Who knew, you can now get free shoes!
As it turns out, shoe companies are willing to give you free shoes in exchange for you testing and providing feedback. It’s the closest thing to free shoes giveaway by companies.
I actually wrote a post a while back about Nike’s product testing program where they send you free shoes to test.
How Does Shoe Testing Work?
Most companies have a testing and evaluation department where they send out samples and products to a select group of consumers in order to get feedback that can be used to improve the product.
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As a tester, you have to sign up to become a product tester for one of the shoe companies listed below.
Once you’re approved for the test program, they’ll send you the product (in this case, a pair of shoes) along with a prepaid shipping label so you can send it back after the test period is over.
You then wear the shoes for a few weeks, putting them through the normal wear and tear.
At the end of the test period, some companies require you to send the shoes back so they can evaluate them in their lab.
Now, some companies will actually send you a free pair after the test for you to keep. Others may compensate you with cash or gift cards. Either way, they’ll give you this information when you’re signing up.
Below, I’ll list the companies that I was able to find which have this type of program.
You’ll notice that these are all athletic companies – fortunately, or unfortunately, athletic companies are the ones who usually have these programs. After all, it is far more important to see how a pair of running shoes hold up over time compared to fashionable pumps.
They’ll want to know if you fit an athletic demographic because these will mostly be running shoes, tennis shoes, that sort of thing.
Yeah, no free designer shoes here, sorry (But, I’ll show you a few ways to get designer and dress shoes for free as well)!
However, if you’re athletic and want to try some athletic shoes, feel free to sign up for one or all of these programs.
1. Adidas Product Testing
Adidas has a few different programs, one for people in Europe and one for people in America.
Here’s how their program works:
If you’re selected and decide to participate, they’ll send the shoe (or any other product that’s part of the test). You get to use/test the item for the required duration (usually a few weeks). Once the test is done, you’ll send back the item using a prepaid shipping label that the company sends you. You’ll then answer a few questions about the product.
Now, in some cases, they may send you the test product or a brand new one back so you can keep forever.
- Apply here: Adidas Product Testing
2. Columbia Global Performance Testing
Most people, especially people who are into sports and outdoor activities know the brand Colombia. But what most people don’t know is that the company has a product testing program that you can apply for to get the opportunity to test their products for free including running shoes and hiking boots.
If you’re accepted into the program, they’ll send a pair of shoes or boots that you get to test for a few weeks or months. They’ll give you a set of tasks that you need to complete during the testing period.
Once the test is over, you’ll send the shoes back to them using the prepaid shipping labels they gave you Along with the shoes.
- Apply here: Columbia Global Performance Testing
3. Nike Product Testing
Yes, THE Nike!
They actually have two shoe testing program.
- One is on-site
- and the other remote.
If you live near a Nike a testing facility you can apply to become an on-site tester where you will have to go in and participate in their tests.
The remote testing program is what I’d think most of you would want to do. For that, you apply online and if approved, are sent a pair of shoes you can wear for a certain amount of time, then you complete a survey and share your experience.
- Apply here: Nike Voice of the Athlete
4. ASICS FrontRunner & Roadtester
ASICS is one of the biggest manufacturers of athletic shoes. Their program is called ASICS Roadtester.
Currently, they do not have any program for U.S. residents.
They do, however, have programs for people in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Here are the links for each country:
5. Brooks Wear Test Program
The good thing about this program is that you get an immediate reply to your application, so no waiting around to see if you were approved or denied.
Sometimes you have to send the shoes back. Sometimes you get the shoes back after that.
From time to time, they stop taking new testers. If so, bookmark the page and keep checking back as they open the doors back up frequently.
- Apply here: Brooks Wear Test Program
6. Mizuno Wear Tester
These guys are almost exclusively focused on runners, so they’re going to ask you a bunch of running-related questions on the application.
- What surfaces do you run on?
- What type of running events or marathons do you participate in?
- How much do you run each day?
- How old are you?
These questions are designed to gather data that then can use to improve their products.
- Apply here:
Mizuno Wear Tester
Update: Unfortunately, they seem to have discontinued the program. I’ll update the post if and when they reintroduce it.
7. Red Wing Shoes Product Testers
According to the company, “it is seeking product testers who will wear our boots in the toughest, dirtiest and hardest-working situations, then report back to us with information about how the boots held up.”
Unfortunately, they are currently only accepting testers who live within a 60-mile radius of the Minneapolis/St.Paul MN market.
- Apply here: Red Wing Product Testers
You can apply for their product testing program which consists of testing athletic and casual shoes, online.
Needless to say, they are looking for people who are active so they can put their product through a good test that simulates the roughest conditions a buyer could put the product through.
- Apply here: Saucony Product Testing
9. New Balance Wear Test Program
You’ill always have to return the equipment after testing it for these guys, so this is perhaps more like “free rental shoes.”
They won’t charge you for the shipping, though. They’ll send you a prepaid shipping label with the shoes so you can send them.
Like most companies, these people will mail more products to diligent product testers who put in their best effort.
For more details about NewBalance’s Wear Test program read How to become a New Balance product tester.
- Apply here: New Balance Wear Test Program
This company is looking only for daily athletes, so you’ll need to be exercising daily to be applicable here.
- Apply here: Reebok Product Testing
11. Under Armour’s Wear Testing
Although Under Armour is more known for their T-shirts and Shorts, they also make shoes, and as such they also have a wear test program.
And yes, Under Armour has product testing for shirts and clothing as well.
- Apply here: Under Armour’s Wear Testing
12. Puma Beta Testing
Like all other major shoe brands, Puma also introduces new and improved shoes from time to time. But before they release the product to the market, they run them through tests. At the time of writing this post, they have a beta test program for testing their new Fi training shoes.
Use the link above to sign up and if approved, they’ll send you a pair of Fi training shoes that you will have three weeks to test.
- Apply here: Puma Beta Testing
Other Ways to Earn Free Shoes
The list above covers most major shoe manufacturers that offer free shoes via their product testing programs.
But becoming a product tester isn’t the only way to get shoes and sneakers without paying. If you think a little outside of the box, you’ll begin to see many other opportunities.
Here are a few ideas to try.
When it comes to making free and easy money online, Swagbucks has the most well-known site.
It’s an awesome rewards site that pays you for doing things you already do online, shopping, playing games, watching videos, taking surveys and more.
For every action, you earn what is called a “swag buck”. You can then redeem your swag bucks for all kinds of prizes including check, PayPal and gift cards.
But how is this gonna help you get free shoes?
Well, once you have enough swag bucks, redeem them for gift cards from your favorite shoe company. Then use that gift card to buy your shoe, which is basically free since you used the free gift card you earned with Swagbucks.
- If for some reason you still haven’t joined Swagbucks, sign up today and you’ll also get a $5 sign up bonus.
14. Insta GC
This one is not as well known as Swagbucks but it’s an alternative that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.
You can earn points for completing surveys, watching videos, searching the web and shopping online.
You can then redeem your points for gift cards from over 360 stores including shoe stores like Foot Locker.
But the best thing about this site is its instant gift card redemption feature. Since these are digital gift certificates, you receive the code in your email within seconds of redeeming your points. It just can’t get any faster than this!
This one is very similar to Swagbucks. You can redeem your earnings for gift cards for Amazon, Target, Walmart, and yes, shoe manufacturers like Puma, Fila, Nike, Adidas and more.
And you don’t have to pay anything to join. Signing up is 100% free. And as soon as you join, you can start earning towards a gift card you can use to get that nice pair of Air Jordans sneakers you’ve been eyeing for a while but didn’t want to pay for it.
16. Check out the Free Classified Sections
I can’t even begin to list the kind of items I have gotten for free on Craigslist. All you have to do is go to your local Craigslist’s “free” section and search for “shoes”, “sneakers” or “footwear”.
Whether they outgrew them or bought a new pair and don’t need the old one, people giveaway perfectly good shoes all the time. Take a few seconds and check your local classified listings.
A few other apps and sites like Craigslist to check out include:
Also check out this post for list of ways to get free stuff near you. Use the options mentioned in that post to search for footwear.
17. How to Get Free Shoes from Vans
While Vans doesn’t have a product testing program (as far as I know), there is a way to get free Vans shoes and other products.
They recently started a reward program called Vans Family.
As a member of the Vans Family, “you’ll get insider information, exclusive Custom designs and members-only experiences.”
You also earn points for doing little tasks telling them your shoe size, confirming your email, inviting friends as well as shopping.
You can then redeem your points for rewards which I’d assume also include their products such as Vans shoes.
The company is also known to send surprise rewards from time to time. I have seen a few people online (on Reddit) mention they have received free Vans shoes.
- You can join the program for free by going to: https://www.vans.com/family
Free Shoes for Low Income Families/Persons
I’m gonna include this here for those who actually can’t afford to buy shoes. If you’ve fallen on hard times (we all do from time to time. I hope your situation gets better soon.), there are a number of churches, local and national charities and organizations that can get you a pair.
All you have to do is contact them.
You can find more by doing a quick google search.
And don’t forget to contact your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. They may also have programs that can help.
Note: If you actually can afford to buy your own, please don’t use this option. Leave this for the poor and needy families who genuinely can’t afford it.
Remember that with product testing programs mentioned above, though most of these companies focus on athletic gear, hobbyist athletes are completely welcome.
Some companies are very stringent about what type of athletes they want to test their products.
Runners have a strong advantage on all of these applications, which is great news for you runners out there!
It’s worth noting that some of these companies also offer “kids” products, too. So even your busy parents might be able to snag some shoes for your little ones, as long as you’re willing to fill out the product experience surveys and such.
As you can see, there are many ways to get your hands on (or your feet!) on totally free shoes. Take a minute to apply for all the product testing programs and join the rewards sites and before you know it, you’ll have your free shoes in the mail!