Packaging Innovation
September 8, 2014

The world’s smallest shoebox design for the world’s most flexible shoe

A company that really strives to cut down on packaging costs not only has to rethink the packaging design, but the product design as well. A fine example of cost-saving eco packaging design is presented to us by Nike. Their new Nike Free model is so flexible the shoes can be folded together, needing only 1/3 of cardboard packaging compared to a traditional shoe box.

A shoebox design 1/3 of the original size

“The most flexible shoe in history” is how Nike labels its newest creation. And it comes in what probably is the smallest shoe box in history. Developed by Publicis Impetu, an Uruguay based advertising agency, the shoe box is only 1/3 of the original size.

“Using the unique attribute of the impressive flexibility of the new model, we decided to create a very special packaging: Nike Free Box. A shoebox third the size of the original shoe box. Through this idea, we use less cardboard, optimized storage spaces and demonstrate the impressive flexibility of the new model, before opening the shoebox”, the company states.

Why not go global with this innovative shoebox design?

Both from a cost-saving and ecological viewpoint, it is rather strange then that Nike restricts the use of this type of innovative shoe box packaging to limited edition promotional purposes. Why not use this type of box for all Nike Free 5.0 shoes? Imagine the space that could be saved in transporting trucks, or the amount of cardboard that could be spared if Nike chose to use this small cardboard shoebox globally!

Are production costs for the custom-made boxes too high? Or is something else going on? We will probably never know. What we do know is that any packaging effort to save raw materials deserves to be applauded.