How To Get Free New Shoes Under Nike’s Warranty

Picture this: You dropped $115 on a pair of crisp, white Nike Air Force 1s. But then, the seam busts and the sole starts to separate from the body of the shoe. 

You try to return them and get a hard pass from the salesperson because it’s been three months since you bought them and they have a 60-day return policy. 

What can you do? Luckily for you, I'm a lawyer and I've read the fine print of the Nike warranty policy so you don’t have to!

This was one of my most viral videos on TikTok and Instagram, and given it had over 75 million views, I decided to break the process down step-by-step in an article for you.

Erika Taught Me

  • If your Nike kicks or clothes have a flaw, you have two years from the manufacture date to get a replacement.
  • The manufacture date is when it was made — not when you bought it.
  • You can file your claim directly on the Nike website, without going into a store.

. . .

What the Nike Warranty Says

All Nike shoes come with a warranty on them — which is different from the purchase return policy. 

The Nike Warranty policy says: 

“If your Nike shoes or apparel develop a material or workmanship flaw within two years of the manufacture date, we want to get you back in the game.”

This means if there’s something wrong with your Nike Air Force 1s, your Nike Air Zoom Pegasus shoes you love to run in, or even your favorite Nike sports bra, you can get a full refund or replacement.

But only if it’s within two years of the manufacture date — meaning the date it was made, not the date you bought it. 

@erikakullberg

What Nike doesn’t want you to know about getting a free pair of shoes #personalfinance #moneytok #money #lawyer ib: @milansinghhh

♬ original sound – Money Lawyer Erika

How To Find the Nike Manufacture Date 

For shoes, the Nike Manufacture date is printed on the label sewn inside your shoes. You’ll find this either on the sidewall of the shoe or the tongue of your shoes. 

The date will be listed on the right-hand side of the label and will either read like a traditional date, or a string of numbers. 

For example, a manufacture date could look like: 

1/1/2024 or 112024 

In my example, the manufacture date is on the far right: 03/26/22.

The inside tag on the tongue of a Nike shoe with the manufacture date included.

How To Return Your Nike Shoes Under Warranty 

First, if your Nike item is still within the 60-day return window, it’s a lot easier to just make a straight return or exchange. 

But, if you’re outside that window, you’ll definitely want to use the warranty route. How you go about getting it done depends a lot on how you purchased the product. 

If you purchased your Nike shoes — or other product — in-store, you’ll want to take it back to a Nike store. Show them the issue with the item and the manufacture date. If need be, show them Nike’s warranty policy listed on their website. 

Now, if you purchased the item online or using the Nike App, you’ll have to contact Nike about the return and refund. It can be a little tricky and take more time, but a fresh pair of kicks is worth the time. You can contact Nike via phone or chat support to get your warranty claim moving. 

Things work a little differently if you purchased your shoes at an authorized retailer and not directly through Nike. 

For these purchases, you can start by going to the store you purchased from. They might honor the warranty there and then, but they might also refer you back to Nike. If they do, you’ll need to file a claim with Nike. It will likely take longer, but again, it's worth taking the time to get what you’re entitled to.

RELATED: Credit Card Extended Warranty Benefit: Everything You Need to Know

How I Got a New Pair of Nike Shoes 

Less than a year after I purchased Nike shoes from a store in LA, they developed a tear in the back of one of the shoes.

I wasn’t able to get back to the store and honestly, I didn’t want to risk arguing with a salesperson at the counter about the warranty, so I went to Nike.com to file my claim. 

After filling out my information and submitting the claim, I received an email from Nike with the ticket number for my claim. The email included step-by-step instructions on how to send in my shoes.

An email confirms a claim and describes how to mail in a pair of shoes back to Nike.

After mailing them in, I got another email from Nike confirming my claim had been approved and a voucher was headed my way. 

An email from Nike confirms the claim has been approved.

And sure enough! I ended up receiving a voucher worth the current price of the shoes, which had actually gone up since I purchased the original pair. 

An email voucher from Nike for the price of a pair of Nike shoes.

The process was simple and straightforward, plus it saved me a trip to the store. 

RELATED: Credit Card Purchase Protection: What You Need to Know

FAQs

Do I need a receipt?

From my experience, you don’t need a receipt or proof of purchase to make use of the warranty.

What if my shoes don’t fit or I decide I don’t want them after all? 

The Nike warranty only applies to shoes with a flaw, so they need to have an issue beyond normal wear and tear. If you want to return them because they don’t fit right or you decided you didn’t like them, you’re beholden to the 60-day Nike return policy.

Does the warranty cover my broken laces? 

The warranty doesn’t cover any removable parts of the shoe or item — meaning things like broken shoelaces, charms, insoles, and spikes are not covered under warranty. 

What if I had my shoes for longer than two years? 

Sorry, but your shoes have outlived their warranty. Time to invest in a new pair. 

What's considered a tear?

In this case, a tear is anything that's not caused by normal use of the shoe. So for instance, if the back heel starts to peel off after only wearing them a few times, or the main seam pops open.

If you have a tear in the shoe — say, from your toe hitting the top of the toe box — that's considered normal wear and tear and doesn't count.

Does this work on kids' Nike shoes, too?

Yes, it does! This works for any Nike shoes or clothing, no matter the size.

Does this work only for Nike shoes?

Nope! This works for all Nike clothing and shoes.

Does this work if I didn't buy my shoes from a Nike store?

It works, but you'll most likely have to file a claim online. Nike says to return the shoe to the original store of purchase, and if you can't return it there under the warranty, or if they refer you back to Nike, to file a claim online.

What if I bought my Nikes online?

You'll need to contact Nike and file a claim online.

Does this work for other brands like Adidas, Hoka, or Uggs?

This particular fine print hack only applies to Nike. Every brand has their own return policy and their own warranty policy.

If you have an item that's damaged or that you want to return from a different brand, you'll need to look up their specific policies and proceed from there.

TL;DR

All Nike items come with a two-year warranty if the item is defective — which means you are entitled to a replacement or full refund. 

Make sure you know where you purchased the item and what the manufacture date is before you start the process to make it easier. How and where you purchased the item will determine how you go about claiming your warranty. 

I Read the Fine Print

Want to learn more ways to beat the system through the fine print? Follow me on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube! That's where I share all my best fine print hacks and updates.

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Author picture

I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.