The Lasting Legacy of the Nike Cortez

The Lasting Legacy of the Nike Cortez

words // Katie Nelson

If there’s one shoe that made Nike a household name, it’s the Cortez. Designed by Nike co-founder and legendary track coach Bill Bowerman, the Cortez got its start as a running shoe. Bowerman’s goal was to design a more durable, comfortable running shoe that could withstand the rigors of distance running on pavement. Using his wife’s waffle iron, he set out to make a unique shoe bottom. After numerous failed attempts, he achieved his goal. The result was a shoe he dubbed the “Cortez,” after the notorious conquistador Hernan Cortes, conquerer of the Aztecs in the 16th century. The Cortez was the first shoe to feature the word “Nike” and the now legendary Swoosh logo – quickly setting a standard for its successors. Making its debut in 1972 and gracing the feet of that year’s US Olympic athletes, the Cortez became wildly popular among the public and put Nike on the map.

Forty years later, the Cortez is retired from its running career but still remains one of Nike’s most popular casual shoes. Attesting to its quality, the Cortez still provides unsurpassed comfort, support, and durability. It sits on a rubber herringbone outsole and features a thick foam midsole, used to provide maximum cushioning in the lightest design possible. Originally only available in leather, the Cortez is now available in suede and nylon for a range of style possibilities.

Available: Nike Cortez

The Lasting Legacy of the Nike Cortez

Nike Cortez – Squadron Blue

Nike Cortez – Squadron Blue

words // Luis Sanchez

Eastbay takes us back to the early days of Nike Running with a release of the timeless Nike Cortez.

One of the most famed and storied Nike Running shoes, the Cortez returns in usual form with a full nylon build over a traditional foam sole. Just as classic as their timeless build, the forever fan favorite Cortez arrives for the spring in a clean combination of squadron blue and white.

Get your hands on the Nike Cortez from Eastbay today.

Available: Nike Cortez – Squadron Blue

Nike Cortez - Squadron Blue

Nike Cortez – Dark Royal Blue/Mint Candy

Nike Cortez – Dark Royal Blue/Mint Candy

words // Luis Sanchez

The Swoosh reissues another classic in the Nike Cortez with an interesting combination of blue hues taking over the runner.

The classic Nike Running shoes arrive here at Eastbay in traditional form. putting to use a combination of nylon and leather to build them up. Dark royal blue brings to life the clean look throughout the upper, while whit handles the Swoosh branding and foam sole sitting below. Hits of mint candy finish them off, running along the collar liner and sole.

The all new Dark Royal Blue/Mint Candy Nike Cortez is now available here at Eastbay.

Available: Nike Cortez – Dark Royal Blue/Mint Candy

Nike Classic Cortez SE – Deep Royal Blue/Team Orange

Nike Classic Cortez SE – Deep Royal Blue/Team Orange

words // Luis Sanchez

Nike Sportswear takes us way back with this reissue of the classic Cortez runner.

One of the most classic Nike Running shoes of all time, the Cortez returns in original form with a full suede build and traditional foam sole sitting below. The classic look arrives in a familiar color scheme that’s sure to appeal to plenty of New Yorkers with its Mets and Knicks inspiration. We see deep royal blue take over most of the suede upper, while team orange hits the Swoosh and heel badge. White laces are also put in place, matching the foam sole sitting below.

The all new Classic Cortez SE is now available here at Eastbay.

Available: Nike Classic Cortez SE – Deep Royal Blue/Team Orange