The Nike Cortez is one of the most popular sneakers in the world. It’s so popular that a new pair comes out every few months. There’s a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from. So which color is best for you?
The Azteca Gold
If you’re not familiar with the history of Nike Cortez, you may wonder how it was named. The Nike Cortez Azteca Gold has become a cultural symbol for many of the people who wore it. It’s one of the most iconic shoes in the history of sports, and it continues to be popular among athletes and fans.
In 1967, the co-founders of Blue Ribbon Sports wanted a great name for their track shoe. They thought of “Aztec” as a fitting tribute to the Mesoamericans. That name was already trademarked by Adidas, so they contacted Onitsuka Tiger, a Japanese footwear company.
The first TG-24 shoe was a prototype that held together with horse pins. It was designed by Bill Bowerman, who was a track coach at the University of Oregon. As his business partner, Phil Knight also contributed ideas.
Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight eventually became partners, and they started importing athletic shoes from Japan. Their TG-24 shoe was one of the best runners of the year. But Onitsuka Tiger didn’t like the design.
In 1966, Bill Bowerman began working with Onitsuka Tiger, a Japanese footwear company, to create a running shoe named TG-24. The shoe featured a herringbone patterned outsole to provide grip, as well as a spongy midsole that offered shock absorption.
Despite its relatively basic design, Cortez quickly took off in New York, especially in the early 1980s, as hip-hop culture began to flourish. Its wide availability made it easy for gangs to wear the shoe as part of their uniforms.
Ultimately, the name of the TG-24 changed to TG-Mexico, after Bowerman and Onitsuka decided to pay tribute to the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico. Their intention was to capitalize on the publicity of the Olympics, which was to take place two years later. However, the TG-24 was already a hit.
Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight had been business partners in 1957. They also started Blue Ribbon Sports, which imported sports shoes from Japan. But in 1971, they decided to end the partnership with Onitsuka Tiger.
Clot x Nike Cortez
Nike has partnered with Hong Kong-based lifestyle label CLOT for another sneaker collaboration. Known for its unique and funky collaborations, CLOT has brought Eastern Hemisphere-inspired designs to the Western Hemisphere.
CLOT x Nike Cortez is set to release during spring 2023. The sneaker is expected to arrive in three colorways. This is a rumored version of the Cortez that includes some wild additions.
First, we have the split-shroud overlay. Both sides feature the CLOT and Nike logos. A black stripe runs across the top, matching the rest of the shoe. In addition, the insoles are adorned with a Yin and Yang symbol. On the heels, there is also a toggle switch.
The upper is made of smooth white leather, with black details. It features Chinese calligraphy on the heel tabs, while a black Swoosh shoots through the medial side panels.
The CLOT x Nike Cortez also features a modified lock lacing system. The yin and yang symbol is also printed on the tongue.
Link to Los Angeles culture
The Nike Cortez is a sneaker that’s been tied to Los Angeles culture for decades. From gangs to athletes, it’s a cultural icon that has transcended fashion. Originally released in 1972, it’s been reimagined as a representation of Los Angeles’s rich history and diversity. It’s set to drop on SNKRS on Tuesday, June 28.
For the Cortez’s 50th anniversary, Nike is paying tribute to the rich history of the West Coast. An exhibition is currently up at LaPau Gallery in Los Angeles. There, nine Latinx artists are displaying their work. They draw on their own experiences living in the Northern California Bay Area and the US/Mexico border.
One of the nine artists is photographer Estevan Oriol. He captures Los Angeles culture with his photographs. Another artist is Mister Cartoon, who specializes in blending street culture with iconic brands. This artist has collaborated with Nike on a number of Cortezes.
Another artist is rafa esparza, who uses chicken wire, bandanas, and a re-fashion of the Mexican coat of arms on his Cortezs.