Nike DUNK Legit Check: How To Spot FAKE vs REAL

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Ch David
how to spot fake nike dunk
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Last Updated on July 4, 2024 by Ch David

We’ll teach you how to spot fake Nike Dunks with real vs fake comparisons + explanations provided by expert Dunk authenticators.

You can tell if any Dunks are fake with this guide.

How to Tell if Nike Dunks are Fake

You can tell if Nike Dunks are real by looking at the interior side of the tongue. Fakes always have slanted text and misplaced inscriptions.


1. Interior tongue label

Tongue comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk
  1. The “SWOOSH” text
    • Authentic: The text has a more refined appearance.
    • Fake: The text is too thick and appears boxy.
  2. The “QUALITY” text
    • Authentic: Print is thinner and positioned correctly.
    • Fake: Misplaced on the label, causing a wavy appearance. Text tends to be thicker.
  3. Registered trademark “®”
    • Authentic: Character has appropriate thickness and width.
    • Fake: The “®” character is both too thick and too wide.
  4. The country print
    • Authentic: Inscriptions are thin and correctly sized. Legitimate Dunks can be made in various countries including China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other East Asian nations.
    • Fake: The “FABRIQUE AU VIETNAM” text is too big and stretched out.
    • Note: Seeing Dunks made in China isn’t a sign of them being fakes. Over 73.8% of authentic Nike sneakers are produced in China.
  5. French inscriptions
    • Authentic: The “VOTRE” text has a refined and thinner appearance.
    • Fake: The “VOTRE” text is too thick.
  6. Second “SWOOSH” text
    • Authentic: Text is correctly positioned.
    • Fake: The text in the middle of the tag is often wavily positioned, especially the lower “SWOOSH” text.

To conclude the first step: Authentic Dunks must have the same thickness for all the text.

The inscriptions should also be perfectly aligned on the label, without looking wavy. It’s all about high-quality, worth for the price you pay[1].

2. Rear details

NIKE Logo comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk

Related Dunk legit check guides: Lobster Dunks, Travis Scott Dunks, Nike Dunk High.

  1. “NIKE” text
    • Authentic: Each letter in the “NIKE” text is independent and does not connect with the next.
    • Fake: The “NIKE” text is too thin as indicated by the 1, 2, and 3 hand emojis. There might be extra threads connecting each letter.
  2. Middle stitching
    • Authentic: The cross-stitching on the middle side is of correct thickness and size.
    • Fake: The 4th emoji points out that the cross-stitching on the fake pair’s middle side is too thick and small compared to authentic Dunks.
  3. Sole stitching
    • Authentic: The stitching on the midsole is consistent and easily noticeable.
    • Fake: As shown by the 5th hand-emoji pointer, fake shoes lack the stitching on the midsole entirely.

Can’t tell if your Dunks are fake? Let our expert teams check them for you.

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3. Swoosh

With Dunks being so highly-replicated[2], exterior details are what matters to fake makers.

Swoosh Logo comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk
  • Authentic: Smaller Swoosh, sharp and curvy, set further from the midsole.
  • Fake: Oversized Swoosh, less curvy, too close to the midsole.

4. Size tag

Size tag comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk
  • Authentic:
    • “CU1726-100” (style code) has consistent font weight.
    • Uniform font used on authentic Dunk size tags.
  • Fake:
    • “CU1726-100” on fakes is thicker and boxier.
    • Different font used on fake size tags.
    • “MADE IN VIETNAM” text on fake size tags is too thick.

Nike follows a standard size tag design for all authentic Dunks.

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.

5. Exterior tongue

Exterior tongue comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk
  • Authentic:
    • The registered trademark “®” symbols appear thinner and smaller on genuine Nike Dunks.
    • There’s an appropriate amount of empty space between the “NIKE” text and the symbols.
  • Fake:
    • Replica Nike Dunks have “®” symbols that are two symbols too thick.
    • The symbols on fake Dunks look thicker and larger.
    • Notably, there’s too little space between the “NIKE” text and the symbols on fake pairs, making it a clear sign of a fake.

6. Perforations

The perforations are these little holes in front of the shoes:

Peforations comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk
  • Authentic:
    • Genuine Dunks have large, deep perforations that do not exhibit these issues.
  • Fake:
    • Perforations on replica Nike Dunks are small and cover too little space.
    • Lack depth, easily noticeable.
    • Often, toe box perforations are misaligned on fake Dunks.

7. Midsole

Stitching comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk
  • Authentic:
    • Appropriately-sized and well-executed stitching.
    • Threads on authentic Dunks are not too thin or small.
  • Fake:
    • Stitching on fake Dunks is too thin.
    • Threads appear small on fake pairs.

Rare flaw: Some fake Dunks may have additional paint stains on the midsole, such as the extra blue stain shown in the image. Authentic sneakers are usually free from such paint mistakes.

  • You may see this kind of issue on the Off-White “THE 50” Dunks as well.
  • They also have stitched midsoles like the Dunks in the real vs fake image above.

8. Toe box

Toe box comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk
  • Authentic: The toe boxes have a stronger, thicker appearance.
  • Fake: The toe box on fake Dunks appears too flat.

The toe box’s style differs from the regular Dunks from the SB Dunks. For instance, the toe box on the Nike SB Chunky Dunky is different from the one in the image above.

9. Insole

Real VS Fake Nike Dunk Low Black White Insole
  • Authentic: Thicker, more solid Registered Trademark “®” print.
  • Fake: “®” symbols are too thin.

10. Box label

Box comparison of the real vs fake Nike Dunk
  • Authentic: Solid-looking inscriptions (thick and properly visible prints).
  • Fake: Text is too thin and faded.

Shortlist: Legit Check Dunks (On The Go)

  1. Check the Interior Tongue Label: Fake sneakers are flawed in font weight or text placement.
  2. Verify the Rear of the Sneakers: Fake Dunks will have unusual font weighting and crafting on the rear. The stitching on the midsole can be faint or missing, and the stitching in the middle of the shoes will be too short and thick.
  3. Look at the Swoosh Symbol on the Side: The Swoosh will be too big on most fake low Dunks, as it’ll be too close to the midsole and curve off too much at the top.
  4. Inspect the Size Tag: The font weighting on the size tag of fake Dunks will be off, as it will look too thick or thin.
  5. Check the Exterior Tongue: The ® will usually be too thick on fake shoes.
  6. Verify the Perforations: Fake Dunks will have more shallow perforations on the toe box than authentic ones.
  7. Inspect the Midsole: The stitching on the midsole of Fake Dunks will often be much thinner than real ones.
  8. Look at the Toe Box: The fake Nike Dunks will have a thinner toe box than real Nike Dunk sneakers.
  9. See the Insole: Fakes often have the wrong thickness for the “NIKE®” text.
  10. Lastly, look at the box: Fakes can have a subtle difference in their text, as it may often be too thin.

If you’re having trouble distinguishing between real and fake Nike Dunk sneakers, contact Legit Check today! With just a few photos, we can help you determine the authenticity of your sneakers.

Expert Nike Dunk Authentication

Legit Check is the best service to professionally authenticate your Nike Dunks. Our service is quick and stress-free.

  1. Take a few pictures of your shoes
  2. Send them to our expert team of Nike authenticators
  3. Wait ~30 minutes → 48 hours (usually takes 24 hours or less)
  4. Get the verdict: FAKE or REAL with at least 4 detailed reasons
  5. Additionally: Upgrade to a Certificate of Authenticity

That brings us to the end of our real vs fake Nike Dunk Low legit check guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are Nike Dunks so popular?

Nike Dunks are so popular thanks to simple colour combinations for anyone’s style — especially for Gen Zs[3]. Dunks were always hot, even before the release of the Pandas and other hype colourways.

In the 1980s, there were fewer pairings more ubiquitous than Nike and sneakers. Nike Dunks were first sold along the Air Jordan 1 in 1985. They’ve since become one of the most recognizable sneakers in the world.

The Nike Dunks were the first of Nike’s sneakers to make a move towards the Skateboarding industry in the late 90s. 

With the release of the Air Jordan 1s in the same period, there was no real demand for Nike Dunks. This meant that the shoes ended up on sales racks for young skaters to pick up.

Hence, the shoe became a staple of early skate culture.

A lot of the newer Nike Dunk shoes have become popular and collectable due to being emblematic of the streetwear culture that’s given rise to the ‘Sneakerhead’.

  • With famous artists such as Travis Scott releasing their own collectable versions of the sneaker, the Nike Dunk and Nike Dunk SBs are looking to be more collectable than ever.
  • We now see pairs like the Travis Scott Dunks or the Chunky Dunky selling for well over $1,000.

With this history in mind, it’s easy to see why they’re such a sought-after sneaker. It’s important to have the knowledge to figure out whether you own real vs fake Dunks. 

After all, even buying the lower-end Dunks can set you back over $100 or $150, and nobody wants to pay that much for fake.

2. Why should you authenticate your Nike Dunks?

You should authenticate your Nike Dunks for the peace of mind that you know what you’re spending money on. Whether it’s fake or real, you have the right to know what you’re buying.

Collectable sneakers have become a target for counterfeiters worldwide. Their high value combined with a very widespread design has meant that there’s been a proliferation of fake sneakers over the past few decades.

With this, it’s incredibly important to check that your Nike sneakers are authentic. Knowing the difference between fake Dunks and real Dunks is crucial when collecting them.

Checking can be the difference between a good collectable and a cheap knockoff within your collection.

It’s also important to check as soon as you receive the item, as delaying could mean that you become ineligible for a claim or a refund through the marketplace or payment processor you paid with.

That’s why if you’re uncertain about how to tell if Dunks are fake, getting in touch with an expert authentication service is key.

3. What is the difference between SB Dunks and Dunks?

The difference between SB Dunk and Dunk is one of design, not a signifier of inauthenticity or a cheaper model. Rest assured, buying SB Dunks is not a sign of buying fake Nike Dunks.

There are a few differences between the designs of each respective shoe, as one is made for basketball, and the other was tailored specifically for skateboarding.

FeatureNike DunkNike SB Dunk
PurposeOriginally designed for basketball.Tailored for skateboarding.
PaddingStandard padding.Extra padding, especially around the tongue and collar, for better support and cushioning.
SoleTraditional basketball shoe sole.Thicker sole with more cushion and improved flexibility for skateboarding.
FitStandard fit for everyday wear.Snugger fit to enhance foot stability on the skateboard.
MaterialsVaried materials, but generally less robust compared to SB Dunks.Durable materials like suede, leather, and canvas to withstand the wear and tear of skateboarding.
LacesRegular laces.Thicker laces to resist breaking.
OutsoleTraditional Dunk outsole.Designed with a grippier tread pattern for better traction on a skateboard.
Collaborations and DesignsVarious collaborations and colorways, but traditionally less focused on the skate culture.Frequent collaborations with skate shops and artists, reflecting skate culture and heritage.

In words, here are some of the key differences between SB Dunks are Dunks:

  • Nike SB Dunks have a wider and thicker tongue to provide more protection, whereas Dunks’ tongue is slimmer.
  • The grips on the SB Dunk outsole are designed to keep the wearer on a skateboard and look different as opposed to the Dunks’ focus on the basketball court.
  • The Dunk SB laces are much thicker and more durable than the Dunk’s laces, to withstand wear from skateboarding’s varied and extreme movements. The Dunks have thinner ‘flat’ laces, the standard for most basketball shoes.

4. Are there any authentic defective Dunks?

Yes, sometimes, even real Dunks have flaws. Factories manufacturing authentic Dunks sometimes have small errors too (e.g. missing 1 or 2 stitches), but never as deep as the fake Dunks who get labels wrong.

For instance, you may see a fake pair of Dunks having a jump-stitch or a crooked leather part, though never with slanted text on the interior tongue label or size tag.

5. Countries where authentic Nike Dunks are made

“Where are Dunks made?” → We get this question a lot, so here’s the answer:

Authentic Nike Dunks are made in several countries, with the most common being Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.

Always check for quality and authenticity, regardless of the manufacturing country.

“Are Nike dunks made in Vietnam real?”

Yes, Nike Dunks made in Vietnam can be real. Nike manufactures shoes in various countries, including Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.

What’s important is to check for signs of authenticity, such as quality of materials, craftsmanship, and details like logos and stitching.

Buying from reputable retailers or official Nike stores is a good way to ensure authenticity.

References

  1. Nani, Badriyah Badriyah, and R. Arynati Ratnawati. “Effects of Product Quality, Price and Brand Image onthe Purchasing Decisions of Nike Products.” Jurnal Mantik 5.4 (2022): 2607-2611.
    Access at: iocscience.org/ejournal/index.php/mantik/article/view/2048
  2. Kim, Daniel Hyungtae. “How Nike’s Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Against Kool Kiy & Omi May Benefit From China’s Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court’s Approach to Mediation.” (2023).
    Access at: larc.cardozo.yu.edu/cjcr-blog/53
  3. Witt, Gregg L., and Derek E. Baird. The Gen Z frequency: How brands tune in and build credibility. Kogan Page Publishers, 2018.
    Access at: google.co.uk/books/edition/_/cwVrDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0

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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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