In short: Try removing the insole from the shoe. If you cannot remove the insole, chances are you’re holding a fake On Cloud shoe. Also, check the shoe tag on the inside. There should be a bulging material at the center of the tag, and all of the edges should be parallel to the bulge.
So, you’ve got your hands on a new pair of On Cloud shoes, but are you looking at a fake one or the real one? Here’s how to spot fake On Cloud shoes with absolute precision.
Check the insole and the footbed
Check the insole. This is very important and is the most telltale indicator. The authentic insole is recognizable because it’s made of excellent materials with perfect patterns at the toe and heel.
The insole and footbed of a fake On Cloud shoe don’t have side stripes and the intricate patterns that you’d find on the real, genuine one. You should be able to recognize this instantly.
Next, try removing the insole from the shoe. According to On Running, all of the authentic On Cloud running shoe models come with removable insoles that are easily removable.
If you cannot remove the insole, chances are you’re holding a fake On Cloud shoe. The insoles of most fake On Cloud shoes are glued to the footbed and are not removable.
Also, there should be a quality-controlled engraving on the bottom part of the insole. The authentic insole is supremely comfortable with plenty of “cloudlike” cushioning.
Lastly, the real insole of a genuine On Cloud shoe should have additional blue-green insole fabric on the bottom, something that the fake ones do not have.
Inspect the shoe tag on the inside
Check the shoe tag on the inside. Notice the bulging material at the center of the tag. In the real one, all of the edges of the shoe tag are parallel to the bulging material.
Grade A replicas often come with a shoe tag that looks identical to the real one. All the components are present, but the bulging and the edges are not perfectly parallel.
You should also be able to see the slight irregularities at the edges of the fake shoe tag. It might take some practice, but once you’re used to it you can tell the difference right away.
Replicas with worse quality often come with a shoe tag without any bulging material at the center. It’s basically flat like a piece of paper glued to the inside part of the shoe.
Check the tongue and visible logo
Check the tongue and visible logos for irregularities, but don’t be surprised if you can’t find any. Recent replicas have the “ON” logos copied to near perfection.
One important detail is that the Swiss flag is a bit skewed and not stitched properly on fake On Cloud shoes. The Swiss flag on the authentic shoe is stitched symmetrically.
Inspect the outsole
It might take some practice, but one of the best ways to tell if an On Cloud shoe is fake is to take a close look at the outsole. In most cases, the fake one will have a slightly off-color sole.
Check the outsole. The pattern on the outsole of the fake one is often not as crisp as on the authentic pair. Manufacturers of fake sneakers often use lower-quality materials, after all.
Some of the fakes, especially the Grade A replicas, will have seemingly perfect patterns, but there should be a slightly noticeable dip in quality compared to the original On Cloud shoes.
Check the upper and the shoelaces
Check the visible patterns on the upper of the shoe. I’d often find an anomaly, such as several clearly visible glue residues on the patterns of the fake sneaker.
Genuine and authentic On Cloud running shoes should have no visible glue residue on the upper. On Running is known for its craftsmanship and meticulousness, after all.
Check the shoelaces and the holes. Genuine On Cloud shoes have excellent laces with pristine quality. The fakes often come with lower-quality laces, sometimes frayed.
Real On Cloud shoes are usually fully laced when they’re brand new out of the box, while fake ones tend to skip every other lacing hole. It’s something to keep in mind.
Avoid buying from “shady” websites
It’s very easy to get scammed when buying shoes and sneakers on Instagram or any other social media, so it’s best to avoid “shady” websites altogether.
There was one time when my friend bought three pairs of On Cloud running shoes for just about $100. He told me that he found out about the website from a Facebook ad.
I checked the website and although I think it’s clearly a scam, I can also think that it might be a Chinese factory selling On Cloud shoes for cheap.
With these types of scams, I use a simple test. If it’s a social media ad ushering you to an unknown or new website selling shoes with unrealistic prices, it’s a scam.
The website my friend bought from hits on all three. The domain name was brand new (only 3 weeks old) and had terrible trust scores. I used ScamAdviser to check the score.
Just upon a brief look, it looks like they are mimicking the real website. If you want to make sure you’re getting a genuine product, just go to the official On Running website.
It’s time to learn that seeing something advertised on social media is a huge red flag. Social media platforms (and YouTube) don’t vet their ads, so scammers run wild there.
It’s the primary way to find victims for these scammy sales sites, after all.