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It may sound like a marketing scheme, but people have actually been getting free sneakers from popular brands like Nike and Adidas for years.
This program is called product testing, which is often part of a company’s R&D process to collect feedback about a consumer’s preference and reactions on a particular product.
So, am I just given free shoes right after sign-up?
The Catch: How to Get Free Shoes Straight from Company Factory
Most big companies, such as Nike, have a web page that lets consumers sign up to get paid to test products.
Once you enter your information, your name becomes a part of a database of consumers.
Depending on the company’s current promos and line-up of products, the company will then launch a product testing campaign for an assigned number of people and certain demographic.
- 100 male, 30 to 40 years old, weighs over 250 pounds
- 50 male, 50 female, all under 40 years old, participating in a marathon in the next 3 months
- Flat-footed people, any age, can wear the shoes an hour daily for 6 months
Simply put, if you don’t fit the demographic a company requires at the moment, you won’t be given free shoes.
If you’re not chosen right now, this doesn’t mean you are also disqualified for other campaigns. A particular sports brand conducts multiple product testing campaigns each year, so don’t lose hope.
9 Companies that Give Away Free Shoes
I didn’t include Nike here, because I wrote about Nike product testing programs extensively in the past. If you want free Nike shoes, see how you can get a pair here.
Note that product testing isn’t exclusive to the sports clothing industry, but since we’re talking about free shoes, here are 9 companies that you should definitely sign up for:
Fill out their personal details form to get started.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay a cent and it only takes a few minutes to apply as a product tester. But you do have to qualify.
Once Adidas begins a new study and choose from its database of potential, the company will send an e-mail telling you that you were chosen to participate.
All other details will be included in that invitation.
After confirming that you want to join, Adidas will send you your free shoes (or clothes) in the mail.
Read the instructions. Here you’ll learn if you need to give back the shoes, or keep them for yourself forever. Adidas usually requires you to take down notes (ex. 1 hour jogging, September 18), and answer a questionnaire online at the end of an assignment.
Brooks Running give shoes, apparel, and sports bras to runners for testing in the real world, which are added to their running research data and helps them improve on their existing products.
Two types of testers are available: one who can get tested at the “lab” in Seattle, Washington, and the wear tester (who can be from anywhere in the US).
Brooks Running will pay for two-way shipping of the products to/from your home, but you have to agree to provide feedback and return the product when asked to.
And this free video will show you exactly everything you need to do to get started. Click here to watch it now.
You won’t receive any money for this though.
If you apply and you don’t hear from Brooks Running, don’t fret. You are already in the Brooks Product Tester database and have a chance to be sent an invite once the right opportunity for you appears.
3. New Balance
To join New Balance’s program, enter your e-mail address and create a profile so the company will know more about you.
Submit the form and you’re now part of the New Balance Tester Community database.
New Balance also chooses based on demographics and interests. If you’re chosen, they’ll notify you first before sending a new prototype by mail.
Go to your profile online, follow the assignment instructions, and submit feedback.
Sometimes, you don’t need to return the shoes.
Reebok boasts the reason their footwear and apparel truly meet people’s athletic needs is that they test footwear and apparel on REAL ATHLETES.
Here’s where you come in.
If you’re physically active and want to join the product testing program for free shoes and clothes, fill-in details like shoe size, location, activity level, and so on.
Product testing lasts 3 to 6 weeks, but Reebok will ask you send back the products after testing.
If you love boots and other rich work shoes, Red Wing Shoes is looking for product testers interested in wearing their products on the “toughest, dirtiest and hardest-working situations.”
The requirements change from time to time.
When I checked, they were looking for testers in the Minneapolis/St.Paul MN area with specific feet sizes.
Those who are qualified can fill-out the application form to the side.
What’s cool about Red Wing Shoes is that the boots are yours after testing.
Back in April 2019, Puma launched its beta tester program for its self-lacing training shoe Fit Intelligence (Fi) for select countries.
Watch out for more Puma product testing, since the FI training shoes were the first one.
Try out running shoes and athletic gear for free. Fill out an application form to become a product tested.
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A bit of warning though: the form is super-extensive and digs in about your history as a runner. If you’re not a runner, better skip this program and go with another one.
Saucony tries to find testers that will really use the pair of shoes for running (you’ll be asked a comprehensive survey after you complete the task).
Columbia is actively inviting a broad range of people to test out their products. The company prefers those who love the Great Outdoors or is into sports.
Just apply to become a tester, get accepted into the database, pass the eligibility requirements, and get a chance to test either a pair of hiking boots or running shoes and submit feedback.
Columbia’s testing program is a bit unique – they’ll give you a set of tasks to complete throughout the testing period.
Unfortunately, you do have to return the free shoes after a couple of weeks.
They shoulder two-way shipping fees.
9. Under Armour
To join the Under Armour testing community, simply enter your name and e-mail address, then fill out your profile.
Like other product testing processes on this list, you have to qualify (based on your demography and profile info) to join the current program.
It’s free to join the testing program, but hard to get in.
If you’re lucky enough to get picked, you’d have to follow the instructions included in the package with free shoes.
There’s no cash prize here as well and you’d have to send the product back at the end of your test.
Get Other Free Stuff by Mail
When you’re chosen to be part of any of these programs, be honest with your feedback.
The company needs that honesty to improve upon the free shoes you’ve just tested before the official release.
If you’re a fan of Amazon, they also have the Amazon product testing program you can join – and they cover a wider range of products.