Football shirts have come a long way from the baggy beauties of the 90s; those glorious offerings that came complete with flamboyant collars and strings. Every inch of product in the modern game is determined by performance; anything to give the player a slight enhancement or advantage is assessed and developed. When it comes to jerseys are adidas contemplating bringing Primeknit to the game?

The humble football shirt is obviously an essential component of the beautiful game, with its base purpose of existence being for the identification of teams on the pitch. It’s as simple as that. At least it used to be. Over the last two decades however, as the game has advanced to the point where even the smallest margins can be seen as an advantage, brands have turned shirts into tools of the trade. Focusing not just on the aesthetics of the design, but more and more on the performance-enhancing functionality and what they can offer a player, their advancement is intrinsically linked to technological advances.

Primeknit 2-min.jpg

So what’s the next step in the evolution of the football shirt? They're already super-lightweight, tight fitting, sweat-wicking, so how does that develop? The answer could lie in the United States, and specifically in the other sport that goes by the moniker of football. Back in December 2017 adidas revealed the Primeknit A1 jersey for the Army All-American Bowl that took place in January 2018. That Primeknit debut was followed up this year with the 2019 iteration being worn by both East an West teams in the All-American Bowl. As well as this, several adidas collegiate programs have adopted the same design for the 2018/19 season. 

Touted as the evolution of the compression uniform system, Primeknit A1 places an emphasis on full range of motion, fit, form and function. A new body-mapping design features an all-new ribbed knit pattern on the chest and shoulder pads to produce a refined fit, while knit engineered mesh channels feature Climacool technology to provide enhanced breathability and cooling zones. Tech wise it's clearly the business, and aesthetically it could open up football jerseys to a completely new realm of graphic versatility.

Primeknit 1-min.jpg

Most of us are familiar with Primeknit thanks to its increasing popularity in sneaker and boot design, and it was this technology which enabled adidas to provide us with the first laceless boot to be worn at the top level of the game. The possibilities of the technology seem endless and adidas have made no secret in testing and developing it within other sports and across multiple products.

The Three Stripes have already dabbled with Primeknit in soccer jersey design. In June 2018 adidas released limited editions of the Germany World Cup home and away kits in Primeknit (below). While they were a little rough around the edges they were low-key drops to test the waters in a lifestyle market with a clear appreciation for football. They could be viewed as a concept of sorts; adidas fishing for feedback. They could continue to be a lifestyle product, or adidas could have bigger performance project plans.

Germany PK 3-min.jpg
Germany PK 4-min.jpg
Germany PK 1-min.jpg
Germany PK 2-min.jpg

While adidas have no immediate plans to dish out their top European football clubs with Primeknit match day jerseys, the Primeknit A1 jerseys are performing well in the US, and you can bet the conversations have already taken place at the Three Stripes HQ. On pitch or not, if the Germany home and away designs are anything to go by then we're ready. Knit away boys and girls.