If you ask any sneakerhead what the most legendary running trainer of all time is, there’s a huge chance that they’d bring up the Nike Cortez. The very first track shoe to come from the Beaverton brand, it made its grand debut in 1972. Designed by Nike’s Bill Bowerman, what he wanted was a pair of running shoes that were well cushioned and durable. And, when the Cortez finally released, it checked absolutely all of these boxes.
An instant hit, while other brands like Adidas produced equally-as-comfortable sneakers that were also great for high-intensity sports, none of them have ever been as iconic as the Cortez. If you want to find more out more about this silhouette then you’ve come to the right place. Is it comfortable? Has the Cortez been discontinued? Make sure to read on down below, because we have all of the answers you need.
The Cortez was considered to be instrumental in helping the company to thrive over the course of the ’70s. Though it’s hard to imagine that a brand of Nike’s calibre was struggling, at one point in history this was the case. Something that really helped propel the Cortez into superstardom was its original release date.
First launched in the summer of 1972, around the time of the Olympic Games that were being held in Munich, Germany, the Cortez was extremely different compared to other running sneakers at the time. With a full leather construction, the upper was sleek and streamlined, akin to a Japanese bullet train. Underfoot, the shock-absorbing sole was lined with a series of serrations which offered unrivalled grip and traction on the track, and the silhouette was immediately recognisable for its oversized Swoosh, which elegantly glides across the lateral and medial sidewalls.
The Cortez was first introduced in the early ’70s with the intention of delivering greater comfort to wearers, even while engaging in intense sports like running and sprinting. While Nike has introduced a wide arrange of technologies and innovations since then, including Air Max, Cushlon, and most recently, Formula 23, many runners still believe that the Cortez was, and still is, the best track shoe in history.
So, is the Cortez still comfortable? The answer is an astounding yes. Even if you plan on wearing these as a lifestyle shoe, you’ll have no issues whatsoever.
The Cortez did go through a very brief hiatus a couple of years back. However, to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2022, the American sportswear company brought it back in full force. This meant that fans of retro model were finally able to get their hands on a pair!
Not only has the sneakerverse been blessed with a wide range of GR colourways, we’ve also been getting some coveted collaborations. Examples include Chris Gibbs’ Union LA and Edison Chen’s CLOT. More special projects are set to drop soon, so keep it locked for your best chance to cop.
The Cortez is literally becoming more popular by the minute. With that said, GR colourways are still generally widely available. This means that you don’t need to join raffles or camp outside stores just to secure your size:
One of the most iconic track shoes of all-time, the Nike Cortez was introduced all the way back in 1972. After a brief hiatus, the retro silhouette has now been brought back for its 50th birthday, and it has returned alongside a wide range of popular colourways and hyped collaborations. So, if you’re a big fan of the old school model, you’ll be truly spoilt for choice!