Back in February, Nike brought back its historic Cortez running shoe on a limited basis, perhaps as a way to test the market for the throwback trainer. The Cortez was one of the original models Bill Bowerman developed in the early days of Nike, one of the first shoes to feature a full-length midsole, dual-foam cushioning systems and nylon uppers.
It’s a shoe that Steve Prefontaine wore late in his career and became ubiquitous among joggers and teenagers in the 1970s. If you’ve seen the movie “Forrest Gump,” then you’ve seen the shoes. It’s the shoe Gump (Tom Hanks) laced up and wore on his across-the-USA running odyssey in that 1994 Oscar-winning film.
This week, Nike released a new textile version of the Cortez in a variety of colors for $130 at Nike.com and its Nike Lab stores in New York City and other international locations. Although it’s not meant to be a modern running shoe, the new versions could be a big hit with hipsters and sneaker freaks. The upper is made of traditional nylon quarter panels with premium suede and corduroy accents and both a large and small embroidered Swoosh logos.
On Sept. 24 Nike will unveil the ’72 Cortez, a replica version of the original shoe that debuted in February with a minimal leather upper, an iconic rubber toe cap and heel pull tab.