Is Nike Made in China?

Nike is one of the top brands producing pieces of shoes that are exquisite, authentic, and reliable. The brand has immense popularity because of its extensive line of quality shoes.

They are available for purchase at the brand’s outlet and retail stores. Like most other luxury brands, Nike shoes and other accessories are relatively expensive.

Hence, most people want the best deal possible when buying shoes.

Are these pieces of shoe made in China? If so, are they real or fake? And most importantly, should you buy any of Nike’s products that come from there?

Keep reading and we answer all these questions and more in this article:

Is Nike Made in China?

Yes, Nike shoes are made in China as well as other countries including Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia and other Asian countries.

Like many other luxury brands, Nike also has factories in China where many of its products are made. Some people erroneously think that every product that is made in China is fake.

Of course, that’s not entirely true. There are many brands that have some of their products manufactured in China but still maintain quality.

If you’re afraid you’ll be ripped off or don’t know how to get the original, then you can stick to buying from the US.

Blue Ribbon Sports

Nike is an American multinational corporation with headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

The company was initially a distributor of Japanese running shoes Onitsuka Tiger.

It traded under the name of Blue Ribbon Sports and was founded by track athlete Phil Knight together with his coach, Bill Bowerman.

When Blue Ribbon Sports ended its association with Onitsuka in 1971, it began looking for a new manufacturing plant to add to the supplies it got from Japan.

They opened this plant in Exeter in 1974, New Hampshire, their first American Plant.

The success of the company necessitated more plants and a stitching plant was added in Maine.

However, it did not take long before the company sought lower-cost production bases in Taiwan and Korea.

Change to Nike

Rebranded their operation as Nike (the Greek Goddess responsible for Victory).

They also paid a local student the grand sum of $35 to design their now-famous logo.

The very early Nike shoes were made in the USA and imported from Japan.

By 1979 Nike was responsible for 50% of the running shoe sales in North America and that’s when they opened their new Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

Nike became very successful and now holds a 60% share of the global market in sports apparel, shoes and sporting accessories.

To serve this market production in Taiwan and Korea was now producing 80% of Nike production.

Nike still has 35 factories that are based in the USA which is just 6.5% of the global factories.

In 1981 Nike opened its first Chinese factory

In this period the bulk of production takes place in China, Vietnam and Indonesia where 96% of production was based.

China alone has 72 factories making Nike products.

The bulk of the rubber used in Nike products is sourced from eco-friendly production in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

In 1984 there was a global downturn in demand and Nike closed the Exeter plant in the USA and shed a further 400 workers from other plants.

Further cutbacks were made in 1986 when the company fired a further 10% of its USA employees.

These cutbacks allowed the company to recover and by 1992 the company had increased its revenues to $34 billion.

Nike Begins to Disengage with China

However, the 1990s saw a lot of adverse publicity about working conditions in Asian factories where Nike employed about 400,000 contract workers.

These protests continued throughout the decade and Nike made a gradual switch from Chinese production to Vietnam.

By 2017 China only accounted for 19% of production whilst Vietnam was making 44%.

Interestingly, the company announced in June 2022, that it was closing its famous Nike Run Club App to the Chinese market.

It cites an incompatibility between Chinese regulations and those in the global market.

The decline in the domestic Chinese economy may also have played its part.

And China had changed its strategy to concentrate on upmarket fashion brands, effectively making them unable to compete with Vietnam.

The Future

It is believed that with current trends, and Nike’s reputation for operations in low-wage economies, it will not be long before all Nike shoe production leaves China.

Although Chinese factories still make substantial amounts of Nike sports equipment.

How to Tell Fake Nike Shoe from Original

  • Always look at the label inside the shoe. Take the code you find there and search for it on Google. This code should look something like AAAA-00 and you should be able to find a match online. If you do, then it’s not fake. If nothing comes up, you may be holding on to a fake.
  • Always look at the label inside the shoe. Take the code you find there and search for it on Google. This code should look something like AAAA-00 and you should be able to find a match online. If you do, then it’s not fake. If nothing comes up, you may be holding on to a fake.
  • Compare prices. If the price is too low, you probably might be looking at a fake. Look at prices from more than one source, if one of them is extremely cheap or differs from the rest, then that may be a counterfeit. Not always going to work but worth trying.
  • Check the quality and overall style. If the quality isn’t up to par with Nike’s then don’t buy it. The style should also look modern and how Nike will design a shoe.

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