How to Spot Fake New Balance 550 Sneakers

How to Spot Fake New Balance 550 Sneakers

In recent years, “dad shoes” have made a remarkable comeback.

The characteristic chunky white soles and thick padding have become the base for modern sneaker designs. Dad shoes are practical, comfortable, and – now – on trend. Gen Z has shown a curiosity for “retro” styles, making dad shoes an easy way for brands to bring back an old look with modern colors and accents.

Key Takeaways:

  • Taking an initial look and feel of your New Balance 550s will immediately give you an idea of whether they are real.

  • Comparing the shape of the New Balance logo on the side and back of the shoe with the real deal will help reveal whether your shoe is authentic.

  • Checking the stitching and perforations along each shoe will help you uncover the authenticity of your purchase.

  • The color and positioning of the suede toe box are key features that will aid your authenticity check as you compare the shoe to the real version.

  • Still struggling? Our hybrid authentication service can help you verify your shoes quickly and efficiently.

How to legit check New Balance 550 Sneakers?

Authentic New Balance 550 Dad Shoes

As a revived 80s style, a perfect dad shoe, and a celebrity favorite, the New Balance 550s have become a rare find. If you’ve managed to locate a pair, it’s understandable you want to make sure they’re legit.

Below, we’ve put together a guide for how to legit check New Balance 550s so you can step out with confidence.

The Overall Look Method 

New Balance 550 Real vs. Fake: The Overall Look Method

Counterfeit New Balance 550s are slightly diminutive compared to their authentic counterparts. This reduction is not limited to overall size but rather extends to the shoe's proportions, causing a subtle shift in sizing; for instance, an 8.5 might manifest as an 8.

To establish a benchmark, consider comparing the sole of your New Balance 550 with that of an authenticated New Balance sneaker of the correct size. This visual comparison will offer a clearer perspective on the authenticity of the shoe in question.

A shoe authenticator will always look at the overall material quality, the stitching, and the way the shoe is built. Sometimes, the replicas are so bad you don’t even have to consider going further than just a simple look.

The Side ‘N’ Logo Method 

How to Legit Check New Balance 550: The Side ‘N’ Logo Method

Genuine New Balance 550s have the 'N' logo on the center, leaving a uniform margin on all sides. The dual stitch lines that trace the perimeter of the 'N' don’t make contact with the elements underneath the logo.

If you know how a real pair of New Balance 550s look, it’s easy to spot the difference in the logj. With counterfeit pairs, the 'N' swells disproportionately, asserting its dominance on the side panel.

The stitching curves beneath the verdant detailing on the lower panel, a clear giveaway of inauthenticity. A faux New Balance 550 'N' oftentimes exudes a chunky or inflated appearance, its contours lacking the definitive precision that transforms an 'N' into an 'H'.

Now, while visual signals might not reveal all, one aspect you can verify hands-on is the tactile texture of the 'N' logo. Gently pass your fingernail over the 'N,' where you should encounter a delicate ridged sensation akin to the feel of a lenticular print.

The Back ‘NB’ Logo Method

How to Spot Fake New Balance 550: The Back ‘NB’ Logo Method

The New Balance 550 features the iconic 'NB' logo on its heel. This 'NB' is perfectly centered on authentic pieces, circled by a big white space. On the other hand, imitations frequently miss the mark, positioning the heel logo at an elevated stance.

Interestingly enough, even for authentic pieces, the size of these letters varies, notably influenced by color. Take, for instance, the red and white New Balance 550s, where the 'NB' logo is larger compared to its counterpart in the green and white rendition.

For similar issues, check out the Alexander McQueen Oversized Sneakers guide.


Real vs. Fake New Balance 550: The ‘550’ Print Method

In essence, the craftsmanship of New Balance 550s outshines the counterfeit counterparts in terms of detailing and quality. The image above offers a visual testament—note the substantial and elevated '550' imprint on the genuine shoe's surface. Running your finger over this inscription would reveal a textured feel rather than a flat one.

You should also focus on the tongue's '550' marking. A genuine New Balance 550 has a modest logo placed on the tongue. In stark contrast, the replica New Balance 550 often exaggerates with a larger font. Also, in the replica piece, the logo is slightly tilted to the right.

Read Next: How To Spot Fake Jordan 1 Obsidian UNC

The Perforation Panel Method

New Balance 550 Authentication: The Perforation Panel Method

The stitching encircling the 'N' logos on the side panel should meld with the panel itself. As demonstrated in our replica example, an additional shading effect disrupts the unity.

You should also look at the perforations on your new New Balance 550s. A quick scan reveals that authentic pairs have a deliberate spacing between perforations. You should focus on the initial row beneath the '550' print to spot the difference.

Here, the presence of precisely four visible perforations confirms authenticity. Yet, in contrast, our illustrative replica flaunts six conspicuous perforations beneath the '550' print.

The Stitching Method

How to Spot Real New Balance 550: The Stitching Method

A prevalent flaw often encountered in the replica New Balance 550s revolves around the stitching spacing. These sneakers have panels adjoined by a pair of parallel stitch lines. A key pointer to unmasking counterfeit New Balance 550s is detecting excessive proximity between these stitches.

Instead of the desired outcome of pristine, uniform lines, the stitching might display unfortunate intersections, curvatures, or even signs of correction, such as evident re-stitching.

For similar issues, check out our Nike Dunk Low guide.

The Toe Box Suede Method

Fake vs. Real New Balance 550: The Toe Box Suede Method

A defining hallmark of the New Balance 550 is its suave suede patch on the toe box. The authentic pair is equipped with a cool-tone light gray suede. In contrast, most replicas lean towards warmer shades, often embracing a yellowish undertone for the toe box.

Besides the coloring, you should also look at the positioning.

As observed on the exterior edge of the shoe, the patch should end just as the '550' print begins. The image above encapsulates an instance of replication—note the toe patch's deviation from the prescribed brand proportions.

The Bottom Sole Method 

The authentic lower sole has detailed white trims with qualitative lettering: "new balance" and "non-marking sole."

A glaring indicator of falsity emerges when the phrase "non-marking sole" is miswritten as "non-making sole." Additionally, certain replicas might omit the space between "new" and "balance," creating the illusion of "newbalance" rather than the genuine "new balance."

How much do New Balance 550s Cost?

Through New Balance, the 550s retail at $110. Due to high demand, New Balance has been sold out in men’s and women’s sizes for some time. Through other retailers, the New Balance 550s can sell between $110 to $400 depending on size and availability.

Are New Balance 550s worth it? 

Authentic New Balances maintain their original structure as a basketball shoe. With a reinforced, breathable sole, ankle support, and a timeless design, anyone looking for the perfect subtle dad shoe would be lucky to get their hands on a pair.

Where can I get my New Balance 550s authenticated?

Now that you’ve read our guide, you might consider getting an extra set of expert eyes on your New Balance 550s. Our team at LegitGrails can legit check your shoes in the shortest amount of time.

Check it out: New Balance Authentication.


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