Mark: Union LA x Nike
Release date: June 21st
To buy: Union physical and online store
Editor’s notes: Looks like it’s been months now since we’ve seen teasers of the Union LA x Nike Cortez shoes floating around the sneaker net on a regular basis. Well, the wait is finally over as the collaborative sneakers arrive just in time for Summer 22.
While Sacai also has an impressive Cortez sneaker in the works, Union’s Cortez strikes a different note as it manifests as a love letter from one LA legend to another.
Since the Nike Cortez sneaker celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Union pays homage to the LA icon – the Cortez, that is – by reworking the model with modern updates while capturing the spirit diverse from the City of Angels.
Outside of the gate, it’s obviously not the classic leather Cortez you wore growing up. No, they got a dose of the Union treatment.
Like Union’s past sneaker collaborations, the Un-Cortez utilizes the brand’s signature juxtaposition of colors and textures, materializing as a clever nod to Los Angeles’ abundant cultural essence.
Up top, a clash of materials ensues as paneled suede overlays sit on a striped knit base.
Meanwhile, Nike’s enduring efforts come into play below on the sneaker’s midsole and outsole, which are comprised of Nike’s Crater Foam and Grind materials, respectively.
Interestingly, the interim “Grain” colorway follows in the footsteps of Union’s Jordan 2 “Rattan” and Jordan 4 “Guava Ice”, incorporating the brand’s signature color palette of tan, icy blue and tropical red.
As a Cortez fan who always has the COMME DES GARÇONS platform sneakers on his wish list, I’m more than happy with Union’s spin on Nike’s West Coast staple.
While I’m already a fan of the Union sneakers, I can appreciate the Un-Cortez. It’s fresh but still has the feel of the timeless Cortez model I’ve come to love.
Undoubtedly, like Union LA’s previous Nike and Jordan sneakers, I suspect the Un-Cortez will be a tough W, even for Cortez lovers like me.
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