2012 marked the 40th birthday of Nike's iconic Cortez model. To celebrate this occasion, we take a look at how the Cortez was one of Nike's most cutting edge product in its release, and how it has constantly updated itself throughout the years. It is a sneaker that has stood the test of time, and Whiteboard Journal takes a look as to why it is so.
Ken Jenie ·
02/29/12 · 21,772 Views
As Nike releases to the public its Spring 2012 collection the now company celebrates one of its most iconic model: the Nike Cortez.This running shoe first released 40 years ago presented what was then the most cutting edge footwear technology. Now the Bill Bowerman-made sneaker has proven itself standing the test of time, and Nike has released two models to celebrate it: A leather Cortez titled “OG” and a nylon version.As the story goes, in 1972 Bill Bowerman (Nike’s “guru,” as they say) made it his goal to create a pair of sneaker that would be the most comfortable, durable, and performance-enhancing for runners, who on average face the extremities of running 100-mile a week. It would have to be a shoe that could complement the kinetics of running, and a product that can withstand the constant punishment of the weather and terrain.
What resulted from the laborious efforts was the Nike Cortez. The thick outer sole combined with the sponge mid-sole cushion absorbs the impact of the foot landing on the road, which not only provided comfort but also helped reduce the stress transferred to the runner’s legs. Although like many other running shoes the Cortez was first produced with leather, soon Nike revolutionized the shoes by using nylon as its material. This change of fabric has become part of the reason why the Cortez was so revolutionary. Using nylon has shed the weight dramatically, making the shoe much lighter, and as runners must face the elements the fabric is also quick drying – a practical but revolutionary idea at the time.
Four decades later the sneaker has gone through different incarnations, and though made to revolutionize running the Cortez has long entered the world of fashion with its relatively simple design and the many different styles/colors to choose from. Always reinventing itself- it remains relevant to today’s pop culture without relinquishing the elements that has brought it into the limelight in the first place.Which brings us to the latest additions to the series. Celebrating the 40 years Nike Sportswear brings us the Nike OG – a premium full grain Cortez that sports all the comforts and innovation the sneaker has amassed through out the years. Also available is the lightweight, 3-layer upper version, which sports nylon as its main material. Both models are also available in Lady Cortez versions that, with its shape, complement the female profile and anatomy of their feet.
As it has stood the test of time, Nike has much to celebrate with the Cortez reaching the 40-year mark. And looking at the evolution and current incarnation of the sneaker, we can only conclude that the Cortez is still going strong into the next millennium.