Before Nike was Nike, it was Blue Ribbon Sports — an importer of shoes from Japan’s Onitsuka Tiger, hence the nom de guerre of this two-pack. Early employee Jeff Johnson would drive around Los Angeles making footwear deliveries in the late ’60s/early ’70s, and that formulate piece of Nike history is woven into both of these designs.
The Zoom Pegasus Turbo II features a bold orange mesh upper with a classic BRS-style sunburst graphic boldly emblazoned on its lateral collar. The pointed, sleek midsole is split between white and orange, and boasts ZoomX cushioning for a ride that’s equal parts supportive and comfortable. Branding is handled by a large black Swoosh on the lateral quarter and smaller white Swoosh on the medial collar.
The ultra-slim Cortez ‘72 uses white leather as a base and overlays it with tan suede trim. The toe cap, heel pull tab, and strip of suede running up the toebox are all original details, ones that were originally drawn from the Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 and discarded on later iterations. Much like its counterpart in the pack, this Cortez plays with branding too, splitting between black leather lateral Swooshes and earthy suede medial Swooshes.
Both designs are then brought together by BRS stamps on their insoles, and “1 of 3107” on the heels — a nod to Nike’s first-ever retail store, located at 3107 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, CA.
As the Cortez was one of Nike’s earliest silhouettes to gain traction in the market and the Zoom Pegasus Turbo II is stuffed full of some of their latest technological innovations, the pack neatly encapsulates nearly 50 years of running shoe evolution. Both pairs are set to release on Nike SNKRS come October 18, with the Zoom Pegasus Turbo II priced at $180 USD and the Cortez ‘72 sliding in at an even $100 USD.
In other Nike news, the upcoming Zoom Pegasus Turbo Shield is the perfect rainy-day running shoe.