Best non-league kits of 2022/23
It’s time to shine a light on non-league. Here’s a bunch of incredible shirts from teams battling in the lower leagues of UK football.
The non-league doesn’t get enough airtime. Today, we’re here to change that.
There are some weird and wonderful things happening from the National League downwards, not forgetting around the bryns of Wales and the lochs of Scotland too.
It felt wrong to rank these amazing football kits, so we’re simply bundling them together to celebrate the warm and fuzzy community of amateur football.
There’s no doubt that some of these shirt designs could compete at Premier League level, even if the teams and their players can only dream of doing so.
Also, the FA website claims that there are 37,500+ teams in the UK. So, please forgive us if we’ve missed a shirt or two from this list…
Steeton AFC (Home)
We begin as low as the North West Counties Football League, Division One. Steeton AFC’s hummel home shirt is a sensational example of patterned quadrant design.
This club is representing West Yorkshire and doing it extremely well. The gradient-style makes for a treat on the eyes, with a lovely mix of dark green and white throughout. It’s a gem.
Newcraighall Leith Victoria AFC (Third)
We’re not getting any less niche now. It’s time to head to the Lothian & Edinburgh Premier Division for some arcade-based joy. This Pac-Man design is totally random, but we love it.
This design by local manufacturer Appin Sports isn’t even their wackiest, NLV’s beer-based home and away shirts are also a sight to behold. Thanks, but we’ll stick to the arcade games for now.
Stonewall FC (Unity)
Stonewall FC have been breaking down barriers for LGBT+ players for over 30 years, and with a kit like this, they’re going to raise awareness for rights even more. It’s been around a while, but we still love it.
The adidas ‘Unity’ kit was created for their LGBT+ squad to wear proudly during London Unity League fixtures. Built with the vibrant colours of the Trans Pride flag, it brings a wider footballing community together.
Chorley FC (Away)
A touch of pure class now, direct from the National League North. As far as we’re aware, Chorley isn’t exactly renowned as a fashion capital. But this shirt wouldn’t look out of place in Venice.
The first of a few Hope & Glory designs that’ve made our list (they do amazing work, btw), the subtle leaf effect of this plum away shirt is dabbed in gold. And it’s a beautiful piece of art from The Magpies.
Loch Ness FC (Home)
Would it be a non-league shirt listing without a trip to bonnie Scotland and the banks of Loch Ness? Nope. Because they’ve done it again, thanks to the help of little-known ZN Sport.
This black and gold cracker combines two majorly fun themes from the shirt design world: a myth and a map. Nessie pops up (as ever) on the sleeve trims, but it’s the nautical map and geometric base pattern which catches us. Splendid.
Oldham Athletic AFC (Away)
Don’t stare at this one for too long, and do not adjust your screen. Oldham fans will be reeling that they won’t see this lively shirt (or the classy home or third too, in all honesty) play league football.
It’s once again an audacious design from fan favourites, hummel. Navy and teal was always going to look classy, but with a thick collar and a repeat geometric pattern which works amazingly well, it’s hynotising us in all the right ways.
King's Lynn Town FC (Away)
Ahhh, pink kits. And Kappa, no less. What a confectionary-like delight, it makes you so happy when you look at it. Even the sponsor has a rising sun on it. This is unapologetic quality straight from National League North.
The dripped shoulders and trims of sunny yellow compliment the vibrant base perfectly, and when it’s partnered with pink shirt and shorts, it’s going to give Palermo a real run for their Serie B money.
Portobello FC (All)
Well, well, well. We genuinely couldn’t choose from this creative and brilliant mix of Portobello FC shirts. So, as we make the rules here, we’re sticking them all in the list. Deservedly.
This new team who represent Notting Hill with pride, compete down in the Middlesex County Football League Division Two. And they look to have absolutely nailed the branding brief. We’re not going to talk, we’ll just let you drink them in visually.
Wirksworth Ivanhoe (Home)
Green and gold is a dream combo, especially for a team with a name as cool as this. It’s our second Hope & Glory entry and it’s for a club playing their matches in the Central Midlands Football League (Step 7).
The horizontal striping gives the shirt balance and when coupled with gold detailing (sponsor too), a special result is created. Even the badge is a stone-cold classic. We’re all Ivanhoe, aren’t we?
OK, so we know that Wrexham are reusing this Macron shirt from 2021/22. But, that doesn’t stop us from continuing to love it. It’s so quintessentially Welsh in colour, and its retro patterning firmly jabs at our nostalgic nerve.
TikTok may be one of the coolest sponsors around, plus, Rob and Ryan will certainly have one of these hung up in each of their mansions. You can’t deny it, this shirt and Wrexham AFC are just trendy (ffasiynol) now.
Hashtag United FC (Away)
The glorious brain of hummel in action once again. Uber-popular Isthmian North League members Hashtag United will be looking pretty in pink on their travels thanks to this exquisite, hashtag-plastered away design.
This football-come-content juggernaut has changed the lower league landscape forever, and they always churn out quality merch. They’re even sponsored by a football game which rivals FIFA and PES, how cool is that?
Nairn County FC (Third)
Here’s an inclusion which is more based on the story behind it. The shirt is LOUD, very loud. But that’s the point. This Nairn County FC (Highland Football League) third shirt was created to raise awareness of the local community’s #TeamHamish initiative.
How can you not love a shirt which supports such an incredible local initiative? This is what grassroots football is all about. Support and community. And we love every bit of it.
Goal Diggers FC (Home)
Football is a sport for everyone. That’s what Goal Diggers FC is all about. And we’re on board. We’re pretty sure that they’re going to get even more support when their garms look this good, wow. Wonderful stuff.
The year 2021 marked the centenary of the first year that women were banned from playing football. Now Goal Diggers’ shirt is emblazoned with Alice Bell’s famous quote, “we play for the love of the game and are determined to go on”. Poignant and beautiful.
Bury AFC (GK Away)
We couldn’t leave you without a madcap, retro-inspired goalkeeper shirt, could we? That’s where Step 5 Bury AFC come in, north west England’s latest phoenix club built by the fans, for the fans.
The splattered, seemingly random splashes of teal and turquoise make for an intriguing pattern. And the solid purple base is an eye-catcher for the shot-stoppers. Hope & Glory are truly nailing it this season.
York City FC (Home & Away)
What an absolutely delightful double this is. York is a beautiful city, and now this National League club’s kits can share that same description. Pressure comes when tasked with creating a shirt that celebrates 100 years of a club, but Puma have managed it superbly.
The plum home shirt subtly features the architecture of the famous Minster, whilst the away shirt celebrates York’s chocolate heritage with club colours worn during the 1930s. This is as good a duo as we’re ever likely to see.
Dulwich Hamlet FC (Home)
Dulwich Hamlet are a well-run club with fantastic branding, which is precisely why this home shirt is excellent. This is a club which has recently experimented with stripes, sash and now quadrant designs. None of Wich have been Dul. Ahem.
Being sponsored by a house music record label is uber-cool, and it fits perfectly with the overall design. The National League South is going to be looking a little sharper this season, thanks to this stylish Hope & Glory outfit.
We know we’ve likely missed plenty of amazing football shirts from non-league and grassroots, but hey, it’s pretty much impossible to keep up…
If you feel like we’ve missed a classic design, help us out and show us your club’s colours on social media!