Every week I get dozens of emails from readers who spot great deals on top range boots, only to have to inform and disappoint them with the fact that the sites they are looking at offer fake/counterfeit boots. Unfortunately it is a growing trend, and Google are not helping things by allowing these sites to rank in their search results (specifically when it comes to images). Although their boots look tempting and the prices are a knock down, my advice is to strongly avoid these sites for two reasons: (1) your payment details are not safe and (2) the boots are knock-offs of top releases.
Imagine going to your local shoe repair shop with some leather and piece of plastic, and asking him to create a boot for you. I am sure he could create a great looking boot, but what true soccer knowledge and actual player testing has he done to create it?
My advice to you is simple – stick with the tried and trusted sites that keep your information safe and more importantly, offer returns if there is a problem with your boots. One of the reasons I post so many deals and special promotions on SoccerCleats101 is to give you guys safe places to get extraordinary deals. And in some cases, the deals posted are cheaper than the fake sites.
It is getting even more confusing now, considering these sites are now attempting to replicate the top sites, using layouts that are extremely similar – don’t be fooled. There was even a site with the same layout as ours a few months back. These sites are usually created in China, where the counterfeit boots are manufactured. A tip, there is a site called Compete that allows you to see some basic trends of a websites history. If the site you are looking for comes back with very limited data or there is no profile for it, it is a definite fake.
To help you out, here are the big 5 “tried and trusted” sites that I advise readers stick to:
Rather than glorify the boots that these sites promote, please see this post as an example of the “what not to buy” boots. I know you guys are smart, and some of the images are pretty obvious (like the Pink Superfly pictured below.) If it looks different to current releases on the market and is offered at a ridiculous price, then it is probably counterfeit. Do yourself a favor and stay well clear!