Top 8 Umbro Football Kits of 2019 - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Picking out the best Umbro shirts is like picking out the best pizza toppings: they're all good.
The best kept secret in shirts is no longer a secret.
For the past few years, Umbro have been steadily laying the groundwork for an assault on the kit establishment. Don’t get me wrong, the brand has a long and strong legacy when it comes to shirt design, but at the start of the decade in an increasingly competitive environment, their fabled name was turning into more of a flicker than a flame.
That narrative has been completely reversed now and, from my perspective at least, Umbro are one of the most desirable brands in football this year. It’s no surprise that a growing number of clubs seem to be adopting the company as their kit partner of choice, with the 2018/19 season proving to be something of a contemporary watershed.
I assumed last year was a peak we wouldn’t see again for a long time, but if anything this year looks as good as 2018 if not better.
If it sounds too good to be true, have a gander at these 8 masterpieces.
NOTE: This blog will be updated with any new Umbro kits that come out following the initial publication date
8. Derby 2019/20 Home Kit
There are several shirts who would be more than deserving of a place on this list, but beating out some stiff competition is Derby’s 2019 home kit. I’m a big fan of a good sleeve pattern, and Umbro have taken that approach by creating what looks to me like a blend of the recent, Juventus ‘zebra sleeve’ shirt and the latest kits for Slovakia.
The bold stripey sleeves work particularly well in the classic white and black colour scheme, and a shoutout to one of the best crests in football at the moment.
7. Hearts of Oak 2019/20 Home Kit
In the world of glorious football club names, Hearts of Oak stand tall alongside other pioneers of the genre such as Go Ahead Eagles and Kaizer Chiefs. And this season, they’ll have a set of kits to match their legendary name.
Umbro have kitted out Ghana’s most famous club with a striking, unique design for 2019, featuring a red base and a series of yellow and blue parallelograms. It’s memorable and a lot of fun, and to cap off proceedings we have an appearance of Umbro’s double diamond cuffs, one of my favourite features from last season which has been brought back for a number of clubs this year, much to my personal delight.
6. Leones Negros 2019/20 Third Kit
Over the years Leones Negros have dabbled with what I will call the ‘Pumas approach’. It’s the strategy of sticking a large animal head dead centre of your design, making it the standout feature of the kit.
Whilst they’ve rarely reached the heights of a Pumas shirt, they’re giving it a right good go this year. Their incredible third shirt, which uses their symbolic lion head as a subliminal pattern across the body of the shirt, is a design feast with one of the most interesting sponsor integrations I’ve seen. The marl texture throughout is very pleasing to look at, and like a couple of other shirts on this list everything is finished off with Umbro’s signature cuffs.
5. PSV 2019/20 Away Kit
Some of my favourite PSV kits over the years have been the ones that have utilised the flag of North Brabant, the region where the club are based. That flag is essentially a checkerboard of red and white, and it’s been used in a variety of ways from subtle trim on a collar to the full body of a shirt.
In 2019, Umbro have taken the checkerboard and warped it across both sleeves. It’s a look which reminds me of Croatia’s kit in 2016, for the checkerboard of course but more so the shape of it. The result is wonderfully creative, and a vibrant colour scheme of black and orange adds a lot.
4. Puebla 2019/20 Home Kit
I love Mexican shirts.
Multiple sponsors are by no means exclusive to the country, but there’s undoubtedly something extra special about many Mexican club sides. They just seem to go the extra mile when it comes to sponsorship, and as a result their kits often seem to have an extra level of charm, even if they're not one for the purists.
Club Puebla’s latest home shirt manages to combine both the charm of excessive sponsorship, with the quality of a shirt design that would rival anything across the world. We have essentially just two colours (a big tick in my book), a glorious sash which boasts a subliminal pattern and a plethora of supporting details including yes, those cuffs again.
3. West Ham 2019/20 Away Kit
I really enjoyed West Ham’s kits last year. Umbro did a great job at keeping things relatively understated, whilst avoiding the danger of playing it too safe. But this year, we’ve been given a huge helping of nostalgia in the best possible sense.
2. Atlético Tucumán 2019/20 Home Kit
I’ll be honest, I haven’t come across Atlético Tucumán many times on my travels. However, they are now one of my favourite teams for two reasons.
The first is their superb nickname: The North Giant. Any nickname that sounds like it’s been lifted from the script of Game of Thrones (as bad as it was in Season 8...) is a win in my book. But the second, more important reason, is their new home kit.
A hyper-fashionable open collar starts things off very well at the top, and perfectly weighted light blue stripes only help. A tasteful sponsor adds a lot to the look too, and other sponsors are included as subtly as possible. Much like the Puebla shirt before it, this is the perfect balance of flair and class.
1. Everton 2019/20 Away Kit
Colour is everything in football shirts. Get it wrong and you’ll always be on the back foot. Get it right and there’s every chance you’ve got a classic on your hands.
Sometimes the best colour choices are those recurring themes that club’s often have, a shade which comes around every 5-10 years but isn’t overused. In Everton’s case, that colour is salmon (or coral, or any other variation). It was a colour used in the early days of the club, and it’s been brought back a handful of times over the years. The 2019 iteration of the theme is glorious, with a number of pleasing design details including diagonal shadow stripes, gradients and a perfect amount of grain throughout.
Forget mint coloured kits, more people need to be jumping on salmon shirts.
Hull City Home
Cape Town City Away
Blackburn Rovers Away
Thanks for checking out this Top 8. I’m working my way through all the major brands in football, so be sure to keep checking back to FOOTY.COM for the latest and greatest from 2019.
And if all this has got you in the mood for a bargain, I compile a weekly list of cheap football kits which you might be interested in. Your wallet has been warned...