The NBA season hasn’t started yet, but Nike is starting to reveal the sneakers you’ll see on the court. Among those will be a follow-up to the Cosmic Unity, a sustainable basketball sneaker introduced in 2021. Official images have given us a glimpse at the Cosmic Unity 2, which will likely feature the same, if not more, recycled components.
Sustainability is still a core value given that the sneaker falls under Nike’s “Move to Zero” campaign. If its predecessor is any indication, the upper will be constructed using recycled cable yarn and "direct fiber placement" in the cabling system to reduce waste.
However, its technical capabilities have yet to be fully discovered (or shared by Nike). Judging the book by its cover, the shoe appears to use Crater Foam midsoles made from 10 percent Nike Grind rubber and ZoomX insoles. ZoomX is foam derived from aerospace technology but is typically saved for running shoes like the Nike React Infinity Run 2 and the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run.
A cosmic beauty — The sneakers themselves look like a cross between a basketball shoe and a running sneaker with a softer, mixed-material upper and texturized outsoles. Marbled Swooshes and laces draw the eye alongside a wavy, layered concept on the upper. The soles aren’t as bulbous this time, instead opting for a smoother, more cohesive construction. The Zoom midsole does reach up into the heel and gives off more impact protection.
There will be four color schemes up for grabs: an off-white “Coconut Milk,” a red “Siren Red,” and blue and yellow iterations. “Siren Red” is said to be inspired by and designed for Las Vegas Aces Forward A’ja Wilson and her childhood caretaker Hattie Rakes.
The first Cosmic Unity was a breakthrough in sustainable performance footwear. Although Nike is no stranger to taking steps in lowering its carbon footprint for lifestyle or running shoes, it hadn’t dipped into basketball, one of its main divisions, until last year. The first iteration is manufactured with 25 percent recycled materials, which made it the first Nike basketball shoe with such an eco-friendly makeup.
Nike is preparing the Cosmic Unity 2 for a release later this year, so stay tuned for more details.