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Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.


Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.


Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.


We spent 7.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

11 reasons to buy

  • Numerous reviewers like its original all-white color scheme that displays simplicity and clean looks.
  • Many users find the Classic Cortez silhouette very fashionable and stylish lifestyle sneakers.
  • A good number of customers complimented the enlarged herringbone patterned shark outsole that has a good grip and holds on various surfaces.
  • A lot of sneaker fans appreciate the all-white synthetic neoprene and leather upper as it blends well to the contours of the feet.
  • A few liked the Phylon midsole that provides ample cushioning for comfortable walks.
  • Several commenters like the plain colors and stylish design of this classic sneaker as it provides a perfect match to most outfits including pants and shorts.
  • Some customers like the aesthetics behind the combination of suede leather and other synthetic materials.
  • A number of reviewers like the Phylon midsole for the lightweight feeling of wearing the shoe.
  • A few loved this low-top design below the ankle as it helps them find the ease of movement and flexibility while using the shoe.
  • Some buyers love the nostalgic minimalist style of the shoe that is ideal for walking and light running.
  • A number of reviewers appreciated that the classic looks of the shoe have not been changed as the Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low remains consistent to the original design most sneaker fans value.

5 reasons not to buy

  • Some reviewers don’t like the all-white leather design as it easily gets dirty and a bit difficult to clean.
  • Little arch support disappoints a few buyers of the classic sneaker.
  • A few observers noticed a bit of wearing out and chipping of the outsole after long and heavy use.
  • Several commenters noted the lack of arch support which could have been easily addressed by a removable insole.
  • A few noted that the Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low does not go well in terms of design with loyal fans who still value the waffle sole than the new sole design.

Bottom line

For a classic running sneaker, the Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low is a dope shoe that has kept the nostalgic vibe burning with its simple and practical looks that many generations have loved. Its synthetic and rubber upper gives enough feet protection while its jagged herringbone outsole provides a firm grip to surfaces for a smooth walk or run. A Phylon midsole also ensures reliable cushioning for this classic running sneaker. Be prepared, however, to adjust to the shoes’ poor arch support that could get a little uncomfortable.



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Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low History

Released at the peak of the 1972 Olympics, the Nike Cortez has been a pioneering design of the brand that really got people talking. It was a light, sleek, and comfortable running sneaker that every runner wanted. It was made of leather with wedges on the rubber sole that is ideal for the track.

Designed by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman and inspired by the Onitsuka Corsair, it was Nike’s first sign of commercial success as sales of the Cortez reached $800,000 in its first year and still commands huge sales for the company more than 30 years since it was first released.

Later installations of the Cortez in the next 20 to 30 years offered a more laidback design that has made it among the go-to casual shoes and bestselling sneakers of all time. Through the years, the Nike Cortez has been released in materials such as leather, suede, and nylon.

According to Bowerman, the secret to the comfort of the Nike Cortez is the thick rubber sole that has a Phylon cushioning. With the thick outsole material, the feet are guaranteed superior protection as well as durability. The outsole design also has a raised heel that assures fewer injuries common to runners such as strains of the Achilles tendon.

But before it was released in the early 970s, the design process for the Nike Cortez goes all the way back to 1968 during the early years of Nike.  Olympic track coach Bowerman crafted the thick-soled running shoe to be used primarily for distance running.  The pioneering shoe designer has intended the shoe with a long-wearing outer sole, full-length sponge with a midsole cushion that absorbs road shock and reduces leg fatigue. Later on, many of the world’s top runners and marathoners have started using the Cortez that is often dubbed as the ‘most comfortable shoe ever.’

The shoe had initially an all-leather upper but Bowerman, later on, used nylon and mesh and suede for the upper for it to be more lightweight.  Meantime, the Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low retained the original silhouette of the original 1970s running shoe but with deeper jagged edges on the sole. The shoe came out in 2015 and has been popular among sneaker fans that wanted vintage kicks and outfit.

Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low Style

Aside from its popularity with Olympic athletes and marathoners, the original Nike Cortez has also gained notoriety among gangs for its simple design and comfort of its white and black colorway.

In popular culture, the shoe also gained further popularity when it was featured in the Academy Award-winning movie Forrest Gump. The well-loved character played by actor Tom Hanks used the shoe in his run across America. To honor this homage to the Nike Cortez, the brand has released a Forrest Gump colorway.

All these style influences have kept the Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low Style as a regular street lifestyle and casual sneaker. With its simple designs and colors, the shoe matches well with a variety of outfits including jeans and shorts.

Fit & Sizing

The Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low is a good fitting sneaker than runs true to size.  The retro sneakers are available in men’s sizes in medium-D width. Shoe size ranges from US size 6 to 13.

Notable Features

For a classic running sneaker, the Nike Classic Cortez Shark Low’s most notable feature is pointing to the sole of this iconic retro runner. The thick outsole has jagged edges that resembled shark teeth while the midsole that connects both the upper and the outsole is the Phylon midsole that serves as the source of reliable cushioning and impacts absorption during runs.

Additional Info

  • Among celebrities spotted wearing the Nike Cortez Shark Low include rapper and hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar with his version Showstopper.
  • The first releases of the shoe have a good retail value with resellers.