With no football to be played, we’re taking the chance to talk a bit of kit this week with the recent leaks of next season’s Nike offerings fresh in our memory having us thinking of some of the best and worst Liverpool have worn over the years.
Last time out, we took a gander through the years of Liverpool home kits. Spoiler: they were all red. Still, even sticking to a mostly red (and a little bit of white) palate there was a lot of variation and a lot of potential options to choose from. Nothing like the options available when we start digging into the change kits, though.
Here, then, are our favourites from each kit manufacturer. Take a look and then let us know if we missed your obvious, obviously best, pick.
Adidas 2011-12 Away
Almost any Adidas away kit from the 80s could have been here, and their grey Candy kit as well as their take on the yellow Crown Paints kit are genuine club classics. We’re looking to Adidas’ second run for our choice, though, and it might have something to do with their misfires from that period making their bangers stand out just a little bit more. And of said bangers, none more bangered than the 2011-12 charcoal away kit. It was Adidas’ final year making Liverpool’s kit, and while their home offering was bland and their third a stomach-churning white and blue with a weird-ass shoulder slash number, that away kit. Well. In a year the Reds failed to hold on to the momentum brought by FSG and Kenny Dalglish mid-way through the season before and slumped to eighth, there were times that charcoal grey kit with red detailing and subtle silver pinstripes was the best thing going for them.
Warrior 2014-15 Third
Warrior consistently gave Liverpool some of the worst kits in the club’s history, and their change kits were especially egregious—that 2012-13 diving suit, the obsession with tribal patterns, the weird attempts at colour blocking. Somehow, though, they also quietly put out one of the better—and more unique—change kits the club have ever had, a rather unusual nod to South American kits with dark grey and black hoops overlaid by a red and black sash. It sounds a little busy, but it just worked. Unlike so many of their other attempts to play around or think outside the box. So of course then it felt like Liverpool never actually wore the damn thing.
Reebok 1998-99 Away
A lot of what Reebok tried in the 90s didn’t quite come off, both home and away, but they did at least help to revive the white shirt, black shorts combo as a proper Liverpool away staple thanks to three variations on the theme—a theme that had largely been absent for two decades after being the club’s go-to away look for much of their history before then. And of the options, we’re going with their first and most classic take on it, clean and—rather disconcertingly from a modern perspective—weighty and billowing in all its late-90s glory. The collar, the thick stripes, and the slightly tweaked badge. It all comes together perfectly.
Umbro 1981-1984 Away
Crown Paints. Pinstripes. Fat Collars. Yellow. Picture a Liverpool away kit in your mind and there’s a decent chance this is one. And it’s probably being worn by Kenny Dalglish with his arms raised in triumph. It’s the obvious choice. It’s the only choice.
New Balance 2018-19 Away
New Balance deserve a lot of credit for dialling back the sartorial excesses of the Warrior years and introducing a darker shade of red for the home kit, but they still played around a little with the alternates. Sometimes that paid off and sometimes, well, it ended up a neon green monstrosity. In 2018-19 it really, really worked. If you told people you wanted to do a purple and orange Liverpool kit, nobody would imagine it could look good. And yet it did. Somehow. It wasn’t their only strong away offering, but it gets bonus marks for taking a big risk and having it pay off, and for many Liverpool fans it was the best change kit the club had since Adidas’ charcoal number that ended their run with the Reds and kicked off our list here today.