10:59 AM During summer time it is always nice to wear the coolest sneakers that we own - the more color, the better. Great designs, features and special colorways - stuff that we seldom get to see during the grey months of the year. So, don't waste any time - bring out your favorite sneakers and celebrate them as long as we don't have to face too much rain and snow which is our sneakers' enemy.

This summer, I don't really have a favorite sneaker, to be honest. My wardrobe changes a lot and there are days where I love to wear my bloomy Stan Smiths, then I wear my Nike Lunar Elite High, or I keep it simple with my Vans or adidas slides, haha. But I noticed one thing: all around me, the Nike Cortez is celebrating a really successful season or even year. From the traditional colorway to the craziest color combinations, this shoe seems to be the summer shoe of 2017. 
Good choice.


When the Cortez did his revival, I was thinking about my 15 year old self, who got the white Cortez with a navy blue swoosh. Back then, I was in heaven. Not only was I wearing a super trendy sneaker, I was super in love with the silhouette, too! 
Years later, while I see the shoe celebrating its huge comeback, I wondered if I should invest in another pair again. Why did I stop wearing Cortez?

Ohhh, I remember. The sole wasn't my favorite. My feet had a weird postion in the shoes and I was walking more on the inside part of my feet. I was worried about this, so I decided to get rid of them, even though I looked so cool in these. You know what I mean...

I'm happy that certain types of sneakers celebrate their comebacks, but with the Cortez I really wondered why this shoe is this huge now at a time where we have even crazier designs. 
That's why I want to use this Sneaker Thursday to share a little sneaker history. 



How and why was the Cortez born? 


The end of the 60s was an important time for Nike – whether they knew it or not, but they were about to create the most successful shoe that the brand ever released. At that time, Nike was still called Blue Ribbon and worked closely with Onitsuka Tiger, a Japanese sneaker giant.
Bill Bowerman, an Olympic track coach, knows about shoes, material and athletes, and therefore he studied years for the perfect long distance running shoe that Nike (Blue Ribbon) could release.

After years, Bowerman finally found the perfect shoe that supports athletes in the best way possible. The company received a prototype in 1967 describing it as “luxurious cushioning with sleek lines which looks like the future”. When Onitsuka asked for the name of the shoe, Bowerman suggested “Aztec” in homage to the 1968 Olympics which were held in Mexico City. Et voilà, the Aztec was born.
Then, adidas came around and wanted to sue the company. The German sneaker giant already designed a track spike called “Azteca Gold” which should be introduced during the same Olympics. Bowerman then, recalled some Mexican history and thought of the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés, who caused the fall of the Aztec Empire. That’s how Knight and Bowerman decided to call the shoe Cortez.

What was so special about the first long distance running shoe from Nike? The shoe was being described as having a “…thick, long wearing outer sole, full length sponge with a mid-sole cushion to absorb road shock and reduce leg fatigue.” Soon also, Bowerman continued to improve the shoe with reducing the weight. Here he managed to change the material of the shoe’s upper to nylon and suede – away from heavy leather.

After years of experimenting and finding the perfect fit, the Cortez was finally released in the year of 1972, the same year when Blue Ribbon officially became Nike. Runners got a more comfortable running shoe which helped with long distances and rough terrains, but also lifestyles were changed with this iconic silhouette.
The Cortez is a very important shoe when it comes to culture and Music. Films like Forrest Gump emphasized the greatness of this design and rappers and the hip hop scene especially in Los Angeles made the shoe become a status of reputation and City symbol. Isn’t that great?


Sometimes I believe we tend to forget what we wear on our feet. I know that there are people out there who don’t care about all of this. But there are also people like me who do care. I am proud and happy to be alive at such a time where human beings just like you and me create such awesome footwear. Having an origin from the running culture and making massive trends in our daily urban surroundings – that’s the perfect shoe if you ask me.

I love the Cortez for the design and I enjoy getting to know how the shoe was born, even if I don’t plan on getting an own pair in the future soon, I guess. Maybe it will change, maybe not. Until then, I enjoy seeing the different colorways.

How do you like the Cortez? Do you own a pair? Share your story!


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