adidas Gazelle Indoor

  • MADE ON: --/13
  • ART.NO: Q23099

Part of adidas Originals’ Spring 2013 Tonal Pack, this pair of ‘collegiate’ silver may be the lightest colorway of the three, but don’t be fooled, their history is heavy indeed.

In the typical, hype beasting, copy and paste publication fashion, other online sources have noted these as being “first introduced in 1968 with a subsequent re-release back in 2011″, but this is simply not true and shows their lack of historical knowledge on the adidas Gazelle. Firstly, not to split suede hairs, but this is not the OG Gazelle, which is what they’re referring to when they discuss a ’68 drop. Instead, this is the Gazelle Indoor, which is obviously part of the same model family, but definitely a different version with significant changes to the structure and design (we’ll go into these adjustments in a moment).

Furthermore, these unnamed others go on to say that the Tonal Pack releases “feature a design that is faithful to the original as evidenced by the gum soles, thin textured tongue, tonal three-stripe, and semigloss branding elements on the suede upper”. Again, not quite right here: yes, the OG Gazelle was suede, yes, it had a thin tongue (though not originally nor necessarily always textured), and yes, it bared its model name in text across the side (though, again, not diagonally as demonstrated on these Indoor’s). But it most certainly did not have a gum sole nor ‘tonal three-stripe’ necessarily (whatever that means anyhow).

At its initial creation as a training and running shoe, the true OG Gazelle featured a thin, textured, hard rubber outsole unit, above which stood the iconic suede upper. Stitching ran up the lower side and also cut across below the ankle collar, quite different than that of the Gazelle Indoor pictured here. The sole also sat entirely flat on the floor, unlike the back-rounded gum units of the more modern Indoor upgrade.

Regarding versions and release dates, it’s commonly agreed (or maybe better to say ‘assumed’) that the earliest release of the Gazelle was 1968, followed in 1980 by the release of its first family upgrade, the adidas Gazelle 2 (or sometimes written as the adidas Gazelle II, in Roman numerals). This version elongated the toe a bit and gave the shoe more body, making it slightly more chunky. The stitching pattern began to change and the reinforcing toe patch spread its wings across the front of the silhouette, covering more area and providing more durability (as well as generating a more iconic look for the Gazelle family in general).

Further into the future two more upgrades were introduced, the Gazelle Indoor and the Gazelle Vintage, showing off even more enhancements and paying tribute to the OG version respectively. The Vintage hit a shorter, thinner, tougher build, typically prepared with an actual heel pull tab and even silver or gold size stickers on the sockliner for that age old feel, while the Indoor slammed the sole into the now beloved gum realm, pushed it translucent, and tilted the back up a bit. A smaller detail between the two includes the outer side wall text, shown in a flat, stamp like format for the Vin’s and a simpler, cleaner, sleeker, diagonally laid version for the Indoor’s.

Hopefully this brief sprint through the Gazelle model’s family and version upgrade history helps to shed some light on the misinformation that runs amuck across the web (and possibly print) these days. We by no means intend to put any other publications down – and especially do we not promote trainer hate in any form – though we feel it’s important to publish articles as accurate as possible in order to properly spread our love of all things sneakers… whether that be flashy new (Gazelle Indoor), nostalgic retros (Gazelle Vintage), or lovely old as hell relics (Gazelle OG).

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol