Last Updated: October 13, 2022
Nike has implemented various strategies to prevent bots from obtaining their highly sought-after releases. One of their go-to platforms is the SNKRS app, which offers different methods to give sneaker enthusiasts a fair chance at purchasing their favorite shoes. It’s important to note that Nike has successfully mitigated the use of bots on their site, at least in the United States.
This tutorial is specifically designed to assist first-time Nike sneaker lovers in the United States who are unfamiliar with SNKRS and want to learn how to participate in a reservation or draw launch. SNKRS is primarily used to sell Nike footwear, including Converse and Jordan brands, as well as more recently, apparel items.
To ensure a smooth experience, make sure to open the SNKRS app a few minutes before the scheduled launch as it may take time to load. The app can be installed on both Apple and Android smartphones. If you haven’t used SNKRS in a while, give yourself time to ensure that your size and payment information are saved.
Additionally, make sure to have your SNKRS password ready, and depending on your chosen payment method, either your credit card’s three-digit security code or your Paypal password. SNKRS may prompt you to re-enter your password and payment information during the purchasing process.
While many sneaker enthusiasts attempt to win pairs by using SNKRS on multiple devices simultaneously, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, it’s important to note that you’ll need separate delivery addresses, email addresses, and payment methods for each device. Other methods some people use to try and gain an advantage will not be discussed here.
Navigating Nike’s SNKRS App
Before the launch, start by downloading the SNKRS app and setting up your Nike+ account. The setup process requires your name, email address, date of birth, country, and password. When you sign in to your SNKRS account for the first time, Nike will verify your phone number by sending a six-digit code.
The home screen of the SNKRS app displays the “Feed,” “In Stock,” and “Upcoming” tabs at the top. The “Feed” section provides background information on featured sneaker silhouettes, brand collaborations, and events. The “In Stock” tab lists currently available shoes, while the “Upcoming” tab displays a list of upcoming launch dates.
On the bottom right corner of the home page, you’ll find the “Discover” icon. Tapping on this icon opens a feed with additional Nike-related stories, including employee profiles and information on city-specific SNKRS Pass launches. Next to “Discover” is the “Notifications” section, where Nike provides updates on whether you’ve successfully secured a pair (“Got ‘Em!”) or information about your placed orders.
Creating a SNKRS Profile
To access your profile, tap on the “Profile” icon located to the right of “Notifications.” Then, tap on the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner. Fill in your first name, last name, email address, gender, and shoe size. It’s optional to upload a profile picture, but doing so requires granting Nike access to your phone’s images.
Once your information is saved, your profile home page will display your name and a rectangle in the middle labeled “Nike + Pass.” Tapping on this icon will reveal your personal QR (Quick Response) code, which is necessary for picking up certain types of in-store launches. Nike also uses QR codes for access to special events and activities.
To streamline the purchase process, add a payment method (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Nike gift cards, Paypal, and Apple Pay on iOS devices) along with your billing and shipping addresses. Note that even if you pre-load this information, Nike may still ask you to re-enter your size or payment details during the purchasing process.
In the SNKRS notification preferences, enable notifications and choose your preferred timing: one week, one day, or 15 minutes before the launch. The upcoming SNKRS feed includes a “Notify Me” button, which you can use to stay informed about upcoming products. Many shoes featured in the feed follow a first-come-first-served (FCFS) launch model, where the first to purchase gets the pair.
How to Purchase a SNKRS Drop
The “Upcoming” tab is where the action happens during popular drops. At the scheduled launch time (usually 10:00 AM EST in the United States), the “Notify Me” button will change to display the price of the shoe. Tap on the price button, and you’ll be directed to a list of available sizes. Choose your size and tap the “OK” button.
You’ll then be taken to a page displaying the selected size, your address, payment method, and the total amount including shipping and tax. Tap the “Buy Now” button, and you may be prompted to enter your SNKRS password, as well as your credit card security code or Paypal password. Nike recommends saving Paypal as a payment method approximately 30 minutes before each launch if you plan to use it.
If your purchase is successful, you’ll receive the coveted “Got ‘Em” message in “Notifications” shortly after making the payment. According to @nikestore, “If you’re successful, you’ll see a ‘Got’ Em’ message on SNKRS and will receive an order confirmation email.” However, if you don’t win a pair, you may or may not receive a notification indicating that you weren’t selected.
How Long Does SNKRS Take to Notify?
The notification time depends on the type of launch. The two common types are Draw (DAN) and Let Everyone Order (LEO). For Draw launches, Nike officially states that it will notify within 24 hours, but notifications typically come within 15-30 minutes. For LEO launches, you may be placed in a queue, and once selected and your payment is processed, you’ll receive a notification within two to 10 minutes after the launch.
Types of SNKRS Launches
Draw (DAN) Launch: This system uses timed entry. When the launch goes live, the “Notify Me” button changes to “Enter Draw.” Nike provides a countdown clock, giving you 20 minutes to an hour to enter the draw. If you haven’t saved your sizing and payment information, you’ll be prompted to provide them. Each account can enter the draw only once.
After the draw ends, Nike will notify you within 24 hours (usually within 15 minutes to an hour) if you’ve been selected to purchase the shoe. Nike will process your payment and provide information about when you can expect to receive the shoe.
Exclusive Access: This type of launch involves Nike notifying members on the app or desktop that they’ve been granted early access to a drop. The invite may come before or after a release, as well as randomly. Nike has shared a tutorial on increasing the chances of receiving Exclusive Access.
According to Nike, over 50 variables are considered to determine which members are awarded Exclusive Access for a specific product. These variables include prior SNKRS launch entries, content engagement, poll responses, and more. By engaging with SNKRS regularly and participating in polls and other activities, the chances of being granted Exclusive Access increase.
First-Come-First-Serve (FCFS) or FLOW: Nike rarely uses FCFS with SNKRS launches. This launch type is usually associated with non-SNKRS releases. As the name suggests, the first person to submit their payment information successfully secures the item.
During an FCFS launch, you may see messages such as “You’re in line” or “Waiting for your turn.” These messages indicate that Nike is processing the orders of customers ahead of you. You can close the SNKRS app, and your place in line will be maintained. However, closing the website will remove you from the queue. If you win, Nike will briefly hold the pair for you.
Let Everyone Order (LEO): This is Nike’s popular launch type, aside from the Draw. It allows everyone to order, but behind the scenes, Nike employs a selection process to determine winners. The specifics of this process are debated, with some suggesting that purchases are cut off two minutes after the drop, and Nike subsequently uses various algorithms to select winners from the queue.
Reserve Launch: SNKRS can be used on any device, but for “Reserve” launches requiring in-store pick-up, you’ll need to use a device with location access enabled. In these launches, the “Notify Me” icon changes to “Reserve” at launch time. To be considered, push the “Reserve” icon and choose a nearby pick-up location. Some “Reserve” launches offer the option of shipping. Due to the pandemic, Nike has reduced the use of “Reserve” launches in 2020.
If you miss out on a “Reserve” launch, it may be worth visiting the store stocking the shoe, as unclaimed pairs after a certain time may become available for FCFS purchase.
SNKRS Pass: This is a location-specific launch limited to select cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York. Nike often uses this type of launch for very limited editions, sometimes called “Friends & Family” releases, which may later have a wider launch. SNKRS Pass launches are typically announced with little warning, similar to “Shock Drops.”
For in-store pick-up SNKRS Pass launches, Nike will process the payment and provide details on when and where to pick up the shoes. To collect the shoes, you’ll need to show your SNKRS QR code and provide official photo identification matching your winning SNKRS account.
Shock Drop: Nike occasionally surprise releases its most coveted launches before the official launch date or without prior announcement. These surprise drops may include shoes that aren’t listed in the “Upcoming” calendar.
Nike keeps their Shock Drops secretive until they’re announced on an official Nike social media platform. Until then, Nike does not confirm or deny any rumors about upcoming Shock Drops. Sometimes, Nike may require users to complete a task to access a Shock Drop release.
To stay up-to-date with coveted drops, numerous Twitter accounts notify users of Exclusive Access opportunities and Shock Drops. Some accounts even have dedicated apps. You can follow Nike’s official @nikestore account, but note that not every single launch is announced there.
Keep in mind that the SNKRS app may have occasional glitches. If you encounter any issues, Nike recommends signing out and signing back in or reinstalling the app. If problems persist and stock is available, you can contact Nike’s customer service at 800-806-6453 (available from 4:00 AM to 11:00 PM PST seven days a week).
May the sneaker gods be with you!