Best Championship 2021/22 home kits: every shirt ranked
They aren’t Prem, but there’s nothing second-rate about (some of) the new Championship kits for 2021/22. We’ve given them our FOOTY.COM ranking treatment.
It’s once again time for it to rain down with new Championship kits. And where there are new shirts, there’s a FOOTY.COM ranking. Peterborough United, Hull City, Blackpool, West Brom, Sheffield United and Fulham are in; Watford, Norwich City and Brentford now have bigger fish to fry.
Like everyone, we’ve seen leaks over the past few weeks and months but we’re only interested in official releases. Even though the Premier League may get most of the attention, there’s plenty to talk about here with the good, the bad and the downright ugly of 2021/22…
24. Derby County (The Rams)
Brand: Umbro | 2020-21 Rank: 22nd
It’s quite often difficult to get excited about plain white kits. And Derby x Umbro have rolled another underwhelmer out for 2021/22. ‘Play Responsibly’ the betting sponsor cries, and the designers have gone as safe as Fort Knox on this. Spin it around and there’s another abyss of blankness, with the words ‘We Are Derby’ on the neck. Oh and there’s some blue and black bits, sigh.
The only redeeming factor is that they’ve stuck with the outlined Ram badge, which is a classy touch. They’ll need Rooney and his men to raise pulses with performances instead.
23. Barnsley (The Tykes)
Brand: Puma | 2020-21 Rank: 24th
After surviving narrowly at Wigan’s cost in 2019/20, Barnsley turned a corner and romped to a play-off finish in 2020/21. Unfortunately their kit wasn’t good then, and it isn’t good now. Only managing an uplift of one place from last year’s rankings.
Puma have had another hit and miss year, and this is a classic bore-fest of red and white. White piping and a crew neck collar do nothing to change it from last year’s, it’s only redeeming factor being the pickaxe patterning in the body. Let’s hope The Tykes can excite the fans with a run at the Premier League again this season.
22. Luton Town (The Hatters)
Brand: Umbro | 2020-21 Rank: n/a
Once more, The Hatters are beneficiaries of having an joyful orange colour palette. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to save this one for us. The patterning is mildly interesting, without being close to becoming a game changer. JB Developments haven’t tried to dominate the shirt either. Tick.
Luton were a mid-table team last season in both our ranking and the real world, but they’re most definitely relegation fodder in the kit stakes here. The Kenilworth Road faithful will be hoping for more exciting happenings out on the pitch in the 2021/22 Championship season, that’s for sure.
21. Peterborough United (The Posh)
Brand: Puma | 2020-21 Rank: n/a
It’s brave, but it’s not paid off in our book. It’s just a tad too busy. Multiple blues mixed with lots of white patterns, big Mick George through the middle, plus a weird gold sponsor across the shoulders too?! It’s a shame because if it was all turned down a notch, it could have been very good.
OK it’s not that bad. And in all honesty, we’re pretty sure that Peterborough fans won’t care one hoot what their kit looks like, since they’ll be enjoying their taste of Championship football throughout 2021/22.
20. Preston North End (The Lilywhites)
Brand: Puma | 2020-21 Rank: n/a
Team templates are all good, but not in the Championship. They belong in the parks and Sunday League fields. Yes, the shoulder pattern isn’t too hard on the eyes, but this shirt just doesn’t offer enough in PNE’s colour palette. At least the sponsor fits in well, we suppose.
North End are Championship stalwarts now, so maybe they’ve lost the fire in their belly after all that time. Either that, or Nike just can’t be bothered because they’ve got bigger Premier League clients to please! It’s all a bit safe, probably like Preston will be this season.
19. Cardiff City (The Bluebirds)
Brand: adidas | 2020-21 Rank: 23rd
There’s been a little hop up the rankings for The Bluebirds’ home kit this year, if only by 4 spots. It’s not setting the world alight, but that button-up collar on the adidas template is decent. Up close, it’s got a sharp, knitted look and the blue and navy combo works well.
Yeah, so the sponsor is a bit plain and overbearing, but it’s offset by the simplicity of the shirt itself. The advertising campaign is a great example of the Cardiff community, and that’s worth some brownie points. Another ‘will they/won’t they?’ season is expected, but at least they’ll look smart in the process.
18. Stoke City (The Potters)
Brand: Macron | 2020-21 Rank: 16th
Macron have massively upped their kit game in recent years. Here, they’ve taken the difficult Potters’ pattern and made it reasonably interesting. The thick stripes work well, and we like the fact it stays consistent through the back, collar and hems. The overlap crew neck is a nice touch and the whole shirt looks clean. Even Bet365 have fit in without any fuss.
Stoke face another testing season in The Championship; we certainly won’t be putting our money on them playing Premier League football at the Bet365 Stadium next year.
17. Reading (The Royals)
Brand: Macron | 2020-21 Rank: 4th
It’s a fair ol’ slip down the rankings for The Royals this season, 13 places in fact. It’s a shame this one, as they’ve wasted an opportunity to truly shine with their 150th anniversary shirt. By no means is it a bad shirt, the gold detailing is a lovely addition, but is it enough for the massive occasion it commemorates? No, not really.
Reading have been let down by a dodgy sponsor this year, who’ve replaced the classier Casumo handwritten style from last season. All in all, it’s a solid effort, which is all Reading fans are used to, we suppose...
16. West Bromwich Albion (The Baggies)
Brand: Puma | 2020-21 Rank: n/a
The boing-boing Baggies have once more boinged in a southerly direction. Another season in the Championship beckons, and a slightly less exciting shirt rides in tandem with it. Here’s a general rule of thumb: red, blue and white only work effortlessly upon a Paris St. Germain creation.
Big Sam couldn’t keep them up last season, and the fans will be chorusing ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ (which is woven into the fabric) once more, in hope of a quick return to the big time. There’s some good news though, at least all of the squad will get decent deals on their central heating. Ideal, really.
15. Bournemouth (The Cherries)
Brand: Umbro | 2020-21 Rank: 6th
Contrary to normal procedure, we’re sticking The Cherries in the middle here. It’s a hefty slump from their position last year, a 9-place drop to be exact. An eventual play-off loss to promotion winners Brentford was always going to be a bitter pill to swallow, even more so with this average kit release for 2021/22.
The solid shoulders, thick black trims and bold stripes link together nicely here, and the Vitality sponsor from last season has been comfortably replaced by the equally non-intrusive MSP Capital. Another promotion push? Not for their shirt design.
14. Blackburn Rovers (The Rovers)
Brand: Macron | 2020-21 Rank: 21st
After signing with Rovers this season, it seems Macron have played it fairly safe. They’ve stuck to heritage and to be honest, Tugay or Morten Gamst Pedersen wouldn’t look out of place in this one. The club’s infamous ‘Arte et Labore’ motto is woven into the neck, plus a Lancashire red rose is embossed on the front. Those are both lovely details.
Look, this shirt isn’t going to win any trophies. Much like Blackburn themselves. It’s a solid effort with some sharp detailing, it’s well worthy of a comfortable mid-table finish.
13. Nottingham Forest (Forest)
Brand: Macron | 2020-21 Rank: 20th
Up 7 places from last season with a very solid performance indeed. The pattern detailing in this lively red body gives it an edge, whilst the thick white trimming offsets it all perfectly. All complemented by the simple BOXT sponsor logo. Sometimes good shirts don’t need to be overly thought-out, Forest’s is minimal fuss and it’s classy.
It’s been a long, long time since Nottingham Forest tasted the fruits of the top tier, they could really do with a bit of Van Hooijdonk magic sprinkled with Keano leadership nowadays. At least they’ll look the part this season.
12. Huddersfield Town (The Terriers)
Brand: Umbro | 2020-21 Rank: 18th
18th to 12th is an unbelievable result for Huddersfield Town, in shirt rankings and in real league terms. They’ve lived their Premier League dream and are struggling to stay in the Championship nowadays but this shirt is sharp, with interesting colours and solid stripes. Both favourites of ours.
The Terriers are one of the more likeable teams in England and this kit certainly looks friendly too, the only thing to make it more welcoming would be to include a Yorkshire Terrier in the advertising. Now that’s a missed opportunity!
11. Fulham (The Cottagers)
Brand: adidas | 2020-21 Rank: n/a
There’s just something about thin pinstripes on an adidas kit. Even if a builder is wearing it. The Cottagers are fresh back in the Championship, hoping to bounce back immediately. And their uniform for this season will please the fans before they begin, it’s stylish without trying too hard. If we’re honest, it’s only really missing a Pizza Hut logo.
They’ll certainly have to graft (maybe that’s the builder speaking) to make their way back to the Premier League at the first attempt. In this kit, it won’t look as painful of a task.
10. Sheffield United (The Blades)
Brand: adidas | 2020-21 Rank: n/a
More stripes from the newbies in the Championship. After somehow falling off the face of a cliff versus their previous season’s form in the Premier League, they won’t even get a chance to play their relegated local rivals Wednesday this year. Bittersweet.
Red and white are a good look, as we’ve discussed previously. Sheff Utd x adidas have gone with a black outlining here which makes the whole thing pop, mixed with a white crew neck and trims. Yes, Randox Health sounds like a corporation from Resident Evil, but we’ll ignore that and focus on the stripey joy for now.
9. Queens Park Rangers (The Hoops)
Brand: Errea | 2020-21 Rank: 14th
Winning the battle of the blue and white ringed design vs. Reading are the true ‘Hoops’: QPR. The yellow keylining is the detail we like most here, and those lovely thick hoops give space for both the badge and plain and the inoffensive sponsor logo. It’s some excellent work from the relatively small manufacturer, Errea.
Missing out after pushing close to reaching the playoffs in 2020/21, Rangers will need to up their game significantly if they’re going to reignite fond memories of Les Ferdinand and Trevor Sinclair anytime soon. Fans can only hoop, hope*.
8. Swansea City (The Swans)
Brand: Joma | 2020-21 Rank: 12th
We love this ‘80s embossed stripe design with thick retro neck and sleeve trimmings to boot. So much so, we’ve pumped The Swans into the top 10 from 12th place. The gold touches on the Joma logo and club emblem play along too, with a local sponsor topping off the nostalgic feelgood factor.
Of course, it was heartbreak for Swansea who’ll have to watch Brentford take their place in the Premier League this season, but at least they’ve beaten Cardiff in these rankings again. Oh, and probably will do in the 21/22 league standings too.
7. Birmingham City (The Blues)
Brand: Nike | 2020-21 Rank: 8th
Another strong performance this year for Birmingham City, there’s something you don’t hear too often. Yes, it’s a pretty simple design, but it works. It's got a tidy overlap collar and a touch of camo print runs through The Blues’ shirt, which adds depth where there usually is none. The white vents down the side add a clean link to the shorts. It’s just nice on the eyes!
Both the men’s and ladies’ sponsors have settled for plain white too, which is a bonus. Birmingham City’s badge is one of the best out there, so it’s no surprise we’re enjoying it on this. St.Andrew’s will be looking sharp in 2021/22.
6. Hull City (The Tigers)
Brand: Umbro | 2020-21 Rank: n/a
The Tigers look like they’ve been mauled, and weirdly that’s a good thing. We all know, a sash can be king when it comes to shirt design, and Umbro have pulled something exceptional out of the bag for Hull City’s return to the Championship. The broken sash is clearly the main talking point and mixed with Hull’s lively colour palette, it truly is a cracker.
OK, so Giacom is a bit garish, but at least they haven’t tried to explain what they do in two sentences below the logo. Things are looking bright at the MKM Stadium, even if it’s only lit up by this incredible shirt.
5. Coventry City (The Sky Blues)
Brand: hummel | 2020-21 Rank: 3rd
They rarely do it wrong, hummel. Amazingly, The Sky Blues have slipped down 2 places from last year, even with this absolute beauty on show. Where to start? Retro chunky crew neck? Checkered sleeve detailing? A blummin’ phoenix rising from the ashes!? It’s a thoughtful shirt which has done everything right.
Coventry x hummel always get their own advertising spot on, and they somehow manage to get away with reducing the shirt sponsor to ‘barely noticeable’ status too. The City fans will most likely be praying that their results become more noticeable during 2021/22.
4. Middlesbrough (The Boro)
Brand: hummel | 2020-21 Rank: 5th
Repeat. They rarely do it wrong, hummel. It’s an improvement of one spot for ‘Boro in our current rankings and hummel have once more entwined a club’s shirt with their local heritage effortlessly. Teesside’s iconic Transporter Bridge is the woven image on this design, pulled straight from their 1994/95 promotion campaign kit.
The signature white band sits across the midriff, and hummel’s brand-defining chevrons sit across the shoulders as cogs in a machine of splendid features. We hear it’s also an all red kit this season, but fans will only be hoping to see all green on their form chart.
3. Millwall (The Lions)
Brand: Macron | 2020-21 Rank: 2nd
They’re right up there again, The Lions. Falling only one spot from 2nd last season, Macron x Millwall have pulled something special out of the bag once more. By adding a dash of gold to this retro-inspired creation, they’ve added an element we can all enjoy. Unconditionally.
The old school stiff collar, dripped gradient banners from the shoulders and Huski Chocolate bold typeface. It’s all a nostalgic mix of the best things about football shirts from a bygone era. Those vegan flat white drinkers of Shoreditch will be repping this all season long. And we’ll be with them.
2. Blackpool (The Tangerines)
Brand: Puma | 2020-21 Rank: n/a
Firing in at #2 as the highest new entry, The Tangerines are showing their true colours in style here. Puma have some ropey releases every year, but they usually have some classics in the mix too. This is certainly one of those classics. It’s simple aside from the geometric patterning and it uses the orange of Blackpool with aplomb.
As we’ve mentioned, we love a local sponsor and it doesn’t come much more local than the Blackpool tourist board. This is going to look wonderful filling the sunny stands of Bloomfield Road this season. Hey, maybe they’ll even play like ‘88 Holland?
1. Bristol City (The Robins)
Brand: hummel | 2020-21 Rank: 10th
They took the title in our top 100 shirts of the year last season with their Denmark-inspired goalkeeper kit, so it should come as no surprise that we’re loving this season’s (probably Denmark-inspired) home kit. Enlarged club badge slap bang in the middle, centralised manufacturer logo, chevron sleeves and… dogs wearing them in the advertising. Incredible.
The geometric woven pattern is offset by crisp white hems on collar and cuff, with a “One For The Bristol City” graphic printed on the inner back. It’s most definitely number one for Bristol City in our book too, a wonderful and worthy winner.
If you’re on the lookout, you can find the latest Championship kits and Premier League kits on our site. Why not travel across the continent and grab yourself a shirt from a European giant too? We compare prices to find you the best deal on the day!