What are Reps in Shoes?

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If you’ve ever gone shopping for designer and collectible shoes from brands like Nike or Adidas, you’ve at least once encountered the term “reps”. If you’re new in the shoe and sneaker game, you might be asking, “what are reps in shoes?”

Simply put, “reps” are a shorthand for “replicas”. In shoes, these are imitations or copies of original designer shoes from famous brands. Replica shoes look almost identical to an original but are sold at a much cheaper price.

When it comes to the replica shoes world, there are many grade levels you can encounter. Some are obviously reps while some can pass off as an original with minor differences.

Below, we will go into detail on reps, legitimacy concerns, various grade levels, and how you can spot an original from a replica.

What are Reps in Shoes?

Reps in shoes stand for “replicas”. This means rep shoes are imitations of original designer shoes from brands like Adidas and Nike.

Replica shoes are made to look like their originals. Unlike other imitations, reps are considered to be the closest to the original in how they look.

Reps give others affordable access to original designer shoes

Original designer shoes and sneakers are expensive. You pay for the brand, material quality, and craftsmanship.

It goes without saying that reps are much cheaper than the original. And because they closely look like an original, many turn to rep shoes instead.

Those who cannot afford the usually expensive originals would opt for a rep instead.

Some also buy replica shoes if they want a pair they can wear casually without worrying if they’re wearing them out with every step.

The Truth About Replica Shoes and Sneakers

Consumer opinions are split when it comes to buying, wearing, and supporting replica shoes.

No matter from which standpoint you look at it, replica shoes have definitely found their place in the shoe and sneaker business.

Are they fake shoes?

Replica shoes are exactly what they’re called – replicas of original designer shoes. They’re imitations or fake copies of the original, more expensive thing.

Replica shoes are produced by a third-party manufacturer and not by the brand itself. No matter how close they look to the original design, they are not authentic and are considered fake by many.

Concerns and legal implications

As we’ve already established, replica shoes and sneakers are much cheaper than their original and authentic counterparts. One factor contributing to the cheaper price is where they’re manufactured.

Replica shoes are often manufactured in factories in countries with cheaper labor costs and most often than not, mass-produced in sweatshops in different Southeast Asian countries.

Replica shoes are often manufactured in countries where there aren’t many strict laws on counterfeit products, thus many get away with it with little to no legal implications.

What others are concerned about reps are labor conditions. Though not all, a good number of these factories are exploiting their workers, overworking them with very little pay and under poor working conditions.

There are also existing legal concerns. Depending on where you live, it might be illegal to buy, sell, or even wear replicas and imitations of branded and designer items.

Selling replicas bearing the exact copy of brand logos and passing them off as original and authentic is also illegal and can be punishable by law.

Even if a pair of sneakers have a disclaimer that it’s only a replica, there are still concerns about intellectual property rights since it wasn’t manufactured by the original brand. It would be best to make sure you aren’t breaking any laws from where you’re from.

Though frowned-upon years before, the huge improvements in their quality over the years make replica shoes more acceptable than ever.

In the end, these concerns would depend on the person buying, selling, and wearing the replicas. Opinions would vary depending on the person you ask next.

Are replicas worth it?

Replica shoes are not inherently bad shoes. They’re not the exact same quality as the authentic version, authentic shoes but they’re close enough in terms of looks and designs.

Replica shoes can be a worthy purchase if you want to experience branded shoes but don’t want to pay the expensive price.

And as long as you’re buying them without breaking any laws, replica shoes can be a worthy addition to your wardrobe.

Replica Shoes “Grade” Levels

If you decide to buy yourself a pair of reps, it’s best that you are knowledgeable of different “grade” levels and quality differences to make sure you get the best out of the bunch.

Grade AAA

This is the lowest and poorest quality you can find in reps. These are poorly made with poor-quality materials and poor craftsmanship. Even at a glance, you will see major flaws and tell right away they’re not authentic. These are also very uncomfortable to wear and will not last long with regular use.

Super Perfect (SP)

An upgrade from Grade AAA, these are better quality reps, though still not comparable to the real thing. They last longer and are more comfortable but there are still better options out there.

Super Max Perfect (SMP)

These replica shoes are a huge step up from the first two grade levels and are considered mid-tier with good craftsmanship. Though you will notice flaws, they’re very minimal. 

Unauthorized Authentic (UA)

UA replicas aren’t technically fake or imitations. These are made by the same manufacturers, with the same construction techniques. These are considered “replicas” because the brand itself didn’t greenlight their release. They either didn’t pass the quality check (QC) test or the brand simply decided to not release them.

There may be flaws if they didn’t pass the QC test but these are minimal and won’t affect the shoes much. A regular person might not be able to tell the difference unless they spend time looking closely at them.


1:1 replicas are almost identical to the original. These are the highest-tier models, made with the highest-quality materials you can find on reps, and have no major flaws. These also cost more than other lower grades but are nowhere near how expensive the original is. No one can tell the difference at a glance and this can easily pass off as an original.

How to Tell if Shoes are Replicas

Replicas are getting better and better and it could be hard to tell them apart from an original. But if you’re worried you’re being scammed into thinking what you’re buying is authentic Jordan shoes, here are some ways you can put to test:

Overall quality

First, look at and inspect the overall quality of the shoes. Original designer shoes are expensive but they’re also of quality and made with high-quality materials. Reps are inferior in that department. Look at the material, stitching, glue, colors, and overall quality feel. If they feel and look cheap with lower-quality materials, they’re most likely reps.

Logo, tags, and labels

Check the logo on the shoes. Compare it with an original logo. Reps shoes most likely have something off in their logo – spelling, placement, color, etc.

Also, take a look at the tags and labels on the inside of the tongue or by the ankle. These should have information like the brand, model, serial number, and size.

Box and packaging

If you’re buying original shoes from a third-party site or store, they should come in their original box or packaging. The information on the box should match what’s inside and what’s written on the shoes’ tags.


Reps are usually made from cheaper materials that often have some toxic smell to them. It’s not 100% accurate but this extra test can put your mind at ease.


Originals can be expensive. If you see a pair advertised as an original, selling at a huge discount, think twice before jumping the gun. They might not actually be a still but a rep instead.

Buying Replica Sneakers: How Not to Get Scammed

If you’re in the market to buy new replica shoes, you should be careful in transacting with sellers. You don’t want to end up with rep quality you didn’t pay for.

You can ask sellers for proof of past transactions to back up their store.

Before sending any kind of payment, do your own research first on the model you want to buy and see how it compares to the rep version.

If you see any red flags, don’t ignore them, and don’t go through with the transaction of buying reps from them. There are other reputable rep sellers out there.


Shoes are part of anyone’s daily wardrobe but are also collectibles with all the designer pairs coming in and out of the market. When you’re sho-shopping and going through various listings, you might encounter the term “rep” and wonder to yourself what it could possibly mean.

In the shoe world, “rep” stands for replicas, which are imitations or copies of popular designer shoes from brands like Adidas or Nike. These are made to look like originals, only they aren’t and they sell for much, much cheaper.

And that has been our guide on everything shoe replicas. For any questions, hit us up right below!

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