Nike Magista Opus Review

Pure Grip Socks


The Magista line is in, and the very popular CTR360 line is out! Along with the name change, Nike has introduced the extremely unique drastically different Magista Obra as their flagship model, featuring a FlyKnit upper and a mid-cut design. As exciting as new models like this can be, long time fans of the CTR360 Maestri models were perhaps a little disappointed. With that said, while Nike has gotten rid of the CTR360 Maestri name, the model lives on in the form of the Magista Opus, the 2nd high-end option within the Magista line. Think of the Magista Opus as the unofficial Maestri 4, because that’s essentially what it is.


The Opus combines Kanga-Lite and Performance Mesh for the upper, and unlike the Obra, has no FlyKnit and has a standard low-cut. Kanga-Lite is a synthetic material from Nike designed to mimic the natural feel of leather, while still maintaining the benefits of a synthetic, in that its lighter, maintains its shape better, requires no maintenance, absorbs less water, etc. For those that have always worn leather boots but wanted to try something different, any of Nike’s Kanga-Lite models are worth taking a look at, because they offer a remarkably leather-like touch and comfort level.

The big change coming from the Maestri 3 is the incorporation of what Nike calls “Performance Mesh”. It’s a similar concept to what we currently see on the Hypervenom Phantom and Tiempo Legend 5, where a thin mesh layer replaces what would normally be several layers of material as the liner. Unlike the two models that I just mentioned which feature a honeycomb-like textured mesh, the mesh on the Opus is thinner, and also completely flat, which honestly feels great.

Visually, the Opus features the same pattern across the upper that you would find on the FlyKnit Obra model. Aside from Nike wanting the entire Magista line to look at least somewhat similar, the pattern on the upper of the Opus actually is part of the design. The base layer/liner of the upper is made from a thin layer of Performance Mesh, while the external portion of the upper is made from a thin layer of Kanga-Lite synthetic with tons of small cutouts. These small cutouts expose the Performance Mesh base layer, and also provide some interesting performance benefits.

When you put the Opus on for the first time, you’ll notice that the upper is extremely soft and flexible, with no break-in time at all. Granted, this is the least leather-like Kanga-Lite model that Nike has ever put out, but I don’t really have a problem with that. The upper is thin and flexible, but still maintains a surprisingly solid feel, with no issues when it comes to stability either. Since the liner is part of the upper, the Opus just feels very natural, something that Nike seems to be prioritizing with all of their latest high-end models.

Other comfort elements of the Opus include a synthetic leather heel liner, with plenty of padding, making for locked-in yet comfortable fit. The Insole is fully removable featuring a mesh top layer, and a single layer of perforated foam, nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. The soleplate, while visually identical to that of the Obra, is significantly more flexible in comparison, something that I don’t mind at all. The lacing system also remains unchanged from the CTR360 line, where the laces are positioned on the medial side, though the “strike zone”, along the top of your foot. With a strip of memory foam through the middle of the tongue along with the positioning of the laces makes for a nice secure, yet comfortable fit, so no complaints in regards to the overall design.

One question that I get a lot regarding the Opus, one that is somewhat related to comfort, is whether or not the upper is waterproof. No shoe is waterproof, but all shoes are water resistant to a certain point. Since the upper leaves mesh completely exposed across nearly the entire upper, one might expect that water would seep through pretty easily, and I didn’t find that to be the case. While I wouldn’t say that the upper is as water resistant as something with a “seamless” upper, it didn’t let water pass right through right away, which is what I partly expected. So, to sum everything up, yes they’re surprisingly water resistant, but not quite to the same extent as a more traditionally designed upper would be.

As far as fit is concerned, the Opus, like the rest of the Magista line, uses Nike’s X1.1 last, originally introduced on the Hypervenom Phantom. It’s technically a different shape in comparison to the Maestri 3, but the overall fit is very similar in my opinion. There’s a decent amount of width in the mid-foot and forefoot, with a slightly tighter fit in the toe box area. The width of the shoe should be suitable for most foot types, but as always if you have excessively wide feet, it’s probably best to stick with something that features a natural leather upper.

From right out of the box, the Opus feels great, and I had no issues with discomfort at all. For being a tighter fitting shoe, they’re surprisingly comfortable. The upper is soft, flexible and after a few hours of wear time will stretch a little in width.

In terms of sizing, just like the CTR360 line, the Opus runs half a size small. I wore a size 9.5US for review, half a size larger than my usual size 9US, and the fit was perfect. If you’re upgrading from the Maestri 3, go for the same size in the Opus, but if you’re coming from other models, going half a size up is recommended for the proper fit,


Something that really surprised me about the Magista Opus, is how light they are. It doesn’t seem to be to drastically different as far as materials are concerned when compared to the Maestri 3, which weighed in at around 8oz in a size 9.5US, but for whatever reason, the Opus is much lighter. In a size 9.5US, the Opus weighs in at 6.9oz, which is very light for this style of shoe. For as light as they are, they’re still extremely comfortable and very solid. It’s only an ounce less than the Maestri 3, but since your going from light to lighter with the Opus, the difference is quite noticeable.

If you’re looking for something that is going to be leather-like when it comes to feel, but still offer a nice lightweight feel, the Magista Opus is one of very few shoes with this combination of features.


While the stud pattern is exclusive to the Magista line, it isn’t necessarily what you might call “all new”. The layout of the studs is nearly identical to that of the Nike Tiempo series, with some very minor tweaks. You’ll find 8 conical studs in the forefoot, with two bladed support studs in the middle and one Mercurial-esque bladed stud at the toe. The positioning of the studs is pretty much identical to that of the Tiempos, with the minor variation being that the studs have a slightly narrower footprint. Under the heel you’ll find for more conical studs, again with a fairly narrow profile.

When it comes to overall performance, it’s not too far off from what the Tiempos have to offer. The narrow profile of the conical studs allows them to penetrate the ground very easily allowing for plenty of grip when pushing off in nearly any direction. The conical shape also allows for plenty of maneuverability when planted, granting you the freedom to twist and pivot, as opposed to being stuck in one place. It’s a traditional layout with a slightly more aggressive twist.

The one bladed stud at the tip of the toe is also a nice little add on, and with the release of the Magista, is a stud that is now featured on all of Nike’s current models. It allows you to have something to push off of when on the very tips of your toes, allowing you to maintain grip at all times.

While the Magista stud pattern is nothing that you would call ground-breaking, words that you might use to describe the rest of the boot, it still performs great and actually suits the overall feel of the boot quite well. It offers a nice blend of grip and maneuverability, and that all you can really ask for.


From Maestri 1 to 3, each new model has gotten less and less bulky. The unofficial Maestri 4, known as the Magista Opus, follows the same trend, being thinner and less padded than all previous models. The main reason for the thinner feel is due to the Kanga-Lite layer actually being thinner. The Kanga-Lite layer features a web-like pattern, with small cutouts all over, exposing the Performance Mesh base layer. The two materials fused together is what makes up the entire upper, which unlike previous models is the same thickness all over.

The upper is thin, but still provides a slightly padded sensation without taking away from ball feel in any way at all. Since it’s the same thickness across the entire upper, the feel that you get is consistent across the entire upper no matter what part of the foot that you use to touch the ball.

Another noticeable difference is that the Opus does not feature any rubber elements on the upper whatsoever, something that was a consistent feature on all of the different Maestri models. With that said, Nike has not left the upper completely smooth. You’ll find that the finish of the Kanga-Lite across the majority of the upper features a very fine, almost sand paper-like texturing. Its difficult to see in pictures, but is very apparent in person. The unique finish provides a very subtle and consistent amount of extra grip on the ball, which is one of the major differentiating elements when comparing the Opus to something like the Tiempo Legend 5. The slight amount of extra grip is very manageable and honestly feels great in both dry and wet playing conditions.

Speaking of wet playing conditions, just like the rest of Nike’s high-end models, the Opus features ACC technology. ACC (All Conditions Control) is a secretive process that Nike has, which improves the performance of the boot in wet weather, mainly by providing slightly more grip on the ball. Its tough to determine whether or not its an actual feature or simply the placebo effect in action, since you can’t actually see ACC, but I personally can notice a difference between an ACC and non-ACC boot. With all of that being said, it’s a nice feature that I’m glad Nike includes, but it isn’t something that is going to make or break your overall experience with the Opus.

Many seem to be confused about what models the Opus compares to, and as I’ve mentioned several times now, the feel is similar to that of the Maestri 3. It offers a clean, slightly padded feel, with a just a little extra grip on the ball. If you’re looking for a modern alternative to a classic leather upper, the Nike Magista Opus is a great option.


Striking the ball in the Magista Opus feels great. The upper is thin enough to provide a nice responsive sensation when putting your foot through the ball, but just enough padding to provide a nice controlled feel. The extra grip provided by the upper texturing is also a nice little addition.

Other than that, there isn’t much to talk about. The shooting experience provided by the Opus is great, but nothing that I didn’t expect.


As far as protection is concerned, the Opus is nothing more than average. The Kanga-Lite portion of the upper is solid enough, but since there are so many cut outs across the entire upper, the amount of protection that you get is less in comparison to something with a solid Kanga-Lite upper, like the Maestri 3. Should you get stepped on, you aren’t left completely exposed, but you’ll still feel most of it, which is the case with a lot of thinner shoes. The Opus also features an external plastic heel counter, so you do get some decent protection against kicks to rear portion of the shoe.

I don’t think that protection was a priority with the design of the Opus, but what it does provide should be sufficient for most people.


Just like the Maestri 3, the Opus is very well made despite it being quite light, and overall feels very solid. I have well over 20 hours of wear-time into the pair that I used for testing and they have held up extremely well. I’ve had no issues with anything breaking, separating or wearing down, and other than being a little dirty, the shoes are as they were from day one. This is definitely a pair of shoes that should get you through at least a season’s worth of play. They’re light, but also built to last.

If there’s one issue with the design, that doesn’t necessarily impact the durability but is still worth mentioning, is the exposed mesh across the upper. The exposed mesh will stain and will get dirty, and if you’ve ever had a pair of mesh running shoes, once the mesh get dirty, it’s more or less permanent. Of course this will only be an issue with lighter colorways, but definitely something still worth mentioning.

Also keep in mind that the firm ground version of the Opus, or any FG shoe for that matter, is designed for use on natural grass playing surfaces only. Using any FG cleat on turf/artificial grass will have a major impact on the longevity of your shoes. What’s nice about the Opus is that Nike offers an FG, SG-Pro and AG variation, so no matter what surface you play on, there’s a stud pattern available.

The Verdict

The Nike Magista Opus is a fantastic shoe. In a lot of ways, it improves upon the few complaints that I had regarding the Maestri 3, a boot that was my pick as the best release of 2012. It’s a shame that the Magista Obra, as great as it is, has really overshadowed the Opus, because it really does have a lot to offer.

The Kanga-Lite and Performance Mesh upper is interesting combination of materials that works really well, giving you the best of both worlds between a padded leather shoe, and an ultra-thin boot with more of a barefoot feel. It’s very light, while still maintaining a high-quality and comfortable fit, with the unique cut outs in the upper giving the boot a very natural feel on feet. Combine that with the new Magista soleplate and stud pattern and you’re left with a definite winner from Nike.

The Opus is the unofficial Maestri 4, so for those that were so disappointed with the CTR360 line being replaced, look no further than this shoe right here. The Obra and Opus are two completely different shoes, with the only thing that they have in common being the Magista name. The Magista Opus is an awesome shoe that I can strongly recommend to pretty much anybody. It is a hybrid of sorts, in that it has a little bit of something for everybody, part of the reason why this is one of my personal favourite high-end models from Nike.

Comfort/Fit10 out of 10
Weight9 out of 10
Traction9 out of 10
Touch10 out of 10
Shooting8 out of 10
Protection7 out of 10
Durability8 out of 10
FINAL SCORE61 out of 70 or 87%
SR4U Laces