Ranking every Ipswich Town away kit from the 21st century from worst to first

Andy Warren has ranked every Ipswich Town away kit from the 21st century

Andy Warren has ranked every Ipswich Town away kit from the 21st century - Credit: Archant

After Ipswich Town unveiled their new away kit for the 2021/22 season, ANDY WARREN ranks the Blues’ 21st century efforts from worst to first.

The new shirt is out, with the club unveiling their new white and black adidas number yesterday.

But it's surely not fair to throw it straight into the rankings immediately. We need to see it in the flesh, in action, before we can really have an opinion on it. If you were to really push me I'd tell you it's 'fine' but is definitely missing something on the sleeves and shoulders. A bit of black detailing there would do the job nicely. 

I think it will be a grower, though, especially when it's seen teamed with its accompanying black shorts and black lettering on the back.

To be going on with, here is every shirt from the 21st century in my ranking order.

The Ipswich Town players huddle up ahead of a penalty shootout at Peterborough in 2006. Picture: PAG

The Ipswich Town players huddle up ahead of a penalty shootout at Peterborough in 2006. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

15 - 2006/08 - Punch

I love white kits. I adore the simplicity and the class, which bodes well for Town's latest shirt, but this one just doesn’t do it for me.

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I can’t put my finger on why exactly. Maybe it’s just too plain, with no particular detailing to speak of. I know I don't like the red sponsor.

This was the last Punch kit ever worn by Ipswich Town as it continued to serve as the club’s away jersey for a season, even after the deal with Mitre had begun.

It had limited outings, though, with the much better black third kit often preferred. That feels like the right decision to me.

David Norris models the Mitre red away kit as he celebrates at Leicester in 2010. Picture: PAGEPIX

David Norris models the Mitre red away kit as he celebrates at Leicester in 2010. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

14 - 2008/10 - Mitre

I really don’t have much to say about this kit.

It’s red. It’s alright. Nothing more.

Jon Walters shows off Town's new black away kit for the 2010/11 season. Picture: ITFC

Jon Walters shows off Town's new black away kit for the 2010/11 season. Picture: ITFC - Credit: Archant

13 - 2010/12 - Mitre

I didn’t realise it had been quite so long since Ipswich had a black away strip. Nine years is a long time.

A lot of these early Mitre designs are pretty similar, really. Main colour flooding the body of the shirt with some secondary flashes around the shoulders and ribs in various different locations.

I've gone cold on this one.

Cole Skuse in the 2015/16 Barcelona kit at Blackburn. Picture: PAGEPIX

Cole Skuse in the 2015/16 Barcelona kit at Blackburn. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

12 - 2015/16 - adidas

I have agonised over where to put this shirt, along with its 2019/20 cousin. But this is where it’s ended up.

I don’t particularly like stripes if I’m honest. I can see why it was described as being like Barcelona, but it doesn’t transport me to the Nou Camp. I like the yellow adidas detailing, though.

It was a big seller but was barely worn due to the fact it was deemed to close to the home shirt in colour, while also being retained for another season as the club’s third shirt.

The Ipswich players disappointed after a disastrous second half at Ewood Park Picture Pagepix

The Ipswich players disappointed after a disastrous second half at Ewood Park Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

11 - 2018/19 - adidas

It pains me to put this shirt here because I actually really like it. Orange and black is classic and the zig zag pattern is nice. It’s striking and vibrant (even more vibrant when you see it in the flesh compared to pictures).

But no shirt, no matter how good it is, could style out the rainbow-coloured Magical Vegas logo. Using it on such a bright shirt as this was never going to end well.

For that reason this jersey was fighting a losing battle... which it did indeed lose.

I couldn’t put it any higher, sadly.

Cole Skuse beats Tom Adeyemi to the ball, while wearing the 2013/14 Mitre away kit. Picture: PAGEPIX

Cole Skuse beats Tom Adeyemi to the ball, while wearing the 2013/14 Mitre away kit. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

10 - 2013/14 - Mitre

For some unknown reason, I have a match-worn shirt previously belonging to Frank Nouble (acquired legally) stuffed in a box in our new office. I’ve barely been in there at all due to the pandemic and the box is piled under three or four others, so hopefully it’s still there and has survived the move.

The shirt itself is decent enough. Much better than Mitre’s previous red offering owing to the presence of black sleeves and shorts.

Luke Woolfenden at Shrewsbury Town.

Luke Woolfenden, Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes pictured at Shrewsbury last season - Credit: Pagepix Limited

9 - 2020/21 - adidas

The most environmentally friendly and sustainable kit in Ipswich Town's history saw adidas's new 'Prime Blue' material used in last season's away kit, made with recycled ocean plastic.

That gets a big thumbs up from me, of course it does. I'm led to believe the same material is used in this season's goalkeeper kits as well.

But in terms of its appearance, I liked it at first before enjoying it less and less every time I saw it in action. I don't really know why. The shorts were great, though.

At least it is something different. That's earned it some extra marks.

Now, if we were ranking the black and blue goalkeeping kit which went with it instead, we'd be looking at top spot for this kit. But we're not. It's mid-table. 

The Ipswich Town players away at Hillborough in 2017/18. Picture: PAGEPIX

The Ipswich Town players away at Hillborough in 2017/18. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

8 - 2017/18 - adidas

There’s no reason why I shouldn’t like this shirt, given it is faithful to many of my values. It’s simple, clean and was a good match with its home sibling.

But I can’t get away from the fact there’s no black to be seen on it, shorts aside. Swap the white adidas stuff for black and we’d be talking about medal contention.

James Norwood celebrates at Wycombe in New Year's Day in 2020. Picture: PAGEPIX

James Norwood celebrates at Wycombe in New Year's Day in 2020. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

7 - 2019/20 - adidas

I have a problem here. Really, I am ranking this based on it's 2019/20 outing as the official away shirt, which was worn with maroon shorts (better than 2015/16's navy ones for sure)

But then there is the issue of its 2020/21 reboot as the third kit, which was worn with a pair of teal and maroon shorts with yellow detailing and then yellow socks. It's a beautiful combination.

But I have to stay true and rank the original version, even if the new shorts and socks help this kit rank higher than the actual 2020/21 away kit.

I don’t know how to describe the condition of the blue stripes on this shirt. Dissolved? Pixelated? Either way, I like them on this shirt because it doesn’t make the overall jersey look as harsh as the 2015/16 one and meant it was able to be worn more often.

The first one was worn with navy shorts, the latter with maroon, which I prefer.

That’s why I ranked it higher.

Cameron Stewart pictured in the 2016/17 away kit. Picture: PAGEPIX

Cameron Stewart pictured in the 2016/17 away kit. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

6 - 2016/17 - adidas

There’s nothing I really dislike about this kit. It’s classy, it’s simple and it’s clean.

Personal preference tells me it would have looked better with black adidas detailing rather than blue... the new shirt could benefit from the sleeves/shoulders I think.

Darren Currie celebrates at Millwall during the 2004/05 season

Darren Currie celebrates at Millwall during the 2004/05 season - Credit: Archant

5 - 2004/06 - Punch

Not the best orange design but not the worst either.

A love how much black there was on this kit, particularly on the long-sleeved version, as well as the fact it was worn with black shorts and hooped socks.

It had the Town crest faded into the material as well which was perfectly of its time, even if the sponsor logo was far too big.

Ipswich Town's Luke Chambers gets airborne during the npower Football League Championship match at S

Ipswich Town's Luke Chambers gets airborne during the npower Football League Championship match at St Andrews, Birmingham. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

4 - 2012/13 - Mitre

This shirt has everything I like about white jerseys. It’s mainly white, but the contrast given to it by the black really helps it shine.

Simple yet effective. A thumbs up from me.

Marcus Bent in action against FK Sartid in the UEFA Cup

Marcus Bent in action against FK Sartid in the UEFA Cup - Credit: Archant

3 - 2002/04 - Punch

I have a fondness for this kit. At the time it was described as being ‘Bayern Munich-like’ but that’s not really a fair description of the colour. In our house we called it ‘red wine’.

Fans were asked to choose between this shirt and another in the same colour. The supporters made the right choice.

The colour goes well with the navy sleeves and the two white stripes down the sleeves look good (even if they resemble knock-off adidas replicas from the market). Simple, yet effective.

Was worn with both blue and white shorts. The blue looked better.

The only complaint is that the sponsor logo was maybe a little small, with the club perhaps overcompensating for this with the following shirt’s massive Powergen logo.

Jamie Clapham in action at Everton in 2002. Picture: PAGEPIX

Jamie Clapham in action at Everton in 2002. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

2 - 2000/02 - Punch

This is a classic case of using the exact same design as the home strip and simply switching the colours, which I’m all for. We need more of it.

Interestingly (at least I find this interesting), the white version of the iconic promotion-winning, Europe-qualifying home shirt wasn’t introduced until Ipswich were already in the Premier League.

It’s not remembered in the same way as the home version but this is still a firm favourite. Black and white strips get me going, so this one does the business in my opinion.

Muted celebrattions from Freddie Sears and the Town players at the final whistle at Ewood Park

Muted celebrattions from Freddie Sears and the Town players at the final whistle at Ewood Park - Credit: Pagepix

1 - 2014/15 - adidas

Every single time I’ve ever done any kind of kit ranking articles, be it Ipswich Town, Championship, League One or otherwise, my natural inclination is to put a white shirt at the top of the list. Either that or anything created by the colourblind folk at Bristol City – their purple and green efforts are beautiful.

So it’s come as something of a surprise to me that I’ve given the title to this orange shirt from the 2014/15 season. It may be a different story next season, especially if the new kit is a promotion-winner.

But I absolutely love it. I don’t think the simplicity of this jersey would have worked if it had been made by any other company than adidas, with the three stripes working perfectly.

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