Chances are you’ve owned a pair of Nike sneakers at some point in your life. The iconic swoosh has been around since the 70s, the company itself even longer. But even the most brand-loyal consumers might find their sneaks are falling apart a little earlier than expected, and if that’s the case, you may be able to save them (or at least get some store credit) thanks to Nike’s fairly generous return policy.
You can easily check if your sneakers are still covered under Nike’s two-year manufacturing warranty by looking at the tag located on the inside of your shoe. In addition to your size, you’ll see two dates printed on either side. The date on the left is the purchase order date, or when the retailer decided to order some kicks from Nike itself. On the right is the actual manufacturing date, which will determine your return window.
Nike recommends checking the return policy of the store where you purchased them before shipping your shoes out, as authorized Nike retailers are also able to accept returns due to workmanship or material flaws. Purchases made at actual Nike stores should be returned to any Nike retail location. If you purchased from Nike.com you’ll have to use this return form to process your order. Also, you should hold onto that receipt, or at least snap a photo of it for safe keeping later on. You’ll need to include it with your sneaker shipment should you be forced to mail them out. If you jump through the requisite hoops and decide to send them to Nike, be prepared to wait at least a week while they process the return and discern whether it’s worthy of a refund or replacement. The worst part, after the waiting, is that you’re also on the hook for shipping, regardless of whether you end up getting that refund or not.
As with all good things, there are bound to be those attempting to game the system. Don’t think you can just send in your damaged kicks every year and expect a posh refund or a brand new pair of Killshots. Nike’s return policy must deem the shoe flawed before you get a return or exchange. The company keeps its definition of defective and flawed products vague, so it might be difficult for consumers to determine whether something is the fault of the manufacturer or just a part of the sneaker’s normal wear and tear.
The company can and will deny your return should you try to abuse the policy, and it doesn’t accept returns based on normal wear and tear. So runners, don’t consider this a freebie option for replacing your worn-out shoes every year. In this case, maybe you shouldn’t just do it unless absolutely necessary.