While the argument over barefoot running is still up in the air, one thing is for certain: Nike’s marketing department has done a stellar job of marketing the ‘minimalist‘ running shoe with everything from pushing shoe designer Mark Miner into the design rockstar spotlight to a portfolio of memorable ads including the infamous ‘Flyswatter‘ ad featuring tennis icon Roger Federer.

For their latest release—the Nike Free 5.0—Nike reached out to Uruguay-based advertising agency Publicis Impetu to communicate the unique flexibility attributes of the iconic shoe…and what better way to communicate the flexibility of the shoe than to shrink a traditional shoebox to 1/3 of its original size?

The Nike Free Box looks like any typical orange Nike shoe box from a distance, but when presented to a buyer it is designed to surprise them and demonstrate how flexible the shoe design really is…while still being able to retain its original shape upon taking out of the box:

Perhaps most importantly—and overlooked?—is the dramatic difference this could make for shipping costs. With a new die design, Nike could fit 2/3 more Nike Frees per container if they take this from marketing stunt to an actual functional box design that simultaneously shows off the benefits of the product inside.




“Using the unique attribute of the impressive flexibility of the new model of Nike Free: Nike Free 5.0, 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.”

-Publicis Impetu


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.