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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.

How to legit check New Balance 550 Sneakers?

Authentic New Balance 550 Dad Shoes

As a revived 80s style, a token 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.

 

 

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

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

A big factor in determining the authenticity of New Balance 550s is looking at the size. Replica New Balance 550s are typically smaller than real ones. They’ll run smaller in terms of shoe size (so an 8.5 might fit like an 8 or in between) and might run narrower as well.

The shoe might fit without noticeable size issues. For reference, line up the sole of your New Balance 550 with another authenticated New Balance sneaker of the right size or the sole of another sneaker of the right size.

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

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

An easy way to spot a fake New Balance 550 sneaker is by analyzing the shape and placement of the ‘N’ logo on the side panel.

On an authentic New Balance 550, the ‘N’ is well defined in shape and has space on all sides. The indents on the top and bottom are angled and narrow, making the letter clear. The two stitch lines outlining the ‘N’ don’t touch the detailing underneath the logo.

A common tell for fake New Balance 550s is if the ‘N’ is too large, taking up more space on the side panel with stitching that disappears underneath the green detailing on the lower panel (above is an example of a good replica where this doesn’t happen). A fake New Balance 550 ‘N’ might be chunky or bubbly, the less defined shape creating more of an ‘H’ instead of an ‘N’.

Something that you can’t tell from pictures, but can look for on your pair of New Balance 550s is the texture of the ‘N’ logo. If you run your fingernail over the ‘N’ it should have a fine ridged texture, similar to that of a lenticular print. You can identify a fake New Balance 550 ‘N’ logo if the surface is smooth.  

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

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

An ‘NB’ New Balance logo appears on the heel of the New Balance 550. On a real shoe, the ‘NB’ is well-centered with even white space around the logo. Fake New Balance 550s often have the heel logo positioned too high.

The sizing of the letters actually varies, even among authentic shoes, based on color (the red & white New Balance 550s back ‘NB’ logo is typically larger than the green & white version).

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

 

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

You can tell if a pair of New Balance 550s are real or fake by looking at the ‘550’ printed on the side of the shoe and on the tongue.

In general, the detailing on real New Balance 550s is well defined and of a higher quality than that of fake replicas. Above, you can see that the ‘550’ print in the authentic shoe is large and raised up from the surface of the panel. If you ran your finger over the ‘550’ it would be textured instead of flat. On the right side, the fake New Balance 550 ‘550’ print does not fill up the designated space and appears flat.

When authenticating the ‘550’ from the tongue, you can tell a real New Balance 550 from print that is small and tucked to the right side underneath the words ‘new balance’. A replica New Balance 550 might have the ‘550’ printed larger or to the right side of the tongue.

New Balance 550 Authentication: The Perforation Panel Method

New Balance 550 Authentication: The Perforation Panel Method

The stitching around the side panel ‘N’ logos should sit flat with the side panel. Above, our replica example shows extra shadowing along the side panel. Since the panel is thicker, the stitching digs into it instead of sitting on it, causing the surrounding material to almost bubble.  

Another way to test if your New Balance 550s are real or fake is to look at the number of perforations along the perforation panel. At a glance, the perforations on a real pair of New Balance 550s are relatively spaced out. Instead of counting each perforation, you can look for the first row underneath the ‘550’ print. There should be 4 visible perforations on an authentic pair. Above, we have an example of a replica with 6 visible perforations under the ‘550’ print.

How to Spot Real New Balance 550: The Stitching Method

How to Spot Real New Balance 550: The Stitching Method

A common, low-quality mistake made on replica New Balance 550s is in the spacing of the stitching. Sneaker panels are connected with two side-by-side stitch lines. One way to spot fake New Balance 550s is if the stitching is too close together. Instead of clean, even lines, stitching might intersect, curve, or have corrections (like re-stitching, as seen above).

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

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

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

A signature element of the New Balance 550 is the suede patch over the toe box. The color of an authentic New Balance 550 suede patch is a cool-tone light grey or stone color. Replica shoes typically have warmer, yellow-tone toe box patches.

Also, note the placement and angle of the toe patch. On the outer side of the shoe, the toe patch should end and slant off at the first 5 of the ‘550’ print. Above, we have a replica example of a toe patch that does follow the brand proportions.  

 

 

How to Authenticate New Balance 550: The Bottom Sole Method 

The final way to check if your New Balance 550s are real vs. fake is to look at the bottom sole. The sole has white detailing with engraved lettering: “new balance” and “non-marking sole”. An obvious tell for a fake pair of New Balance 550s is if “non-marking sole” reads “non-making sole”. Some replicas will also leave out the space between new and balance, making the text look like “newbalance”.

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.

 

3 easy steps to authenticate an item

Upload photos of the item

Place your order

We verify the item

You get the outcome

3 easy steps to authenticate an item

Planning on getting an item? Having doubts on an item you already have?

Trusted by:
80.000+
customers and business around the world

Featured with: