Among Nike's 2022 sneaker anniversaries – the 40th anniversary of the Air Force 1, 35th anniversary of the Air Max 1, 25th anniversary of the Air Max 97 and the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan 7, to name a few – the 50th anniversary of the Cortez is a particularly special one. Nike's first hit running shoe, the Cortez helped boost the brand to new heights when it first released during the 1972 Olympic Games, then went on to be a cultural favourite, seen on everyone from Eazy-E to Farrah Fawcett and Kendrick Lamar. It boasts especially deep roots in California, so it's only fitting that the Swoosh have tapped Union to help celebrate half a decade of Cortez.
Though hard information surrounding the Union x Nike Cortez collection has yet to be revealed, it's popped up in a multitude of colourways on various sneaker leaker Instagram pages. One of these pages belongs to sample/early pair collector @woganwodeyang, and the pair in question combines tones both muted and brilliant.
A lion's share of the shoe's overlays are made from supple wolf grey suede, but this simple and stark style is just to contrast the tightly-woven nylon base, which boasts a multi-coloured mix of yellow, blue, pink and purple stripes. There are also rich hits of blue, yellow and pink scattered around the shoe's overlays, and Union's Frontman logo debossed on the flip-up heel tab, an original 1972 Cortez detail that's given a little extra flair on this modern iteration. Midsoles appear to be made of Nike's sustainable Crater foam, and co-branded cork insoles finalize the look.
You can expect the Union x Nike Cortez to release later this year. A date of arrival and pricing information have yet to be revealed, but we'll update you as soon as they surface.
If you're looking to learn more about the history of the Cortez, see why it became one of MS-13's most recognizable hallmarks here and check out its standing as one of the key sneakers from hip-hop's golden age here.