Vacuum Packaging for Shoes? Yep, It’s Here!

The shoebox is a staple of shoe stores and photo collections everywhere, and the basic design has remained unchanged for decades. However, Nike Air, perhaps taking a cue from its own name, has done something very different with the most recent release of its Nike Air Max shoe line. Instead of the traditional shoebox, the Nike Air Max has been shipped encased in vacuum-sealed, air-cushioned bags.

But Why?

The vacuum-sealing process advantages for shoes are two-fold. The first is functional. Shoes are already shipped with air-cushioned packing to keep the shoeboxes safe and the shoes themselves protected. By placing the air-cushioning directly around the shoe, Nike has eliminated the need for additional packaging material. The second advantage can be seen in the marketing of the product. By displaying the shoes in an air-tight, vacuum-sealed package, the consumer makes a visual association between the air-cushioning of the packaging and the air-cushioning that is marketing in the product itself.

But How?

Using the same vacuum-sealing methods that are used on hundreds of other products, Nike still limits damage on its product while reducing cost and creating greater product visibility. Impulse sealers, such as those offered by Fuji-Sotex, create a strong, durable, air-tight seal around the product. Some designers may envision a vacuum sealing process that only keeps air out of the packaging; however, the Nike Air Max design demonstrates the benefits, in both product endurance and marketability, of keeping air inside the packaging.

But Now?

Only time will tell if the Nike Air Max packaging design is successful, but no one can argue that it’s not unique. In this instance, vacuum-sealing has allowed for a more secure, more economical, and more visually appealing product. That’s a simple, cost-effective strategy with a big payoff, and Michael Jordan didn’t even need to be involved this time.