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.


  • Top

    Low Top

    Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.

    Mid Top

    Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.

    High Top

    Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.

    Good to know

    Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.

  • Inspired from


    Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.


    Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.

    Good to know

    Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.

  • Collection

    Good to know

    Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.

  • Price
  • Special editions
Show more facts


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.