The History of the Legendary adidas Originals Gazelle

Take The Stage / July 28, 2020
by Johanna Roelich

The Gazelle is undoubtedly one of the most famous and iconic trainers ever produced by adidas and has a long history, dating back to the mid 60s. The Gazelles’ simple build, branding and shape has made the trainer loved and respected by many around the globe. Yet the Gazelle has it’s simple (but perfect) finish on every pair, each one is unique, with a wide range of different colourways to choose from. And that is one of the Gazelle’s most appealing traits; its magnificent array of colours, textures and special editions; we have a remarkable 22 colourways to choose from which all feature unique outsoles, heel-caps, tongues, eye-stays and foxing amongst other detailing. These features make it that much easier to create a unique look and means they aren’t restricted to certain styles.

First released in 1966 as a performance-oriented training trainer, it soon surpassed this initial purpose to become an iconic silhouette, emerging every decade and touching upon almost every major subculture, to become a truly timeless icon. Terrace Casuals, Britpop and Hip Hop icons and a whole host of other movements in between have been infatuated by these trainers since day one, and they continue to attract new generations of fans to this day. And that’s not surprising, as the Gazelle has the ability to add the final touch of any outfit, whatever your style.

As touched on, the true beauty of the Gazelles’ story lies within its ability to break down the barriers that separated fashion and sportswear with its acceptance into the stereotype ‘uniform’ for a variety of subcultures and styles. Its first taste of this was when it found itself quickly rising to fame with football fans and the casual audience, sitting nicely amongst other iconic three-stripe terrace trainers, which included other greats such as the Samba, Jeans and Forest Hills.

The Gazelle Becomes a Cult Classic

In the early 1980s, adidas trainers were an essential piece to wardrobes around the globe, and even became a significant part of their culture in many ways. The great and funny thing about the Gazelle, is that during this time, it became clear that there was no right and wrong way of wearing the shoe, the were adapted by many cults, and each one fit the style perfectly.

The Gazelle and the Terrace Casuals

adidas Gazelle Subculture History

The terrace casuals is arguably the most strongly associated with the adidas Gazelle. From aways days to locals, rain or shine, the Gazelle was on foot for it all becoming a status symbol amongst brands such as LacosteFred Perry and Lyle and Scott, forming an unwritten code for admittance into the stands. Even to this day, almost 60 years later, the adidas Gazelle still remains synonymous with football culture and you’d find it almost impossible to go to a game and not spot a pair of brightly coloured suede trainers pounding the pavement.

The Gazelle and Hip-hop Culture

Although the casuals was massive for adidas and the Gazelle throughout the UK, it wasn’t until the advent of hip-hop legends Run-D.M.C. that really kicked off the merge of street and sportswear. This lead to a multi-million dollar deal with adidas, which was the brands first-ever collaboration with non-athletes in the form of a limited-edition Superstar, hence reaching an entirely new audience.

Britpop

adidas Gazelle Subculture History

At the opposite end of the 90s music spectrum was the Britpop phenomenon. Britpop and adidas will always be associated and one of the greatest links. The popularity of the gazelle boomed like no other, with the sheer volume of available colourways. The Gallagher brothers would constantly be seen wearing the classic 3 stripes trainer.

In fact, Noel was that much of a fan, adidas released the Noel Gallagher-endorsed special edition Gazelles, his face staring out from the tongue in a fresh gold finish. They are a beautiful trainer and a must-have for collectors around the world.

The classic Gazelle packs more nostalgia than your average ‘training’ shoe and to be honest, more than what mosts collections offer.

Still going strong to this day, the Gazelle will always be timeless classic.

Shop our wide variety online, and become a part of their story.

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