HoHow to detect fake: Nike Air Jordan XXI (21) Retro in 2023 (All Colorways)

How to detect fake Nike Air Jordan XXI (21) Retro

StepCheckpointAuthentic CriteriaFake Indicators
1Manufacturing DetailsFactory codes LN3 (China) or FT1 (Taiwan) on tag and boxMismatch in factory codes and manufacturing country
2Style NumberBox style number matches shoe tag style numberStyle numbers on box and shoe tag don’t align
3Jumpman’s PositionCentered on the heel bubblePositioned at the bottom (fake)
4Carbon Fiber Panel TextureTextured feel on the real shoeSolid, colored plastic on the fake
5Lining PatternQuilted pattern liningDeviation from the quilted pattern
6Insole ExaminationInterchangeable pod with 1 removable and 1 spare podMissing or extra pod, poor quality
7Tongue EmbroideryVaried text based on colorwayMismatched or incorrect text for the specific colorway
8Lace TipsJumpman logo present on lace tipsAbsence of Jumpman logo on lace tips
9Black Light Test (Leather)Message appears on leather circular panelNo message with black light on leather panel (fake)
10Black Light Test (Suede)Message appears on suede circular panelNo message with black light on suede panel (fake)
11Insert Card ExaminationMatching card with rounded corner and accurate detailsMismatched details, wrong corner rounding (fake)
12Reverse Black Light TestJumpman appears on the authentic insert cardNo Jumpman on the authentic insert card (fake)

Real or Fake? Let’s Uncover the Truth!

When it comes to iconic footwear like Nike Air Jordan XXI (21) Retro, the market is unfortunately flooded with counterfeit versions. To ensure you’re rocking the real deal, follow these practical steps for a foolproof authenticity check.

Step 1: Manufacturing Details

Begin by checking the factory codes on the tag and box. Authentic pairs bear LN3 (China) or FT1 (Taiwan). Consistency is key; the manufacturing country on the box should match that on the tag.

Step 2: Style Number

Ensure the style number on the box aligns perfectly with the one on the shoe tag. Any discrepancy is a red flag for potential fakery.

Step 3: Jumpman’s Position

Examine the bottom of the shoe, focusing on the jumpman’s position on the heel bubble. In genuine pairs, the jumpman is centered, not at the bottom.

Step 4: Carbon Fiber Panel Texture

Authenticity can be felt in the details. Run your fingers over the carbon fiber panel on the shoe bottom – it should have a textured feel, not a smooth, plastic appearance.

Step 5: Lining Pattern

Check the lining of the shoe for a quilted pattern. Any deviation from this pattern may indicate a counterfeit product.

Step 6: Insole Examination

Peek inside the shoe and pull back the insole. Authentic pairs come with an interchangeable pod – one removable and one spare for different weights.

Step 7: Tongue Embroidery

Inspect the embroidery on the inside top of the tongue. The text should vary based on the colorway, so know the specific details for your pair.

Step 8: Lace Tips

Genuine Nike Air Jordans boast lace tips adorned with the iconic jumpman logo. Confirm its presence for a stamp of authenticity.

Step 9: Black Light Tests

For pairs with a leather circular panel, shine a black light to reveal a hidden message. No message? Potentially fake. The same applies to shoes with a suede circular panel.

Step 10: Insert Card Examination

New shoes should come with an insert card. Check for matching details, correct title alignment, and a rounded corner. Any deviation signals a potential fake.

Step 11: Reverse Black Light Test

Turn the insert card over and shine a black light. A genuine card will reveal the jumpman. If it doesn’t, your card might be a counterfeit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can counterfeit shoes look identical to authentic ones?

Yes, counterfeit shoes can closely resemble authentic ones, making it crucial to scrutinize specific details for verification.

Q2: Why is the manufacturing country important in the authenticity check?

Authentic Nike Air Jordans are manufactured in specific countries, and discrepancies in the manufacturing details can indicate counterfeit products.

Q3: Are there fake Jordans with the jumpman logo?

Yes, counterfeit Jordans often replicate the jumpman logo, but careful examination will reveal differences in quality and positioning.

Q4: Can the lack of a black light test confirm fake Jordans?

While not foolproof, black light tests are a valuable tool. However, some counterfeits have improved their replication methods, so it’s essential to consider multiple factors.

Q5: Are fake insert cards common?

Yes, counterfeiters often replicate insert cards, but differences in details and the presence of the jumpman under a black light can help identify fakes.


To ensure you’re stepping out in authentic Nike Air Jordan XXI (21) Retro, follow these steps diligently. Counterfeiters are getting craftier, but with this guide, you’ll be one step ahead in the game of real vs. fake sneakers. Happy shoe hunting!

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