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The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital – Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

Do you know about Putian City in China, the biggest fake shoe wholesale market in China?

Situated in the central part of the coastal area of Fujian Province, Putian neighbors Fuzhou on the northeast and Quanzhou on the southeast, separated from Taiwan by the Taiwan Strait. Putian’s shoe making technology is very developed, especially the sneaker manufacturing. Since the 1980s, some sports brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma successively settled in Putian for production and processing. Until now, more and more luxury brands move their factories to Putian because of excellent production technology and high-quality production process here. Putian is also known for Mazu culture as the Meizhou Island in Putian is the hometown of Mazu, who is a sea goddess on the southeast coast of China.

The fake shoes in Putian China are considered a big industry there, they have made so much of a profit from it. There is a big trade of such items between the Putian regions and the rest of the country.

Many factories started to build and produce fake shoes to sell in the Eastern regions of China. In Putian, there are more than 2,500 shoe manufacturers in this city.

The big amount of factories are brought by the big demand of Chinese and foreign buyers. That is why more products will be producing to cater to the demand of these people.

This blog will give you information about how Putian China become famous. And the detail introduction about where those buyers bought shoes from Putian China.

Note: Please notice that we don’t suggest or encourage you to purchase counterfeit products, because selling fake products is totally illegal in many countries to include China.

The sellers will not only be imposed a fine, if the amount of counterfeit products is big enough, it will also cause criminal detention. This blog is only for those people who want to know about Putian city in detail.

Chapter 1: History of Putian Shoes Industry – Why is it called “The Capital of Fake Shoes”?

1. Facts About Putian City, China

The city of Putian is located on the coast of Fujian Province, some 80 miles northeast of the nation’s capital. It sits beside Fuzhou and Quanzhou, separated from Taiwan by the Taiwan Strait.

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

One of Putian’s advanced shoe production techniques is sneaker manufacturing.

Some sports companies, including Nike, Adidas, and Puma, have progressively located their manufacturing and processing in Putian, China, beginning in the 1980s.

While more and more famous shoe brands find their facilities in Putian China,  they brought a lot of the well-designed samples to Putian’s manufacturers.

With the superior manufacturing technology and production method, there are more and more factories started making counterfeit products and selling them to customers.

2. How To Get In Putian City, China?

Construction has started at the Putian Beigao Airport in Beigao Town, approximately 15km (9 miles) from the city of Putian. But there is still little information about when it can start running.

For now, the passengers may fly to neighboring Quanzhou Jinjiang International Airport or Fuzhou Changle International Airport. Then use a bus, rail, or coach to reach Putian. Putian is 68 miles (108 km) from Fuzhou, just two hours away by bus.

3. How Putian City, China became one of the most famous fake shoe market?

Small workshops in fake production may be found throughout Putian, Fujian Province.

But behind “international” local native brands such as “Panix” and “Nev Buylane,” you would find hundreds of fake shoes lined up, and even the manufacturer is unable to distinguish which one is imitation.

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

As e-commerce developed, Putian rose to prominence and was dubbed the “famous fake shoe capital”.

There are many Putian suppliers opened their online shops in Taobao. Different kinds of the brand shoes were offered at cheap price, and the low-price products attract lots of the customers.

There is another city called Jinjiang in China, there are also many formerly foundries for various foreign brands like Putian. But Jinjiang is currently pursuing its brand, while Putian is pursuing imitation.

Putian, a contract manufacturer for several worldwide brands in the mid-1990s, wanted to increase profit margins due to restricted orders.

The local shoe manufacturers made every effort to acquire the brand’s design blueprints to make them independently.

Putian afterward developed a massive industrial chain in manufacturing fake shoes due to the development of e-commerce.

4. Because of the fake shoe industry, Putian became a “Ghost Market”

As a nickname of Anfu market in Putian, some buyers and local people call it as the “ghost market”. The shops there is closed in the daytime, but is lighted up brightly and full of people at night.

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You may ask about why this happens? It is easy to understand. Because factories and warehouses in Putian produce shoes with closed doors during the day and release goods at night.

So you will find that Anfu market is nearly empty during the day, and is crowded with visitors in the evening.

5. How are fake sneakers produced in Putian city, China?

According to the sports shoe standard GB/T15017-2005, the Wenzhou Quality Inspection Institute (in 2014) has evaluated the high replica Adidas ZX700 running shoes.

Then the staff determined that the shoes are the same. Both the folding and wear resistance are almost identical. The sole of the shoe is essentially the same in terms of hardness.

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

How the Putian manufacturers can produce a pair of Adidas shoes in that quality? Here is the answer:

One of the Putian managers disclosed that the company planned to purchase two pairs of authentic shoes, with one pair being used for dismantling to assist the materials analysis.

After the imitations are completed, the second pair is utilized for repeated comparisons until no noticeable difference can be seen with the naked eye.

Chapter 2: Different Types of Putian Shoes – How they sell differently?

For many years, the Putian shoe factory has manufactured Nike and Adidas, and many individuals are skilled in shoemaking.

Therefore, some counterfeiters paid employees at original equipment manufacturers to steal design drawings and samples.

Here are the different levels of Putian fake shoes, you can learn the local ways to call those fake shoes.

1. Tong Huo – the cheapest Putian fake shoes

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

As the name implies, Tong Huo are the least expensive fake shoes on the market. The less expensive variant costs from 100 to 200 yuan. Southeast Asia, Africa, and other regional markets are the primary markets for these small workshops.

A portion of those fake shoes made their way to the merchant in WeChat and Taobao. Manufacturers are making massive profits at the cheap pricing of fake shoes.

But these types of counterfeit shoes are easy to recognize as imitation brands because of its rough workmanship.

2. Zhen Biao – Defective goods from Putian market

It is also made by small workshops, those manufacturers will produce Putian shoes and sell at 100 to 200 yuan.

Although the quality of these goods are better than Tong Huo, the poor craftsmanship and the cheap cost of those shoes still are conspicuous as a fake product.

Zhen Biao products are mainly destined for the Middle East and large domestic cities. Some none-experienced buyers may cannot recognize the products are fake or not, but the shoe size, stitching, and the feeling while wearing it are totally different with the real ones.

3. Gong Si Ji – Similar to the real one

This version of Putian shoes are better than the former two, include the craftsmanship, material and so on. The manufacturers make it more carefully, and  the price of a Gong Si Ji product is about 200 – 300 yuan.

As the name implies, these qualities will be very similar to , if not identical to, the original products. But there will still be differences if you look closely.

4. Chun Yuan – Nearly the same with the real shoes

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

As the name implies, Chun Yuan is the highest version on the fake shoe market. It has reached the point of competing with genuine factory orders.

The shoe version is identical to the original shoe mold modification to such an extent. Even official inspection channels have difficulty distinguishing them. It is the Putian shoe version beginning with 500 to 600 yuan.

Chapter 3: What are the Retail Channels for selling Putian Shoes?

1. Local factories in Putian city, China

The first-hand supply comes from Putian local factory. However, for those who are trying to buy products from local factories, they must meet two specific criteria.

First, a reliable local is needed to refer the buyer to the factory. It would serve as a guarantee for the factory about the credibility.

Another requirement is that those factories ask buyers for ordering bulk items. Plus, the manufacturer won’t send those products to the destination directly.

The detail of delivery service need to be completed by the contact and seller, rather than the buyer gets the items in batch.

2. From an Agent who can buy wholesale from the Putian market

One of the best options, if somebody wants to buy shoes from Putian city, China, is from an agent. The buyer can get higher quality since the agents are experts in looking for their client’s requirements for products.

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They can check the items beforehand before they can deliver them to the customer. A budget for an agent is the only thing you need to prepare, but rest assured that you can get what you pay for.

3. From local retail shops in Putian city, China

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

Local suppliers make big orders at the factory or from their relatives working in factories. They stock hundreds to tens of thousands of pairs at a time before batching them into small batches (as little as 12 pairs).

Those shoes will be sold to consumers in physical stores in other locations. You can expect that prices are relatively higher than the shoes you can get directly from the manufacturers.

4. Find a dropshipping supplier who has sales channels to buy Putian shoes

A dropshipping does not need a company to maintain a stock of goods is used. Instead, the company sells the goods and notifies a third-party shoe supplier who handles the ordering and shipping for the client.

If you want to buy online high-quality fake shoes from Putian, you can find shoes from various dropshipping suppliers you can search online.

But there are still some issues when buying from dropshipping suppliers. One of them is the higher cost, the service charge will be concluded in your budget beforehand.

Chapter 4: What Changes Putian Shoe Manufacturers are making now?

In 2014, the Putian government has carried out many crackdowns on the counterfeit shoe industry, which has roots in Fujian when China began to implement market reforms.

1. Update Manufacturing Tools and Find Out More Advanced Technology

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

In order to support the intelligent manufacturing of shoes in Putian city, China, the government there implements a series of guidance policies, which including:

  • Encourage factories to start upgrading small production lines, such as transforming application into automatic ones, adding intelligent equipment. The government will provide a subsidy of not more than 1 million yuan according to 5% of the equipment investment to those businesses.
  • Promote the updating of shoe enterprises in digital management and network collaboration. A subsidy of no more than 200 thousands yuan according to 20% of the actual investment will be given to each company.

So far, there are many shoe manufacturers are making their own technique developing center, R&D center, and research and design center.

Intelligent manufacturing is the only path forward for business innovation and development, as well as industrial transformation and upgrade.

Therefore, it is essential to address enterprise-level issues such as funding shortages, finance challenges, and a lack of technical expertise.

It is the main reason for Putian government keep encouraging shoe businesses to undergo intelligent transformation to achieve cost reduction, quality improvement, and efficiency improvement.

2. Apply for Collective Mark for Putian Shoes

On February 5, 2021, Putian government issued the “10 Measures to Accelerate the High-quality Development of Shoe Industry” aimed at stimulating the innovation vitality of enterprises, covering brand creation, research and development design, intelligent manufacturing, market expansion, integration of production and talent, etc.

After that, Putian city, China announced that the government will spend 3 billion yuan to build a brand at the city level for Putian good shoes on 10th, June.

Fujian Putian Shoe Association has applied for four trademark applications of clothing, shoes and hats, such as “PUTIAN SHOES”, which are all collective trademarks.

The footwear industry is the traditional pillar industry in Putian. There are 325 shoe enterprises above scale, which are the main force of economic development in Putian City.

At the same time, the leaders of the Putian government claimed that the industry needs to be upgraded now.

For most of the Putian shoe manufacturers, they need to try to build their own indie brands and enhance the awareness of intellectual property rights.

3. Release of “Credit Shoe City” Brand Logo

The Secret of Fake Sneakers Workshop Capital - Putian : One of the Biggest Shoe Making Places in China

A spokesperson for the Putian Footwear Association stated that Putian footwear is of excellent quality and stylish design. 100 billion yuan has been produced annually in this city.

To establish an industrial credit system and make full use of new technology methods, the Putian Shoe Association is guiding footwear businesses to depend on relevant APP platforms such as Credit China (Putian, Fujian) and Putian Huiminbao to create a “credit shoe city”.

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Putian shoe industry employs about 200,000 people and involves more than 3,000 businesses. There are about 10,000 staff people at the R&D centers focused on shoes.

Putian manufacturers display the credit information of local shoe businesses and accept the complaints, comments, criticism, and recommendations from customers. Customers may access and see their credit scores, business rankings, and credit ratings as well.

Chapter 5: FAQs About Putian City

1. Can I import fake shoes from Putian city, China?

In the United States, buying counterfeit products is unlawful. This may result in criminal or civil consequences if brought into the country.

When counterfeit products are purchased, it not only contributes to illicit activities such as money laundering and illegal gun and drug trafficking, but it also supports them. Keep in mind that if anything seems to be a steal, it is.

2. Why does Putian city China become popular in manufacturing fake shoes?

As mentioned, many international companies formerly had foundries in Jinjiang and Putian, but Jinjiang has moved on to making their own shoe brands, while Putian is now famous in imitation shoes.

Putian established a large industrial chain in producing fake shoes after developing Internet e-commerce.

3. How can I distinguish luxury fashion from imitation shoes?

Some imitation sneakers are instantly obvious, while others aren’t. A huge number of individuals stand to profit from the sale of imitation sneakers, and the “quality” of the fakes is far from equal.

If you see that your Adidas sneakers are missing one of the three stripes, then the Nike logo will appear like a hangover, and your Vans’ waffle sole will be flimsier, watch out.

Also, just by looking at the box, you can determine whether it’s genuine. If there are indications of damage, you should check it out. Look for any indications in stickers.

Most companies all use the same format, font, and spacing. Make sure to pay attention to discrepancies in space between words or characters, as well as the different levels of detail.

4. What are the restrictions on the importation of shoes from Putian to the US?

In China, it is illegal to use a mark that is identical to a registered trademark for the same goods without the rights holder’s permission; sell counterfeit trademarked goods; or sell forged representations of a registered trademark.

These offenses are punished by up to three years in jail or a fine, or both in severe instances. In very severe instances, the counterfeiter will face between three and seven years in jail and a fine.

In the US, customs officers only permit entry of an item, like a counterfeit, confusingly similar items as long as it accompanies the individual, is solely for personal use, and is not intended for sale.

Customs officials must let the incoming individual to keep one item of each kind of merchandise they are bringing with them.


Putian Travel Tips

History: Putian County was formed in the year of 568. Over the hundreds of years following that, it was abolished and then re-established several times. Through all these major and minor changes, Putian City emerged in 1983.

Physical Features: The city nestles to the hilly area of southeastern coastal area of Fujian. The whole terrain inclines from the northwest to the southeast, and the land is higher in the north, lower in the south. There is a shortage of cultivated areas.

 Local Products: Fruit: longan, loquat, lychee, honeyed shaddock (pomelo)
Others: rice noodles, lacquer wooden bowl

Mazu is the most respected god on Meizhou Island, even southern Fujian Province. There are several festivals on the island to celebrate the birthday of this Goddess of Peace on the sea, as well as the day of her ascension. Celebrations are held on the twenty-third day of third lunar month and ninth day of the ninth lunar month respectively and it is the best time to learn more about the Mazu culture of the city.


This article is not encouraging people to purchase counterfeit products for their business, as it can have legal implications in the Customs.

While others would see the practicality of buying high-quality imitation shoes from Putian, it’s a different perspective.

While Putian is known to be the “City of Fake Shoes”, with the new trends in technology, the city would aim to re-brand their reputation worldwide as leading in manufacturing high-quality shoes.

There would come a time that suppliers worldwide can import their products without any legal implications.

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