There are three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and taking an L on the SNKRS app. Every week, Twitter erupts in complaints of high-heat sneaker releases being fixed, backdoored, or so heavily botted that the average person has no chance of securing a pair. We know that all of these are valid concerns. Store owners have backdoored sneakers. (Is anyone else still mad about the Trophy Room Jordan 1s?) Some in-store raffles are just formalities that stand between store owners assuring that certain customers secure their pair. Botters post their antics on YouTube for all to see. The question that persists, however, is how much does this stuff go on? How Many bots are actually detected in sneaker releases? Well, Nike recently shed some light on this subject. Needless to say, bots might not be taking as many sneakers out of your hands as you may think.
Nike SNKRS Bot BattleIn a recent presentation, Nike SNKRS VP/GM Lucy Rouse said that for high-heat sneaker releases, nearly half of all entries are bots. On more general releases, Nike SNKRS still fends off millions of bots. According to Rouse, Nike receives nearly 12 billion bot entries per month. Yes, that’s a billion, with a ‘B’. Yes, that’s per month, not per year. At this point, you’re probably saying, “That settles it. Bots are taking my shoes. I guess there’s nothing left for me to do other than give up on shoes and start collecting stamps.” Fear not. Rouse made note of a crucial detail that shows just how much Nike SNKRS combats bots. Nike has released data noting that they have accomplished nearly a 98% success rate in eliminating bot entries.
There's Hope...Contrary to what many believe, most sneaker brands and collaborators genuinely want their product to end up only in the hands of those who truly want to treasure it. Waving the white flag to botters is a bad look for retailers. Don’t think they don’t know that. In an episode of the Complex Sneakers Podcast, James Whitner, Founder of Social Status and A Ma Maniere, made note of just how much is invested into stopping botters. For A Ma Maniere’s highly anticipated Jordan Brand collaborations, Whitner said that “it costs half a million dollars to hold bots off for four minutes.” So, from that context, we can assume that retailers are dropping about $500,000 per release to take a stand against botters. If you’re questioning how far Nike SNKRS is going to prevent botters, take a step back and realize they have an entire team of software engineers on their payroll tasked solely with tackling this issue.
PerspectiveSometimes I think we need a fresh dose of perspective. So, here it is. We are invested in a niche hobby which is really just the hunt to collect extremely limited-edition shoes. If there were enough of every shoe for everyone (or even most people) to have a pair, our hobby would cease to exist. Be grateful for the sneaker releases you get lucky on. If you don’t get a pair you really want, realize there will be another pair you really want next month.
Featured Photo By: Wu Yi