Verdict from +100 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • The low-top Nike Cortez Basic Leather is lightweight and comfortable, according to most wearers.
  • A lot of users have affirmed that the shoe is durable.
  • Some have noticed the low-top shoe is well-padded inside making it soft.
  • The Cortez Basic Leather is an “easy to break-in” kind of shoe, a few states.
  • Most buyers have perceived this sneaker’s classic silhouette as stylish.
  • A handful of runners have said that it is perfect for the gym or walking for long periods.
  • This iteration of the Nike Cortez is affordable.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some wearers have noted that the thick padding and zero perforations in the shoe make the feet sweat especially in warm weather.
  • The Cortez Basic Leather has a tight toe box, which is the reason for the complaints of many buyers.

Bottom line

With an all-leather outfit, the Nike Cortez Basic Leather is a hit among sneakerheads. It is among the Nike Cortez sneakers that showcase comfort and style. 

Long-time users love this shoe for its nostalgic vibe as it performs well at the gym or on the streets. Overall, this kick is among the Nike shoes that provide a retro look that has a sleek, minimal, and functional design.

User reviews:

Good to know

The Cortez Basic Leather upper is built with full-grain leather which makes it durable and offers a premium feel. This material provides support for the foot when in motion. The low-cut collar gives freedom of movement to the ankle. This running-inspired sneaker is well-padded inside which makes it very comfortable for the feet.

If the first Bowerman masterpiece way back in 1972 was such a hit back then, the updated version made of premium leather rocks sneakerheads’ lives. The clean and sleek construction can be seen in neutral colorways and is perfect for any casual activity.

This low-top Nike Cortez Basic Leather model complements everyday clothes such as plain colored tops, skinny jeans, shorts, and joggers. Looking good seems so effortless when sporting around in this shoe.

This sneaker is a dead ringer for the old model and has a debossed lace dubrae with the “Cortez 72” logo etched on it for emphasis. As a whole, the Cortez Basic Leather maintains its vintage silhouette but has a more comfortable foam midsole which acts as a cushion for the foot. The herringbone tread is also to be noted for as it adds on to the grip of the foot.

It all started way back in the trunk of Phil Knight’s car. It was a combination of Knight’s search to make a living without giving up athletics and Bill Bowerman’s quest for the best racing shoes. As Knight went to Japan in 1963, he was able to meet up with a famous Japanese running shoe manufacturer, Tiger, a subsidiary of the Onitsuka Company. Both parties invested $500 in selling some pairs in the US under Blue Ribbon Sports, Knight’s representation.

Everything went well in the following year, and as sales reached a million dollars, they changed the brand to Nike and made the Swoosh its trademark in 1971. The new brand name Nike means a winged goddess of victory according to Greek mythology. And this best describes how Nike ventures into the shoe business.

One of the reasons why Nike is the top choice among athletes is that each shoe is made for a particular activity. From the Nike Air Technology up to the most advanced self-lacing design, Hyperadapt line, this brand only proved to the consumers that they could keep up with the different demands. Though there is one style that is still in demand – the Nike Cortez. It is classic and timeless which can perfectly go with any outfit.

The Nike Cortez became a hit during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Yet Bowerman continued to improve the shoe by changing the leather upper to nylon. This was then called the Nike Nylon Cortez, the world’s fastest running shoe. But Bowerman did not stop there. A more updated version featured a better leather upper plus the foam midsole for comfort. And this is the low-top Nike Cortez Basic Leather.

Though this shoe is running-inspired, people see it more as lifestyle footwear that is versatile. It is an icon with interesting colorways that sneakerheads continue to tune in for more developments in the future.

  • The Nike logo is all over the shoe - tongue, heel tab and insole.
  • This sneaker is an updated version of Bill Bowerman’s 1972 running model.
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.