Michael Jordan is considered to be the best basketball player to have ever played.  Despite the fact that it's been  almost 10 years since he's played in the NBA, his moves are still imitated in playgrounds all over the world.  Every basketball player wants to "Be Like Mike" and this desire to be just like him does not end on the basketball court.Michael Jordan's signature shoe, the Air Jordan's, are one of the most recognized and sought-after pair of basketball shoes.  In addition to being some of the most technologically advanced basketball shoes in the market, Air Jordan's have also garnered a cult following and have become a status-symbol for many individuals.

There's a huge demand for Air Jordan's and that same demand has created a huge influx of counterfeit Air Jordan's.  There are thousands of fake Air Jordan's being sold on the internet and by street vendors and, if you're not careful, you can unwittingly purchase one of them.  Luckily, there are some things that you can do to avoid counterfeits and ensure that you have an authentic pair of Air Jordan's.

Know the Colorways

Each pair of Air Jordan is released in only a limited number of colorways (or combination of colors).  So an easy way to discern a real from a fake pair of Air Jordan is to become familiar with the colorways of each pair.  There are many resources on the internet that list the Air Jordan's and the colorways that were released.  Thus, if you see a pair of Air Jordan's in a color that wasn't released then there's a good chance that it may be a fake pair.  In fact, you may be surprised at how many fakes you'll see people wearing around the mall or school i.e. Spongebob Air Jordans. 

Be Detail-Oriented

Air Jordan's are very expensive so you should see a high level of craftsmanship that you can expect from a premium pair of basketball shoes.  The stitching on the shoe  should be free of any loose ends, and that includes the shoe tag located on the inside.  If the shoe tag is perforated and not stitched, then the shoes are fake.  Also pay close attention to the Air Jordan Jumpman Logo.  The logo should have fingers that are spread out and the tongue of his shoes should be sticking out on both legs. 

Purchase from Reputable Sellers

One of the best ways to avoid counterfeit Air Jordan's is to purchase them direct from reputable merchants.  Athletic stores such as Footlocker, Champs Sports, and Sports Authority receive their merchandise directly from the manufacturers so you can be confident that their Air Jordan's are authentic.  

It's also a good idea to examine an authentic pair of Air Jordan's after you've purchased a pair from these retailers.  Remember:  it becomes easier to notice imperfections when you know what an authentic pair looks and feels like.   Although counterfeit Air Jordan's may look the same as the authentic ones, there are usually red flags that will alert you that they are fakes.  Some of the details to look for include low-quality materials, poor stitching, and the actual shape of the shoe may also be incorrect.  

Lastly, resist the temptation to purchase from eBay or Craiglist if you've only recently started buying or collecting Air Jordan's.  These sites are flooded with counterfeit Air Jordan products and should be avoided until you become more proficient at spotting fakes.