The Ford Model T made it an automobile affordable for the middle class, the WinChester 1873 “won the west”, and the 1972 Nike Cortez is the shoe that started the running boom. Bill Bowerman was an American track and field coach and co-founder of Nike. Beginning in the late 1950s, Bowerman started to tinker with the construction of shoes. It wasn’t until 1972 that man’s dream came true. With the birth of the Nike Cortez, the shoe company ended its ties with Onitsuka shoes (now ASICS). Most importantly this is the shoe that started the company down the path to becoming one of the most powerful brands in the world.
The Cortez caught fire when it was first released. Retailers struggled to keep the shoe in stock. Even if someone wasn’t a runner they wanted this shoe because it had use for fashion, sport, and everyday use. Bowerman described the shoe as being both “comfortable and durable”. At the time this was a huge innovation. Professional long distance runners, and Olympians stood by his words.
The Cortez has been on and off in production over the past 20 years. Most models that have been made are simple black and white, all white, or navy and white. What makes this shoe release so special is its color scheme. This is the shoe that Forrest Gump ran across America in. The year 2015 has seen the color scheme on Nike’s Roshe and Shark, but what is being released on September 24 is an updated replica of the first Nike Cortez. Although this shoe is having a 21st century update, please don’t run in it. I think Bowerman would rather see you run in Nike’s Flyknit Lunar 3. The shoe should retail around $100, and will be available on Nike Lab.