Discussion: Are They Legit if Nike Doesn’t Approve




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?



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