We all love getting free stuff, right? But what about how to get free shoes?
Well, there are actually a surprising number of major companies out there offering free shoes as a giveaway. In some cases, you’ll only be able to get them in exchange for a review and others are only for those in certain jobs, like the companies that provide free shoes for healthcare workers.
But either way, there may just be an option on this list that lets you take advantage of these offers to get free shoes too.
How to get free shoes online from testing programs
One of the main ways for almost anyone to get free shoes is through participating in testing programs.
This essentially means that you’re getting free shoes for a review on your thoughts on the shoe, including its comfort, style and fitness for purpose, like if it helped you with your running or another sport.
Given the massive popularity of their shoes, it’s hardly surprising that there are so many people trying to work out how to get free shoes from Nike.
Fortunately, they actually do have a program where you can help them to design amazing new products – or even improve existing ones.
Is Nike giving free sneakers – really?
It’s true: you can absolutely get free shoes from Nike.
Now we can’t tell you, say, how to get free Jordans shoes, as you’re not able to choose which ones they send you. Instead, they’re more likely to send you their new releases as free shoes for review.
How can I get a free pair of Nike shoes?
The way to get a free pair of Nike shoes is to apply to become a product tester for them.
How it works is that you’ll either get some apparel or a pair of free shoes by mail. Alternatively, if you live close to a testing center, you’re able to come in for an in-person shoe test.
You’ll then be asked to wear the shoes for a certain period of time, which can be for anything from one month to a few months. You may also be asked to do certain activities in them, such as playing sport, to test how well they can withstand wear and tear.
Once the testing period is over, Nike asks you to send the shoes back for their Research and Development Department to take a closer look at the shoes and analyse how they have held up.
How do I become a Nike shoe tester?
You can apply to become a Nike shoe tester through Nike’s Voice of the Athlete site, which is available here.
The range of applicants are divided as follows and have to fill in their relevant application:
- One application for those who are 18 and older
- Another application for those aged between 13 and 17 years old
- An application for kids who are 12 years old and younger, to be completed by their parents
It’s worth noting that the application for those who are between 13 and 17 years old needs to be done alongside a parent, who must confirm that they give permission for their teen to do this.
(But it’s still a great option for any teens looking to make money, as getting free shoes means you can save the money you’ve earned for other things.)
Do Nike testers get paid?
Nike testers don’t get paid. They do, however, get a pair of brand new shoes to wear for a few months.
While you may prefer to keep them forever, keep in mind that if you send the shoes back along with suitable feedback, you’ll continue to be eligible to receive new products. This means that you could set yourself up to actually get free shoes several times a year.
While Vans doesn’t have a product testing program, there is still a way to get free shoes from Vans.
How to get free shoes from Vans
Vans has a program called “Vans Family”, which is essentially a customer loyalty scheme. As a member, you’re able to “unlock entry to exclusive family only products, promotions and experiences”.
You’ll also earn points by doing random things such as confirming your email, referring friends to their program and purchasing Vans products. Those points can then be redeemed for other products.
However, one extra perk you can get for being a member of the Vans Family is that, from time to time, they’ll send you free shoes by mail as a surprise.
If you’re looking for free shoes, Adidas is here to help. This is because, like Nike, they also have a highly reputable testing program.
How to get free shoes from Adidas
The first step is to create a profile on Adidas’ site for becoming a product tester and make sure you meet the minimum requirements listed there.
These include things like living in either the US or Europe, being at least 18 years old and agreeing to not test any competitor products or share information on what you’re asked to test.
If you’re selected, you’ll receive an email inviting you to participate in a round of testing of a particular product. Once you accept this, they’ll send you some free shoes by mail.
At that point, you’re expected to test the product for a minimum number of hours or mileage per week for the testing period, which is usually around two to four weeks.
Make sure you take detailed notes on how you use the free shoes, so Adidas knows how they’ve been used. Then, at the end of the test, you’ll be asked to mail the shoes back – which Adidas pays for.
And if they like your work, you’ll continue to be eligible for future tests! This means that while you don’t get to keep your free shoes, you could have new ones in rotation basically as frequently as you want.
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If you’re a runner, you’ve definitely heard of Brooks before. They have some of the best running shoes in the business, so getting a free pair should be a priority if you like to pound the pavement from time to time.
How to get free running shoes from Brooks
To get free running shoes from Brooks, you have to sign up for their testing program which you can do here. You also have the chance to be sent other apparel too.
They have certain requirements that are similar to Adidas, in that you have to be 18 and agree to keep the product information confidential. This includes no posting on social media.
Their program is only available to those living in the US but if you live in Seattle, you have the added bonus possibility of being selected to come to Brooks’ lab and help them test their products there.
Given what Brooks is known for, you’re more likely to be selected if you’re a runner. That said, anyone who prefers other sports can still be considered given that Brooks is looking for all sorts of people who use their shoes in all sorts of different ways.
Also keep in mind that you don’t have to be a champion runner. On the contrary, they specifically say that you can run at any time, any pace.
You’ll get to use your free running shoes for around three months, at which point Brooks will ask for them to be sent back (which they pay for) for their Research and Development Team to look at. And then you can sit back and wait for the next testing round to participate in!
5. New Balance
New Balance is another brand that’s well known to anyone who considers themselves a bit of an athlete. And luckily for you, they also have a great product testing program for you to score yourself some free shoes from New Balance.
How to get free shoes for review from New Balance
To start the process, sign up to become a product tester on their site here. You’ll have to provide some details about yourself, including how often you exercise as well as what you do. Rest assured though that you don’t have to be an Olympian to qualify.
If they think you’re a fit, you’ll be contacted by their testing team and sent some free shoes by mail.
Simply wear them as you would any other pair of sports shoes, log your usage and provide feedback on their fit, usage, comfort and more. Your feedback will then be used to improve New Balance’s product line going forward.
Is there a free shoes app?
There isn’t a specific free shoes app, but there are apps where you can earn points to be converted into gift cards. You can then use those gift cards to buy shoes, making them completely free.
And the best part is you get to keep the shoes forever, not only for a certain period of testing!
Swagbucks is easily one of our most recommended apps for making free money. It’s given out literally hundreds of millions of dollars to its users over the year just for them doing all sorts of activities.
(Starting with the free $10 welcome bonus you’ll get just for verifying your email.)
This includes playing games, watching videos, doing surveys and even using their in-built search engine.
And the points you earn can be converted into gift cards at almost any major retailer you can imagine, including Amazon, Target, Walmart and even PayPal or Visa gift cards, which is basically like receiving straight up cash.
You can then use those gift cards to buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing off – and they’ll be totally free!
If you’d like to know more, our Swagbucks review will answer all your questions and more.
Free sign-up bonus: $5
A great app for making extra money, including with cash back from online shopping, watching videos, playing games and more.
And given it’s paid out over $400 million through Amazon, Paypal and other gift cards, it’s 100% legit.
Ibotta is another great app for making money. In fact, it’s easily the top of the game when it comes to the cash back apps, as it’s perfect for giving you money for things you’d be buying already.
How it works is that when you buy things like groceries, medicine or clothes at any of its 500 partner retailers (including online), the app will give you money back per item. This cash then accrues to be exchanged for gift cards at all the stores plus more listed in the Swagbucks section above.
And you can get started with the pretty amazing free $20 sign up bonus just for redeeming your first offer.
Check out our Ibotta review to find out more.
Free sign-up bonus: $20
Ibotta is a completely free app that gives you cash back on what you’re buying already – groceries, medicine, clothes and more.
In fact, users make $150 per year on average – not including your free $20 welcome bonus – with over $682 million having been paid out, so you know Ibotta is definitely legit.
Free shoes for healthcare workers and other essential workers
This article is being written while the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much active, with healthcare and other essential workers bearing the full brunt of what can only be described as a horrific situation.
But as you may have heard, some companies have come out and offered to give free shoes to medical staff and other frontline workers, as a small way to say thank you for what they are doing for the rest of us.
These offers change quite quickly, so it’s worth doing a Google search whenever you read this to see what the most up to date information is, just in case there’s something new we haven’t reflected here yet.
In particular, some of the offers listed below may not be available any more by the time you read this, although we’ll do our best to keep it up to date.
(And if you see any that aren’t listed here, please let us know!)
8. Free Kizik shoes for healthcare workers
Kizik is known for its hand-free shoes, in that you can slip them on and off without having to touch them. And it helps that they look really good too – these aren’t your grandparents slippers we’re talking about here.
Given how important it is right now to limit our touching, especially for essential workers who may be more exposed to the virus, they’re offering to donate 1,000 pairs of free Kizik shoes for healthcare workers.
To find out more and request a pair, click here.
9. Crocs: Free shoes to frontline workers
We may have our own opinion on what Crocs look like, but there’s no denying that they’re comfortable.
Which is why it’s great news that Crocs is running a Sharing a Free Pair for Healthcare program, which has given away over 860,000 pairs of shoes globally since late March 2020 to healthcare workers.
Find out more here.
10. Brooks: Free shoes for NHS staff and other healthcare workers in Europe
In April and May 2020, Brooks donated a total of 6,000 pairs of free running shoes to healthcare workers across Europe, including NHS staff in the UK as well as Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France and more.
While the program isn’t active as we write this, it’s worth keeping an eye on their site to see when it reopens, as they’ve hinted at running a similar offer again in the near future.
Other ways to get free shoes
11. Free used shoes
Keep an eye on places like Facebook groups in your local area for free shoe giveaways, as these can be a goldmine of free stuff. And you don’t even have to limit yourself to local groups, as you can also get free shoes and just pay shipping if they’re coming from further away.
It may sound odd to look for free used shoes and it’s true that you do have to be careful about the quality you’re getting.
But this can work particularly well for getting free kids’ shoes in pretty good condition. Just think how quickly they grow out of their shoes and how much less wear time they’ve probably had.
Another tip is to look based on the seasons. Winter shoes are often given away in spring and summer, especially for kids by parents who don’t think the shoes will fit when the next winter rolls round.
12. Free shoes for low income families
There are various organizations out there helping people who may be struggling to get by through offering free shoes for kids.
These are usually organized through schools and are generally location-specific. For example:
- Laces of Love has provided free shoes to over 200,000 kids in Southwest Florida
- My New Red Shoes has given free shoes and clothing to nearly 90,000 homeless and low-income children in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Shoes That Fit has provided over 2 million pairs of free shoes for kids across the US
If you would like to know more, including to nominate your school or another one you know that’s in need of some help, these organizations and more will be able to give you more information.
Final thoughts on how to get free shoes
Figuring out how to get free shoes, whether it’s for a few weeks as a product tester or forever, can be a great bonus for anyone, especially if you’re trying to save money.
Let’s be honest: anything free (including getting free books mailed to your home) is always appreciated.
This is why it’s worth applying to as many of these programs as you qualify for. And you never know when a free pair of shoes will drop into your letterbox!
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About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.