Nike Cortez Forrest Gump Reviewed for Performance

9.4 score
[Editors rating (9.4) + Users rating (9.0)] / 2 = (WalkJogRun) score (9.4)/10

Editor rating: 9.4 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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The Nike Cortez Forrest Gump is a new iteration on an old classic. Originally debuting in 1972 as a track shoe, the Cortez was a staple in the company's sneaker arsenal back then and famously worn by everyone from Farah Faucet and Elton John to the legendary runner Steve Prefontaine.  The company is celebrating the 45th anniversary of this shoe by re-releasing a no doubt higher quality and more modern version, geared towards being a go-to lifestyle sneaker. 

Although the shoe looks more or less identical to its namesake, the new Nike Cortez Forrest Gump is made with modern materials and enhanced with modern cushioning. It's simple but stylish and definitely delivers that retro feel. The Forrest Gump colorway is an exact replica of the shoe featured in the film, with a red swoosh and blue line on the sole. The Nike Cortez also come in a ton of other colorways as well. For anyone just wanting an everyday classic sneaker with a little extra character, snag a pair of these Nike Cortez Forrest Gump kicks. 

Editor's Pros & Cons

Trandy Vintage Appeal

Classic Comfort

Easy To Wear


Lack of Breathability



Air flow isn't necessarily a strong suit with this pair of "OG" vintage sneakers but that's also not really the point fo bringing back these classics. The full grain leather upper doesn't feature any perforation to allow for ventilation. Without much airflow, the inner shoe atmosphere can get muggy, stated one customer. Breathability was something sneaker companies hadn't quite gotten around to when these shoes were born in '72 but unlike the buyers of that time, most people won't be running marathons in these or using them to compete in the Olympics. These are meant to be basic casual lifestyle sneakers. They are great to kick around in with a hint of that trendy vintage vibe.


This is a great comfortable shoe that you could no doubt run in and enjoy. But modern running shoes have come a long way and have a lot of new technology. If you're a runner, buy running shoes. If you like vintage sneakers and want to celebrate retro eras, these are for you. The Cortez Forrest Gump is super comfortable and stable. There is plenty of cushion to prevent any discomfort, making them great choices for extended periods of walking or traveling. Like most Nikes, this shoe is lightweight and you won't feel like you're carrying around baggage when you're on the go. The soft cloth material on the shoe's inner provides cushy feeling reviewers loved. And the classic EVA footbed and supportive midsole deliver lasting comfort for the entire underfoot.


Nike has been making this shoe, with very few breaks in production, since 1972. Needless to say, they have ironed out the kinks. Once you've made a product for this many years, you figure out exactly how to do things in the best way. A lot of customers say the Nike Cortez is one of the most durable and well made shoes they've owned. Not only has this style and design stood the test of time as a fashion icon in the sneaker game, but the shoe itself also stands the test of time when it comes to wear and tear. It's simplicity is it's strength in this regard. There is minimal stitching and seaming compared to other more intricate shoes. The Nike Cortez is a dependable bet for longevity especially given the fact that these shoes are most commonly worn more casually than athletically these days.


The Nike Cortez Forrest Gump was reported to fit pretty true to size. It may feel a bit narrow in the forefoot and midsection for those with wider feet. But thanks to being made out of leather, they do stretch out a little with time to give the wider feet more room. The collar, tongue, and heel sections of the shoe are comfy and padded and easy to slip into. When the shoe is laced up, your feet feel very secure and stable and it is easy to control how tight or firm the shoes fit by lacing them up accordingly. Customers appreciated the snug and soft fit of the Nike Cortez Forrest Gump shoes.


The Nike Cortez Forrest Gump is definitely a flexible shoe. It doesn't take much for these shoes to feel broken in. They are soft but supple and due to their simple old school design, there isn't a lot of extra material to weigh them down or make them rigid. The leather is lightweight and pliable and that makes them super comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Many customers say they love traveling n these shoes because they can be easily slipped on and off when flying, don't weigh the feet down, and have great overall comfort.


The Nike Cortez in its many iterations comes in a seemingly endless plethora or materials but the Cortez Forrest Gump is all leather, and a nice quality, clean, smooth leather at that. This of course makes them easy to keep clean which is a great feature for a white shoe. The EVA midsole does a great job of absorbing road hazards as this shoe was originally designed to allow runners to traverse a lot of different terrains. The herringbone patterned sole not only does a great job with traction but it also increases the aesthetic of the shoe and matches the stitching around the lace eyelet area. The leather around the lace eyelets is also a little thicker as well adding to the shoes durability. And at the bottom of the laces, there is a metal gem commemorating the 1972 genesis of what has become an icon.


The Cortez features a responsive EVA material providing enough rebound to handle wearers of any weight or size with no problems. The EVA midsole has varying levels of density which helps evenly distribute the impact and weight. Each layer adds another barrier to keep feet safe from sharp edges and tough terrain allowing for longterm comfort. The extra padding inside the shoe really assures maximum comfort no matter how long you're on your feet. Customers claimed that the footbed comfort made them feel like they were truly walking on air.


The sole of this shoe looks sharp and eye-catching but also performs well. For a casual fashion shoe, the sole has great cushioning and great traction. Buyers claimed that this shoe grips well even on wet surfaces. Aesthetically, the linear sole tread pattern coordinates with the stitching up around the lace eyelets so it carries that pattern throughout the shoe and looks really nice. The sole is thick enough to absorb impact while not being too bulky.


The Nike Cortez was literally one of the first Nikes ever made and they have been sold in an almost countless array of colors and materials with many custom versions and signature versions floating around. Although the Forrest Gump is a distinct colorway, the Nike Cortez shoes can actually be customized by choosing your own colors for the shoe features. Of course, what makes the Nike Cortez Forrest Gump special is that it is the exact colorway featured in the Forrest Gump film, making them a truly iconic shoe and representative of Americana. Some customers noted how this shoe looks good from every vantage point making them very easy to style. The subtle pops of color can be worn with just about anything, but reviewers particularly liked the way they looked with tight jeans and leggings. It can be worn with shorts in the summer or even used to liven up a hip suit said one buyer.

Bottom Line

It goes without saying that this is a casual fashion sneaker for street wear, but that certainly doesn't mean it can't double as an athletic shoe when you need it to. After all, that was what it was originally created for and where it's following began. The Nike Cortez is a shoe that literally revolutionized the sport of running. In the years since it's debut, the shoe has also revolutionized footwear fashion with its diverse variances in color to keep up with the trends of the times. This sneaker is a fashion icon and a staple in the collections of true sneaker fans. It is a stylish, comfortable, and all around great sneaker for casual wear. The shoe is as versatile as it is iconic and the Forrest Gump model is sure to be one of the most recognizable versions of the Nike Cortez out there. The materials are the quality you'd expect from Nike and so is the construction. The exaggerated swoosh logo helps the ageless icon stand out when they're on your feet and the well-made soles ensure that you'll be good to go if you have to add a little pep in your step to catch your flight. Customers swear by these sneakers, saying they are some of the best sneakers they've ever owned. So snag and pair and find out what all the hype is about!