Vans Old Skool vs Adidas Gazelle – Which is Right for You?

Searching for your next pair of classic kicks?

The Adidas Gazelle and Vans Old Skool both deserve spots on your shortlist.

These icons have distinct heritage styling and features – but how do you even begin deciding between them?

This comprehensive guide compares every key category including sizing, performance, durability, and aesthetics so you can determine whether the Gazelle or Old Skool better matches your style.

Vans Old Skool vs Adidas Gazelle

The main difference between Vans Old Skool and Adidas Gazelle is their silhouette – the Old Skool features a low-top construction with a side stripe, while the Gazelle has a sleek, low-profile design with a T-toe overlay.

Before comparing the specifics, here is an overview of Vans Old Skool vs Adidas Gazelle:

FeatureVans Old SkoolAdidas Gazelle
Upper MaterialCanvasSuede/Nubuck
OutsoleVulcanized Waffle outsoleRubber cupsole
ColorwaysClassic colorways like Black/White, NavyClassic colorways like Red, Blue, Green
FitSnug fitRoomier fit
Toe BoxReinforced toe capRounded toe box
CushioningMinimal cushioningModerate cushioning
LiningTextile liningTextile lining
BrandingVans Sidestripe, Heel PatchTrefoil logo on heel patch
Sole ConstructionVulcanizedCupsole
OriginationLaunched in 1977Launched in 1968
Average Price$60-$80$80-$100
Intended UseSkateboarding, casual wearCasual wear, lifestyle
Target AudienceSkaters, youth cultureCasual sneaker enthusiasts
CollaborationsSupreme, Fear of God, Golf WangBape, Raf Simons, Hyke

In summary, the Vans Old Skool has a slimmer canvas upper with a vulcanized sole geared towards skateboarding, while the Adidas Gazelle features a suede upper with a cupsole designed for casual lifestyle wear. The Gazelle generally costs more but offers more cushioning. Both are iconic low-top sneaker silhouettes from their respective brands.

You May Also Like:
Comparing Vans VR3 vs ComfyCush

Pros and Cons

Pros: Vans Old Skool

  • Classic skate shoe design
  • Comfortable cushioned footbed
  • Durable canvas or leather upper
  • Versatile, suitable for casual or skatewear
  • Widely available in various colors and patterns

Cons: Vans Old Skool

  • Limited customization options
  • May not be as trendy as some other options

Pros: Adidas Gazelle

  • Sleek retro design
  • Padded collar for comfort
  • Sturdy construction
  • Works well with various casual outfits
  • Long-standing reputation in sneaker culture

Cons: Adidas Gazelle

  • Less variety in colorways
  • Slightly higher price point
  • Limited customization options
  • May lack the traction for skateboarding

Which Shoes are Good for Different Activities

Shoes for Running

Vans Old Skool

These shoes have a flat, flexible sole with minimal cushioning, which can lead to discomfort and potential injury during running. They also lack the necessary support and stability features for running.

Adidas Gazelle

While the Adidas Gazelle has a slightly more cushioned sole than the Vans Old Skool, it still lacks the necessary support and shock absorption for running. Running in these shoes could lead to foot fatigue and potential injuries.

Shoes for Walking

Vans Old Skool

The Vans Old Skool has a flat, flexible sole that can provide decent comfort for casual walking. However, the lack of arch support and cushioning may lead to foot fatigue during extended periods of walking.

Adidas Gazelle

The Adidas Gazelle has a slightly more cushioned sole than the Vans Old Skool, which can provide better shock absorption and comfort during casual walking. However, it still lacks the arch support and stability features found in dedicated walking shoes.

Shoes for Standing All Day

Vans Old Skool

The flat, flexible sole of the Vans Old Skool lacks the necessary cushioning and arch support for prolonged standing. This can lead to foot fatigue and discomfort after several hours of standing.

Adidas Gazelle

While the Adidas Gazelle has a bit more cushioning than the Vans Old Skool, it still lacks the arch support and cushioning needed for standing all day. Prolonged standing in these shoes may lead to foot and lower back pain.

Now that you have an overview of Vans Old Skool vs Adidas Gazelle differences, read on for an in-depth feature-by-feature comparison.

Key Differences at a Glance

Before diving deeper, here is an overview of how major Gazelle and Old Skool characteristics compare:

FeatureAdidas GazelleVans Old Skool
FitTrue to sizeRuns 0.5 size large
Ideal Foot WidthNarrow to mediumMedium to wide
CushioningCloudfoam midsole & sock linerStandard EVA foam
GripDurable rubber outsoleSignature waffle tread
StyleRetro runner lookSkatepunk vibe

As you can see, there are noticeable differences in styling, performance, and fit. Keep reading for more detailed breakdowns.

You May Also Like:
Converse One Star vs Vans Old Skool

Sizing & Fit Comparison

Getting an accurate, comfortable fit is crucial for all-day wear. So how does sizing compare across Gazelles and Old Skools?

True-to-Size Scaling

Gazelles fit very true-to-size overall so ordering your normal shoe size secures great out-the-box fit. But Old Skools generally run at least a half-size too large, meaning you’ll likely need to size down for proper tightness.

Ideal Foot Width

The Gazelle suits narrow-to-medium-width feet best. Its suede overlay creates structure hugging medium/narrow dimensions well. Meanwhile, the roomier Old Skool fits those with slightly wider forefeet better.

Heel Counter

The Gazelle features a rigid external heel counter for stability, while Old Skools have an internal counter and a more flexible padded collar.

So Gazelles prioritize secured support, while Old Skools focus on cushioned comfort. Choosing the option that suits your fit priorities is key.

 FeatureGazelleOld Skool
True to Size?YesRuns 0.5 size large
Ideal Foot WidthNarrow to mediumMedium to wide
Heel CounterExternal, rigidInternal, flexible padding
Toe Box HeightLower profileModerately rising
Overall VolumeMedium to lowMedium to high

Cushioning & Comfort Comparison

When you’ll be pounding pavements daily, cushioning comfort is non-negotiable. So how do Iconic Gazelles and Old Skools compare?


Gazelles feature responsive Cloudfoam midsole cushioning absorbing shocks and returning energy excellently. Meanwhile, Old Skools have a basic compressed EVA foam midsole relying on thickness for simple padding.


Underfoot, Gazelles include a plush Cloudfoam sock liner for extra step-in softness too. Old Skools just use a standard die-cut EVA foam insole glued in place with no extra lineage.


The Gazelle weighs marginally less, hovering below 1lb per shoe. Old Skools tip scales at nearly 1.25lb for a heavier feel.

So for pure cushioned comfort, Gazelles edge out Old Skools slightly thanks to premium Cloudfoam upgrades. But Old Skool purists happily accept fewer frills as part of their vintage vibe.

 FeatureGazelleOld Skool
MidsoleCloudfoam, excellent paddingStandard EVA, moderate
InsoleCloudfoam, high-reboundBasic EVA, average
Tongue & Collar LiningPartial paddingFully padded
Weight< 1 lb (size 9)Nearly 1.25 lb (size 9)
All-Day ComfortVery highModerate

Traction & Grip Comparison

Sticky soles inspire confidence busting out your best moves anywhere. But who grips and flexes better – Gazelles or Old Skools?

Outsole Design

The Gazelle features a lug-patterned rubber outsole for moderate multidirectional traction. But the Old Skool’s signature waffle sole pattern ups control for serious board sports flexibility and redirection capability.

Rubber Compounds

Both utilize quality durable rubber optimized for grip. But the softer density gum rubber of the Old Skool allows better abrasion resistance for grip longevity after serious grip tape lashings.

So for tackling varied terrain and weather on streets, the Gazelle supplies sufficient traction to hold your own. But for advanced board grip and flex, the Old Skool out-maneuvers opponents easily once again.

 FeatureGazelleOld Skool
Outsole RubberDurable lugged rubberSignature gum waffle rubber
Lug ConfigurationMulti-directionalMulti-directional flex grooves
WeightLighter density rubberSofter density for grip
Traction LevelModerateVery high grip

Durability & Construction Comparison

Aside from stylish looks, true sneaker icons must withstand serious wear and tear over the years. So how long do Gazelles and Old Skools hold up?


Both mix sturdy leather and suede strategically to manage scuffs and abrasion. The Gazelle adds supportive synthetic 3-Stripes ingrained for structure, while Old Skools utilize canvas for lighter flex but with some durability trade-off.


Gazelle rubber lugging holds up respectably over miles of wear. But Old Skool gum bottoms practically withstand shredding indefinitely thanks to specially formulated compounds and waffle patterning dispersing stress masterfully.


Internal plastic heel counters boost rearfoot structure and longevity for both classics. But only Old Skools add protective rubber randing wrapping up the toe area enhancing ollie lifespans even further out the gate.

So if keeping pristine aesthetics as daily beaters matters most, durable Gazelles maintain the look and feel impressively thanks to premium materials. But for combatting goddamn skatepark concrete month after month, Old Skools endure famously.

 FeatureGazelleOld Skool
Upper Material MixLeather/suede/syntheticCanvas/suede/leather
Outsole RubberDurable lugged rubberSignature waffle gum rubber
ReinforcementsInternal heel counterInternal heel counter + external toe rand
Weight25.5 oz (size 9)26.9 oz (size 9)
DurabilityHigh abrasion resistanceWithstands serious skate damage

You May Also Like:
Vans Vault vs ComfyCush

Style & Design Differences

Beyond just tech specs, style attraction helps that rocky love at first sight. So how do Gazelles versus Old Skools impress aesthetically?

Retro Styling Cues

With its serrated 3-stripes, matched leather/suede panels, and pony hair textures, the Gazelle pulls off a refined retro runner look masterfully.

The chunky puffy profile of Old Skool gets attention thanks to its iconic contrast Sidestripe accent playing brightly off the base color. Skatepunk charm contrasts the Gazelle’s reserved refinement.

Customization Potential

The Gazelle’s tonal upper keeps things balanced for complementing kits. Busier Old Skool stripes limit placement flexibility slightly when coordinating pieces.

Trendiness Over Time

While Gazelles remain appreciated, their vintage track vibe falters next to the timeless casualness of an Old Skool. Few shoes enjoy that persistent icon status decade deep like a classic Vans.

So for complimenting grown-up casual fits or just enjoying sophistication, Gazelles supply ample polish. But when youthful spirit and charm shine brightest, Old Skools spread positive vibes effortlessly yet again.

 FeatureGazelleOld Skool
Retro StylingRefined vintage runner edgeSignature skatepunk contrast accents
CustomizationTonal upper doesn’t limit placementBold stripes can restrict DIY options
Trend Over TimeClassically appreciatedPersistent icons
Overall StyleSophisticated retro flairYouthful irreverent charm

Customer Ratings & Reviews

Still, deciding between icons? Check out genuine customer opinions comparing Gazelles to Old Skools:

 FeatureGazelleOld Skool
Average Rating4.6/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐4.8/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Review Highlights“Look great with everything” “Leather looks better with wear” “Cloudfoam comfort is amazing”“Old Skool style never gets old!” “Canvas molds perfectly to feet” “Super comfortable silhouette”
Review Lowlights“Narrow toe box”
“Runs small”
“Pricey for what you get”
“Runs very large, size down!”
“Not enough arch support”
“Warps if wet often”

As expected, both earn strong praise thanks to premium details and charm. Gazelles excel on refined wearability while Old Skools channel a carefree youthful spirit.

Finally, let’s weigh the cost and value of these legends.

Price Comparison

As contemporary heritage models, Gazelles and Old Skools sit at similar standard price points. But small differences in advanced tech and brand cachet do skew value perception.

Here’s an overview of MSRP versus real-world discounted pricing on both models:

ModelSample ColorwaysMSRPSale Price
Adidas GazelleCloud White/Footwear White/Gold Metallic Core Black/Cloud White/Blue$80$60 – $70
Vans Old SkoolBlack/White <br> Parisian Night/White Pop Black/True White$65$40 – $55

There’s no denying Gazelles retail slightly higher given some premium details like Cloudfoam tech. Meanwhile, Van’s pricing better reflects extensive mass-market appeal.

But when considering costs per year worn thanks to quality holding up over time, the value difference narrows significantly.


So when choosing between Adidas’ Gazelle and Vans’ Old Skool, which legendary kick gets your vote? Here is a quick wrap-up:

Gazelles Captivate with Sophistication: Signature 3-Stripes and luxe textures channel refined retro edge for adulting in style.

Old Skools Just Get Better Over Time: From mosh pits to campus kicks, their lively skatepunk look only improves with age across the decades.

If you want reliable polish upgrading smart casual fits, break out Gazelles to add luxe texture and throwback allure.

But when channeling a carefree spirit with an owned-forever sneaker dripping iconic SoCal energy, always bet on the Old Skool legends – just be sure to size down!

Either way, two icons mean no bad choice here. Just decide your must-have style and performance needs to reveal your perfect pair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which shoe runs more true-to-size?

Gazelles fit very accurately to size so ordering your normal shoe dimensions secures great out-the-box fit. Meanwhile, Old Skools run at least a half-size too large overall so sizing down is recommended.

What model accommodates wide feet better?

The Old Skool. Its wider toe box profile suits broader forefeet best for a natural toe splay room. Gazelles fit narrow through the toes so might squeeze wide feet uncomfortably.

Which option has more cushioning?

With its Cloudfoam tech bringing exceptional energy return, Gazelles deliver luxe plushness missing from the basic padding of Old Skools. But Old Skool stans happily accept less cushioning as part of their purist charm.

What shoe style seems more mature and sophisticated?

Gazelles channel refined vibes better with vintage track-inspired queues in its luxe suede/leather textures and iconic 3-Stripe accent. The youthful punk-rock spirit of the Old Skool contrasts sharply.

Which is the most durable option?

The specially formulated vulcanized waffle gum rubber of Old Skools makes them practically indestructible against serious griptagrip tape. Gazelles aren’t quite as resilient long-term but still achieve a fantastic lifespan from premium leathers.

Share Your Love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top