The noob’s guide to telling the Air Jordan 1, Air Force 1, and SB Dunks apart

Feb 12, 2021 0 comments

There are certain things in life that seem easy but aren’t. Like sneakers. They come in so many brands, models, and colorways that they all just become a blur. Sometimes, what you thought are the same pair of shoes isn’t the same at all. Don’t believe us? Just look at Air Force 1, Air Jordan 1, and SB Dunks.


Believe it or not, those are three different sneaker models. Confusing, right? Luckily, we are here to tell the difference between them. Here’s a simple guide on how to do so:


Air Jordan 1


What sets the Air Jordan 1 apart is the Jumpman logo or the Air Jordan wings logo. They are usually located either on the tongue or the heel.


Another distinguishable feature is that the Nike Swoosh rests on top of the heel counter, which is that tough leather panel at your heel that makes sure you don’t roll your ankle. 


Photo by Roby Liamzon




SB Dunks

The Skateboard (SB) Dunk uses very padded tongues with the words “Nike SB.” The extra padded tongue ensures that the foot is locked down and responds the way a skater wants them to. 


The Dunks’ back panel is also part of the heel counter. Its height is lower than that of the Air Jordan 1 to provide the ankle more flexibility, skaters need to do twists and turns while giving them just the right amount of ankle support. The Nike Swoosh goes over the said back panel then is tucked in underneath the heel tab.


Photo by Luigi Agustin

Lastly, if you still cannot distinguish if it’s an SB Dunk, check the heel tab. Only the SB Dunk will have the plain and simple “Nike.”


Air Force 1

This is for sure the tallest and widest among its look-a-likes, easily making it the most comfortable (cheapest and easiest to find in stores too, by the way). 


The easiest feature to spot is using the word “Air” on the outer midsole, tongue, and heel tab. It is also the only one without a distinguishable heel counter. Lastly, it is usually the only one with a shiny shoelace buckle or dubrae that says “AF1”.


Photo by Luigi Agustin


We’re sure you’ll be a pro at telling these shoes apart in no time! Are there any other distinguishable features that we missed? Let us know in the comments!



━━ Written By  Roby Liamzon and Bella Javier


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