It is common knowledge among sneakerheads that you cannot purchase multiple pairs of good shoes without proxies. Online sneaker vendors are notoriously hard on their visitors with anti-bot measures monitoring all IP addresses and banning ones they don’t like.
Using quality proxies with rotation is the only workaround, but not all of them are equally good. We will explore which proxies and when are the best for sneaker copping.
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Proxies and Sneaker Copping
Proxies act as intermediaries, providing your sneaker bot connection to an additional server before visiting sneaker websites. The extra step changes the IP address because the proxy has one of its own. Hiding your IP conceals information needed to track you – such as the approximate location and internet service provider (ISP).
Sneaker bots are extremely fast and could check out the whole supply of sneakers in seconds if not for the vendors fighting back. Three main measures are taken against sneaker copping that can only be bypassed with a good proxy.
- Action monitoring. By tracking IP addresses, sneaker websites can see how visitors are acting on their website. If they notice unnatural patterns, CAPTCHAs may be triggered and an IP ban may follow. Switching proxies makes action tracking more difficult.
- Account limitations. Vendors limit how many sneakers visitors can purchase, usually to a couple of pairs per account. To buy more, you need multiple accounts, but every one of them requires a separate IP address as otherwise, the website will realize you’re trying to game the system. A good proxy service can solve this issue.
- Geo-restrictions. Many websites, not just sneaker retailers, limit their content according to the location of their users. The only way to catch a drop from another country is to have a proxy with IP addresses there.
The Must-Haves of Proxies
The features required of proxies to bypass limitations and enable sneaker copping are demanding. Not all providers have premium proxies and are instead forced to make compromises. These are some of the features you shouldn’t accept any compromises on if you want the best sneaker-copping experience.
Large IP pool. It is commonly advised to have a separate IP address for every account you use to order sneakers. So, if you want to cop a hundred sneakers, that many IPs will be needed. But the number can get even higher if you want some extra protection with rotation.
Proxy rotation. In some cases, you want the IP address to change for different tasks or after a certain time. Rotation means just that, but there are many ways of achieving it. Switching proxies manually or with third-party software is inconvenient, so serious sneakerheads look for automatic rotation provided by the same company that sells proxies.
Locations. Sneaker copping benefits from a wide choice of locations, so you can participate in as many drops as possible. However, the sheer number alone is not enough as they have to match the vendor’s country support and, in some cases, your billing address.
Performance and legitimacy. The proxy has to be as fast as possible with downtimes close to zero. At the same time, it needs to look ordinary for the website as, otherwise, it might arouse suspicion right away. Striking this balance is not easy, but there is one type made to stand out – sneaker proxies.
Sneaker proxies are intermediary servers designed to work best with websites selling sneakers. Providers test them before selling to ensure the best experience and combine all the must-have features. Using sneaker proxies means you are maximizing your chances of successful coping.
The only drawback of sneaker proxies is that they are a bit more expensive, as you should expect from their quality and testing efforts. However, even if choosing all-purpose proxies might work most of the time, you don’t want to take any chances as it might result in missing a drop.
Like all other types, sneaker proxies come in two main variations resulting from different IP address sourcing methods.
- Datacenter proxies are created virtually in large quantities in servers, without direct affiliation with ISPs. They are superior in performance but can lack legitimacy since the IP addresses come from the same machine, so they are similar.
- Residential proxies are verified by ISPs and their connection is created with household devices. Such a setup ensures higher legitimacy for your sneaker bot but can be slower than data center proxies.
Of course, it doesn’t mean datacenter proxies will be banned right away or that residential ones are so slow you cannot run a bot. The choice of type depends on your budget and the websites you will target.
For example, some advise using datacenter proxies only with Shopify stores and some Footsites, leaving residential proxies for all other scenarios. However, the situation is constantly changing as websites alter their policies and proxy providers improve products.
It is a good idea to consult your cook group for recent changes that might affect your choice. A general rule of thumb, however, is to use residential proxy servers if in doubt. In most cases, they are the best proxies for sneaker copping.
But that’s not all there is to sneaker proxies. The legitimacy and performance are further improved by creating specialized sneaker proxy subtypes. Such types are possible when testing performance with specific sneaker vendors.
For example, Nike, Adidas or Supreme proxies are tested to work with these sellers best. Providers ensure that the IP addresses sold to you aren’t already blocked on these sites and that all the available locations are supported.
The advantage of using such proxies is that you will be sure to get promised performance and needed locations. If you buy ordinary proxies, the provider won’t guarantee they will be working on sneaker websites. They can only pledge that proxies will be overall functioning as most of their users don’t cop sneakers with them.
Residential sneaker proxies are the best choice for sneaker copping. The second-best option are datacenter sneaker proxies. In both cases, you will receive a product tested to work for your needs. You can survive with ordinary ones, but, for a similar price, your chances will be higher with sneaker proxies.