The timeless Nike Cortez silhouette gets a fitting "Lakers" colorway

A SoCal classic, this Lakers-inspired Nike Cortez is sure to have native Californians going crazy.
Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers
Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

There are shoe silhouettes that can stand the test of time, and Nike's iconic Cortez is easily in that conversation. Bursting onto the scene in 1972, the Nike Cortez quickly became a fan favorite in the company's early foray into the long-distance trainer market. Now as a person who's put on a pair of Cortezes myself, I find them way too stiff for my liking, but it's kind of hard to believe these kicks were promoted to runners back in the day. And, they stood by it too. The Nike Cortez soon became one of the brand's most recognizable silhouettes, regardless of the wearer's intention. There were Cortez devotees everywhere. Popular names like Whitney Houston wearing them or how about their well-known appearance in the cult classic, Forrest Gump?

Better yet, the sneaker's name has roots in Spanish heritage. Albeit a nod to the atrocities of colonization, but that's beside the point. The Cortez quickly became a staple amongst the Chicano community, with the sneaker booming particularly in the Southern California area. There have been over 700 variations of the Nike Cortez, but this next colorway slated for release later this year is very fitting. The Cortez is going to don the purple and gold, à la the Los Angeles Lakers threads.

It doesn't get any more simple than that. The Cortez maintains its recognizable majority white leather upper material, but a prominent purple swoosh takes center stage, with a yellow brushstroke visible on the classic jagged sole. That signature Lakers' yellowish gold hue is also present on the insoles and tongue tab of the sneaker.

It's a bit surprising that it took this long for the Nike Cortez to be released in a Lakers-inspired colorway.

Despite being a Lakers-inspired color variant, the Nike Cortez "Lakers" is not officially associated with the NBA franchise. Rather it's hard to miss similarities to the L.A. threads that had people christening it with the "Lakers" moniker. Another Nike streetwear classic was given a similar Lakers look, as the Air Force 1 Low is set to release in a "University Gold" colorway this July.

It's safe to suggest that fans looking to show off their Lakers pride might bite the bullet on this ageless staple. Sure, you could just rock a pair of Kobe's or LeBron's, but those are actual basketball shoes. What about the folks who want a casual-looking sneaker? This is where the Cortez "Lakers" can make its mark! While no official release date has been announced, industry insiders suggest that the product is likely to hit the market in late 2024, with a suggested price tag of $90.

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