One of my favorite ways to get free stuff is to test products in exchange for either cash or kind and Nike product testing is no different.
Even big brand names have programs that pay people to test their products, from the newest sweat-proof shirts to the latest released running shoes.
If you’re a fan of the brand, here’s everything I know about Nike’s product testing program and how to best optimize your chances of being accepted into the program.
What is Nike’s Product Testing Program?
Nike spends a lot of money designing and developing new products to put out in the market.
It would be a waste of all those man-hours and capital only to have a product bomb because actual customers didn’t like it.
To ensure that their new releases are up to their customers’ standards, Nike regularly recruits testers willing to spend some time using and evaluating prototypes of their products.
These prototypes aren’t on the market yet, and some of them might not even make it to store shelves.
What makes Nike’s Voice of the Athlete product testing program pretty cool?
It’s open to anyone!
You don’t need to have the fame or talent of legends like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, or Cristiano Ronaldo to share your thoughts about a particular Nike product.
How does Nike Product Testing Work?
First, you need to apply on their Product Testing page.
You’ll then be asked simple, specific questions about you. These include:
- What products are you interested in? (apparel, footwear, or both)
- How old are you? (Enter your age)
- What’s your gender?
- What’s your height, weight,
- What is your clothing size, and shoe size?
Nike will use these questions to determine your eligibility as a product tester.
The Nike product testing program is offered to 3 tiers organized by age: Adult testing (18+ years old), Minor (13-17 years old), and Child (12 years or younger). It is possible that some of these tiers are closed for applications. Nike’s ‘Voice of the Athlete’ program automatically opens when slots are available.
Then, if Nike decides that they want you as a product tester, you’ll be sent a test packet with complete instructions.
You then test the product according to the instructions, then submit your feedback through their website, after which you’re asked to return the product sent to you.
Does Nike pay in cash?
If your goal is to find out how to get free Nike shoes, then you’ll probably still be excited about this opportunity.
However, those expecting cash, rewards, or any other kind of compensation through the Nike testing program should be warned now: you won’t be paid in cash.
You do get first dibs on Nike products, often even before they’re released in the market.
You also get free Nike shoes for several months or up to a year. That’s not bad, especially if you’re supposed to use it heavily during the testing period.
In some cases, testers aren’t even required to send back the Nike products, so you can consider them as payment for your commitment to helping out the company.
3 Companies That Do Pay Cash
If you’re interested in testing out other products, the following 3 sites will pay you, in cash, to give feedback on brands.
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- SurveyJunkie - Get paid CASH to share your thoughts on some of the world's biggest brands.
- Daily Goodie Box - Get a GIANT box of free samples to test out and try shipped right to you at no cost!
- Branded Surveys - Work directly with companies like Nike, Samsung, Amazon, and Disney to improve their product lines.
You should also look into becoming a brand ambassador as there are hundreds of companies seeking influencers to wear their gear.
Voice of the Athlete: Who is eligible to participate?
Nike prefers young athletes as testers and adults who participate in various sports.
For testers 17 years old and younger, a parent will have to electronically sign a waiver to complete registration.
1. By Age
On Nike’s product testing page, Nike categorizes its product testers into three groups:
- Adults (18+ years old)
- Teen athletes (13 to 17 years old)
- Kids (12 years or younger, application submitted by parent/s)
2. By Location
The Nike product testing program used to be available only in 6 countries, namely the United States, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Canada, and China.
Now, it’s available in the US and 37 other countries.
3. By Body Measurements
When you apply to become a Nike tester, you’ll be sharing your height and weight, as well as your body measurements, so the company can send you just the right products.
Don’t worry if you don’t have an athletic physique. Nike “hires” testers of all body types and sizes.
When you first apply, they ask for detailed measurements of the following:
- Leg Left/Right Dominant
- Arm Left/Right Dominant
- Shoulder Width
- Shoe Size
- Shoe Width
- Shirt Size
- Base Layer Top Size
- Base Layer Bottom Size
- Glove Size
- Sleeve Length
- Jacket Size
- Bust (Females Only)
- Bra Size (Females Only)
- Sports Bra Size (Females Only)
- Seat Size
- Thigh Size
- Pants Size (Alpha)
- Shorts Size
- Neck Size
- Bicep Size
If you’re not sure how to measure yourself properly, Nike usually has measuring instructions specific for males and females so that you can submit accurate body measurements.
4. By Your Sports and Hobbies
As I’ve mentioned, you can choose whether to test apparel, footwear, or both.
Based on your answer to that question, you’ll be initially asked the categories that you’re interested in. For apparel, they have Basketball, Jordan, Golf, Men’s Training, Women’s Training, Running, and Sportswear (Lifestyle/Casual Wear).
For footwear, they have American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf, Men’s Training, Women’s Training, Running, Skateboarding, Sportswear (Lifestyle/Casual Wear), and Tennis.
When you’ve created your product tester profile, you’ll be asked more specific questions. For instance, if you say you’re interested in running apparel and footwear, you’ll be asked the terrain or surface where you normally run, how many miles a week, how long you’ve been running, your training pace (how many minutes per mile), your running gait, your foot strike, and many other details.
Keep in mind that everything you state in this application will determine if you’re qualified to test a particular product, so make sure to answer the questions as honestly as possible.
How long does it take to become a Nike Product Tester?
This won’t be instant.
Being considered for a Nike testing program can take weeks or months, so be patient.
In addition, you may or may not be the right candidate for a particular program, but perfect for the next one.
What happens when I’m eligible to be a product tester?
Once Nike decides that you’re qualified, you’ll be notified by e-mail to expect a package in the mail, which normally arrives within 7 to 10 business days.
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Look out for a survey form or other instructions so you’re aware of these details:
- How long the testing period should be (worn daily, weekly, etc.)
- What kind of testing is required (for example: run an hour a day with those running shoes)
- How to send in feedback (mail survey form, visit a link to a contact page, etc.)
You can get free Nike shoes or apparel without paying a cent, but you have to follow the instructions listed exactly as they are written.
So if it says to test a new pair of sneakers with a twice-a-week 400-meter run for six months, you need to commit to it as much as you can.
Usually, you’ll then have to send the shoes back to Nike, which will analyze the shoes and use the feedback you provided to improve on the product before release.
You’re required to complete a survey and share anything you might have noticed during the testing period. For example:
- Did you feel uncomfortable with the shape of running shoes you wore? Was it painful to run while wearing it?
- Did the yoga pants felt kind of itchy?
- Was the shock-proof feature of those soccer shoes ineffective?
These things seem nit-picking, but Nike values every little detail and every little feedback you can give about the Nike item you’re actually trying out.
All testers approved will be given instructions, including deadlines, for each and every step, which you should definitely comply with if you want to continue testing Nike products.
Additional rules that you need to comply with include not posting photos of the product or photos of you wearing the product on social media, complying with the confidentiality clause in your waiver, not wearing the product outside of the agreed testing period and activities, and not wearing the product when you experience pain or discomfort.
At the end of each year, Nike reviews the profiles of all its product testers and decides if your “performance” throughout the testing period is enough to have your status as product tester renewed or canceled.
The Bottom Line
I know this might be a letdown to those looking to earn money as a product tester, but you can’t deny that the Nike Product Testing program is a cool way to get free stuff, while helping out a brand you love to improve their products.
Becoming a Nike tester also comes with some bragging rights – it’s not everyday you get to become affiliated with such an awesome brand. If you enjoyed the program and want to turn it into a career, Nike regularly hires a Product Testing Analyst (go here to apply).
Nike isn’t the only one doing this. Adidas, New Balance, Saucony, and other sports brands have their respective product testing programs as well.
If you’re just after free shoes and want to skip the testing, check out this post where I’ve rounded up other companies that give away free shoes here.