Adidas Campus vs. Gazelle Sneaker Comparison

Adidas is a good place to start if you are looking for casual retro sneakers. Sure, Adidas is known for high-end street footwear with crazy resale prices, but they do have affordable and budget-friendly trainers too. Two of them are the Adidas Campus and Gazelle.

In fact, many like to compare the Adidas Campus and Gazelle because of their similarities. So what are the differences between the two?

The biggest difference between the Adidas Campus and Gazelle lies in the tongue. While the Adidas Campus tongue has the same color and material as the upper, the Gazelle has a white faux leather tongue, which contrasts the color of the upper.

That being said, we found no less than four key differences between both shoes, which we will cover below. In this post, let’s compare the Adidas Campus vs. Gazelle.

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Key Differences Between Adidas Campus and Gazelle:

Adidas Campus (buy on Amazon)

Adidas Gazelle (buy on Amazon)

  1. Tongue color – Adidas Campus tongue has the same color and material as the upper, whereas the Gazelle has white faux leather tongue.
  2. Shoe branding color – The “CAMPUS” branding on the side is white in color, whereas the “GAZELLE” branding on the side is gold in color.
  3. Insole technology – Adidas Campus has Ortholite insoles, which provides cushioning under the foot. The Adidas Gazelle has regular insoles.
  4. Outsole pattern – Adidas Campus has a zig-zag outsole pattern accompanied by curvy lines, whereas the Gazelle has mini hexagon-shaped treads in the outsole. 

Adidas Campus vs. Gazelle Comparison

Adidas Campus

The Adidas Campus is a pair of sneakers that originally came out in the 1980s and continued to be a mainstay in the 1990s, the early 2000s, and still, to this day. 

One of the things you are going to notice right away about the Adidas Campus is just how clean and simple they are. In fact, you don’t have to be a sneakerhead to appreciate the design and rock these nice-looking shoes because they look stunning straight out of the box.

Sure, you won’t be getting a lot of street credit wearing these, but you can pull together some really dope outfits because the Adidas Campus does a great job of pulling outfits together because it is neutral and goes well with just about anything.

In fact, I think that these sneakers are amazingly simple and basic, making them a staple for anyone’s collection, especially if you are a true Adidas fan.

The version of Adidas Campus I have right now features a pigskin nubuck upper, which feels really nice to the touch. I bought the navy blue colorway, but there are plenty of beautiful neutral colors to choose from like black/white and grey/white.

The first thing you’re going to notice is that deep, navy blue pigskin nubuck upper, highlighted by the leather three-stripes with serrated edges branding on the sides. Sitting next to the stripes is the CAMPUS branding, which adds a nice touch without adding too much to the shoes.

Moving on to the top part of the upper and you will see the Adidas trefoil logo portrait sitting nicely on the tongue. You will also find the same trefoil logo in navy blue located in the heel area, sitting on top of white faux leather. Below the trefoil logo is the Adidas text.

The same type of leather is also seen on the inside of the collar, which adds a soft, nice touch to your ankles. One thing to note is that Adidas Campus uses faux leather, not real leather for all of the accents in the shoes, which I personally like.

In terms of comfort and sizing, I personally go half a size down in the Adidas Campus, which I find to fit me very well. These are very comfortable for all-day wear since they have the Adidas Ortholite insoles, which are known to provide exceptional comfort for walking.

If you don’t know, Ortholite is an insole material that gives cushioning under your feet.

The midsole and outsole of the shoes do not use the same white-color material as seen on the leather accents of the top part, instead, it uses an off-white, creamy color. I think this is because the soles use a combination of rubber and leather.

Looking at the inside of the tongue, you will also find extra padding, which is nice because you are not going to have straight-up nubuck rubbing against your ankle. 

Last but not least, I want to mention the outsole pattern of the shoes. It has a zig-zag pattern accompanied by curved lines, which is the same outsole pattern you will find on the Adidas Superstar. In fact, I think that the Adidas Campus looks eerily similar to the Superstar.

Overall, I think that the Adidas Campus is a well-designed pair of retro sneakers which is perfect for all-day walking and casual activities, thanks to the comfortable insoles.

Adidas Gazelle

The Adidas Gazelle is one of the most popular all-time classics. In fact, it is arguably one of the most iconic sneakers from Adidas, along with the Campus and Superstar. 

I think it’s great that for sneakers that came out in 1991, they are still as stylish as they are now as they were back then. They go well with anything — with jeans, joggers, and shorts.

I personally don’t like to wear shorts that often, but when I do, the Adidas Gazelle is a nice choice, especially as low-top sneakers in the summertime.

If you are not a big fan of the suede and nubuck upper of the Gazelle, there are primeknit versions available, which I feel is more suitable in the summer because of the airflow. 

So let’s take a look at the sneaker and examine what makes the shoes so popular.

Just like the Adidas Campus, the Gazelle features a pigskin nubuck upper, which is very soft to the touch. However, it is a material that is not waterproof so if you’re wearing these, make sure that you’re not wearing them in the rain.

But if you live in a dry climate, the Gazelle is a sneaker that you can wear any day.

On the upper, you will see the iconic three-stripe branding with serrated edges, made of white faux leather. The GAZELLE branding is also visible in gold color next to the three stripes. I like the gold color because it adds a nice touch to the shoes.

I got the dark grey colorway and the laces also have the same color as the uppers.

They also have a white tongue that goes down the very center of the shoes, complete with the Adidas trefoil logo sticking out of the tongue in the same dark grey color.

Unlike the Adidas Campus, the Gazelle’s tongue is all white, which provides contrast to the shoes. I really like the tongue because it’s thin and aerodynamic, which provides the Gazelle with a leaner and more athletic look to the shoes.

So if you’re into sports, I feel like the Adidas Gazelle may be more suitable for you.

The ankle collars use the same white synthetic leather color. It feels really soft and provides good cushioning for your ankles too. If you are someone who is annoyed with shoe collars digging into your ankles, you wouldn’t have to worry about it with the Adidas Gazelle.

Just like the ankle collars, the insoles of the Adidas Gazelle are also white in color, complete with the Adidas branding in the center. The heel area is fitted with the Adidas trefoil logo, although it does not have the word “Adidas” beneath the logo.

The outsole is white too but comes in a different pattern to the Adidas Campus.

Unlike the Adidas Campus which has curvy lines on the outsole, the Adidas Gazelle has tiny hexagon-shaped holes in the bottom which adds decent grip and traction.

When it comes to sizing, some would suggest that the Adidas Gazelle is true to size, but I prefer going half a size down. In my experience, I find my best comfort in Adidas retro sneakers by going half a size down because my feet are quite small and narrow.

As for comfort, I feel like the Adidas Gazelle is solid. It’s an average retro sneaker without any technology in the midsole (unlike the Campus which has Adidas Ortholite), so I wouldn’t recommend the Gazelle if you have long hours of walking ahead of you.

However, if you’re going for casual walking throughout the day, or looking for a sneaker to wear in school, without heavy walking, then the Adidas Gazelle should be alright.

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Final Verdict

WINNER: Adidas Campus

Adidas Campus (buy on Amazon)

Adidas Gazelle (buy on Amazon)

While both shoes look similar, I would recommend the Adidas Campus just because of the insoles. The Adidas Ortholite insoles make a world of a difference and make the Adidas Campus much more comfortable than the Gazelle, especially for long hours of walking.

And there you have it, the Adidas Campus vs. Gazelle comparison.

As you’ve read above, there is little to separate between the two amazing retro sneakers from Adidas. You simply can’t go wrong with buying either the Campus or the Gazelle. However, the Adidas Campus has better insoles than the Gazelle in my opinion.

Reviewed by: Jason T.