Whether you look at this shoe as a symbolic part of LA culture, we can’t deny that Cortez is one of the best Swoosh pioneers. As a brand built on performance running, the Nike Cortez is Nike’s first track shoe. And it’s crazy to think that this sneaker is already 50 years old!

Nothing but performance in mind. If you don’t know, the Nike Cortez has an infamous history between Nike and Onitsuka Tiger. Back when Nike Co-founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman launched the brand, we have Blue Ribbon Sports.

These two gentlemen worked as distributors of Onitsuka Tiger shoes to the United States. Bill Bowerman is a legendary track coach, and Phil Knight was one of his track athletes. Eventually, the two worked together and designed running shoes that provided more comfort.

The Nike Cortez was first called the Tiger Corsair until Onitsuka found out that Phil and Bill were selling the shoe with the Swoosh. Eventually, things fell into place as the shoe was Bowerman’s original design, and Onitsuka only produced it.

Both brands were allowed to sell the shoe in their own rendition. And in 1972, we officially got the Nike Cortez. It features a leather upper, nylon tongue, and a dual-density sponge foam midsole. The herringbone traction pattern gripped like nothing else, making it a reliable track shoe.

Through the years, various cultures adopted the Nike Cortez. Los Angeles is the most popular city to rock the shoe. While most people connect the trainer with bad vibes, it’s still a fashion icon; just ask Forrest Gump!

We rarely see the Cortez in the market, but modern-day collabs with Union LA and sacai introduced a whole new look to the shoe.

While not as popular as the current trends, the Nike Cortez is an unforgettable lifestyle shoe worn by just about everybody.

Take a look at the most recent Nike Cortez releases below.

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