KICKZ Performance Review: Nike Cosmic Unity

Photo by Albi Quito (2021)

These are trash, but in a good way ♻️. The Cosmic Unity is Nike‘s first performance shoe under its Move to Zero initiative and features 25% of recycled materials in each shoe. Pretty good storyline that really only gets better by having them MVP certified by A’ja WILSON 🔥, who is Nike’s main endorser for the Cosmic Unity. Let’s have a look!


Designwise, the silhouette did not necessarily stick out to me. I would say, it is a clean looking low top without any good or bad surprises or features. If you are looking for an optical focal point, it is definitely the midsole with its craters that do not only serve as a visual design element but were also created to reduce the shoe’s overall weight. Speaking of that, the Cosmic Unity comes in at 413 g, which is solid but also quite average. Going back to the visual design, these have been released in different interesting colorways so far. Some of them better, some of them worse. The “Green Glow”, which is featured in this review and the “Amalgam” are currently available on Make sure to check back for future releases.


As touched upon above, recycled materials are used on this one, which really do not come with any sort of disadvantages. Even though they start off being a bit stiff, the knit that covers most of the shoe broke in quite fast and felt good on foot. On top of that, it also looked very durable throughout the tests and offered good rigidity, which can be a general concern with knit builds. Overall, the materials are nothing too special or premium but also do not feel cheap and manage to distinguish themselves from other materials by using recycled content. Performance wise, no concerns. These get the job done.


Nike brought back the herringbone on this one, which is always a good sign, given how well this outsole pattern has worked for me on different models in the past. On this one, the traction was really solid. Not the hardest bite but consistent enough throughout the whole ride to not be surprised by sudden traction outages or slide outs. Just be prepared for some wiping on dusty courts as the traction can be noticeably affected by it. All in all, pretty solid grip and the outsole should be durable enough for a fair amount of blacktop action as well.


Cushioning is definitely the most exciting part of this shoe. The Cosmic Unity is equipped with a full-length Zoom Air Strobel, which just feels amazing and is very similar to what is used in the Nike KD13. However, Nike put a little twist in this one and put them lower to the ground by passing on any additional cushioning units. The result: better court feel compared to the KDs, while still providing good impact protection and bounce. A tradeoff that definitely has its perks. Personally, I really enjoyed this aspect of the Cosmic Unity a lot.


I went true to size and this worked really well for me. Initially they felt a bit snug, which in my opinion came from how stiff the materials were in the beginning. Giving them some break-in time improved the general experience and they started to feel quite comfortable. Also, while I would have preferred some beefier padding and molding in the heel area, lockdown was still solid and I did not experience any kind of heel slippages and my feet were kept in position quite well.


Support is just another really solid aspect of this shoe. Lateral containment is definitely taken care of by the midsole that comes up to cup the foot but also by the rigid knit that is used on the upper. Lateral stability was also nothing I was concerned about as the Cosmic Unity offers a wide base to provide you with good stability and balance. As mentioned above, lockdown was solid and never really an issue. For those who need feedback around their ankles, these will not provide any, as they barely come up to that area.

Bottom Line

Are these shoes trash? Well, up to approximately 25% they are. Nike opted to use recycled materials in this one, which is arguably a little bit of a feel-good story in itself but does not really affect the shoe’s overall performance attributes. This is a solid shoe that guards will especially enjoy playing in ⛹️‍♂️. And it really starts with the great cushioning setup that offers all the good stuff from court feel to bounce to impact protection. All that, while feeling quick on your feet. Everything else is also really solid as well and will not leave you with any major concerns. At roughly EUR 150,- these will go with the higher end sneaker options and outprice quite some signature shoes from current NBA stars while doing so. Is it worth it? Personally, I really enjoyed the ride and really think these are a good option for my playing style and position.


How was your experience with the Nike Cosmic Unity? Find me on Instagram & Twitter under @ONEtothe2 or comment below!

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