With its elder Cortez brothers in leather and suede, the Cortez Fly Motion is a cutting-edge version of the iconic Cortez that puts a premium on reduced weight in the upper. Built on the same retooled platform as the Cortez, the Cortez Fly Motion fuses Flywire technology developed for Nike’s highest performance track shoe, the Zoom Victory Spike, into the design. The overall look of the Nike Cortez retains the integrity of the original Cortez featuring an over sized swoosh and an upper of nylon and suede. It’s instantly recognizable as the Cortez, but remixed with Natural Motion technology to improve function and form of the shoe. To attain a more comfortable ride the Cortez dual-density EVA midsole was replaced with injected Phylon, making the Cortez lighter without compromising on stability. “When we looked at outsoles, we explored various Nike innovations and ultimately landed on Herringbone,” says Leyva.” A series of deep flex grooves were laser cut following the herringbone tread pattern, enabling the Cortez to offer unrivaled flexibility while becoming lighter than ever.
Flywire is an ultra strong, paper-thin series of cables that when interwoven into the upper provide superior durability and support in the places the foot needs it most while drastically reducing weight. Flywire represents groundbreaking innovation in performance footwear, proving that lighter can be stronger.
For the Cortez Fly Motion, this means that the upper has achieved one-piece construction with cloaked comfort at a weight that could not have been conceived of two decades ago. “At Nike we have a fascination with one-piece uppers,” says Jesse. “We’ve done one-piece Air Force 1s and one-piece Dunks, but we always wanted to add more stability. Flywire finally allows us to design a high-performance shoe with one piece of material against the foot. This innovation not only adds comfort by removing anything that could cause a hotspot in the shoe, but also drastically reduces weight.”
Stripping away the upper materials to a bare minimum for the Cortez Fly Motion goes back to the original objective of Nike Founder Bill Bowerman when he chose a mix of nylon and suede for the original Cortez in 1972.