Copping Shoes in 2021: A Complete Guide
Learn all you need to start buying sneakers the fast way.
Let’s skip the fluffy introductions. Yes, buying limited edition shoes is hard, and it’s nigh impossible during a hyped release. That’s why you’re here, after all – to find a way to get sneakers without overpaying five times the retail price. Well, that, or you want to resell, which can make a good side-gig in its own right. In any case, what you need is called sneaker copping.
But how do you go about copping shoes? There’s a sneaker bot, of course – everyone knows about those. There are proxies to power that bot. Oh, and sneaker servers – wait, do you actually need them? Virtual cards, cook groups, restocks… Arrgh!
Don’t worry if all this sounds overwhelming. Sneaker copping is hard, and sometimes it can feel like work. Hell, it is work for some, paying bills and all. But it’s also perfectly doable, and you don’t need to be a genius to get the hang of it. What you do need is knowledge, the right tools, and practice.
We’ll give you the first, show you where to get the second, and the last part is up to you. Excited already? Let’s get started!
How to Get Shoes for Retail Price – the Ingredients:
- Main Sites for Copping Shoes
- Sneaker Releases
- Sneaker Bots
- Sneaker Proxies
- Sneaker Servers
- Virtual Credit Cards
- Discord Cook Groups
- Tying It All Together
Here are some of the main sites for sneaker copping. Whichever you choose will depend on the shoes you want and your sneaker bot:
- Demandware – Adidas (US, EU, etc.) and Yeezy Supply sites. The name stands for the platform which hosts these websites.
- Footsites – Footlocker, EastBay, ChampsSports, and Footaction.
- Shopify – a large e-commerce platform with hundreds of shoe shops: Kith, Bape, JimmyJazz,and so on.
- Mesh – sites like JDSports, Footpatrol, and The Hip Store that use the Mesh platform. They are located in the European Union.
- Nike – this usually involves Nike.com or the Nike SNKRS app.
- Supreme – the supremenewyork website. It releases new items on Thursdays.
Note: If you live in another region, some retailers will still ship to your location. Even if not, you can find middlemen to help you. Be creative.
Finding a Release
Plenty of sites offer information about release dates. Some examples would be Solelinks or Kick on Fire. Such websites are good for keeping track of drops in general. During an actual release, you should be following Twitter or your Discord cook group for live updates instead.
Types of Releases
- First come, first served – the good old “I’m faster, so I get the loot” way. You buy an item directly and hope to check out before all the good stuff gets sold out.
- Queue – instead of buying directly, you go into a queue. Then, the website chooses which entries can buy the shoes using a raffle system. More and more retailers have been moving to this system as a way to combat bots.
Drops and Restocks
- Drop – when a sneaker gets released for the first time. Retailers usually announce drops well before they happen.
- Restock – when a sneaker appears again after getting sold out during a drop. Restocks are less predictable and usually happen without prior notice.
Sneaker bots increase your chances of copping a release in two ways. First, they let you check out faster than you manually could. Second, they allow getting multiple pairs from one release.
Let’s get this straight: you don’t need to use a sneaker bot. People are still able to get even the most hyped shoes without one. It helps that many retailers have moved to raffle systems – in a contest of speed, you’d stand no chance.
But, as you might have noticed, even then your chances are very slim. That’s because you can enter a raffle once – okay, five or ten times at most. Bots can do it a hundred times. You do the math. If you want to resell, bots are a must.
There are several types of sneaker bots available, depending on which sites you target. You can get Nike bots, Supreme bots, Mesh bots, and so on. Alternatively, you can buy an all-in-one (AIO) bot. It will support more websites but might not be as efficient. AIO bots almost never include Nike.
Like sneakers themselves, many of the best bots are rarely in stock (like Cybersole and Kodai AIO). Ironically, you might need to buy them in the aftermarket: Bot Mart, BotBroker, and similar places. You’ll pay more, and you might get scammed. So, use a middleman and make sure to get the Discord account associated with the bot.
We have a dedicated page for sneaker bots. It explains how sneaker bots work and talks about things like CATPCHAs and address jigging.
Proxies are IP addresses you can use with your bot. They give the bot multiple identities to make it seem like you’re connecting as different people. They can also change your perceived location. This will let you avoid IP blocks.
Like bots, proxies aren’t always necessary. If you want to cop one pair, your own IP address can be enough. But, again: more proxies mean more tries and consequently more chances to win. You’ll likely want to get them.
Today, residential proxies are considered to be best. They come from devices of real people and are harder to block than datacenter proxies. You can get either peer-to-peer residential IPs or static residential proxies (also called DC resi). The important thing is that they can hold the same IP for some time. This ability is called sticky sessions.
You should also make sure to get proxies in the right location. For the US, the main locations are New York, Ashburn, and Chicago. For stores in other places, like the EU or Japan, getting proxies in the same country will be enough.
Read our article about sneaker proxies to learn more and find some great providers.
A sneaker server is basically another computer which you control via your own PC. Sneaker servers accomplish three things:
- They make copping faster by reducing ping to the proxies and then the retailer’s website. This is crucial for Supreme where speed is king. It matters less for queue-based sites.
- They allow running more tasks on your bot. That’s because sneaker servers are much more powerful than most home computers. More tasks = more possible sneaker pairs.
- They let you bot on a macOS or Linux-based computer. The majority of sneaker bots are Windows-only.
So, if you’re not copping Supreme, running hundreds of tasks, or using macOS, you probably don’t need a sneaker server.
If you do decide on one, some popular options are Google Cloud Services, Amazon Web Services, and dedicated sneaker servers.
We have a dedicated article on sneaker servers with more details.
Some sneaker sites let you use the same card for multiple purchases; most don’t. If you’re in for reselling, you’re going to need virtual credit cards either way. These are cards you can open for a certain task and with a set allowance. They don’t require much commitment and you can take out multiple at once.
A popular virtual credit card provider is Privacy.com. The caveat: you can only use the service if you live in the US. People in the EU (and maybe other regions) can get Revolut. It has limitations but generally works.
A cook group is a crucial source of information – and chit chat – about sneaker releases. Cook groups can tell you which sites will sell which shoes, give early links and keywords for your bot, monitor shoe sites for restocks, help you get proxies, provide reselling tools and advice, and more.
In short, if you’re serious about copping, you need to get into a cook group. Reputable cook groups usually charge for membership: from $20 to $60 or even more dollars per month. They also limit admittance.
Some bots come with their own groups. They’re useful for receiving setup instructions for that particular bot. Access to a bot-specific Discord group can also function as a license key, so it’s very important not to lose it.
If you want to learn more, we have an article on cook groups.
So, what does a real release look like? Your bot is up and ready in a powerful virtual PC you’re controlling from home. You’ve created tasks for the drop, set up the proxies and billing profiles, and farmed CAPTCHAs. You lurk in a cook group, chatting with your mates in anticipation of the release, waiting for instructions.
An hour or even minutes before the scheduled date, you receive keywords and early links. Your bot monitors the site for changes, so does the cook group. You can feel yourself getting tense. The time is nigh.
Suddenly, the release monitor goes off. The drop has started! Your tasks fire up automatically and go for the kill. You wait. A loss. A loss. Another loss. And here it is, finally – a win. And again. One more! And then you know: the drop was worth it.
It’s over. You feel exhausted but happy. You keep the bot running, on watch – there might be a restock. And with it, more chances to get those kicks.
Is it the money, or the thrill? For many, both. Sneaker copping is hard, and it’s very unpredictable. It often feels like you’re fighting against a moving target; and when your perfect setup falls apart again, it can be exasperating. But when you finally succeed, it’s oh so rewarding. Moments like these make copping shoes worth it.
Congratulations, you’ve soldiered on to the end of this guide! Now you know everything you need to start copping shoes. So, get the gear, arm yourself with patience, and go cop that grail!