6. Nike Cortez

Year: 1972

The Nike Cortez is the dual-density breakthrough for Nike that built on Bill Bowerman's assistance on Tiger's Cortez. It might be more closely associated with gangbangers, Forrest Gump and a short, fat, devious man called George nowadays, but this was pure performance in its day. The clumsier 1971 incarnation gave way to the 1972 version we know and love, and there's been nylon, leather and suede takes since — we've even seen jewel Swoosh takes too. A staple sneaker that's at its best with a dose of nylon on that iconic upper.