Whether you are old or new in the sneaker game, there’s talk about unauthorized sneakers. Also known as Unauthorized Authentic (UA), these sneakers are defined as “very similar to retail Nike/Jordan Brand shoes but are never officially contracted with those companies to be made.” While they are made by the same factories, there are still differences between a real pair and an unauthorized pair.

These days, trying to differentiate between the two is so hard, even platforms like Ox Street post challenges to this, and most of the time sneakerheads do fail to differentiate the real deal from the fake one.

One of the booths at Unbox Con is this one from Ox Street, where they challenge people in determining which pair of Air Jordan 1 High Mocha is the real deal.

Being a hotly debated topic, sneaker YouTuber Heskicks (James Hesse in real life) was asked during the Fireside Chats on his take on unauthorized sneakers. His response? While he generally has no qualms about people buying unauthorized pairs, he himself would pass on them.

“I’m deep into the [sneaker] culture, I don’t want to misrepresent something,” Heskicks said, which is a fair statement coming from him who has been a big name in sneaker YouTube for over a decade. “For me, there’s a bazillion other sneakers I’d rather wear and have an authentic pair than buying the fake version or something else.”

Carlo Ople talking to Heskicks during Unbox Con’s Fireside Talks.

In addition to that, Heskicks also explained that he’s not too excited into getting an early pair–especially if its an unauthorized one–given the number of new sneakers that get released on a weekly basis.

Watch the clip of Heskicks talking about unauthorized sneakers here:

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