Ultimate Guide: REAL vs FAKE New Balance 550

Written by
Ch David
New Balance 550 White & Green
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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Ch David

  • This legit check guide works for all NB-550 colorways.
  • Compare yours to our real vs fake images to find out the truth!

How to check if New Balance are original

To check if your New Balances are original, start with the size tag on the interior side of the tongue. Scratched prints indicate 100% fake replicas.

1. Size tag

New Balance 550 Size Tag
  • Authentic:
    1. All letters are properly filled with paint.
    2. Thinner symbols than on the fake.
  • Fake:
    1. Scratched letter “B” in the “NB” logo.
    2. Most characters are too thick.

This is the standard size tag for +90% of New Balance’s sneakers.


Too difficult? Let our team of expert New Balance authenticators take a look at your 550s:
2. Midsole
New Balance 550 Misdole
  • Authentic:
    1. The “new balance” logo is thick and it comes out of the shoes, having a 3D look.
    2. The stitches are thicker and shorter — looking boxier than the fake.
    3. Transition from sole to midsole is clean, without any scratched.
  • Fake:
    1. “new balance” logo is too thin and doesn’t come out of the shoes.
    2. The stitches are too thing and longer than the original ones.
    3. Scratch marks where the sole mets the midsole.

3. Text: 550

New Balance 550 Logo
  • Authentic:
    1. Closer to the top stitches.
    2. More distance towards the left side’s threads.
  • Fake:
    1. Too far away from the top stitches.
    2. Too close to the right side’s stitches.

A quick mention:

  • The steps we’ve written so far are the BEST ways to authenticate this item
  • The next few steps are still reliable methods…
  • … but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item

If in doubt, we recommend double-checking the steps we’ve explained above this line.

4. Top-down

New Balance 550 Top-Down
  • Authentic: Thicker, shorter, and denser stitches.
  • Fake: Thinner, longer stitches.

Essentially, the fake threads are not as dense as the original ones.

5. Back

Some 550s have inscriptions, while others don’t. Therefore, we have to keep this a more “general” step.

Over here, we’ll look at the shape of the shoes.

New Balance 550 Back
  • Authentic: Slimmer, less wider shape.
  • Fake: Wider appearance.

Remember that this isn’t influenced by the size of the shoes. All authentic examples must look like the one highlighted above.

However: This step doesn’t apply to worn shoes.

A wearer’s foot-shape might change the appearance of the shoes. That’s why we don’t consider this reliable after the shoes have been used.

Hence why this tell is among the last ones in our list.

6. Toe box

New Balance 550 Side
  • Authentic: Bulkier look. Thicker than the fake.
  • Fake: Flatter appearance — especially above the “N” logo.

Shortlist: What to look for

  1. Size Tag: Authentic tags have thinner symbols and fully painted letters; fakes feature a scratched “B” and thicker characters.
  2. Midsole: Authentic shoes have a thick, 3D “new balance” logo and boxier stitches; fakes have a thin logo and longer stitches.
  3. Text: 550: On authentic shoes, “550” is closer to the top stitches and further left; fakes place it too close to the right.
  4. Top-down View: Authentic shoes have thicker, denser stitches; fakes have thinner, longer stitches.
  5. Back Shape: Authentic 550s are slimmer and narrower; fakes are wider. Not applicable to worn shoes.
  6. Toe Box: Authentic shoes have a bulkier, thicker toe box; fakes are flatter, especially above the “N” logo.

This list may come in handy when you’re short on time and can’t go through the entire detailed guide.

Though, if you’re both short on time and stressed, make use of our…

Expert New Balance Legit Check

Our team of skilled Manolo Blahnik verifiers is ready to assist:

  • Provide us with photos of your heels.
  • You can also share the purchase history of the shoes, like where you bought them.
  • Typically, we respond within 24-48 hours, often faster.
  • You will then receive our assessment.

Need our opinion on your item’s authenticity? It’s a service we provide.

Get a fully-detailed report for why you have a real or fake item. Takes less than 48 hours!

Alternatively, use our free resources: written guides and video tutorials.

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Daniel and Ch David

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About the Author

David is the co-founder and co-CEO of Legit Check By Ch. David's experience: 5+ years of creating educational content in the fashion industry. 6+ years of authenticating luxury items. Currently, David is the Head Editor of the LCBC Library, where 1,000,000+ words have been published, in free guides, for over 1,000 items.
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