There are few joys in life greater than getting a pair of new shoes. But most of the sneakers that we buy today are only “new” in relation to how long ago they were produced, not designed. The industry is full of retro products: Air Force 1s, Air Jordan 1s, Stan Smiths, the list goes on. But there are also brand-new models made every year just like how it used to be in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when many of us first fell in love with our now-favorite sneakers. The Nike Air Max 1 was once a brand-new sneaker, same with the Air Jordan 3, and even the Yeezy Boost 350. We interacted differently with these models seeing them for the first time and had a different appreciation for them because of that.

In 2021, there are plenty of new shoe designs, but the idea of non-retro sneakers isn’t as popular as it used to be. But that doesn’t mean that innovation and new designs shouldn’t be rewarded. It’s what pushes everything forward––like a Nike sneaker designed to help people with disabilities wear sneakers like everyone else; or a high-tech running shoe that helps runners run faster; or even a lifestyle Yeezy that’s become the talk of the town, or at least the internet. These are Complex’s picks for the best new sneaker designs of 2021.