Discussion: Are They Legit if Nike Doesn’t Approve

Discussion: Are They Legit if Nike Doesn’t Approve



Earlier this week we reported on an article posted by Sole Supremacy, a local consignment shop in the Bay Area, which gave readers something to think about prior to purchasing your sneakers early from early online retailers.

By now we all know there is a separate market for sneaker enthusiasts in which the factories hired by Nike to take care of the production and manufacturing of products end up cutting a deal with said early sellers in order to turn over a huge profit per pair of shoes sold. These sneakers are not authorized or approved by Nike to be manufactured & sold to public yet they end up making their way online for those of us who want to secure their pair, buy a pair early or simply just don’t have the patients it takes to wait 3-4 months until release date.

What is even more interesting than this ‘other’ market is what the factories are starting to produce specifically for their local buyers to sell to their consumers.

There is a local Bay Area resident who had just purchased a pair of Space Jam Air Jordan XI’s which were magically restocked at an online retailer aka early site. I was going to include the name of this retailer but have since decided not to do so. Anyhow, there was a restock of Space Jam AJXI’s… strange since they were manufactured and released in 2009. The pair purchased came in its official packaging, included the shoe trees and looked legit. In fact, they were legit… everything from the materials to the tech placed inside of the shoe came straight out of a Nike manufacturing plant. This is where it starts to get interesting…


Notice the manufacture date on the tag. The final date labeled on the shoe states the product had been completed on 2/12/10… for a product that had released in 2009?


Besides the tag, the only difference between the ’09 pair (on the left) and the ‘restocked’ pair (right) is the patent leather cut is slightly higher; just in case you’re wondering, they are both a Men’s size 11. Other than that it’d be hard to tell the two apart from one another.

My only guess as to how something like this were to happen is if Nike/ Jordan Brand were secretly planning a re-release, which makes absolutely no sense at all seeing as how the Concords are releasing in December, or the factory that has been contracted to manufacture Nike’s products produced a run of Space Jam Air Jordan XI’s specifically for these early sites to sell.


The good in all of this is that if you were to have purchased a pair, they are extremely icy where most of ours from 2009 are showing signs of age. The bad is that these runs of Space Jam XI’s are not authorized by Nike so the quality standards are nonexistent in this case. You can’t even label these B-Grade products either since they have not gone through quality control, they are more like ghost shoes… they really don’t exist.

Say you receive said product from said retailer and there were something wrong with the shoe. Typically you would file a claim with Nike, send the sneakers to Beaverton where they go through an inspection and then a decision is made to either issue the purchaser a credit for the retail price or send the shoes back to the consumer. If the pair sent to Nike was a non authorized pair, what would happen? Would Nike be able to tell the difference? If they were, what would happen… would you have your shoes sent back to you or would they keep them?

In a sense, you could buy a pair of these so called ‘restocked’ Space Jams for their $245 asking price (not including shipping charges) that are technically non Nike products or you can spend $65 on a pair of fake Space Jams which are also a non authorized Nike product… only difference is one seller is being honest about what you are purchasing while the other is being deceitful.

So, my question to you is this; if they are made at the Nike factory, with Nike materials and Nike tech without Nike’s acknowledgement or consent… are they real Nike/ Jordan products?

Does any of this change your perspective on purchasing from early sellers or do you not care either way?

Share your thoughts and opinions below.


  1. 1st***

    And this is a hard discussion for me because I read an article on this not too long ago and I was thinking that they are technically fakes because they were sold without Nike’s consent or authorization. another thing is that they were not even tested for quality. So u could be paying a higher price for a crap product. the difference with this is that this is a littler personal because I missed out on the space jams and I still want a pair so I may purchase one of these “grey” sneakers but at the same time I don’t agree with the practice. Just a thought. . .

  2. I’ll but this under b grade, if it’s not checked it’s a big risk, Nike should look in to this and stop it now

  3. Look I like your site and you have a lot of info! But Your the only SITE worried about how people get there shoes early. If everyone knew how to get the shoe early we would all have them! The sad part is that now your making people second guess there buy. If you can get the shoe early I say do it. If you have the connection and the money it’s fare game. If it comes from NIKE and made by NIKE it’s NIKE. NIKE is not going to put there name on the line and hire a company to make a bad product. A company as big as Nike is not going to release information on who they sell it to early and how they got it. What makes me laugh the most is If NIKE don’t know the shoe is being made what makes you think you will find out before they do. We are the Public and NIKE is a Billion Dollar Company for a reason. They know what’s going on!

    • Unico7777

      I personally care if my shoes are real. I watched an entire special on dateline or something about how the show in china (and other places) were making the fakes and selling them to bootlegers and for this article the early sites. i have always been leary about the validity of these sites because most never have a sz 13 in stock when they early sale of presale. I read a lot of articals and they said most fake shoes stop at a sz 12. so when i see these sites selling joints early as hell what am i to think.

      I have come to the conclusion that the shoes are fake!! reason being is the whole not being aproved by nike qty standards. So in that regard they are not nike shoes. To me its like saying that a lexus is the same a toyota (which they are the same company) they just charge more for the L on the from of the car. go and buy a toyota and put the L on it and see if you feel the quaility in that. ya dig?

  4. With this situation we will never know.Nike knows a lot about these overseas sites that release kicks months in advance.For example air -randy was shut down on suspicion of selling fakes so I am thinking nike could do the same to the rest.It is really hard to say because the shoe has all the materials and quality of a regular spacejam it just has bypassed inspection because it is being sent outside of a contracted nike retailer.Nike is like a secret society and I know for a fact they know about all these exclusive kicks being released early.I would not consider them fakes because the shoes are being made in the same nike factories with the same materials only difference is they have not been inspected.It is hard to say considering 95% of nike products come from and are created in these overseas shops.

    • so why pay way more than retail for %95???? what part of the game is that? I mean just because you have money doesn’t spend unwisely. I not calling anyone out im just asking why pay if questions about the realness is there?

  5. There is 2 much “grey” area when it comes 2 buying from early sellers. Official not official. B grades not b grades etc. Plus u’re paying extra $ for early releases with all these uncertainties . Me personally I’m waiting for the “official” release from an “official” store. Just my opinion.

  6. The best thing I see NIKE doing is to make these early selling websites sell their shoes
    according to their grade level.

    These “grey” shoes should be sold at a reasonable price!

    That way those like me that missed out on the space jams can decide whether or not to pay i.e. $90-$125.00 for these “!@#$” shoes.

    We shouldn’t overpay for messed up shoes..

  7. The best thing I see NIKE doing is to make these early selling websites sell the shoes
    according to their grade level.

    These “grey” shoes should be sold at a reasonable price!

    That way those like me that missed out on the space jams can decide whether or not to pay i.e. $90-$125.00 for these “!@#$” shoes.

    We shouldn’t overpay for messed up shoes..

  8. I would copp all the shoes from this factory…IF Nike gets these manufacture to make it..it’s liget…and after the shoe is relased…And they make some on the side..cause nike are getting the shoe make for 15 cent..but charging in 180$..and if I could a factory this sellig the shoe i’m BUYING

    • the only clear thing about this comment was “I’m BUYING”. Seriously, what is wrong with you people? Y’all typing with your noses or something?

  9. These can’t be called B-grades….B’s by definition are groups of shoes that are pulled out of the line because of one pair that has a defect. When a defective pair is found, 100 pairs before and 100 pairs after are rejected automatically…there’s nothing wrong with them other than them being in proximity to the defective pair. These are B-grades. These “re-stocked” Jams and other stuff from early sellers are technically regular production…in theory they should be identical to official releases but in reality the risk of getting a defective pair is higher because there can’t be as much QC involved. Personally I think the product is ok, but shipping from China is always an iffy proposition. Some sellers I’ve bought from (I wasn’t buying kicks) guarantee delivery…if it gets caught up in customs etc they’ll resend another. These early sellers won’t do the same for obvious reasons, which is a big (HUGE) risk. If it gets seized at the border or lost in transit you’re SOL because the early sellers aren’t going to send you another pair. $275 for some Jams that are pretty much legit but are uncertain to make it to my house? No thanks.

  10. This is why I will NEVER buy early. Ever. I’m good waiting until they officially come out, and I’ll walk into a shoe store where I know they’re legit. Too much of a gamble.

    Last hope is flight club or something lol

  11. on the fence on this. paid the extra dough for the pewter foams to have them 3months early. no disappointment in the appearance/manufacturing of them. always worried when taking this route though, wont lie. but,to kill the streets 3months early with some FIRE is almost worth the chance.

    • I’ve never purchased a shoe early, but it amazes me when people are like “Why would anyone want to buy a shoe early?”. Uh, the same reasons you probably buy the shoe when it releases, only they’re the first one to have it, and months before you do. If you can’t see the value in that or the allure of that, maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself instead of sounding like a thick-headed simpleton.

  12. ebay had fake ass seller from overseas big time more than 5 years ago….
    they got smarter and slicker with their so called 10000%authentic web sites….
    im not saying but…i have never bought till recently….and never again…wont say name….but seller from usa….
    website from canada
    and the shoes came from china….
    and was a replica with glue all over a limited jordan gem???
    and i did research and everyone was questioning this site…to be real…..u guys have no idea
    dam look at that space jams at the start of this article…..
    dont get me wrong nike slick also………
    just wait 10 yrs from now with fake ass lebrons
    ive been in 10 yrs was fake….

  13. They’re fakes no matter how you look at it. Especially the Space Jams in the article since they don’t have the correct production date that the ones we all bought back in ’09. Paying all that extra to have something early is kinds lame to be honest. Your self confidence is that low that you have to spend way over cost just to make yourself think people might notice you? Plus most people have no idea when a shoe drops anyways so they’re not that impressed and the sneakerheads probably think your rocking fakes since they know the legit ones haven’t dropped yet. If your a real sneaker lover you want something that is 100% legit and guaranteed, not some “gray grade” model that isn’t going to hold up.

  14. I think that these peeps are getting over because if you have a connect with the factory owners who make the actual product for Nike, doesnt mean you cant slide them an order under the table to produce the same type of sneaker that released with the same materials because the shops already have all of the exact materials to make the fake sneakers look legit. I havent bought anything early from any of the sites when it comes to restocks. But I have when samples or early shipments come in. Because it is obvious if you have been in the game for a while you already know that Japan gets first dibs at every pair. So that being said Air Randy has messed over a lot of peeps so it doesnt surprise me that shady deals could happen. The production date on the pair above tells it all. They are fakes with the real materials. And thats that!


  15. This is why I wait until the “OFFICIAL RELEASE” date to cop J’s. I’ve never copped early just to get a pair of shoes and probably never will. When you can save money, but if you got paper to blow go ahead. Now, what I find interesting is ALL J’s later end up on eBay or FC for rape prices SMFH. Sneakerfiles, I hope u DON’T REVEAL ANY SHOE SITES that are out there! Sneakernews has blown it for the 2nd time and u know what they say, “3rd time is the charm”. Just one more blow and surely the sneaker game will be run by hypebeasts & resellers SMFH! Anyway, I know what site ur talking about that had restocked ’09 “Space Jams” for $245; a few weeks ago they had 60 pairs left, now sold out. Besides it won’t matter if u cop J’s early, cuz at the end of the official release ur not gonna be the only one wearing ur AJ III “Black Cements”, AJ XI “Concords”, etc. There’s going to be other people wearing the same kicks as u are.

  16. I believe RMKstore was the one who had this restock. I see restocks of alot of jordans on this site especially when its months after the shoes have been released. vmvinc is another which does this. I only buy from US stores which supply onb release date. other than that you are taking your chances with fakes or poorly made shoes.

  17. My only complaint about this article is the the word is “patience” not “patients”in the 2nd paragraph. This is not a hospital, OK? Somebody should proofread your before printing.
    But thanks for the heads up.

  18. My only complaint about this article is the the word is “patience” not “patients”in the 2nd paragraph. This is not a hospital, OK? Somebody should proofread your work before printing.
    But thanks for the heads up.

  19. ive been screwed over twice buying from “early sites” once with a very poor quality pair… that was unbalanced and had glue everywhere.

    and another that sent me two different sizes. NEVER AGAIN

  20. Bad quality, wrong release date, random pop up?
    sounds fake to me, idc if it was made by a true manufacturer, it’s a suspected shoe, why risk it. I wouldn’t buy it, or suggest any1 buys em. Sorry, if it isn’t authorized, dey can keep it.

  21. First off i need to address this dude “MalequeDaFreak”. Please shut the f**k, go read the new york times and proof read their articles you lame. Next imo i’d say those space jams on the right side are not b grade but fake. Your article mentioned how the product date was 2/12/10 and we all know it suppose to say 2009. Also look at the patch wear 23 on the back sits on. Its suppose to be long like the shoe on the left but it very short on the right. Look at the leather trim on the back heel. The one on the left is cut correct while the one on the right is so sloppy. If we were given a side by side comparison i’m sure we’d notice more differences.

    • Obviously “terryvw” is someone who has no class and is a straight up BITCH! Total disrespect. I ain’t no punk and they can come see me anytime.

  22. Sorry to disappoint all you “sneakerheads” out there but JB knows about everything that goes on and if they wanted to stop it they could. They are a part of of the “early” selling that’s going on and the “re-stock”. It’s all about promotion…a few early sellers is only going to help promote the sneaker that you will eventually buy. You see it on blogs months early (JB put the pics out), then you see them on all of these “closer look” portions of blogs (JB), then you purchase them (JB). It’s a win win. The kicks are real they are just not manufactured at the same time and either way JB gets theirs, period.

    • dude that like saying the cop know who commits the crimes and approve of it all. The know about it but cant stop it. they (nike) do get samples of their products to see if will look good and for that matter they can get how many they want to give out to celebs early to build hype around the shoes so why would they be any where near happy to see other people selling there copyrighten products? its like a slap to the face of any artist for them to be bootleged….

  23. when you buy an early release you are risking it. first off is the price. why pay like 3x the retail price. i mean why cant people just wait a few month what the heck is the big deal. and you dont get rite box or what ever accessories they suppose to come with if,if any. and yea its very possible that the real release can have differences and most of the time they do. its a mystery but they do most of the time. so my advise to everybody just have patiance. and get the real release not only will you be saving hundreds. you will have the peace of mind knowing for shure that you got a 100% legit product. this is exactly why i never bought early releases. i knew alot who did and they even say them selfs that. there are differrences between the now and early releases. just stay away its not worth it.

  24. I always wondered how they got them early, mystery solved. Really tho the shoes are legit cause its the same material, same factory, same workers. I appreciate sneakerfiles for puttin this up to help educate people that the “re-stock” they see does have a small variation but if people want some kicks that bad then so be it. Like Joe Budden said, “I try to teach n i g g a z, show’em s h i t, but if they closed minded, who am I to open it.”

  25. I’ve bought early releases and haven’t had any problems. You just need to deal with the right people. If worst comes to worst just make sure you pay with a cc via PayPal that way if PayPal doesn’t help you your cc will make sure you get your money back. No risks if you play the game right!

    Regarding the “Restock”, they are good to go! You guys have to think outside the box.

    So 2010 size tag makes them fake? Let them have the 09 production date, are they real now?

    Shoes are made from authentic materials and made at Nike factories don’t give me the talk about QC.

    I bought some foams from FTL and they had excess glue on the toe. QC doesn’t make a difference.

    Nike is running sweat shops these guys need to make their money some how.

    Yellowed Soles < Icy Soles.

  26. It was proven that these SJ’s are fake.

    They used old CG soles left over and merged them with old SJ parts they had leftover at whatever factory it was made.

    Frankenstein Space Jams.

    The icy soles are enough evidence for these to be deemed fake.

  27. What do I think? I think JB needs to get their head out of their asses and either start making the shoes in the U.S. and provide their home country with needed jobs…or start overseeing these factories overseas a lot more closely. They’re just killing themselves slowly. So now if I go on eBay looking for Space Jams, I have to worry not just about fakes but also about these “grey shoes” that are hard to distinguish. Same thing goes for the Ray Allens. Seems like there’s more greys of Rays then there are legit. And even when I purchase a Jordan in a store like Champs I still have to worry about getting a pair filled with flaws that shouldve never passed QC. In summary, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASSES JB!!!!!!!!!!

  28. S/O to nine1six. they’re real just manufactured on different dates! they’re b grades if anything since they dont have any QC. if they coming from the same factories that make the retail ones then who cares. shoes all have flaws whether you buy them at footlocker, champs, or early resellers sites. some people like me don’t like camping the f*** out just to get these pairs. if there were enough in every store for every motherfucker who wants them then i wouldn’t have to buy from early retailers. it’s because of all you mf’s that buy hella pairs and clear out stores that we got this problem so blame yourselves.

  29. I mean does it really matter if their being checked by Nike? if you have them and their made in the same factory(maybe not the same but a different in the same area) by same machines…all your paying for is Nike consent? No I dont agree to be worried about Nike consent if their Jordans made in same place their Jordans. Whats their to test? I am sure people are comfy in them they look like the real thing…the only thing missing is the consent? I been wearing jordans from the store for 10plus years and yes I wait but I know people who dont and get them early and they are real and they dont complain so if they come from the same place made by these same sweat shop workers their jordans…forget Nikes consent who cares?

  30. Honestly, my take on the whole quality control thing is that I am my own quality control. There’s been several times I’ve gotten messed up kicks from Nikestore or Finish Line or whoever, and I’ve gotten flawless pairs from grey market sites as well. Is it possible (even likely) you will get a messed up pair from an early release site? Hell yes! But in that same token, it’s possible you will get a flawless pair too. The risk is just much higher than when buying from a retail/authorized store. So when people automatically say that grey-market kicks are F Grade or that you can’t get an A Grade shoe from them, I call bullshit. Lastly, I have purchased almost every single one of my Js from an Authorized Retailer. I’ve bought 2 pairs of Concords from a Grey-Market site, both of which were identical to “authorized” pairs. Will I buy from a grey market site again? Probably, as long as, after researching the exact model I’m looking to buy, I am comfortable buying it. Do I wish they’d shut down the grey-market sites, so you could only buy from “authorized” locations? Most definitely. It would eliminate the high-risk in buying a possibly screwed up pair of kicks. But there would still be risk in getting a messed up pair, because any time a human being is responsible for inspecting something, there are going to be mistakes. And if there is an opportunity for me to get an identical pair for less than the fucked up market price is, I’m getting it.

    One more thing; I sell kicks on eBay and Craigslist occasionally. When I do, I always make sure to state where I bought the shoes and always include a receipt. I would never advertise a pair as being from an authorized retailer if it weren’t true. The Concords I bought were for myself to rock. Yes, I sold a pair to a friend of mine (used), but I only sold them because they were too tight, and he knew where I got them from. The second pair I am keeping for myself. I, personally, don’t mind wearing grey-market kicks if they are identical to the “authorized” pairs, but I know there is a difference (whether or not it is arbitrary isn’t the point) between “authorized” and “grey-market”, which is why I never bunch the two together as one when I am selling kicks, and I don’t think people should either. With all the information we have these days, I think most of us know which website has what, and if you don’t, you should do your research before ordering from a non-authorized retailer.