The Nike Classic Cortez Nylon “Black/White” is just as synonymous with California street fashion as it is with its performance running roots. Created by famed track coach and Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman, the Cortez originally released in 1972 and is regarded as the first “modern” performance running shoe. Flash forward a decade later, and the silhouette gained traction in Los Angeles fashion circles for its comfort and unfussy looks. The upper is constructed in black nylon, save for the tonal suede toe cap and heel. A contrasting white leather Swoosh sits on the mid-panel and white leather dots the heel with black Nike detailing. The ridged outsole once provided athletes with superior traction and stability—and while you could still run around the track in the Nike Classic Cortez Nylon, today the styling represents a quaint nod to the shoe’s heritage.
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