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Nike SNKRS 101 - How To Buy And Win Sneakers On The SNKRS App

Nike SNKRS Guide - How to win sneakers
Nike SNKRS Guide - How to win sneakers

Nike's latest launches, hottest events, and exclusive releases are done via SNKRS. Chances are if you have ever went for a pair of Jordans or Off-Whites you are well acquainted with Nike's app and probably have your own fair share of criticisms regarding their release mechanics.

Fortunately, knowledge is power. Follow along as we break down everything you need to know about the SNKRS app to increase your chances of buying the latest sneakers on drop day.

Getting Started With SNKRS

The Nike SNKRS app is available for Android and iOS. Once you've installed the app, it's time to create an account. Nike requires an account to be able to buy sneakers on the SNKRS app. To create an account you will need to enter a valid email address, password, name, DOB, country of residence, preferred product type and password. Upon creation, it is important to sign into the newly created SNKRS account to confirm and verify your phone number. Nike will send you a 6 digit code to do so.

Once your account has been created, it is important to setup your profile. Navigate to the profile tab in the app and click the gear in the right hand corner of the screen. From there, enter your desired shoe size, payment information, and shipping information. Be sure to double check that all of your information is accurate to prevent card declines and other issues on drop day. While not required, we highly suggest that you set a profile picture while on the profile tab and that you enable Face ID to make purchases more seamless for future releases.

Creating an account on Nike SNKRS app
Creating an account on Nike SNKRS app

How to buy on SNKRS

Buying sneakers on the SNKRS app is relatively simple process once you understand Nike's different release methods. Nike employs a few different release methods on its app. Knowing how and when a sneaker is releasing can put you ahead of the curve. Unfortunately, Nike doesn't give much information on its different release methods or even how they are releasing the sneaker in question.

Luckily, Sole Retriever is a great resource to stay informed on when sneakers are dropping and how they will be released via SNKRS. Familiarize yourself with the release mechanics to be prepared for the next SNKRS drop. For simplicity, we are going to break drops into two categories - SNKRS draws and SNKRS releases.

How SNKRS draws work

There are two types of draws on SNKRS - DAN and LEO. Entering is the same for each draw type. In short, you will want to open the SNKRS app a few minutes before the draw opens. Once the draw opens, select your desired size and confirm your purchase. From there, it's time to cross your fingers and wait for the results. If you win the draw SNKRS will send you a GOT'EM push notification. If your entry is not select, you will get a DIDN'T GET'EM notification.

Where the two draw types differ is how long you have to enter for each...

DAN Draw

10-30 minute draw on Nike SNKRS. Stock on DAN releases tend to be more limited. Speed of entry does not matter. All users that enter within the 10-30 minute window have an equal shot of winning the sneakers. Once time runs out, Nike tends to alert users whether they won or lost the draw within 5 minutes.

LEO Draw

2-3 minute draw on Nike SNKRS. LEOs are the most common draw type on SNKRS. Unlike DAN draws, there is not a countdown to enter. The speed in which you enter a LEO draw will not affect your odds of winning the draw, but the only way an entry will be considered is if an entry was received shortly after the draw opened.

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two draw types is easy. If there is a timer, it's a DAN release. If there isn't, it is a LEO release.

Nike SNKRS Draws
Nike SNKRS Draws

SNKRS Releases

Unlike draws, SNKRS releases are all about speed. There are quite a few different drop types that fall into this category. It is imperative that you are familiar with these before a release as time is of the essence.


First come, first served releases. FLOW drops are all about speed. Users that are the first to select a size and have their payment processed get the sneakers.

Early Access and Exclusive Access

Random users are chosen to have the opportunity to purchase a particular pair of kicks. Early and exclusive access is given more frequently to those who maintain "active" SNKRS accounts. The SNKRS exclusive access process has been explained by Nike for releases like the Jordan 1 Lost and Found and the Jordan 3 Reimagined.

SNKRS Passes and SNKRS Stashes

A SNKRS Pass and SNKRS Stash are for users who are within a certain proximity, usually to major cities or event spaces, can obtain a chance to purchase the shoes. With limited stock available on a first-come, first-served basis, only SNKRS app users who are nearby have a chance to enter these releases. SNKRS Passes have recently been updated to draws. Read more about Nike's new SNKRS Pass methods.

How to win a SNKRS Scratcher

Scratchable images appear in the app's "feed" tab. Like a scratch off ticket, interacting with the SNKRS scratcher will reveal a purchase page for the sneaker launch. Each one of these scratchers has been slightly different and Nike doesn't employ this regularly.

SNKRS Shock Drop

Nike loads a product for purchase with no warning. Speed is an important factor for shock drops. The faster users enter, the higher their chance of buying the sneakers will be. To make sure you get notified of every SNKRS Shock Drop, be sure to be on our app!

How to use the SNKRS Cam

The SNKRS Cam is a unique way to unlock special access to sneakers by finding the correct image and pointing your device's camera at it. The key to using the SNKRS cam is having the special camera open on SNKRS on your phone and have a second device where you can find or display the special SNKRS cam image. Upon scanning the image, you will see an augmented reality "Get it now" button where you can purchase the sneakers.

*Note - Nike may employ multiple methods on a particular sneaker. For example, the Jordan 11 Cool Grey released via a SHOCK DROP, EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, and SNKRS PASS all before it finally dropped on December 11th, 2021.

Nike SNKRS releases
Nike SNKRS releases

Tips and tricks

Here are some additional tips that are important to keep in mind to be prepared for a SNKRS drop.

  1. Ensure your phone is charged before a drop
  2. Make sure you have a good WiFi connection or cellular service when going for a sneaker release
  3. Update your SNKRS app regularly. Nike frequently pushes updates - if your app is not on the latest version it could lead to glitches and loading issues
  4. Once a product you're interested in loads to SNKRS, be sure to hit the "notify me" button to be reminded when the sneakers are dropping
  5. While not confirmed by Nike, being "active" on the app has been rumored to increase users' chances of getting exclusive access, early access and even winning sneakers on the SNKRS app
  6. Increase your odds by having friends, family, and co-workers that are not going for drops attempt to purchase and enter draws on your behalf on SNKRS
  7. Don't try to game the system. There is no doubt that the more times you enter or try to purchase shoes on SNKRS will increase your chances, but gaming the system could result in Nike cancelling your order or even shadow-banning your account so that you don't have chances of purchasing in the future
  8. Download Sole Retriever's mobile app to be alerted when new sneakers are loaded to SNKRS and when drops are happening
Sole Retriever Mobile App SNKRS Alerts
Sole Retriever Mobile App SNKRS Alerts

Final thoughts

There are hundreds of thousands of users trying to cop Nike's drops on SNKRS. While this guide will give you a slight edge, it is by no means a guarantee that you will cop the sneakers you want on release day.

That said, it is important that you keep trying. Winning shoes on SNKRS is a numbers game and you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Never give up! To increase your chances of getting your hands on the latest sneakers be sure to check out the best sneaker raffle apps.

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