Marching on Together News

The Evolution of the Football Kit

08 Feb 2016 04:19pm, by Shields53

Football is a beloved, age-old game that has stood the test of time, however, it is much changed from those in the first league in 1888. The game has changed and evolved with the times and newer, more advanced technologies have had a resounding and influential impact on the game itself, as well as the pitch, the stadiums and the kit worn by everyone’s favourite players.


Believe it or not but the first recorded ‘football boots’ were worn by Henry VIII in the 16th century, they were heavy, leather boots that extended above the ankle – this design remained pretty constant and in the 19th century players were still wearing steel-capped work boots that had hammered in studs for slippery conditions. 1925 saw the first removable studs invented, a bad omen perhaps for Leeds United who just narrowly avoided relegation into the Second League. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that boots were finally designed below the ankle.

Football boots are now a complete dynasty to their own and players are paid to wear the newest technologies from brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma for all their games. Boots are now made as lightweight as possible with technologies such as Adizero making boots lighter and fit better – they are also better geared towards power and turning than they were in the past.

The Kit

Looks wise it is not hard to see the shift in football kit from only 15 or so years ago until now. Jerseys used to be made out of the most accessible and affordable material possible, such as 100% cotton, and the kit was generally full-sleeved and very baggy. One such example was during the pre and post war years, about the same era Leeds City made the transition to Leeds United FC, when a thick blue and gold shirt was worn emblazoned with the city’s coat of arms.


Jerseys are now a much tighter fit on the players, leaving little room for shirt pulling and allowing the player the best possible ventilation.

Technology wise kits have also been completely revolutionised with Nike’s DriFIT, which is made of cotton and recycled polymer. The kit keeps players cool and light, while optimising breathability by removing sweat to the surface of the kit for easy evaporation. Tottenham were the first to try out the E39 kit from Under Armour, which is fitted with the technology to record the heart and breathing rate of players. This allows couches and medical staff to evaluate the fitness and health of players during the game.

While new kit is sleek and more comfortable to play in, it seems that most people hold a special spot for the days gone by and vintage jerseys, like the retro football shirts from UKSS, which are still undeniably popular by both football and non-football fans alike.