How Football Kits Have Changed

Moisture wicking fabric technology revolution!

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it," William Arthur Ward once said and, though the inspirational writer probably never played a game of football in his life, his famous words certainly inspired football manufacturers to take the technology used in football clothing to a whole new level.

Decades ago, if you were lucky, your football shirts were made out of 100% cotton that at least allowed your body to breathe a little, but still ended up a soggy mess on really hot days. If you played at the poorer end of the market you probably made do with polyester shirts that chafed, and had an annoying habit of pulling your chest hairs out as you jumped to head the ball.

20 years ago, Nike pioneered a change in the type of materials used in football shirts, and their unique Dri-Fit technology was an instant hit with professional football players who praised its ability to keep them cool and also stretch with them as they moved. Its popularity soon spread to the amateur ranks, where ripped out chest hairs soon became a thing of the past, and from that moment onwards manufacturers have been constantly striving to make football kits ever comfier and even more practical.

Nike's original and continuing innovations means that they now manufacture the kits of many of the world's football clubs, including one of the giants of the modern game in Barcelona. Their kits continue to embrace Nike's Dri-fit technology, which has been improved further and now keeps players cool by wicking away sweat from a player's body. This is done by the specially designed material which not only allows sweat to be moved away from the body but also allows it to evaporate.

Nike's biggest market rival Adidas weren't far behind Nike in introducing their own range of technology led football kits knows as their Climacool range. The Adidas technology uses mesh panels to allow micro ventilation which allows air to get to the skin and cool players down, and Adidas are now this season's proud new manufacturers of Manchester United's football kit.

Other brands to get in on the act include Umbro who manufacture the Evolution X range which the England squad train in, whilst DryCell from Puma, and Warrior's War Tech Technology (as worn by Liverpool FC) are also popular.

Whilst these brands are currently popular with football players everywhere, technological advancements certainly haven't stopped there, and there's now even the E39 kit from Under Armour that can record certain player experiences by using sensors (as worn by Spurs). Not only can these sensors record a player's movement, they can also monitor his breathing and heart rate, allowing those that are interested to know how his heart rate spikes when he's given the responsibility of taking a penalty, or even when he's on the receiving end of a bad tackle.

Of course bad tackles are commonplace in football, and this is the reason that shin pads must be worn at all levels of the game. Shin pad design has also come a long way over the years with modern technology allowing manufacturers to produce more lightweight and flexible shin pads without compromising safety. Yet, up until recently, players were still struggling with the discomfort of wearing shin pads, and also the many skin conditions wearing shin pads can cause such as rashes, contact dermatitis and allergic reactions.

At Shinnerz we imagined that we could invent a way of combating these conditions, so we achieved it, creating an inner sock/shin tube which has been technologically designed to wear under the shin pad to combat these conditions by preventing the build-up of sweat and bacteria, therefore helping to avoid any allergic reaction to the neoprene used in shin pads.

This is why many professional and amateur sportspeople are now turning to Shinnerz.

Shinnerz are also great fun as they can be personalized in individual or team colours, and even add an additional option for sponsors to get involved.