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The Rise in Popularity of UA or “Fake” Sneakers in Sneaker/Reseller Culture

Recent years have seen an expansion in the footwear market. Both real, UA (unauthorized authentic), and fake products fall under this category. The counterfeit shoe trade is notoriously sizable, yet it remains difficult to monitor and eradicate. All along the supply chain, from factories to shops, criminals are working together to flood the global market with fake sneakers. There are a lot of concerns raised while discussing fake and UA (unauthorized authentic) sneakers.

Can you identify a fake or UA pair of branded sneakers?

There is a significant market for authentic name-brand footwear. Whether in a physical store or through a digital medium, customers want to know that the products they buy are genuine. However, the market also includes a segment that actively seeks counterfeit and unauthorized authentic sneakers. The convenience of internet marketplaces and social media sites has greatly increased the sale and purchase of fake items. Online retailers make it simple to get counterfeit sneakers that look identical to the real thing but may be purchased for much less money. It can be difficult for even knowledgeable individuals to discern if a pair of shoes is authentic or an imitation.

High-quality knockoffs that might be mistaken for the real thing have the potential to attract even sneakerheads. The scarcity of popular yet limited-edition designs highlights this phenomenon. A model's scarcity in the market boosts its value because collectors and enthusiasts want to get their hands on it. Some sneakerheads opt for knockoffs because they know the originals will fetch a far higher price at resale than they would at retail.

The sneaker resale market is huge but as odd as it may sound, the fake sneaker market is even bigger. The sneaker resellers charge a premium on top of every sneaker, especially on the Nike endorsed sneakers, for example, the Off-white x Nike Air Force 1 Low ’07 “MoMA” retailed for $175 whereas its resale price ranged from a whopping $4000-$8000 on resale marketplaces such as StockX. Due to their high popularity, scarcity, and an even higher demand, a lot of people opt for counterfeit sneakers as they are valued below the original price.

The fake or UA sneakers are often so close to the original that even the legit resellers like StockX are unable to differentiate. Recently, Nike accused the online marketplace of selling counterfeit Nike sneakers, after which they guaranteed legit-check on sneakers and selling authentic pairs. They also defended themselves saying that Nike themselves had praised them in the past.

These fake sneakers are also responsible for the making the original sneakers famous, and are a part of the sneaker culture for quite some time now. Those who are very passionate about the sneakers, but are unable to get their hands on the authentic pairs, go to these fair pairs to enjoy and become a part of this culture.

How high-quality are fake or unauthorized authentic sneakers?

The counterfeit or fake sneakers come in a variety of qualities, some are very bad quality cheap copies while some are near to authentic. Then comes the UA; the unauthorized authentic sneaker (which has been mentioned several times in this article). In case you don’t know what an unauthorized authentic pair of sneakers is, it means that the sneaker has probably been made in the same factory as the original one, using the same pattern, and chances are it’s been made using the same materials. Either these are the sneakers that didn’t make the cut during the final QA or these are the ones made by illegally using the same patterns, sourcing the same materials, and is made in the same or nearby factories. Once the legit-sneaker order from big companies such as Nike, adidas, etc. is completed, people from other factories often purchase the pattern and find the same or near-authentic materials and get them manufactured. These sneakers are then shipped to the bigger markets such as in the US, which again is a whole process on its own.

Making and selling counterfeit sneakers is an illegal act, but its popularity is rising as a lot of people cannot get their hands on the authentic pairs either due to their scarcity. The company only launches a limited number of pairs of a specific silhouette or due to their high prices in the sale market.

Let us know what you think about the fake or UA (unauthorized authentic) sneakers; are they as bad as they sound or should people actually get them as they are often the same thing but only sold by other companies with a much lower price tag. Should people support this only to be a part of the culture?

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