Nike is bringing back the Cortez “Forrest Gump”: What’s next for the classic track kicks

Nike is bringing back the Cortez “Forrest Gump”: What’s next for the classic track kicks

With the re-release of the classic Nike Cortez ‘Forrest Gump’ scheduled for Spring 2024, get to know the history behind the shoe and its place in pop culture.

Sneaker Files

First released to the public in 2018, the Nike Cortez ‘Forrest Gump’ was a tribute to the beloved movie; a scene in which the title character is given a pair of Cortez shoes before embarking on his famous cross-country run. 

A piece of cinematic and sneaker history, one of the several original pairs worn by Hanks during filming recently sold at auction for $57,500 USD. It’s considered among the most sought-after Cortez colorways, and now it’s set to be re-released this May. Currently, rumors point towards Nike retaining the highly affordable US$90 (approx. S$121) price tag and should return with the near-identical all-leather construction. The last time it retro-ed was in 2019 and today, those sneakers are moving for about US$250 (approx. S$337). 

In popular culture

The Cortez quickly transcended the track and made it to the streets, popular for its sleek appearance. Aside from Forest, the Cortez has gained notoriety for appearing in multiple pop-culture moments. Whitney Houston wore a pair to perform “Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl XXV, while Kendrick Lamar name-checked them in a 2013 song. In 2018, the West Coast rapper would drop a collaboration with Nike based on the retro runner. 

Most recently, the shoe has been referenced by cult TV show The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White. The actor dropped the Cortez as his favorite shoe in a 2022 interview with British GQ, specifying the all-white colorway as a particular go-to. 

It’s also given rise to huge collaborations with the likes of Sacai (pictured below), Clot, hit TV show “Stranger Things” and, of course, Kendrick Lamar.

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What’s next?

The “Forrest Gump” might be the big story for the Cortez so far this year, but fans of the shoe will have plenty of new colorways to choose from. Widely considered the perfect springtime shoe for its lightweight feel, the Cortez is due for a seasonal refresh this year.

The “Bleached Aqua Vivid Sulfur” colorway is a far cry from the comparatively minimalist white base of the “Forrest Gump”. Landing in time for Spring ‘24, the shoe is rendered in a bright turquoise with yellow accents. A nylon upper leans into the sporting origins of the Cortez.


Another bold option is the “​​Vintage Chlorophyll”, landing later this year. The suede upper comes in a classic green.


Following the green theme, the Nike Cortez TXT is getting a “Watermelon” makeover with a green and pink colorway – combining “Fir” and “Pinksickle” tones that will be familiar to fans of the AF1.


In celebration of the shoe’s birth year, a “Since ‘72” colorway is coming this year. The women’s exclusive features an aged, off-white upper for a vintage look with teal accents.


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