Nike's Flyknit Racer is one of the best sneakers out there, period. The often imitated, never duplicated runner is loved for both its style and its comfort, with an innovative design still looks every bit as fresh as the day it debuted in 2012. However, with its popularity and long-lasting appeal comes an influx of fakes, and the minimal yet complex construction is actually easier to mimic than you may have realized.
In effort to prevent sneakerheads from getting burned with fake Flyknits, Singapore's Saints store has put together an informative guide that will help you better understand what to look for when purchasing your Racers. No detail has been spared here, so this should be enough to keep you safe — even with online purchases. Study up, fam.
For starters, the box that houses the Flyknit Racers should have a matte finish. There are rare exceptions, but a glossy sheen is usually an indicator of fugazis.
Meanwhile, the box label should use a consistent font and spacing between the letters. In the image above, you'll notice that the spacing on the fake label is noticeably different than that of the authentic. When in doubt, it's best to compare it with a box you already own.
Next up is the size tag behind the tongue. Here, Saints notes that counterfeit manufacturers have recently improved their tags, making it more difficult to distinguish between the real and fake pairs. However, like the box tag, you can usually spot differences in the spacing and font upon closer inspection. Take note of the differences on the "nikebetterworld.com," "Made in Vietnam," and UPC markings on each.
Inside, the "Racing Road" graphic on the sockliner of the fake pair appears to be ironed on and easily removable. Meanwhile, the real pair uses a printed graphic and the perforations are more defined. Also take note of the spacing between the "N" and "G" on each pair.
The heel of a legit Flyknit Racer should be almost symmetrical, while the fakes have a wonky, abnormal shape to them. Saints also notes that the fake pair actually feels less sturdy.
From a side view, you'll notice how the authentic Flyknit Racers have a sleek curve at the heel. On the fake pair, it's much less bulbous and defined. Be sure to pay attention to the overall shape of the ankle cut also.
At the toe, the perforation holes are much wider and more noticeable on authentic pairs. However, Saints makes it a point to mention that this is something that can vary from pair to pair, so make sure to review all the points above before pulling the trigger.