We’re Calling It: Nike Cortez Sneakers are the New Adidas Stan Smiths

Leah Bourne
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For the last year, Adidas’ Stan Smith sneakers have been an inescapable fashion trend worn by bloggers and street style stars, then copied by big luxury brands like Isabel Marant and Saint Laurent. While the retro sneaker trend shows no signs of slowing down, there’s another classic that might just knock Stan Smiths off of their fashion pedestal: the Nike Cortez.

Originally designed in 1972 by Nike founder Bill Bowerman, the Cortez is credited as being one of the first long-distance running shoes—it was built to go 100-plus miles thanks to a dual-density midsole and herringbone outsole.

MORE: How Stan Smiths Sneakers Became Fashion’s Hottest Trend

When the shoe was released during the peak of the 1972 Olympics, demand for the shoes was so high that sales reached $800,000 (around $4.5 million in today’s dollars) during the first year of the shoe’s release.

Through the years, there have been some major pop-culture plugs for the Cortez. Farrah Fawcett famously wore a pair while skateboarding in an episode of “Charlie’s Angeles,” which led to skyrocketing sales of the shoes among women.

nike111 Were Calling It: Nike Cortez Sneakers are the New Adidas Stan Smiths

Photo: Courtesy of Nike

Then, in 1994, Tom Hanks wore a pair in “Forrest Gump” during the section of the movie where he ran across country. A few years after that, Nike re-released the same colorway of the sneaker Hanks wore in the movie.

Now, Nike is again re-releasing the classic red, white, and blue Cortez on February 28 in its stores and on Nike.com. That particular sneaker will retail for $100 (while more basic versions of the Cortez start at $60). Beyond that color combination, we’ve noticed the navy and white Cortez popping up on the feet of personal style bloggers and fashion editors.

We’re calling it—these sneakers will be everywhere by spring, so we suggest snagging a pair right now.

MORE: 25 Ways to Pull Off Skirts and Sneakers—Without Looking Like an ’80s Secretary

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