Adidas Sambas & Gazelle Alternatives

Personally, I’m excited that slim profile sneakers are back in style – I generally find these to be the most comfortable and wearable, and bonus points for taking up less space when packed!

However, as mentioned in my 2024 in & out list post, I wanted to avoid going with the hyper trendy Adidas Sambas or Gazelle styles. As much as I like how they look, I worry that they’ll just as quickly go out of cycle compared to shoes from other brands that have a similar, but not exact, style.

The key style attributes of the Sambas and Gazelles are a:

  • Slim profile
  • Gum sole or contrast white sole
  • Pliable material upper

Simple side design if possible, but not necessarily a priority since that’s very Adidas specific.

In contrast to my other “looks for less” posts, some of these options may be a little more expensive than the original style. In this case, Sambas and Gazelles are already well-priced at $100 for a shoe with leather or suede uppers.

Everlane Treadbare Sneaker in Canvas – $130

The Treadbare sneakers are made from renewable materials, making it the lowest carbon footprint option on this list. These run narrow and slightly small, so I recommend sizing up half to a full size – I am normally a narrow 7.5 and the size 8 fits me perfectly. I love how lightweight these are!

Rothy’s Lace-Up Sneaker in Blonde – $169

One of my favorite Rothy’s styles, reviewed here. I finally retired my all-white pair after they were decidedly… not white anymore from years of wear and washing. Nowadays, I actually prefer the Blonde version with the gum sole, as I found their white soles easily stains / discolors. Side note: their wider RS02 style comes in this cute tenniscore perforated knit.

Gola Badminton $80 or Elan $110

These are the closest alternatives in terms of style and color varieties. And the Badnminton is a budget option to boot! Note that the upper is mainly canvas, and on the Elan it is a faux suede upper.

Nike Killshot 2 or Puma Palermo, both $90

Lastly, these two pairs are popular styles in their own right, but less ubiquitous (at least from what I’ve seen in the San Francisco area as Sambas. Both styles have leather uppers with a price tag slightly under Adidas.

One last note: another favorite sneaker brand of mine is Veja, I have both their V-10 (purchased pre-loved) and Esplar styles. Their newer style Volley looks similar to the Adidas trend, but are very stiff and definitely do not wear the same way. If that’s not an issue, then these are also an option that will last a long time!

Partnership Disclosure: This blog post was not sponsored by any of the brands listed above. As always, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, in which I earn a commission on purchases.


Im Kristy, a marketer based in sometimes-sunny San Francisco ⛅ This is my personal blog, where you will find my random musings, in-depth reviews, and latest sewing endeavors.

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