One of the most frequent e-mails that comes to our contact us inbox at soccercorner.com is someone inquiring as to when will be restocking a popular colorway or silo of Nike cleats.
It’s a heart-breaker for two reasons: we’ve been there, searching for that one cleat that we hesitated on buying and now can’t seem to find anywhere which is only making it all the more desirable. Reason number two is that it’s clear you just don’t know the insider truth.
This might be hard to fathom, and we’ll explain why in a minute, but there isn’t an endless warehouse somewhere of every Nike style.
There isn’t even a planned second shipment of any particular style.
See due to Nike’s success people assume that they keep these big reservoirs of cleats on hand so that when one is wildly popular they will continue to pump them into stores and rake in the big money.
There are more than a few holes to this fantasy, but one of the largest is that Nike cleats don’t just appear out of thin air. Stores are shown samples and then owners and sales reps make orders in the quantities that they think will sell best. Those cleats are then manufactured in Vietnam and shipped to the US.
There’s a common reverse of thinking that Nike is pumping out thousands of shoes and then getting orders from retailers. The reality is that Nike produces exactly the number of shoes it needs to fill orders.
What this means is once all the orders of a cleat are in, that’s it, that’s all that is going to be made, and once filled the style is no longer in production.
But why would Nike turn down seemingly easy money?
Nike’s business model isn’t conducive to a large inventory business structure. The shoe giant releases a new pack/style of shoes every quarter and then some.
The Nike release schedule is littered with dates for indoor, outdoor, new colorways, and lifestyle shoes. Rather than bank on large inventories of popular colorways Nike can over-saturate the market and encourage you to buy the newest color.
What does Nike do if a color flops, doesn’t it hurt their business?
Again, the constant release nature minimizes the impact if a single colorway or style doesn’t sell well. Further Nike will actually buy the cleats back from retailers if retailers simply can’t move them and then sell them in their individual outlet locations on clearance.
Factoring in Nike’s business model and the popularity of some styles over others the best way to guarantee yourself the pair of Nikes you want in the correct size and colorway is to pre-order them.
This is especially true if you are an outlier size (looking at you size 13 and 14) or fall into the most popular category range (sizes 9 through 11).
There isn’t a warehouse somewhere filled with Nike’s most popular colorways. There won’t be a reserve. If you’ll wait at best you’ll be on a wild goose chase, at worst you’ll be at the mercy of a seller on E-Bay.
If you see a pair of cleats you want coming out the only way to ensure you get a pair in your size is to pre-order them.
Contribute to the discussion in our comments section and let us know what colorway you have pre-ordered before, or what you missed out on due to waiting until it was too late: