Herringbone. What a beautiful thing. There is nothing special here and I feel that helped make the traction as good as it is. Just something that has been proven to work for decades.
Now, due to the pandemic, I have only been able to play basketball outdoors. All our indoor courts are closed. So, durability has been okay so far. There are some areas with fraying. Some areas with rubber that has chipped off. But, overall, the outsole is still there and it’s still doing a great job.
A full-length Zoom Air strobel is in place — same setup as the Nike KD 12 and KD 13. However, like a Kyrie shoe, the midsole sits very low to the ground, which offers a ton of court feel. So, if you’ve enjoyed the full-length Zoom Air setups from the past, but have wanted the shoe to sit a little lower to the ground, then this is the shoe for you.
Everything feels super stable and allows you to be as mobile as possible — without sacrificing much cushion.
Thick knit and textiles make up the build of the Nike Cosmic Unity. While the build isn’t very breathable, it’s been very durable and requires very little break-in time for the wearer. Even if the midsole wasn’t doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to containment and support — the way the knit has been implemented here makes this one of the nicer builds in recent years that isn’t a leather. I’d imagine that if the Nike Kobe 9 Elite had this type of knit that they’d be even more beloved than they already are.
I went true to size and that’s what I’d recommend. There was some slight heel slip with my left shoe upon each wear, but once the shoe started to warm up and become more flexible then it quickly became a non-issue.
Lockdown has been solid thus far and at this time I haven’t experienced any issues.
The midsole is pretty beefy, but for good reason. It cups and cradles the foot perfectly in three zones — the forefoot, midfoot and heel. The forefoot section cups just enough to maintain confidence with your movements while still offering flexibility. The midfoot isn’t too noticeable until you hit a lateral cut where you can feel it working. Meanwhile, the heel acts as a giant heel counter that ensures the other two sections are covered in case one may fail — which I doubt will happen.
So long as the shoe fits your foot properly, support will be one of the things that you won’t have to worry about at all. The Cosmic Unity was actually selected to our list of the best basketball shoes for ankle support in 2021.
I have been loving my time in the Nike Cosmic Unity. They offer the cushion I want with the stability I love. Traction has been great and they fit me well. There really isn’t anything I can truly complain about with this shoe, and that is why the have made our list of the best low top basketball shoes for the year. Is the sustainability aspect a laughable marketing gimmick? Yes. Especially when it comes from the brand that’s producing the most waste in the industry. However, gimmicks aside, purely speaking on performance, the Nike Cosmic Unity is a great shoe.
Thanks to Nike for sending a pair to test. Nike was not given any editorial control of the review.