designed Yeezy 500 is made with a mix of genuine suede, Nu-buck, and pigmented full-grain leather. The suede is medium nap so it is a bit hairy. To clean up the hairy edges, Adidas has color embossed the edges. You can see this on the eye stay parts and the ankle strap. The eye-stay underlay is a pigmented full-grain leather. The surface is uniform in color with a slight texture emboss. You can see it’s genuine leather by the texture of the cut edge.

The rubber foxing overlays a panel of bushed nu-buck leather. This high-quality nubuck leather has a smooth, uniform, and velvety surface.

Our fake Yeezy 500 is constructed with low-quality, high-nap, belly suede. The surface is rough and hairy. You can also feel the leather’s substance is soft and spongy, not the firm high-quality suede of the real Adidas-made Yeezy. The eyestay underlay is synthetic PU with a leather-like embossed surface.

If you look at the edges, you see the synthetic backing fiber is grey-blue. This is not leather as the original Yeezy 500. The fake Yeezy has swapped PU Nu-buck for the genuine Nu-buck leather on the real rubber underlay panel. The plastic-looking surface and white backing edge is a dead giveaway that this shoe is fake!

The Yeezy 500 Tongue

Looking at the tongue face of our two Yeezys, you can see dramatic differences in material quality and workmanship. The real Yeezy 500 tongue has smooth contours made with a firm foam wrinkle-free fabric—the fake tongue shows open seams, wrinkled fabric, and soft creased-foam backing.

Also, look at the base of the tongue. The real Yeezy 500 has a smooth rolled edge with a reversed seam. The fake has a rolled edge but with extra stitching to hold the material flat.    

The Yeezy 500 sidewall foxing

The cemented rubber foxing or rand is a distinctive feature of the Yeezy 500. The real Yeezy shoe has a uniform texture with verticle striation lines.

The rubber foxing on the fake shoe has horizontal grooves and about half the thickness of the foxing on the real shoe. The fake Yeezy 500 clearly shows the x-ray of the underlying seams. 

The Yeezy pattern and silhouette 

Kanye West’s Yeezy 500 pattern is a complicated collection of curves, overlays, and contrasting material underlays. It is a challenging shoe to make and very difficult to copy. Side-by-side, you can see the crisp silhouette lines on the real shoe vs. the copy. Notice how the instep contour and collar top line of the original are well defined.

On the heel view, you can clearly see the fake pattern has missed the mark. 

Adidas Yeezy 500 top line

The Yeezy 500 outsole unit

Adidas has dusted off the 90’s vintage “feet you wear” technology for the Yeezy 500 outsole design. The 500 is a unique and patented pattern of foot pods and midsole structures. The fake outsole unit is nearly identical. The tooling design for the rubber compression outsole is well duplicated. The color of the rubber is not correct, and the compound is slightly softer than the authentic.

We zoomed in on the toe tip to get a good look at the Adidas “mountain” logo. The fake Adidas logo is well made in this case.

The EVA midsole of the counterfeit Yeezy 500 is close but just not made to the same quality standard. The fake midsole has some pigment issues and some extra air vents you don’t see on the authentic Adidas sneaker. We zoomed in on the side logo here, and you can see extra air vents on the logo and venting on the midsole edge.

Inside the chopped Yeezy 500

Yes! We cut-up a pair of Yeezy 500s so you can see inside a real pair and a fake pair. 

First off, you can see the fake Yeezy 500 is missing the injection-molded shank. You don’t have to cut your shoes to check this feature; you can remove the footbed and press on the Strobel bottom with your fingers- you can feel the end of the shank.

The Yeezy 500 internal construction

The cross-section of the heel shows you just how poorly the fake shoe was made. You can see the heel counter of the fake is paper-thin, and the foam parts are misshapen. 

The toe section of the real Yeezy has a nice smooth curve. The fake Yeezy is missing the toe counter and has a flat contour that is too soft and already collapsing. Also, notice the fake shoe has a much thicker foam lining

The tongue section clearly shows how the real Yeezy internals are neatly assembled. The fake Yeezy tongue is a mess of layers and bunched-up foam parts.  

The Yeezy footbed

Interestingly the counterfeit Yeezy has a softer footbed; you would normally expect the fake to be very stiff with cardboard-like foam. Both the authentic and counterfeit are marked with the Orotholite trademark, but you can see the color inserts are not correctly placed on the fake Yeezy footbed.

Inside, the real Yeezy has a solid, smooth, white Strobal board with a thin foam layer. The fake Yeezy Strobel sock has a glossy textile surface.

The Verdict:
Not a convincing Yeezy 500 fake.

After looking at the upper materials, outsole parts, and internal construction, we can see this is an obviously counterfeit Adidas Yeezy 500. This fake shoe suffers from the common faults: poor shoemaking and low spec material substitutions. Does the fake look like a Yeezy 500? Mostly. Will the fake Yeezy be comfortable to wear and long-lasting? No. This fake is a poorly made pile of junk.