Gone are the days of the "auto-cop". The era of bots is over. For now at least.

Sneakerheads who woke up this morning attempting to cop the Air Jordan III "Infrared 23,"  Nike LeBron XI "Court Purple," or the Nike Kobe 9 Elite "Perspective" were in for a surprise. Nike has implemented an extra step in the checkout process that essentially amounts to a visual CAPTCHA that ensures whoever is purchasing the product is a human and not a bot. In Nike's version, the user has to select a specific image amongst several in order to continue with the process.

This surprise move by Nike surely affected thousands of customers this morning. The usual complaints and disses directed @Nikestore via social media were instead replaced by praises and satisfaction. For the sneaker community as a whole, this was a great move by Nike. The near "instant" sellouts frustrated many fans and made it very difficult to purchase anything remotely hyped. By doing this, Nike has once again leveled the playing field.

[via Deftronic's Twitter]