In this post, I'll be teaching you guys - be it the people who are afraid to purchase fake Flyknit Trainers, or those who just want to know more - how to differentiate between a fake and real pair of Nike Flyknit Trainers. For simplicity's sake, I will be using the term 'trainers' to refer to these Flyknit Trainers.
Before we start, when you want to get a pair of trainers, always ask for more pictures as some sellers do not post photos of the size tags, but only the front and side profiles of the shoes and the soles. Don't be forced to make a quick decision. If the seller is pressurising you to purchase, don't take a risk on buying unless you're sure you can get a refund. Even so, the whole process is extremely troublesome, so why not make an informed decision instead by reading this article?
To begin with, there are two types of trainers: unpadded and padded ones. The difference between these is usually half a size - you can size down 0.5 if you are intending to get an unpadded pair as compared to a padded pair.
e.g. I wear a US 7 in unpadded, US 7.5 / 8 for padded. I prefer more space, so I go for an 8 padded. This boils down to personal preference.
- Heel Stripes
Figure 1. There are 6 full stripes, and sometimes, there is a partial stripe covered by the heel tab.
Figure 2. Same as above, just that the partial stripe might be harder to spot as sellers don't usually give you so many detailed pictures. A good rule of the thumb would be 6-7 stripes on each side.
Figure 3. This is a fake trainer. Notice that there are more than 6-7 stripes on the outer of the heel area.
Figure 4. If the 3M Stripes on the heel tab are not reflective (i.e. When you shine a bright flash, it doesn’t reflect like in the pair on the right), it’s very like you’re dealing with a fake.
If you’re still unclear, we will use the next tip to further examine the trainers.
- Toebox Weave
This is a bit more tricky than the previous method, but as you do more checks, you'll get more accustomed to spotting the 'off' toebox weave. As most sellers provide photos of the top profile of the shoes, chances are high that you may see the toebox weave.
Figure 5. When looking at the toebox from a short distance, the weave on the real (left) one should be of uniform colour, and the edges should look rounded and not have sharp edges.
Figure 6. The edges may seem a little rough when close up, but not to the extent of looking too out of shape. The two patterns and colours on the toebox weave will be uniform on all trainers, with the exception of the Multicolored Trainers.
- Size Tags
There are two types of Flyknit Trainers in the market. Firstly, the unpadded batch from an earlier production: "considered-design.com", and secondly, the padded batch from "nikebetterworld.com". If you are confused, don't worry! Read on to find out more.
"nikebetterworld.com" is what you see on the size tags of trainers made in Vietnam. These pairs belong to the later (newer) batch of trainers produced by Nike, and are usually padded.
"considered-design.com" are on the size tags and these were made in Taiwan, usually unpadded. If you come across a "considered-design.com" tag, it might not be fake, but most of the time when you see a cheap price tag for a brand new pair, it's almost always fake.
Now that you know more about the two different size tags, we can move on to checking these pesky tags for any errors/mistakes in printing.
Figure 7. Multicolored Flyknit Trainer Size Tag
Made in Vietnam / Fabrique Au Vietnam (nikebetterworld)
1) The 'M' in 'MADE' should be very closely aligned with 'B' in 'FABRIQUE'. (A very slight misalignment of about 1mm or lesser)
2) Same goes for 'I' in 'IN' and 'E' in 'FABRIQUE'
3) 'N' in the 'VIETNAM' (Made in Vietnam) is aligned with 'E' in 'VIETNAM' (Fabrique Au Vietnam)
4) The uneven spaces between US, UK, EUR and cm is normal, and almost constant for all “nikebetterworld.com” tags.
Figure 8. Volt Flyknit Trainer Size Tag
Made in Taiwan / Fabrique A Taiwan (considered-design)
1) The 'N' in the word 'IN' should be aligned with the 'E' in 'FABRIQUE'
2) The 'W' in 'TAIWAN' (Made in Taiwan) should be aligned in the centre of the 1st 'A' in 'TAIWAN' (Fabrique A Taiwan)
If you have other racers, you can use the size tag for reference for trainers with size tags that say 'nikebetterworld.com'! Once you've seen enough of the trainers, you'll soon be able to recognise in a couple of looks whether they're fake or real.
Figure 9. Authentic trainers have these areas which protrude out evenly and fully on the soles, and are not flat.
The soles are not easy to check, especially for used pairs. The soles may be worn out, thus affecting your judgement. With that being said, use the 4 tips mentioned in this article in conjunction to check on the authenticity of the trainers. If you’re unsure, DO NOT BUY!
Say no to fakes, and I hope this article on authenticity checking will give you guys a few basic pointers on how to look out for them.
Photos taken from NikeTalk, Carousell.