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The silhouette is based on a running shoe DNA with sufficient hold and support on foot.

It boasts a low-top profile that enables a non-restricted foot movement. The collar and tongue are padded, so a plush feel is there surrounding your ankle. The closure system is a traditional lace-up, which offers a snug and secure fit on foot.

A running-inspired sneaker that took inspiration from the ‘70s classic Nike Cortez comes in the form of the Nike Cortez Jewel. One of the many contemporary iterations of the classic shoe that Forrest Gump approved of, this particular model carries on the retro and timeless look of the original despite the design tweak on the Swoosh branding. The leather upper gives a premium appeal, while the clean look of the shoe as a whole allows versatility in styling. To sum it all up, the Nike Cortez Jewel is another Swoosh to wear from day to night, any day, for both men and women.

The classic Nike Cortez from the ‘70s received a contemporary update through the Nike Cortez Jewel. The new model utilizes a soft leather upper that gives a premium look, but the most exciting part is the different presentation of the signature Swoosh branding on the sides.  In this Cortez iteration, the Swoosh is a lot smaller and in a glossy, embossed finish.

One of Nike’s most iconic and highly coveted classic kicks is the Nike Cortez. Known as the “most comfortable shoes ever” during its peak from the ‘70s to the ‘90s, the Cortez was one of the first track shoes that the brand introduced in 1972 or only a year after Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight officially renamed their company from Blue Ribbon Sports to Nike, Inc.

For years, the Nike Cortez remains a pillar of the footwear industry. It is one of the few that has proven the test of time while successfully establishing influence and strong presence not just in sports but also in other cultures and subcultures such as streetwear culture, pop culture, and more. The Cortez even made an appearance in favorite movies during the ‘80s. It was in Karate Kid, Seinfeld, and Forrest Gump.

The Nike Cortez was one of the three iconic Nike shoes, along with the Air Force 1 and Air Max 1, to feature Nike's alternate branding called the Jewel Swoosh - a smaller Swoosh in a bedazzling jewel finish. The Jewel Swoosh, which was designed by Sean McConnell, first appeared in 1997 on the Air Force 1 Low.

The Nike Cortez Jewel was produced as early as 2002 in time for the classic’s 30th anniversary. The iteration made a comeback in 2017 in two retro colorways featuring a clean white leather upper with either University Red or black accents.

  • Visible on the heel and tongue are Nike logos.
  • On the bottom part of the lace-up closure is a metal design accent with a “Cortez ‘72” carving.


How Nike Cortez Jewel ranks compared to all other shoes
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Top 46% Nike sneakers
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Bottom 44% low sneakers
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The current trend of Nike Cortez Jewel.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.