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Suede upper: durable material for Adidas shoes

Suede is a material used in a range of Adidas shoes; it is more commonly used in the Adidas Originals collection of heritage shoes. Suede is used in the 'upper' section of Adidas shoes; the part of the shoe that surrounds and covers the foot. Suede is rarely used as a primary material in modern Adidas shoes: probably because it does not allow the foot to breathe easily and is not lightweight; when compared to modern synthetic materials.

Black suede upper, featured in the hamburg sneaker, part of the city series. The gazelle heel patch, showing the contrast between the leather heel tab and the red suede leather. A close-up of the red suede upper, showing the smooth texture of the material.

Suede is made from the underside of animal hide - whereas nubuck is made from the outside - which gives it a soft and smooth texture; although it is not as durable as nubuck or full grain leather. Suede can be made from a range of animal hides: deer, goat, lamb, and calf. The most iconic Adidas shoe that has a suede upper is the Adidas Gazelle: released in 1972, the Gazelle is a terrace legend that was hugely popular amongst 'casuals' in the UK. Some other heritage Adidas shoes that feature a suede upper include: Adidas Spezial, Adidas Jeans, Adidas Topanga, and Adidas City Series (that includes shoes like the Adidas Hamburg, London, Dublin).