Counterfeit sneakers have been around as long as name-brand sneakers have been sought-after items. The quality of fake shoes and the degree to which they resemble the original will depend on the care that was put into their manufacture, but they'll never be as good as the real thing. The biggest warning signs that a pair of shoes are fake are shoddy, cheap material and mistakes in the colors and logos. If you keep an eye out for fake Pumas you won't get made fun of for being the one kid on the field with shoes that say "Pooma."
Look for the Puma cat logo. On real Puma shoes, the logo is present on the sole and the top of the heel. With fake Pumas, if the logo on the sole is there at all it will usually be misaligned, poorly bonded to the sole, or both. The Puma design at the top of the heel should be molded, not printed.
Open the tongue and look for the label that reads "Official Licensed FI Product." All Puma shoes have this label and fakes usually don't.
Look at Puma's official website to see the range of colors and styles they offer before you go shopping. If you find shoes with strange colors or a design that doesn't look quite right, they're probably fakes.
Shop at a sneaker store so that you can examine the shoes in person. If you really want to shop online, only buy shoes from a reputable website. If the site looks at all unprofessional or hastily put together, don't shop there.
Don't buy shoes labeled "variants" or "samples." "Variant" just means that the shoe is a knockoff. If the shoes are labeled "custom," assume they're fakes unless they've been detailed by a reputable designer.
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Based in Los Angeles but born and bred in Brooklyn, N.Y., Douglas Quaid has been writing for various websites since 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in film from Bard College.