This year marks the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Nike commemorates the occasion with the release of this Year of the Tiger Classic Cortez which will officially launch on Feb. 10th and 13th respectively. Its needless to say that the sneaker draws a lot of inspiration from the Chinese Zodiac for the year of the tiger. This sneaker is the 9th sneaker in the series honoring the Chinese New Year. The first sneaker was released in 2002 with the release of the Year of the Horse Air Force 1 design. The Cortez owns the distinction of being the first Nike running shoe and has always featured comfort and a lightweight design.
The 2010 Year of the Tiger Cortez features a sneaker with a snow-white nylon upper and a golden hue silk screened tiger’s stripe print. The same design extends to the sockerliner on which the Chinese New Year (2010.2.14) is dated. The sneaker also features Chinese characters “寅”(tiger) on Chinese trigrams and “平安” (peace) imprinted on the shoe tongue. The right shoe is finished with a red trim which is a re-interpretation of the red string worn usually by people born in the year of tiger as a symbol of praying for good luck. Additionally, each sneaker will come with shoe laces crafted by Starks will go with the shoe. The heel of each shoe also features horsehair.
The shoe will be available in two different packages: A traditional Nike shoebox or a unique shoebox design limited to 200 pairs only. The limited shoebox features a white box with tiger stripe prints and Chinese character “寅”(tiger) on Chinese trigrams and “平安” (peace) embossed on each side of the shoebox. Finally, the five-finger death grip design is used to open the shoebox in true tiger fashion.
The Nike Year of the Tiger Classic Cortez will be available on February 10th with limited shoebox package and on 13th with traditional Nike shoebox at select Nike Sportswear stores in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.