With the holidays coming up, and a recent Yeezy release and another on the horizon, its officially oop szn. Oop szn is probably my least favorite time of year honestly. Constant phone calls, DMs, and texts from friends, relatives, and acquaintances asking for help on the recent or coming drop. Speaking of the calls, I recently got a call from a friend that hit me fairly unique question. He basically asked me if he should pick up an unauthorized pair of boost 350s. I immediately looked at my phone in disbelief. I couldn’t accept what I just heard as true. One because of how much I respect the person that asked me, and two because that person is well aware of the rules to this game, and the stance on what he was asking me. He explained how these where different. These were not the pairs of our childhood, not those of bogus sites scamming consumers with pictures of legit pictures and shipping fakes. He advised me to research the pair and go from there. I did so and now we are here.
There are many unwritten codes to this sneaker game. Some have adjusted and been tweaked from years in the past, but many have been consistent forever. One thing that has stood true since the beginning is, no knock offs. Fake sneakers are nothing new and have been passé as long as I can remember. Even some of the more popular sneaker enthusiast entertainers have been caught out there in a pair of replicas. Heavyweights like Fabolous, Big Boi, Jim Jones, and current Jordan Brand signee Drake have been outted for having knockoffs. All have recovered from their mishaps but, I think we can all agree Drake’s may be the toughest to forget because he actually had them on in a music video. Those cases were actually extremes in comparison to our topic today though. Since social media is arguably at the height of its popularity, it has become harder to live this down though. It seems that the moments of slander may last an internet eternity. There are now more and more means, resources, and tools to review the authenticity at the hands of trolls worldwide. And with that getting caught has actually become much easier and more common.
Through the year’s fakes have improved though, this is something I really hate to admit, but it’s true. As general technology and machinery has advanced so have the shoes themselves. In the past you had truly outlandish color schemes and renditions that looked nothing like the shoes themselves. In retrospect what was really trying to be accomplished? Those crazy colorways could have only been claimed to be PE’s at best. And at the time those shoes were in circulation far between even knew what PE’s were. We slightly graduated from that nonsense afterwards. Well at least slightly, the quality was no better but we began to get legit colors; those where deemed replica’s. Many had errors the naked eye would miss at one’s glance, like stitching, slight hue issues, and what else could be considered “minor flaws”. These shoes could possibly pass for maybe a “B Grade” model; possibly due to the faults being minute to the average consumer.
As I said these facilities have improved with the times folks. We went from obvious fakes, to replicas, to products using some of the original materials, to this ugly state we are in now. The current highest tier, and purpose for the call I received was regarding “Unauthorized Authentic’s”. These Unauthorized pairs take the fake shoe game to levels it has never been before. So much so that in a discussion I had regarding their process, it is tough to even classify them as fake. Now by no means am I justifying these or advising people to invest in these, but this is the more difficult part of the topic. Unauthorized Authentic’s, are not only made with the same materials as the originals, some are made by the actual machinery used for the authorized run. They are also at times made in the same warehouses, by the same employees. These pairs can be identical to the authorized releases. Black market suppliers have even gone so far to duplicate sneaker store receipts for the shoes, packaging them in the properly labeled boxes and even double boxing them as done on official runs. How can you be a consumer purchasing aftermarket now? It has almost become nearly impossible to tell the difference. And in the case of the specific boost 350 that was brought to my attention, you cannot.
But, for every villain there is a hero right? There are many people out there fighting the good fight to help with legit checks on pairs for those purchasing from consignment and resellers. One that immediately comes to mind is the homie “Fake_Education”. He does the dirty work so a lot of you don’t have to be caught out there getting slandered with endless memes and trolling because you latest pickup is as legit as the New York warehouses of the early 2000s. At the end of the day these doppelgangers, these clones are out in circulation people. And, as I mentioned earlier, though it’s possible no one would be the wiser no matter what they did, why cheat yourself that way? The pricing is almost identical to the official releases (with justifiable reason why). But they are still sketchy. Listen there has never been a future in fronting, so wisen up, freshen up and buy smart folks.