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Nike’s OG Running Shoe Deserves a Spot in Your Everyday Sneaker Rotation

The Nike Cortez, designed by famed track coach Bill Bowerman, popularized midsole technology and set the standard for modern running shoes.


Without the Cortez, there would be no Nike. The running-turned-lifestyle shoe, designed by famed track coach Bill Bowerman for Onitsuka Tiger — Nike began as the US importer for Onitsuka Tiger (today a division of Asics) — popularized midsole technology, setting a standard that practically every running shoe since would follow.

Early versions of the Cortez were heralded for their comfort and worn by distance runners the world over, including athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Nike’s sales skyrocketed, propelling the company on a path to becoming the multi-billion dollar corporation it is today.

Nike now sells several variations of the iconic Cortez — it’s even available through the company’s custom iD program — but you can pick up the navy Classic Cortez Nylon for $28 off the original asking price.

Buy Now: $70 $42

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