How to spot Fake Vans versus Real Vans?

So you bought yourself a nice pair of Vans from your local shoe store, online, maybe you even thrifted them. You’re more than happy with your new pair of shoes but you can’t help but wonder if you got a hold of the real deal.

You can tell if your Vans are Real or Fake if the country codes between the shoes and box do not match, the design does not resemble the images on the website, the product is flimsy rather than flexible, and other minor details that separate the originals from the dupes.

Today, we will be taking a closer look into the Old Skool Van originals and fakes; dissecting between the core components of a Van dupe.

How to tell if your Vans are real:

Vans Packaging

The packaging should have a compact pattern of the word “Vans” throughout the packing paper in white. The paper is sheer and well wrapped around the product. It is not evident that the material is cheap or that the shoes are secured with tapes or ties.

Van Product Lines

Vans are best known for their distinct lines that jet on the sides of the shoes. Whether they be two dashes or a direct slope, this is a theme among their most popular products. The lines on the sides of the shoes are direct and structured. They match the images on the website perfectly.

The lines that surround the bottom of the shoes right above the outs sole should be made out of rubber rather than being painted on.

Vans Men Low-Top Sneakers, Red (Oxblood/White), US:10.5

Vans Low-Top Men's Sneakers

Vans Cap

The cap of the sole will be stitched in a triangular shape facing inwards. This is a factor for this shoe in particular, but in general, Vans typically have sturdy toes. They are flexible, not loose or structureless.

Vans Indents

There should be two minuscule indents/dots on the middle sides of the bottom of your shoe/sole.

Behind the heel of your Vans

There will be a straight cut at the back of your shoe on the bottom (back meaning behind your heel). It will be flat, only slightly bulged. This is not only for comfort but also securely whilst running.

Vans: Top of the heel

The top of the heel will be more like a half-circle, firm and stitched properly. This is a design choice and a style preference.

Vans Inseam

The inseam is stitched securely and in a visibly detailed manner.

If your Old Skool Vans or any other pair of Vans meet this general set of standards, you've got yourself a genuine pair of Vans!

Vans Women's Asher Sneaker, Ditzy Floral Turtledove White, 7.5

Vans Asher Women's Sneakers

How to spot fake vans

There are many manufacturers that create and distribute dupes from the market to discount prices for financial gain. However, due to existing copyright laws, many of these products look nearly identical to the originals with only a few minor differences. This is why although minor, there are distinct factors that must remain differential if you are producing Vans knock-offs. Here are some things to look out for.

If you find that your Vans meet any of these descriptions, it is very likely that your shoes are in fact dupes of the originals.

Old Skool Van Fakes:

When it comes to fake Old Skool Vans, here are some indicators:

Vans Packaging

The packaging will not be the same as the aforementioned. In some fakes, the packaging detailed the word Vans in black text loosely placed throughout the wrapping paper.

Vans Product Lines

The lines on the sides of the shoes might be more angular and curvier than the originals. The stripes on the bottom are painted on rather than being rubber.


The stitching of the cap toe might be completely straight or nonexistent.

Vans Unisex Slip On Rainbow Chex Skate Shoe Sneaker, (Checkerboard) Rainbow/True White 7267, 8.5 Women/7 Men

Vans Slip-On Rainbow Chex Skate Unisex Sneakers

Vans Indents

There will be no appropriate dots on the sole, or misplaced dots.

Vans: Top of the heel

The top of the heel will be less sturdy and oftentimes, smaller than expected. In fact, the cut of the shoe overall might be wonky, curved, or nonexistent.

Vans Inseam

The inseam will seem as though it were solely for the purpose of keeping the shoe together.

Vans Manufacturing Country Code

There's no country code on the bottom of the shoes.

Now, despite this being an overview of Old Skool Vans in specific, these concepts can be taken into consideration when assessing any pair of Vans.

What does CLK, or HF, or R mean on vans?

CLK, HF, and R are all country codes, indicating where it was that your Vans were produced and distributed from. These codes are embedded into the rhomboids (diamond-shaped indents), matching the code on the sticker inside of the box your shoes came in. When the two are identical, it is evident that your shoes are genuine Vans. You can find the code on the bottom of the shoe in the upper middle.

HF is known to be the letter combo for a Chinese Factory. CLK means that the shoes were made in Cambodia. This is to indicate genuine manufacturing. If any other company were to not only dupe but also imprint a false official manufacturing indent, their actions would result in severe legal troubles, to say the least. So, if your shoes indicated CLK, HF, or R, you know that your Vans are authentic.

Where to check for the Vans serial number

To check your Vans’ serial number, you can find it on the sole of the shoe, within the bottom detailing. If you received a legitimate pair of Vans, you can expect a one to three-letter country code imprinted on the outsole; within the ribosomes. This code should be identical to the code of the sticker inside of the box you received.

Find what your were looking for?
Recent  Popular Articles
About Us
At PediDelight, we offer useful, time-saving information and some buying guides for online searchers and shoppers. 

We do research so that you don't have to. If you have a question about shoes or socks or anything related to your feet and we don't have an answer. Connect with us, so that we can provide the best resource for you!

We work hard to sift through thousands of product and brand websites, reach out to products and brands for answers that aren't available on their website. 

We read and collect honest product reviews and feedback so that we can be a one-stop shop for all the answers that you are looking for!

Pedi Delight!

We are all about feet.  Happy feet to be exact.  If you are looking for answers to questions about your foot joy, you've come to  the right place.

We talk about all things that cover your feet, like socks and shoes.  We answer all the questions you've ever asked related to your feet!
Visit Our Home Page

Affiliate Disclosure

PediDelight is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to 

We also participate in other affiliate programs which compensate us for referring traffic.

Shop For Birkenstocks
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram