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The best and worst Colorado Rapids kits of all time

Burgundy Wave writers weigh in on their favorite jerseys (and which ones they’d rather forget).

Wizards v Rapids X

As we continue our jersey week here on BW, it seemed only natural that we share our opinions on the best—and worst—Colorado Rapids kits of all time.

Matthew Perry - @RapidsRecall

BEST: 2016 home kit

This jersey was part of the amazing run to the Western Conference finals, including the exciting 2016 semifinal against the L.A. Galaxy. My boys and I were at that match and it was by far the most exciting sporting event we’ve ever attended.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids
The 2016 home kit.
Photo by Michael Reaves/The Denver Post via Getty Images

WORST: 2016 away kit

Yeah, yellow—no! I realize that these colors of the yellow torso and blue arms represent the Colorado flag (which is beautiful, by the way). I really have no other rational reason for disliking this. It’s just—no.

Brian Jennings - @MLSfrom5280

Brian has been covering the Rapids for awhile, so he had a very solid list of the best and worst.

BEST:

2002 Kappa home: A true classic. During the baggy jersey era, Kappa was ahead of their time with the form-fitting (if your physique could get away with it) tops, matched with black shorts was the best. Green was so distinct, it’s no wonder Rapids fans clamor for its return every other season.

2017 adidas secondary: Another strong take loosely based on the Colorado state flag using alternative colors. Bold, bright yellow with distinct blue sleeves and perfect red accents of “5280” and “C” for a state that has tremendous pride in its flag.

2008 adidas third: A cult classic amongst Rapids fans. Rarely worn, distinct in its departure from usual colors, and some really cool design features like small RAPIDS on back neck and use of sublimated side sections with areas of cooler, breathable mesh. The only other mostly-white kit I’ve ever liked.

2006 adidas home: This rebrand in 2005 was a 180-degree change from the past. Black and blue vertical stripes had a Euro-wannabe feel but was the only thing like it in MLS prior to Montreal showing up. Very strong looking on the pitch, and the early days of the Adidas run was an improvement over the original Athletica design.

2010 adidas home: Burgundy as part of the rebrand was a bold, but strong choice. This version is cleaned up, and even though there’s not a sponsor logo, it’s simple statement was perfect for a side that scrapped to an MLS Cup title.

Colorado Rapids v Chivas USA
The 2005 away kit.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

WORST:

1996 Puma road: Even in a time of atrocious mid-90s design, this was bad. The green/gold sleeves, weird chevron/tiger stripes on cuffs, to different Rapids logos on the front….forgettable.

Anything with Ciao sponsor logo: A shady deal at best saw the club hope for so much more going forward with their first jersey sponsor deal, only to have it pulled from under them prematurely.

2004 Athletica road: Never been a fan of all-white kits. This one was boring at best, and Athletica?.....really?

2007 adidas home: First year of the rebrand and while the color was distinctive and very “Colorado”, carrying on the trend of RAPIDS on the front along with the new logo not necessary. Glad it was pulled soon after.

2005 adidas road: For me, just too much design work going on. It looks like those superhero t-shirts you get at theme parks to make yourself look like you have robot pecs or cyborg abs – just ridiculous even for my weird taste.

Sean Curtis - @scurtis2611

BEST: A tie between both of the 2013 kits

The primary had the typical color scheme of burgundy and white, but it also had the names of all the season ticket holders written across it in the form of stripes. To this day, I love the color scheme, and the ode to the season ticket holders was unique as special. The secondary kit was the iconic blue kit modeled after the Colorado flag. It had the C across the stomach and the red and yellow accents for the crest and shoulder stripes to match the flag. It was another unique and creative design that will forever stick in my mind.

MLS Soccer - Los Angeles FC v Colorado Rapids
The 2019 away kit.
Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

WORST: The Black Diamond away kit in 2019

It was given an exciting name and a ton of advertising, but then just ended up being a basic white kit. To make it all worse, it was just a Rapids version of a number of MLS kits around the league. It lacked any originality or excitement, and it was just a bit of a letdown.

John Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

BEST: 2013 warm-up jersey

After the team moved to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and the Club rebranded, the solid color kits caught my fancy. I also started photographing the team consistently during the 2010 and 2011 season, both at home and away, and witnessed the evolution of the Rapids Adidas kits.

In particular, the 2013 pregame warm-up jersey, appealed to my sense of clean art. With primary white color, and hint of powder blue, bold burgundy stripes and subtle badge against the green pitch and colorful stands, made for hundreds of photogenic images when the Pids came onto the field to loosen up.

To this date, that jersey, especially with mighty Marvel Wynne flexing his muscles in it, ranks number one on my favorite Colorado Rapids’ jersey list. Perhaps someday in the future it will be elevated to the ranks of being the 1st team’s official away kit. Food for thought, Rapids Front Office!

The 2013 pregame warm-up shirt.
John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

WORST: 1999 home kit

Soon after moving from San Francisco to Denver in 2003, my young family and I became fans of the Colorado Rapids. As fans know, then played below the bright orange seats that encompassed Mile High Stadium.

I was not a fan of their multi-color, half-wavy, half-striped and rather busy kits during that era. To be direct, I experienced forms of motion sickness when I stared to long at them going up and down the field.

Paul Bravo #9
The 1999 home kit.

Marcus Valdez - @marcusvaldez

BEST: 2013 away kit and 2010 home kit

I love the blue jersey with the colorado flag background. I feel like that was such a cool shirt and was so different then all the others at the time.

I also like the burgundy 2010 MLS Cup winning jersey. It was an awesome kit in classic colors that we have kept for years. I loved that it had a collar and I think every couple of years a good club has a collar on the shirt.

2010 MLS Cup - FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

Abbie Mood - @abbiemood

BEST: 2018 home kit

I think there are few color combos better than burgundy with sky blue accents, and this home kit looked sharp. The club had moved to the burgundy color scheme a few years’ prior, but this is the one that nailed the entire look from top to bottom.

Rapids v Burn X
The 2001 away kit.

WORST: 2001 away kit

The 2001 away kit had two things that I just don’t like: all-white and a weird collar. I absolutely hate the collars that make jerseys look like polo shirts (sorry Marcus) and I almost chose the 2007 away kit for that very reason, but the 2001 away jersey looks like a rash guard. The all-white was see-through when the players got sweaty, while the awkward sleeve length, dark stitching, and round, close-to-the-next collar really completed the whole surfer look.

From the Fans

Some fans also shared pictures of them in their favorite kits.

Shane Stephenson on Facebook

@JodyCrobins on Twitter

Which Colorado Rapids kits do you love and hate?