A few times a year, we’ll announce a variety of shoe awards. The Best Newcomer badge is based on our independent review of the newest shoes with an emphasis on style, performance technology, and overall value. Here’s our very first series of Best Newcomers:


the best off-court shoe

The Horizon is a natural phenomenon that separates earth and sky: an invisible, yet oddly distinct line. The Jordan Horizon is kind of like that, except for your feet. Breathable mesh consumes your entire foot, yet is absent of any hardened, restrictive materials. The Horizon uses the Retro 13 base, (much like the Jordan Future uses the Retro 11 base). The idea behind the shoe is superior comfort: A one-piece textile with strategically placed rubber pods that provide infallible traction. Wear it in winter, wear it in summer, just don’t wear it out: the Jordan Horizon.


the Best on-court shoe


The Under Armour Step Back is making an unexpected splash of dominance in the basketball world. Although Under Armour’s Curry 2 and ClutchFit shoes have garnered an immensely loyal following, the Step Back is expected to be a popular team option in the first half of 2016. Some upcoming colors include Notre Dame, Cincinnati, South Carolina, and more. The Step Back allows you to get UA’s trusty Micro G technology, Charged Foam cushioning, and ventilated, breathable materials — all for under $100. In terms of basketball, the Step Back is a steal.