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Top 8 Puma Football Kits of 2019 - Devils in the detail

Don't sleep on Puma. This might be their best year in terms of shirts for a long, long time.

Top 8 Puma Football Kits of 2019 - Devil’s in the detail

How do you break a duopoly?

We’ve enjoyed seeing the best shirts of the year from the relentless Nike. We’ve celebrated the evergreen adidas, even during a bit of a down year by their standards. And now we begin our look at the group of brands who are nipping at the heels of the two giants.

To many people, Puma are the incumbent #3 in the list of the top manufacturers. They’re one of a select group of brands to manufacturer a World Cup winning shirt, and they’re a brand who’ve enjoyed decades of success in the football shirt world.

In more recent years, they’ve been one of the most pioneering brands in football, pushing boundaries when it comes to materials and kit construction. And whilst the class of 2019 isn’t necessarily their most innovative collection, it’s certainly an aesthetically pleasing one.

So sit back and enjoy the next stop of my tour of the best football shirts 2019 has to offer.

NOTE: This blog will be updated with any new Puma kits that come out following the initial publication date

8. Nîmes Olympique 2019/20 Third Kit

nimes olympique 2019 third shirt
Image from Nîmes Olympique.

We start our Puma discovery tour with one of Éric Cantona’s former clubs: Nîmes Olympique.

Despite being relatively niche in the pecking order of French sides, Les Crocodiles just so happen to have some of the most interesting Puma shirt around. Each of their home, away and third shirts boasts a unique pattern inspired by their nickname, with a strip of scales revealed as you ‘peel back’ the base of the design. A central Puma logo and typically French oversized sponsor (amusingly from a company called ‘Hectare’...) add further charm to a memorable design.

My pick of the bunch is the black and red third shirt, which has shades of the amazing Parma third shirt from last season.

7. Crystal Palace 2019/20 Away Kit

Image from Crystal Palace.

Next up is Crystal Palace. Both the home and away kits this year for Palace are top-drawer, but it’s the away which has captured my attention.

Alongside some asymmetrical shoulder detailing (a feature of a number of Puma designs this year), a relatively traditional red and blue double stripe through the centre is completely dominated by an all over pattern. In other cases this sort of design would be clunky, but there’s an energy to this design thanks to the considered approach to colour. Even the sponsor doesn’t ruin things, despite its busyness.

6. Marseille 2019/20 Away Kit

Image from Marseille.

Next, coming from the same stable as Newcastle’s shirt, we have Marseille’s latest away offering.

Once again we have a pattern inspired by a roof, and for Marseille that’s led to a design which is more uniform than the busy feather look of Newcastle. The best thing about this kit is that the design carries over in full force on the back of the shirt. Many brands shy away from a fully patterned shirt, but Puma deserve a lot of credit for going all in.

5. Borussia Mönchengladbach 2019/20 Third Kit

Image from Puma.

One of the trends of 2019 has been the stadium-inspired shirt. The idea of basing your design on a stadium’s architecture is not completely new, but Puma have championed the approach with a number of new shirts to great effect.

My favourite example comes courtesy of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Their green third shirt looks like it could have been taken from a bus seat (if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know how much I appreciate a shirt that wouldn’t look out of place on public transport), with elements of their old stadium creating an interesting, geometric pattern. I can even forgive the dominating sponsor given how good the rest of the shirt is.

4. Mamelodi Sundowns 2019/20 Away Kit

mamelodi sundowns away shirt 2019-20 in white
Image from Puma.

South Africa is the destination for football shirts.

Year after year the country plays host to gorgeous get-ups from the likes of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, but for my money the best kits in the country this season belong to Mamelodi Sundowns.

I love subliminal patterns, and the unique design that covers both home and away shirts for the Sundowns is as stunning as they come. In what is a bit of a theme in this list, we also have a well integrated sponsor which matches the colour of the Puma logos. But it’s the pattern which lifts this kit into the upper echelons.

3. Valencia 2019/20 Third Kit

Image from Valencia.

There are a few guarantees in the world of kits, one of them being that a well executed 90s tribute shirt will go down well.

Valencia’s new third shirt does exactly that, channeling a marvelous early 90s blue design which wasn’t a million miles away from the iconic Australia paint strokes shirt (itself a source of inspiration for the latest Australia shirt which remains my favourite Nike shirt of 2019). Puma’s 2019 homage doesn’t quite reach the heights of the 90s, and the pattern isn’t quite as exciting as Australia, but the end result is still wonderful to look at.

2. West Brom 2019/20 Away Kit

Image from West Brom.

Last year Puma received a tonne of credit for their incredible collection of kits for West Brom. I’m very happy to see that the brand have returned to the formula which worked so well last year, most of all because we get to see another green and yellow striped masterpiece.

The stripes are thinner in 2019 but by no means inferior. I also miss the retro crest, but the modern edition is brought into fold well colour wise. It’s the same story with the Puma logo (delicately outlined in yellow to avoid getting lost in the stripes) and sponsor. We also have stripes on the back of the shirt, a novelty which you just don’t find with many other manufacturers.

1. AC Milan 2019/20 Home Kit

Image from Puma.

Remember when AC Milan were kings of the shirt world?

Don’t get me wrong, the Rossoneri rarely have a bad shirt on any given year, but when I think about it there are precious few kits that stand out across the past 10-15 years. This year’s edition however is one of my favourite kits across all teams, and it’s a design which is as clean as they come.

The thin stripes are reminiscent of early Milan kits from the 80s and before (a look which was also brought back for a centenary shirt in 1999), and Puma have executed the retro look to perfection with stripes on the sleeves and back. There are no distractions with the collar or sponsor either, and unlike many other brands this looks like a design which has the club’s interests in mind before a manufacturer’s identity.

Honourable mentions

Image from Newcastle.

Newcastle Third

Oxford Away

Barnsley Third

Dortmund Cup

Monchengladbach Home

Valencia Away

Phil Delves

Grab a brew, and let's talk about subliminal geometric patterns.