Adidas Gazelle Foundation History
The Adidas Gazelle was commercially released in 1966 as a training shoe meant for running, although Adidas would later test this shoe with football and handball players as well. During the 60s, training shoes were made of leather, but Adidas wanted to produce a shoe that would feel lighter yet still give enough protection for the foot. They found those characteristics present in kangaroo velour; hence the Gazelle was the first ever Adidas shoe to use suede for the upper.
The Gazelle became hugely popular and not just because it felt lighter or more supple than most training shoes. Colored leather usually looked a little dull, but colors on dyed suede looked far more vibrant, thus widening the shoe’s appeal.
The shoe was initially released in two iterations: one in blue and another in red. The two shoes differed not just in color but in function too. The blue was created for training and had a micro-grip sole for indoor use whereas the red was made with handball in mind and had a transparent outsole tread specifically for outdoor use.
In 1972, Adidas decided to make the microcell hexagonal patterned outsole available for both shoes. Between that year and 1979, the Gazelle drifted in and out of Adidas’ shoe catalog. In 1979, a new iteration came out called the Gazelle Special (reissued in 2011 as the Gazelle Indoor). It had a Trefoil tread pattern on the transparent sole and a redesigned forefoot.
Since then, more than a dozen different versions of the Gazelle have been released including a bulkier version in 1991. The Gazelle Foundation is one of the latest. It features a soft pigskin leather suede on the upper instead of kangaroo velour and flexible soles.