Nike Cosmic Unity

nike cosmic unity black and blue with red shoe

Nike Cosmic Unity Colorways and Release Info

Following the release of the Nike Space Hippies came the Nike Cosmic Unity. What do the two pairs have in common, besides their unique designs? They’re both part of Nike’s new initiative to move to zero waste and zero carbon production, known as ‘Move to Zero.’ The Nike Cosmic Unity was released in February of 2021 and is made with at least 25 percent recycled material by weight. It features the newer Nike Crater Foam Midsole, which is made up of a variety of materials, and a sock liner made of recycled polyester. In terms of style, the shoes check all the boxes for the upcoming sneaker trends that Nike always seems to predict. They have a futuristic design with patterns, gaps, and curves in all the right places for a shoe that is guaranteed to turn heads. It’s available in many colorways, so if loud and colorful isn’t for you, you can always get a neutral-toned or solid color shoe. This article will cover release dates and colorways, similar sneakers, Nike history, pricing, sizing, and where to purchase your own pair. 

History of Nike and the ‘Move to Zero’ Initiative

Nike brand began as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, originally as a shoe distributor for sneakers from abroad. It was founded by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, an Olympic running coach at the University of Oregon. They started selling from their car at games while receiving imported shoes from Japan from a company known as Onitsuka Tiger. Like the beginning of many sneaker brands, this partnership soon ended. Bowerman decided to create his own design of a shoe known as the Cortez, which was sold under Tiger, known as the Tiger Cortez. The shoe was a huge hit– but Tiger then sued Blue Ribbon Sports for allegedly selling the Cortez shoe under a name known as ‘Nike Cortez.’ Nike was born (named after the Greek goddess of victory)!

In 1970, Bowerman experimented with a waffle iron by pouring rubber into it to create what was known as the waffle sole. This immediately revolutionized the sneaker industry for running shoes. Two years later, the ‘Moon Shoe’ was released, later known as the ‘Waffle Racer’ for utilizing Bowerman’s waffle sole design. They were designed for running and athletics and were handed out to players in the US Olympics. The 1984 market was a key year for Nike. Michael Jordan had been hoping for an offer from Adidas from a partnership, but when Nike approached him with an incredible deal, he said yes. They created the Air Jordan 1 that took the sneaker and sports industry by storm for its controversial appeal (the colors were banned from the NBA, so Jordan was fined for wearing them).

Nike technology continued to evolve in ‘87 with Air Max technology, using pressurized airbags in the sole for comfort and lightweight shoes. 2003 marked the year that Nike purchased converse. They also paired up with Apple and bought (and later sold) English sports apparel brand Umbro. Yeezy can’t be forgotten— Nike and Yeezy’s short-lived partnership before Yeezy collaborated with Adidas is what set the foundation for Yeezy to become a global brand.

Nike evolves with current trends not only in style, but also in practice. In the past, Nike faced some controversy for apparent bad working conditions in their factories and for taking advantage of cheap labor in developing countries. Nike soon resolved this issue by strengthening its regulations, increasing pay, and keeping the public involved in workers’ conditions. Now, in an era of climate change and anti-pollution activism, as well as a growing zero waste movement, Nike has taken its own initiative to ‘Move to Zero.’ According to Nike, its goal is to move to zero carbon and zero waste in order to protect the future of the sport. Nike can help you donate or recycle an old pair of shoes, and these recycled shoes may make it into a pair of Nike Space Hippies or Cosmic Unity’s! They are slowly making their apparel and shoes with a higher percentage of partially recycled materials by weight and hoping to maximize those percentages as time goes on. 

Nike Cosmic Unity Features

The Nike Cosmic Unity is a basketball sneaker intentionally made with recycled materials and is one of the first to take that title of sustainable performance footwear. However, the focus on material and sustainability doesn’t sacrifice any performance. The shoe has a durable rubber outsole and full-length Zoom Air Strobel cushioning. This means it has air pockets protected in the shoe for impact . Some say that this shoe has the best implementation of Zoom Air cushioning with its smooth feel and optimal energy return. It’s low top, and features a Flyknit upper, which is made of recycled materials. Flyknit is a way to weave sneaker material, typically used in the uppers of high-quality shoes, where multiple materials are digitally woven into a single piece of fabric. It provides a sock-like comfortable, and breathable feel and is also less prone to breakage. What makes Nike Flyknit technology so special is not only the feel but also the production efficiency– it cuts waste by almost 80 percent by not leaving scraps.

Other cheaper or older shoes will take multiple pieces of fabric and stitch them together, which leaves scraps and can also be uncomfortable. Another key feature of the shoe is the Crater Foam midsole, which is lightweight and contains a mixture of different types of foams including recycled foam. It has a unique flaky texture that’s only on the Nike Cosmic Unity, Space Hippies, and other recycled sneakers. It features a traditional herringbone pattern for traction. There are cutouts along the tooling and the midsole bulges out more compared to traditional models. The pattern on the upper is mesh-like. The Nike ‘Swoosh’ logo is enlarged and colorful. The shoe was released on February 26th of 2021 and it’s now available in many different colorways, which are described below.

Nike Cosmic Unity ‘Amalgam’

The Amalgam was one of the first releases of the Cosmic Unity and according to Nike, planet Earth is the inspiration for the colorway. The Crater Foam midsole is a light sea foam green while the upper is bright ocean blue. A lining around the eyelets of the multicolored blue laces is a vibrant orange, and the enlarged Nike Swoosh is a marble-like blue and orange pattern. It features full length Zoom Strobel cushioning. The ankle color is an airy baby blue and the heel tab is orange. If you look at the shoe from afar, it resembles Earth from space. It was released March 7th of 2021 for a retail price of $150 and is sold in men’s sizes.

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Nike Cosmic Unity ‘Game Royal’

The Cosmic Unity Game Royal, a summer release for $150, slightly resembles the Amalgam. Both sneakers are mainly a bright ocean blue, but the Game Royal has an entirely blue toned color scheme. The tongue and upper, as well as the ankle collar and heel tab, are all the same shade of ocean blue. The Crater Foam midsole is a light sky blue, and the Nike Swoosh is a black marble design mixed in with shades of grey. A ‘Cosmic’ branding decal at the top of the tongue is also black. Multicolored blue laces have some hints of red and yellow in them and there are a few light green logos stitched in around the tongue. Overall, it’s a very ocean-like, cool shoe.

game royal blue and torquoise nike shoe
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Nike Cosmic Unity ‘Multicolor’

While most of the Nike Cosmic Unity sneakers have a single-toned upper, the Multicolor is just what it sounds like: a multicolored shoe. The upper is white and red with the same net-like pattern as the rest, the Nike Swoosh is a grey shaded marble color mixed in with white and black. Small patches in the upper and midsole feature light pastels including blues, greens, yellows, and pinks. The bottom of the shoe is sky blue, but the Crater Foam Midsole is a speckled white. The laces are red and white, the ankle color is white, and the heel tab is a bright crimson. The ‘Cosmic’ branding on the white tongue is the same marble grey as the Nike logo. It was released March 28th for $150 in this Spring-welcoming design.

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Nike Cosmic Unity ‘Apricot Agate’

The Apricot Agate is a warm toned pink Cosmic Unity contrasted with a light lime green. The entire upper, including heel tab, laces, and tongue, is a salmon pink/coral. The Crater Foam midsole is white with a raised ‘CMUBB’ branding (which stands for ‘Cosmic Unity Basketball’) with the bottom and bottom sides of the shoe being lime green. The ‘Swoosh’ is grey marble. However, there’s something on this specific colorway that’s a bit different than the others. It doesn’t have the ‘Cosmic’ branding patch on the tongue that matches the marble colors of the Nike Swoosh. Instead, you’ll find a small cartoon drawing of a half bitten apricot. For many, this little detail seals the deal! It was released on April 22nd, 2021, for $150 in Men’s sizes. 

Apricot agate nike cosmic unity shoee
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Nike Cosmic Unity ‘Natural’

You can’t release a silhouette without the classic white/cream colored sneaker. The ‘Natural’ is just this. The upper and Crater Foam midsole are a creamy light beige with a grey marble Nike ‘Swoosh’ and ‘Cosmic’ branding on the top of the tongue. The tongue itself is bright white, and the heel tab features green branding stitched in. The laces are white with small dots of black, red, green, yellow, and blue. Behind the mesh in some parts of the upper are also small colorful dots of all colors. It’s called ‘Natural’ because it looks just like how an un-dyed Nike Cosmic Unity might look. It was released on April 15, 2021, for $150.

natural white cosmic unity nike shoe
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Nike Cosmic Unity ‘Ghost’

The Nike Cosmic Unity ‘Ghost’ represents the complete opposite of the Natural. Just like how there needs to be an all-white colorway in every silhouette, you can’t forget the all black. In this sneaker, the upper, laces, ankle collar, tongue, and heel tab are all jet black. The Nike ‘Swoosh’ and Cosmic branding are both a marble-like pattern of white and sky blue. Elastic eyelets for the laces are red, along with red stitching on the heel tab. The Crater Foam midsole is also jet black. It was released Friday, May 14th, 2021, for a retail price of $150.

black and blue cosmic unity nike shoe
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Nike Cosmic Unity Sizing and Fit 

Unlike many older releases, you don’t need to worry about modifying your size when ordering a pair of CU’s. They fit true to size, both in length and width, although some say they are very slightly narrow. There is no wiggle room but also no tightness due to the nature of the Flyknit upper that almost ‘molds’ to fit you perfectly. Note that there is a break-in period so don’t be afraid if it feels very tight at first. If you flip over the shoe, you’ll notice a TPU Shank that provides torsional support. Its Internal Heel Counter also provides heel support and the extension of the midsole on the sides of the shoe provides lateral support. It has a full length Zoom Strobel board stitched onto the footbed, which together with the Crater Foam midsole, creates just the right amount of cushioning. It’s the perfect shoe for basketball or for everyday wear– many believe that its focus on sustainability sacrifices performance, but that’s simply not true!

Nike Cosmic Unity vs. Nike Space Hippie

Both the Cosmic Unity and the Space Hippie are made with sustainability in mind. They’re recent releases, and they use all sorts of wacky colors and patterns along with new textures on the shoe like the Crater Foam Midsole that they share. So what sets them apart and which is better? The Space Hippies were released in four silhouettes: the 01, 02, 03, and 04. Each is a different design with its own colorways and price, and they have different percentages of recycled material by weight. Their original retail prices average out to $130, while the Cosmic Unity’s are sold for $150, so the CU’s are a bit pricier.

Another key difference is that plenty of the Space Hippies are designed in Women’s sizes specifically, such as the ‘Lemon Venom’, ‘Mystic Navy’, and ‘Cactus Flower’. The Cosmic Unity’s are only available in men’s sizes, so even though it has a unisex design, you would need to subtract 1-1.5 sizes to get the equivalent women’s size. Also, the more popular Space Hippies are low-top shoes while the Cosmic Unity’s are high top (although if you can find a pair of 03’s, those are high tops). Lastly and probably most importantly, the Cosmic Unity’s are designed as a basketball shoe and made for gameplay while the Space hippies are more of a statement for style.

space hippie nike shoe
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Where to Buy and Pricing

You will need to purchase your Cosmic Unity’s on a sneaker marketplace since they are sold out from the Nike site. However, this leaves you with many options: new, used, new with defects, etc. Wherever you decide to buy, make sure it is a trustworthy marketplace like the ones below. The original shoes were released for $150. Now, you’ll likely pay more but the price depends on colorway, size, and current purchase trends. 

StockX is a ‘stock market for things’, namely sneakers, where bids and price trends on previous sells determine the price instead of the seller. Shoes from the site are first shipped to verification centers where they are marked with a green StockX tag to show that they are authentic. Only brand new shoes can be bought and sold on the site. It’s extremely trusted by most sneaker heads and even though the Detroit company started just in 2016, it’s already the first option for many. 

Flight Club is much older than StockX and still holds its reputation as a trustworthy marketplace. Prices tend to be higher here though, and used shoes are typically out of stock. Note that all sales are final and orders can only be canceled within 3 hours of placement. Shoes are authenticated. If you’re in Miami, New York City, or Los Angeles, you can even stop buy one of Flight Club’s brick and mortar stores and browse around. 

GOAT is a favorite to many sneakerheads because of all of the purchase options it has. You can buy new, used, instant new, or new with defects (damaged box, missing lid etc). Instant new shoes are pre-verified and brand new in box, and they ship directly to you immediately after purchase. All other shoes are authenticated first and then shipped. GOAT does all it can to protect buyers and so you can return shoes as long as they are in the same condition as they were in delivery to you.

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