When I found out that Adidas was relaunching its Gazelle sneakers this past summer, I couldn’t contain my nostalgic excitement. Sure, you could buy Adidas Gazelles before last June, but the new versions hewed closer to the more-tapered 90s’ style I remember from my youth. For so many of us in our 30s (and probably you younger kids in your 20s) the soccer-inspired Gazelles are an unforgettable part of our probably-not-misspent youths. And with girls and guys in faded jeans and camel coats falling over themselves for the ubiquitous (though still great) Stan Smiths, it did feel like we were all due for a change.
Discussing the sneakers with a co-worker one day, we both ordered a pair. I dropped mine in my trusty cart at the office and watched as colleagues followed suit while we discussed the best colors. I went with a navy-blue, while another went with a lime-green, and another with a gray. As you can gather, I wore them everywhere, just like I remember doing as a kid, though I’ve swapped the playground (just kidding, I never went outdoors) for a nine-to-five. Over the summer, my once-spic-and-span blue pair became so worn and faded that many started complimenting how well my gray Gazelles went with jeans. I shed a tear for the old blue ones as I tossed them in the garbage — and broke in a new black pair my girlfriend got me for my birthday. They’re on my feet as I type this, as perfect as ever, like a light blanket wrapped around my feet.
But let’s get to the root of why these nostalgic suede shoes are the greatest. They’re not expensive (clocking in at $80), so that even when you have to bid farewell to an obsolete pair, you can do so knowing you’re not out, say, $500 for a designer pair (been there too many times, but that’s another story entirely). They quite honestly go with everything, especially if you choose a gray or black or navy — despite their casual appearance, the suede makes them a fine complement to your fine suit, say, for a summer wedding. Or wear them with tube socks and look a little old school (without getting too literal about it). Or go sockless and wear them with denim cutoffs, feeling the wind against your ankles at the beach. Or go rogue and buy a different color for every weekday — they’ll still cost less than that designer pair.