20 '70s Sneakers You Need To Know

Nike Cortez

Year Released: 1972

The first "modern" running shoe, the Nike Cortez represented all that Bill Bowerman brought to the table as an inveterate tinkerer. That foam wedge in the heel provided added cushioning and promoted a heelstrike running motion, which Bowerman thought would make runners faster by increasing the length of their stride. The running science hasn't held up, but the shoe certainly has.

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