The 10 Greatest Years in Sneaker History

8. 1972

For the Munich Olympics, adidas introduced the SL (aka SL72), a super-light trainer that foreshadowed the direction of the company 40 years later. Meanwhile in Beaverton Oregon, Nike established their bona fides with the Cortez. Based on an Onitsuka runner modified by track coach and shoe whisperer Bill Bowerman, the Nike Cortez was essentially the first "modern" running shoe. Important? Absolutely.

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