On July 10, Nike held a localized Boston launch for its “Lemonade” Off-White x Air Force 1 Low through a feature called SNKRS Stash, which allows people who are within a certain proximity (usually in major cities or event spaces) to unlock access to the shoes. With limited stock available on a first-come, first-served basis, only SNKRS app users who are nearby are able to participate in the Stash — at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
Just as resellers and sneaker collectors have plagued other Nike drops, they’ve managed to exploit a loophole within SNKRS Stash. By “spoofing” or faking their location, some users were able to trick the app into thinking they were within the designated range, allowing them to order the Off-White x Air Force 1 Low regardless of where they actually were.
How? — Of course, such duping isn’t new: Spoofing a location is as easy as using a VPN to make it appear from your IP address you’re somewhere you aren’t. But to see the hack affect a big Off-White release — which Nike presumably protected with some sort of location verification — makes us question how, or if, the drop was secured in the first place.
SNKRS Stash usually enables some sort of Wi-Fi detection, or Bluetooth beacon, to verify consumers are physically at a designated location and eligible to purchase a sneaker. And with endless demand for the “Lemonade” Off-White x Air Force 1 Low, which has been teased since 2020, it would seem Nike took extra precautions against spoofing or other hacks. Still, Complex reports, buyers on the other side of the country were able to cop the Boston-exclusive release.
Looking for a leg up — Nike first introduced SNKRS Stash in 2017 as a way to commemorate certain cities and events with exclusive footwear releases — this yellow pair was designed to coincide with Virgil Abloh’s ICA Boston “Figures of Speech” exhibit — but four years later, some sneakerheads are treating the feature less like a shoe version of Pokémon Go and more like an opportunity for profit.
Already, the collaborative Air Force 1 is listed for up to $2,500 on reselling sites, encouraging resellers to flip their footwear and prompting collectors to stock up at retail price if possible. With overwhelming demand and limited supply, particularly when it comes to Off-White sneakers, every sneakerhead is looking for an advantage — meaning that cheating the system, whether through spoofing, bots, or other methods, is becoming more advanced and more successful.
As evidenced by the Boston SNKRS Stash drop, retailers like Nike are finding it harder to ensure sneakers actually go to real enthusiasts — and until they figure out a foolproof method, if there is such a thing, we might have to become hackers to guarantee our footwear future.