Kit release season in out in full force and West Ham United unveiled two out of their three new kits. The new Umbro home and away kits were released online Friday and are now available for pre-order.
The Home Kit
The classic blue sleeves have been dropped in favor of a blue cuff. The cuff is adorned with the classic Umbro diamond pattern. The full claret kit has subtle dark horizontal stripes which aren’t immediately noticed from a farther out view. This shirt harkens back to one of West Ham’s most iconic kits the 1982 kit and 2014 home kit.
Although the darker stripes don’t stand out as much as the white pinstripes, they still offer a nice contrast to a straight claret shirt. Fortunately for West Ham, Umbro didn’t completely copy Everton’s template which would have resulted in a heathered look with a stupid button.
Thankfully, Umbro didn’t give West Ham a collar or a button which almost always makes kits look absolutely ridiculous. They’re not playing golf, they’re playing football, no need for a collar.
The Away Kit
When it was announced that West Ham’s away kit would be teal a lot of fans rightfully moaned. Teal isn’t always a color that can be pulled off but with this kit Umbro pulled it off. The yellow crest and Umbro logo and a great contrast to the teal. Had it been the full color crest or claret it would have been lost and the kit would be pretty bad.
Again the sleeves feature the classic Umbro diamond and are a subtle addition to a fairly modern kit. Again Umbro showed great restraint and wisdom by not putting a button or collar on the kit.
When looking at with the full ensemble things break down just a bit in terms of both these kits. For me, they both look like pajamas. The lack of sharp contrasting colors on the kits gives them both a bit of a flat look when pair with their shorts and socks.
Out of the two the home shirt looks best on it’s own, but when paired with the shorts it looks like they’re ready to go to bed. Maybe it’s just the way the photos turned out, but I just get a sleepy vibe from it. The shirt on it’s own is better than last year’s version by a lot. I really like the horizontal stripes which I think West Ham should maybe adopt full time to distinguish themselves from the other Premier League teams with similar colors.
I like the teal but the black of last year was so sharp that the teal really doesn’t live up to how good that kit was. The teal shorts really make this one look like pajamas. I don’t know what color they could have been to make it look less sleepwearlike. The yellow socks are pretty jarring but make sense with the yellow crest. Compared to last year this kit falls short of the black.
Home kit: B
The shirt itself gets a solid A but the rest of the ensemble drops it down quite a bit.
Away kit: C
Again the shirt itself would be a bit higher but the whole kit is very average in my opinion.
Other kit news
Rumor has it that the third kit will be grey which would be a great color. Hopefully with claret writing and logos. Everton’s grey kit last year might have been the best kit in the Premier League and I think a claret version of that for West Ham would be amazing.
In other kit news according to West Ham World Umbro will not be the kit provider after their deal is up in 2020.
Instead West Ham will be in Nike gear starting in 2021. This is disappointing for a number of reasons. First, I think Umbro has done an excellent job with kits since taking over for Adidas. The training wear has been incredibly comfortable to wear and has been really good looking. Second, Nike will likely just give West Ham template kits like every other club and country they outfit. I would have loved if Under Armour had been able to pick up West Ham as not only do they offer great products but their designs for football teams has been fantastic. They did a great job with Southampton and Spurs, as well as St. Pauli.