How to Spot Fake vs Real Nike Dunk High

a pair of Nike Dunk High on a shoe box

Nike Dunks Highs were initially launched in 1985, aspiring to become a favorite for college basketball players and their fans. They introduced a total of 12 color schemes which were specially designed to match the college's team colors. The fans wore footwear with their team's colors to cheer and support them.

Peter C. Moore, the designer responsible for the Air Jordan footwear collection, created the signature design. What used to be a shoe designed for the basketball court became a fashion trend. Through the years, Dunk Highs became an icon in sneaker culture.

At specific points in the product lifecycle, Dunk's popularity dropped. This could be explained by the fact they were overproduced. In addition, the crazy color schemes weren't attractive to the consumers. Dunks made their way back to the sneaker scene in 2016 but became a trend in 2019 when Travis Scott proudly wore his rare SB Dunks.

Average Dunk High's cost is between $100 to $150. The high retail price and immense popularity make them a target for counterfeiting. While they might do their best to recreate the aesthetic, professionals can still spot a difference between Nike Dunk High fake and real.

How to legit check Nike Dunk High and make sure you buy the original? Whether looking at online listings or thrift store shopping, our step-by-step authentication guide helps you verify the footwear.

Table of Contents

The Overall Look Method

an example of real vs fake Nike Dunk Highs

Comparing Nike dunk high fake vs. real begins with analyzing the overall look. The first thing we notice is the difference in the stitching quality.

The authentic Nike Dunk shoe has dense stitching that conveys good quality. On the other hand, the fake pair has poor-quality stitching and loose thread.

The difference in stitching quality is apparent when we look closer at the Swoosh logo. You can notice how the fake swoosh is stitched on the edges, whereas the authentic one has spare space around the thread.

Nike Dunk Highs come in different color combinations. Usually, fake ones won't have the same color tone as the original. In this case, the orange details look lighter and yellowish on the fake pair.

Also Read: How to Tell if Nikes are Fake

The Packaging Method

After we're done inspecting the overall look, we move to closely looking at the packaging. The shoe box is our next point of interest.

The purpose of a shoe box is to protect the shoe during transport and warehousing. In addition, it strengthens the brand identity.

Nike produces high-quality boxes to provide the utmost protection. A sturdy box of quality cardboard is a good sign when you don't know how to legit check Nike dunk high. On the other hand, poorly made boxes can indicate a fake product.

The color is another thing you want to check when verifying Nike Dunk High fake vs real. The original shoe box comes in a vibrant red color. A pale red color results from low-quality printing, indicating a fake box.

The shoe box has a label that provides essential details about the product, such as serial number, sizing, and origin. Counterfeiters don't seem to copy the exact label well, so you will usually spot a few inconsistencies.

Firstly, there is a difference in the font. We have spotted this flaw in other Nike products, where they failed to create identical letters as the original. The fake Nike label comes with letters and numbers that differ in thickness and shape.

The Swoosh Method

We continue with the swoosh logo to further inspect the shoe's authenticity. The logo is a signature feature of Nike products and is difficult to replicate, as seen with other fake Nike footwear.

If you don't know how to tell if Nike dunk highs are fake, observe the shape of the Swoosh logo. This telltale sign instantly reveals a counterfeit product. The original Nike swoosh logo has a pointy top and a pronounced curve.

Counterfeit models don't follow suit, and the lack of curve makes the swoosh look thicker in the top part. Nike strengthened their brand image with the logo, ensuring it remains consistent in shape. Any flaws in the shoosh shape indicate a fake product.

The Tongue Method

comparison of authentic and fake Nike Dunk High shoes

To further compare Nike dunk high fake vs. real, we analyze the tongue method. The label and branded logo are the following points of interest in this authentication guide.

The authentic shoe has a large label that covers a significant portion of the shoe tongue. At the same time, the fake Nike Dunk Highs have a tiny label.

As the label size differs, it impacts the final look of the logo. Consequently, we can spot the difference in the trademark symbol.

The authentic shoe has the trademark symbol positioned centrally below the "N" letter. On the fake label, the character is placed slightly toward the right.

The Toe Cap Method

When we're done inspecting the tongue, we move forward to the toe cap. How to tell if Nike Dunk Highs are fake when checking the front part?

Real Nike Dunk Highs have a bulky toe cap that provides maximum comfort. Even if you look at second-hand footwear, the toe cap will look plump and inflated.

On the contrary, the fake pair has a slim-toe cap. Despite the aesthetic aspect, this makes the shoe uncomfortable to wear.

The toe cap elevation is another telltale sign that can reveal Nike dunk high, fake vs. real. The original pair has a minimal height in the front. Fake Dunk Highs have elevated toe caps which also affect comfort.

The perforations are another thing that indicates a fake pair. The real Dunk Highs have adequately aligned and precisely pierced perforation holes. At the same time, the counterfeit shoe has thicker perforations that aren't aligned.

Read More: How to Spot Fake vs Real Nike Dunk Low Panda

The Stitching Method

We already mentioned some examples of how stitching can help you distinguish nike dunk high fake vs real. This section focuses on stitching quality to better understand how to legit check Nike dunk high.

Even consistent stitching is a good indicator revealing that the shoe is made with utmost attention to detail. Nike is a big brand that invests in sophisticated machines to provide top-tier products. Consequently, the stitching is of excellent quality, ensuring the product stays in perfect shape with constant wearing.

The fake Nike Dunk Highs have loose threads and uneven stitching that doesn't seem to hold everything together snugly. Counterfeiters don't have the sophisticated equipment a big brand does, so their products will be poorly sewn. This affects not only the shoe's aesthetic aspect but also its longevity.

The Size Tag Method

We continue with the size tag to further tell the difference between nike dunk high fake vs real. You can find the label inside the shoe below the tongue.

The text on the sizing tag is another thing we will closely look at. Nike uses a specific font, which is difficult for counterfeiters to copy. The letter thickness can vary, which indicates a fake product. Fake sizing tags usually come with bold letters that differ from the original.

The Heel Counter Method

a side-by-side comparison of real vs. fake Nike Dunk High sneakers

The heel counter is the last part of the authentication guide. By closely examining the stitching, we can notice inconsistencies.

The pull tab is an obvious indicator that helps distinguish between Nike dunk high fake vs real. The pull tab is precisely cut in the authentic shoe and has clean lines.

The pull tab in the fake Nike Dunk Highs is poorly done, indicating it is done by poor machinery that doesn't have enough precision to tackle small parts.

In addition, the pull tab is poorly sewn on the heel counter. When zooming in, a shoe authenticator can easily notice the flaws. The stitching isn't straight, and the holes after every stitch are evident.

Next, we move to the part where the heel counter patches join. Here we can also notice how the stitching differs in quality. The authentic Nike Dunk Highs have dense stitches, thick thread, and a neat look. On the other hand, the fake shoe has messy and uneven stitching.

Another thing you shouldn't overlook is the shoe shape. Looking at the rear, we notice a difference in the shoe form. The original pair looks slender and fits snugly in the ankles, while the fake Nike's are bulky.

How to Spot Fake Nike Dunk High Listings Online

Spotting fake Nike footwear online can be tricky since you don't have the physical product in your hands. However, this does not have to stop you from purchasing your favorite Dunk Highs at a lower price. If you've spotted a great second-hand deal, you should check a few things before clicking the "buy" button.

Seller's profile

Visit the seller's profile to find out more about their practices. Check the reviews and see if you can spot any red flags there.

Check their other listings to inspect the seller's profile further. If there are hundreds of listings for Nike footwear, they likely sell counterfeit products.

Online listing

The online listing should have plenty of information for the Dunk Highs. A reputable seller that sells genuine products provides details and high-quality photos to attract buyers.

High-quality and up-close photos are a must for assessing the product and confirming its authenticity. This way, you can notice inconsistencies, such as poor-quality stitching and different fonts.

An online listing with professional Nike Dunk High photos taken from Nike's official website or stock photos is a scam. If you're buying second-hand footwear, the seller should provide an image taken in a home setting.

If the listing doesn't provide enough photos to verify the authenticity, feel free to message the seller and request more to be delivered. Any excuses are a red flag.

When analyzing the listing, don't overlook its price. A pair of Dunk Highs far below the market price can sound like an excellent deal, but you can end up spending your money on a counterfeit model.

Are Nike Dunk Highs true to size?

Nike Dunk Highs are always true to size for most people. When ordering your footwear online, you should get your regular size. The toe box is wide and feels comfortable.

You can easily measure your size with a sheet of paper. Place the paper under your foot and outline the foot with a pencil. Then, measure the distance from the foot to the toes with a ruler.

Remember to do this for both feet, as their size can differ. Take the larger measurement and compare it to the sizing chart found on Nike's official website.

Where are Nike Dunk Highs usually made?

Nike has production facilities in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand. Most Nike Dunk Highs will have "Made in Vietnam" on their label. Big footwear brands like Nike manufacture products outside the US to reduce production costs.

However, this does not indicate that the shoes are low quality or fake. The production facilities still follow the brand's strict rules and undergo quality control.


This authentication guide teaches you how to tell if Nike dunk highs are fake by observing the details. Firstly, we started by analyzing the overall look and instantly spotted flaws. Poor stitching quality and different color tones are the first things that stand out.

Next, we took a closer look at the shoe box. The inconsistencies in the color and material quality are apparent. The label reveals inconsistencies in the lettering.

The Swoosh logo has a difference in its shape and stitching quality. Nike keeps their branded logo consistent, so any flaws indicate a fake product.

We moved to the toe box for the next step in our authentication guide. There is an apparent difference in the elevation and thickness.

The stitching method reveals inconsistencies in the quality. The fake Nike Dunk Highs have uneven seams and loose threads, indicating poor quality.

The size tag reveals inconsistencies in the letter font. The heel counter method reveals a poorly done pull tab and bad-quality stitching.


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