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Ranking Every Liverpool New Balance Kit as Reds Prepare to Switch to Nike



2019/20 may be the last season we see Liverpool kitted out in New Balance with Nike tipped to take over from next season, pending a court battle.

The Reds were first tossed out by New Balance for the 2015/16 season, following the American sportswear takeover company Warrior Sports (remember them?) And have produced Liverpool's clobber for the last five seasons.

As fans on Twitter get starry-eyed about the prospect of Drake being used to hawk Liverpool tops under Nike, it's worth remembering New Balance has produced some modern classics that will forever be associated with the rise of the Reds under Jurgen Klopp. There has, it must be said, also been the odd stinker.

James Milner

Still, in an age of cookie-cutter designs seen across the globe, New Balance's efforts have at least been quite unlike anything the rest of the competition. And for that, you gotta hand it to them.

Here's how all 15 of Liverpool's New Balance kits have stacked up so far …


15. 2016/17 – Third

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-LIVERPOOL

Third kits as a concept are odd. At best, they are a chance for designers to get experimental and at worst they are one of the most blatant forms of needless commercialism run amok in the modern game.

Worst of the bunch, Liverpool's third strip in 2016/17 was Chernobyl green for the bottom 80% and wheelie-bin gray for the top 20%. I would be curious to know if anyone actually bought this and why.


14. 2015/16 – Third

FBL-ENG-PR-SUNDERLAND-LIVERPOOL

A year ago, it was only slightly better for the Reds, who were out in a collared black and gray eyesore. Fortunately, it was only a couple of times.


13. 2019/20 – Third

FBL-ENG-PR-SHEFFIELD UTD-LIVERPOOL

It looks like if you look at the magic-eye pattern long enough, an image of Jordan Henderson lifting the Premier League might appear. It never does.


12. 2018/19 – Third

Georginio Wijnaldum

For 2018/19, New Balance set out to recreate the popular (if ugly) 2008/09 kit, which itself was an attempt to recreate the popular (but attractive) away kit of the late eighties. The result was a bit of a mess.

Gini Wijnaldum made it look good but man makes everything look good.


11. 2015/16 – Home

James Milner, Emre Can, Roberto Firmino

On first inspection, it's just a red shirt. Oh no wait, there is some weird check-pattern thing that the club describes as 'tonal jacquard print'. Hmmm.


10. 2018/19 – Away

Virgil van Dijk

Good fun but a bit silly. The color combo is more appropriate for a season in which Liverpool were crap overall than the one in which they actually won the Champions League.


9. 2016/17 – Away

Adam Lallana

In this case, we have the following:A handsome kit, even if wearing black, makes you look like the baddies from a Mighty Ducks movie.

The red stripes (scratch marks?) On the side are a nice example of the kind of re-signed flair that was all too common in Liverpool changing kits of the modern era.


8. 2018/19 – Home

Divock Origi

After 2017/18, this home kit was a slight letdown. The fit was a little weird and the collar a little clunky. However, it will forever be associated with the Champions League win, which boosts it by several thousand nostalgia points.


7. 2017/18 – Third

Mohamed Salah

Color-wise, bit weird. Design-wise, decent.

Andy Robertson also claimed the 'lucky' third kit was so bright it did something to the opposition's eyes, so that's nice.


6. 2016/17 – Home

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-CRYSTAL PALACE

New Balance might have been guilty of under-designing here. It's basically the same as last year's, just with gold detail. However, the weird inlaid check pattern thing, sorry tonal jacquard print, is gone, which is a plus.


5. 2015/16 – Away

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

After years of frankly obscene change efforts under New Balance, Warrior, adidas and Reebok, this simple kit was a welcome palette cleanser.

The clean design only loses points for unnecessary cuff piping. And the fact that it was a pretty good duff season for the Reds.


4. 2019/20 – Away

Controversial for its blue detail, this season's away effort is – all rivalry aside – class, mate * insert clapping emojis *.


3. 2017/18 – Away

Roberto Fermino

The best way the Reds have produced the kit is in what feels like centuries. As with Arsenal's famous bruised banana, providing a fresh twist on a nostalgia-laden classic can pay off big … sometimes.


2. 2019/20 – Home

Mohamed Salah

Apart from the questionable use of white on the socks, this is also a near-perfect kit with just the right level of detail and distinct from anything else on the market. The use of gold also feels earned this time.


1. 2017/18 – Home

FBL-EUR-C1-MAN CITY-LIVERPOOL

A perfect example of what a Liverpool home kit should look like: simple, classy and with a nod to history. It is a modern classic as iconic as the 1984 shirt it tried to ape. The switch to deeper red was also a very smart move.

The benchmark for Nike if they do come in.



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