We spent 7.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

10 reasons to buy

  • Majority of the online reviewers commend the comfort of the Nike Cortez Ultra Breathe.
  • A handful of consumers dropped positive feedback on the material used on the upper. 
  • The upper has an intricate detail that interests one purchaser.
  • One tester who tried running in these sneakers appreciated it more as it performed well.
  • The colorway lured one user in buying these sneakers.
  • One commenter recommends the Cortez Ultra Breathe for people who are looking for lightweight workout shoes.
  • Several consumers cannot complain about the price of these sneakers.
  • A great number of users claim that these sneakers run true to size.
  • One user loves the simplicity of the overall look of these kicks.
  • These sneakers come in a versatile style as it can be worn with jeans and shorts.

2 reasons not to buy

  • One user, unfortunately, returned these shoes because it easily gets dirty.
  • The bottom of the shoe squeaks when the surface is wet, according to one tester.

Bottom line

The Cortez continues to get updated by turning up in a trendy and lightweight makeup. Relabeled as the Nike Cortez Ultra Breathe, this shoe gets a diamond-perforated mesh upper which is far more breathable than the leather variations.

This version retains its simple-looking contour of the iconic silhouette but splashed with eye-candy colors that scream summer. You can enjoy every step with its fairly cushioned composition. It fits just right so there’s no need to size up or down.


Expert Reviews

  • First look | Sneakers Star

Become an expert

The Cortez Ultra Breathe from the Swoosh brand comes in a low-top silhouette which permits more movement on the ankles. Both men and women can enjoy these sneakers. Men can choose from US sizes ranging from 6-15, while women can take their pick from 5-12. Both have half sizes available. These sneakers come with a lace-up closure which gives it a more secure fit.

Over the course of the history of the Nike Cortez, it continues to come in variations that give this iconic sneaker a makeover. The Nike Cortez Ultra Breathe is infused with a no-sew Ultramesh upper. From a closer look, the material looks like diamond perforations which give it an interesting play of texture that is quite different from the smooth leather upper of the original Cortez that the market is used to seeing.

Because it has the same iconic silhouette, styling these sneakers is effortless. More so, it comes in monochromatic colorways -- gray, black, crimson and blue.  Its versatile design makes it an ideal pair to match with almost anything-- dresses, joggers, shorts, and jeans.

Timely released in the Summer of 2016, the Nike Cortez Ultra Breathe gets a thorough modernization of the iconic Cortez. The traditional leather gets replaced with a lightweight mesh, which offers unparalleled breathability and comfort. It also effects on making the shoe more lightweight and the perfect companion for summer.

Designed originally in 1986 by Olympic track coach and co-founder of Nike, Bill Bowerman, the Nike Cortez is a comfortable running shoe ideal to use for long-distance running. It made its debut in the 1972 Munich Olympics, and since then, it has been the footwear of choice by the best marathoners of the world.  

Being one of the first sneakers that revolutionized the brand, the Nike Cortez was the first to feature the brand’s Swoosh logo. Its popularity soared when the Academy Award winning film, Forrest film, featured these sneakers on one of its scenes. Since then, the Cortez has been released in a myriad of versions.

More so, it made a transition to being performance footwear to a casual shoe. Because of the massive number of shoes sold in its years of existence, it was dubbed as “the most comfortable shoes ever.” Since then, the variations under the Nike Classic Cortez lineup continue to grow season after season.

  • Just like the original design of the Nike Cortez, the Ultra Breathe sports the iconic ripple sole for traction and grip.
  • The iconic Swoosh logo, a signature logo used on the Cortez, is seen on the sidewalls of the sneaker.
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.