I’d say the fact that the unauthorized pairs are missing 3M is a pretty big detail. That’s huge, and definitely the easiest way to tell if a pair of DB 3s are authentic or not (for those wondering). Also, from what I’ve seen, there are Unauthorized pairs that have 3M on them; however, the unauthorized pairs have 3M on the wrong area. The 3M is on the upper (the part with the gold symbols), whereas on the authentic pairs, the 3M is on the mudguard and the black portions of the upper (the unauthorized pairs don’t have 3M on the black areas). So, if you’re looking to buy a pair of authentic DB 3s, make sure to get a pic of the shoes with flash on, so you can check the 3M. That being said, it’s best to know every way there is to tell if a shoe is authentic or not, because the replica/unauthorized makers will oftentimes fix issues on newer batches.
With that in mind, another good way to tell (for those of you wondering) are the “nipples/peaks” that unauthorized kicks always tend to have on the middle areas of different portions of the shoes; on 3’s, it’s the space where the toebox meets the tongue (you can see it at 1:42, although it’s definitely fainter on these than usual), the middle of the mudguard on the toebox (11:38), and the middle of the elephant print on the heel (10:43). Sometimes, an authentic/authorized pair might have a nipple on one area, but rarely will they have it on both the front and back, if they even have one at all. Out of the 4 or 5 authentic pairs of 3s I have, none of them have any nippling, literally, whereas every single pair of unauthorized 3s I’ve ever owned or purchased for someone else, without exception, has had them. That nippling is even worse on the OG 1s. I have some ideas as to why unauthorized shoes all have nippling, but that’s another topic altogether…
Anyways… I won’t lie; those unauthorized joints look pretty damn good. Still, without that 3M, I wouldn’t want to cop them. I stopped copping unauthorized shoes a year or so ago, simply because I realized that the unauthorized shoes were not identical to the authentic/authorized pairs. I was always ok with buying unauthorized shoes because I thought they were the same as authorized kicks, save for some small quality control issues here and there, and as long as the shoes looked identical, I was cool with it. Once I realized the differences were much more than small quality control issues (sloppy stitching and cuts here and there, occasional paint flaws, etc.) and that the unauthorized shoes oftentimes used cheaper/inferior materials, I decided to stop buying them. That being said, I totally understand why people buy them, and would never knock someone for doing so. I only have a problem with the douchebags that sell unauthorized and replica shit as “100% Authentic”, knowing goddamn well that they’re not the same thing.
Great blog, btw. You’re one of the best guys on YouTube, in my opinion, and I hope you continue doing what you’re doing. These “Unauthorized vs Authentic” comparison blogs are so necessary in this day and age, and I salute you for taking the time out to film them. Respect! – That Uncut Raw