Most of the time, we don’t pay attention to the boxes our shoes come in. Perhaps if the shoebox is iconic or particularly ugly, it sometimes garners a second look. However, shoeboxes often have a lot to say about the shoes inside.

Matt Halfhill has a passion for shoes and shoeboxes. Chosen to curate the Paper and Packaging Board’s pop-up shoebox museum in New York as a result of his blog, he hopes that the museum will inspire people to stop and appreciate these everyday objects:

We designed the Shoebox Museum experience to spotlight a piece of sneaker culture that has been reimagined many times over, but never gotten the credit it deserves. The shoebox is the first touchpoint the consumer has with the product … and I think it’s something that has been overlooked for many years. Brands are now starting the story of the shoe with the box itself. 

Halfhill makes a good point; attractive packaging can go a long way in creating an impression for your product. Just look at these examples.

Adidas Classic Blue Box

Adidas pop up store blue box

Source: The Drum

Adidas hasn’t changed their shoebox design much over the years – and for good reason. The brand’s blue boxes with a trio of white stripes are instantly recognizable. Halfhill notes: “[Consumers] don’t have to open it or read it – they just recognize those stripes and know it’s an Adidas pair.” Adidas has even turned the iconic box into pop-up locations.

Vans Folding Boxes

Source: The Drum

Vans’ sweet and simple shoes have a correspondingly sweet and simple box. Made of a single piece of cardboard, the compact box tucks neatly into itself, rather than a pop-up lid.

Nike Cereal Boxes

Source: The Drum

Always focusing on the latest and most flashy designs, Nike recently decided to make their shoeboxes look like another kind of box. In a collaboration with General Mills and basketball player Kyrie Irving, the company created shoes inspired by Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Kix, in boxes complete with “nutrition facts.”

Thinking about your brand’s “packaging”

What does your packaging say about your brand? Even if you don’t have physical packaging for your product, your brand’s presence in emails, social media, and more is “packaging” for your brand. Are you portrayed as flashy and trendy? Simple and classic? However you want to represent your product, it is vital that you create a distinct and cohesive messaging for your brand across all platforms.