If a “Mount Rushmore” of classic Adidas sneakers existed, the Gazelle would have to be chiseled into it. The Adidas Gazelle is easily one of the most popular, timeless, and versatile sneakers ever released. That being said, it’s a great option to have in your weekly sneaker rotation. Since its debut in 1966, the Gazelle has lived many lives and been remodeled by Adidas numerous times, but one thing remains constant: it’s a sneaker with effortless style.

If you’re looking to buy your first Gazelle pair or just haven’t had one in years and need a little refresher course, we’re here today to tell you everything you need to know about the iconic sneaker. This buyer’s guide will help you find the correct sizing, learn the Gazelle’s history, its different versions, and more.

History of the Adidas Gazelle

The Gazelle was first released in 1966 as an all-around sports training shoe, particularly popular with handball and soccer players. Its materials vary, but the standard Gazelle features a suede upper with leather detailing that sits atop a rubber cupsole. Signature design characteristics of the Gazelle include Three-Stripes branding with serrated edges, “Gazelle” in gold foil on the lateral side next to the stripes, and a thin, soccer-inspired molded tongue.

Since its inception as an athletic shoe, it has enjoyed a long life as a casual classic worn by people from all walks of life and aesthetic preferences. The Gazelle is popular with those in the subcultures of hip-hop, skateboarding, and terrace style, and you can also find it worn by “it girls,” the high-fashion crowd (Gucci has collaborated with Adidas on the Gazelle), and really, everyone else, too.

Different Versions of the Gazelle

The Gazelle is available today in three main versions: the standard Gazelle, the Gazelle Indoor, and the Gazelle Bold. There is also a version called the Gazelle OG, which is shaped and constructed like the original 1966 version of the model but is currently out of production. 


The standard, most common Gazelle sold today is the 1991 remodel, which features a slightly more bulky upper, bigger tongue, more rounded toe, and thicker sole compared to the thin and sleek OG style. Adidas reintroduced this version of the Gazelle in 2016, and it’s been in production ever since.

Gazelle Indoor

The Gazelle Indoor is a version of the Gazelle with a modified sole and slight tweaks to the shape and construction of the upper. First introduced in 1979 and available again today, the Gazelle Indoor was initially intended for indoor soccer and is now available as a lifestyle sneaker. The design features a more forward-leaning look with slanted Three Stripes branding and a sharper angle to its shape from the tongue to the toe. The outsole is typically translucent gum rubber with a different outsole tread pattern than the standard Gazelle.

Women’s Gazelle Bold

With a more contemporary look, the Gazelle Bold for Women features a platform sole that looks like three separate soles stacked on each other. 

How does the Adidas Gazelle fit?

The Gazelle is known to fit true to size. When purchasing a pair, you should opt for your normal shoe size. The Gazelle is a moderately sized shoe, so if your feet are wider, we recommend going up half a size.

Is the Gazelle comfortable?

Yes, most people find the Gazelle to be a comfortable shoe. However, its simple design with a rubber sole and minimal padding on the insole may not make it the ideal shoe for people who are on their feet all day. If you love the Gazelle’s style but plan on wearing it constantly, you may want to purchase a pair of more cushioned foam or gel insoles.


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