Nike loves to play on sentimentality. Its Cortez track shoe is one of its most long-enduring sneakers, originally designed as a performance staple for runners. The Swoosh recently paired with Sacai to remix the silhouette with stacks and stacks of design details, but this time around the brand is retooling the sneaker without a collaborator.
Two pairs of the Blue Ribbon SB, aka the BRSB, will join Nike’s SB division as an all-around skate shoe. One is a dead ringer for the Cortez with its red, white, and blue color scheme, while the other takes a darker approach. The name is a callback to Nike’s original moniker, Blue Ribbon Sports.
A fresh take on an old classic — One of the best things the Nike Cortez has going for it today is its simplicity. For the BRSB, Nike uses a classic color scheme with cream adding some vintage flair. The latter shade appears on the forefoot suede panel, which is fitted with exaggerated stitching and a sawtoothed lacing system overlay. Puffed white appears on the tongue and rear half of the sneaker as a closer tribute to the Cortez, while red provides some bold accents on the main Swooshes and mini Swooshes at the toes, heel, and tongue tags.
White is also the main shade of the midsole and outsole, between which appears a bed of light blue React foam. The outsole has also been rigged with a chevron texture to provide grip on a board and is imprinted with a Nike Swoosh below the heel. The Blue Ribbon SB is the perfect blend of the past and present, and Nike also dropped its retro branding on the heel tab.
As for the second pair of BRSBs, the sneaker appears as a more traditional skate shoe with inky black uppers and white detailing. A mix of materials adds to this makeup as well, combining suede and nylon with leather, and white serves as the main contrast shade. The same white sole gives it some lift and the React foam embedded insoles are a translucent light gray.
Hernán Cortéz would be proud — 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the Cortez, which is why you’re seeing more iterations of the sneaker across the board. Aside from the Sacai collab, Union also has a pair in the works with extravagant uppers and color palettes.
There aren’t any release details for the Nike SB BRSB just yet, but given the release of these official images, an announcement can’t be far behind. Those who want to get their hands on a pair might just have to channel their inner Hernán Cortéz, the conquistador whom the Cortez was named after, in order to conquer the drop.