Nike Cortez – A History of a Classic Running Trainer

Nike Cortez – A History of a Classic Running Trainer

Originally designed in the mid-sixties by Bill Bowerman, the 1972 US Olympic coach, the Nike Cortez was conceived as the supreme training shoe for the long distance runner. The Nike Cortez combined a thick long wearing outer sole with a full length sponge mid-sole cushions to absorb road shock and reduce leg fatigue while simultaneously elevating the heel to reduce Achilles tendon strains. The cortez was a new concept in distance training shoes. With the experience of the 60s as a base Bill Bowerman and Nike have evolved this trainer into a line to meet the varying needs of all runners.

Coach Bill Bowerman would try anything to make a running shoe better, even a pair of flip flops. He grafted them into a training shoe to create the first full length mid-sole. This hydrid shoe became the Nike Cortez.

The Nike Cortez changed running in 1972. Many athletes who wore the shoe described it as running on the moon and ultimately helped many of them win races.

In 1972 Nikes guru, Bill Bowerman, knew that athletes needed a well cushioned shoe that could take the punishment of 100 miles per week pounding the pavement. The first model was made with leather, but bowerman figured out how to reduce the weight using upper of nylon, which was lightweight and quick drying, and suede, which would hold the shape of the toe without restricting the foot.

The Nike Cortez introduced the first full length, dual density foam mid-sole for comfort along with good shock absorption, the denser foam was placed where the foot needed it most. A herringbone rubber sole completed the revolution, and there it was, a Bowerman designed running icon, casting a rapidly moving shadow across the running world for years to come.

Introducing the cortez fly motion for 2009

Still and always the Nike Cortez, but now given better, stronger, faster wings by natural motion technology. Its fly wire fused now, and that means it’s got the technology developed for Nike’s highest performance track shoe, the zoom victory spike, into the design. Fly wire is an ultra strong, ultra thin series of cables that proves that lighter can also be stronger.

Yet another innovation, the one piece upper, providing a cloaked comfort at a weight that would have been laughed off the blueprints 20 years ago.

Now, injected phylon, replaces the dual density EVA mid sole, making the Nike Cortez lighter while keeping it stable. A series of deep flex grooves were laser cut following the herringbone tread pattern, allowing the Nike Cortez the dual gift of motion and lightness.

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