As the year comes to a close, the time has come to take a look at 2019’s best — from boots to kits to freestyle videos. Back for another installment, the Urban Pitch Year In Review continues with the top 10 kits of 2019.
It seems like more kits than ever released this year. From special edition one-off shirts to massive collaborations, we wouldn’t blame you for getting lost in the mix. Thankfully, we’ve been keeping up with it all, and we’ve scoured through the year’s archives to present the top 10 on-pitch and lifestyle kits from 2019.
5. Arsenal Away
Continuing the ongoing theme of retro-inspired kits, Arsenal’s 2019 away shirt is an homage to the classic “bruised banana” design from the early ’90s. The kit is a nice nod by adidas in its first year as the Gunners’ kit supplier. The retro fatigue is starting to become very real, but this one is a can’t miss.
4. Borussia Dortmund 110th Anniversary
Dortmund recently released their special blacked-out 110th anniversary kit, and it sold out in just three hours. The monochrome black represents the coal and steel that is essential to the industrial Ruhr district of North Rhine-Westphalia which Dortmund calls home. It’s not the loudest kit out there, but the black-on-black gives it a sleekness and elegance usually only seen in Italian sports cars. Well done, PUMA. Well done.
3. Inter Milan Away
Inter Milan’s 2019 away kit is simply breathtaking. The mint green getup might give longtime fans of other Serie A teams nightmares of Julio Cesar between the pipes during Inter’s 2009 treble run, but for everyone else it’s just so smooth. In a nice tribute to the city, the kit also features the Milanese cross on the inside neck, which is inspired by the architecture of the Duomo.
2. AS Roma Third
Roma’s 2019 third kit is so beautiful that we can consider it to be a continuation of Renaissance art. Nike leaned fully into the nostalgia and we’re here for it. In addition to reviving the Nike Sportswear logo from the ’90s opposite of the crest, they brought the traditional collar back. The subtle print featuring several classic Roma badges from the club’s past make it a must cop.
1. Forward Madison Third
It might sound crazy, but the best club kit of 2019 belongs to an American third division club. That’s right, we’re talking about Forward Madison’s third kit. In an eye-popping pink with bold winged and scalloped patterns, this kit is the epitome of going Full ‘Mingo.
Off Pitch Kits
5. Icarus FC “FC Stroitel Pripyat”
Custom kit manufacturer Icarus FC dropped plenty of fire kits in 2019, but their best is by far the FC Stroitel Pripyat kit. Capitalizing on the acclaimed HBO miniseries Chernobyl at the beginning of the year, Icarus picked the perfect time to deliver an imaginative take on what the Pripyat club’s kits would’ve looked like. The main feature of the club’s crest is an atom, with a classic soccer ball as the nucleus. To top things off Valery Legasov’s name is on the back, who was the chief of the commission investigating the Chernobyl disaster.
4. Killa Villa “Dead Presidents II”
Killa Villa’s prowess in creating kits inspired by hip-hop royalty is quite well known by now. While 2019 saw the re-release of their iconic Wu-Tang line, the UK label also cooked up some new heat throughout the year. In February, it dropped a collection inspired by two tracks with a major impact in New York hip-hop history, “Dead Presidents II” by Jay-Z and Nas’ “The World Is Yours.”
While KV executed both incredibly well, we prefer the Jay-Z edition, with its half-and-half lettering that pays tribute to Hov’s infamous sample that may or may not have ignited the two MCs’ beef. “You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song.”
3. Asbury Park Third
Everything that faux club Asbury Park touched in 2019 turned into gold. From the limited edition Topps kit to their women’s line, it’s been impressive. But nothing was quite as good as their third kit. Donning a vibrant green inspired by the accents on the Asbury Park Convention Hall, the kit features a vintage Umbro checkerboard pattern and diamond piping on the shoulders. And of course, longtime “sponsor” Samesong gets prime ad space front and center of the shirt.
2. PUMA “Showdown”
While Nike and adidas may still retain the lions’ share of the football kit market, PUMA had itself quite the year. Over the summer, it released a series of lifestyle kits with eye-catching original designs. We particularly enjoyed the Showdown kit, which is Olympian Blue and PUMA White with influences and typography from Japan weaved into the print. The iconic Kanagawa waves feature on a woven label at the hem, with PUMA branding and Japanese lettering combining on the front in lieu of a sponsor.
1. Napa Valley 1839 “Enough.”
Napa Valley 1839 is a semi-pro team in the NPSL, and they dropped the most powerful kit of 2019. While the club technically wore it in a match this season, the special limited edition shirt is in the off-pitch section because of its efforts to create change beyond the confines of the stadium. The club donated the funds raised by kit sales to the Alaina’s Voice Foundation, a non-profit organization started by Napa Valley 1839 co-founder Arik Housley after his daughter Alaina passed away in the Thousand Oaks mass shooting in 2018. The kit features the names of every U.S. city where a mass shooting occurred since the team’s foundation in 2017 as well as the names of 15 victims as a call to end the gun violence epidemic currently plaguing the U.S.
What were your top 10 kits from 2019? Let us know in the comments below.
How did Chattanooga FC’s Owner Supporter kit not make the list?
Wow, that’s a great one too! I’ll try to do an honorable mention section next year.