The Denver-based franchise has been around for over two decades, going through periods of sustained success, rebuilds and rebrands.
Through the quarter of a century of their existence, the Rapids have donned various colour schemes.
Purchasing a Colorado Rapids jersey is not an obvious choice of home or away, such is the variety between their previous kits.
There are retro selections aplenty, barely recognisable for those who associate the burgundy and sky blue with the Rapids.
Yet to lift the Supporters’ Shield, the Rapids have not enjoyed the same success as some of their fellow MLS founders.
There are natural disadvantages to playing in Colorado, particularly when trying to fight with Los Angeles and New York teams for talent. Some can point to misfortune along the way too.
They might not have had David Beckham or Andrea Pirlo pull on a Colorado Rapids jersey, but the fans in Denver are just as committed as their peers on the coasts.
It’s an impressive sporting city, home to the Nuggets, Broncos, Rockies and Avalanche.
These Rapids are competing for attention, and while they are in the shadow of some of their neighbours, you’re bound to see a Colorado Rapids jersey or two if you wander around the city.
Previous Colorado Rapids Colours
Early Colorado Rapids jerseys were based on white and green colour schemes.
The franchise’s first kit was a white body with green and yellow patterns across the shoulders and sleeves before Reebok introduced a full, darker green top.
The always-brilliant Kappa got involved in the late-1990s. A wide-collared shirt made an appearance around the turn of the century, again working with a white base and green trim across the right-side.
Green and white remained the foundation until the noughties when the franchise switched things up again. However, the infamous Colorado Rapids scarves are still primarily green and white around Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
A change in logo and major rebrand saw the Rapids move away from their original white and green, switching it up with a standard vertical stripes in black and blue.
Generic white away kits were matched up with these Inter Milan-style home jerseys.
These kits becoming slightly less inventive coincided with a move away from the club’s original logo. They switched to a circular badge around a football, which had a bit of a PES feel.
They persevered with the striped home jerseys and generic white away kits up until the club’s third and final rebrand in 2007. No longer going for the Inter look, the Rapids switched their colours up.
Burgundy and sky blue became the franchise’s main colours. The burgundy has primarily been the base for the home strips often with sky blue trim.
Special edition kits have occasionally moved away from this scheme, but Adidas and the Rapids have generally stuck to the burgundy and sky blue theme pretty strictly since 2007. Away kits have often remained white, though now featuring burgundy and light blue trim.
Best Colorado Rapids Jersey
Picking out a best Colorado Rapids jersey, it serves us well to look into the past.
The more recent releases from Adidas have often lacked invention and imagination. Kappa are traditionally producers of some classics, and that’s the case here.
The 1999 to 2001 home and away kits are belters. Both in the club’s green and white, Kappa went for the mirror image, with the home featuring white as the base with green trim and vice-versa for the away strip.
Sweeping lines across from the right-side of the rib cage add to the nineties look of this kit. The off-centre numbers get a big thumbs up from us, too.
While sponsorship can encroach on a good-looking jersey, that’s not the case here, with the sleeve sponsors actually adding a bit of extra colour to the design.
Kappa’s 2002-03 home is one of our favourite Colorado Rapids jerseys as well. It’s less eye-catching that its predecessors, but the plain white with piping down the sides and shoulders works well.
With no front-of-shirt sponsorship, the large print of the franchise’s name makes this an unmistakeable jersey. Of course, it’s got the original logo, too.
More recently, it’s the away kits that really impress. The 2013-15 away is a blue shirt with yellow and red trim, comparable to the beautiful Colombia away kit worn at the 2018 World Cup.
Their 2015 away is equally reminiscent of a Colombia jersey with a yellow body, blue at the end of the sleeves and a red and blue Rapids logo.
Worst Colorado Rapids Jersey
Now this bit isn’t as fun. Unfortunately, Colorado Rapids jerseys haven’t all been as gorgeous as those Kappa creations.
The burgundy and sky blue colour combination might be common in football, but it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the nicest kits.
Some kits since 2007 have just followed an Adidas template. The 2014 to 2016 away is particularly uninspired, while the all-burgundy 2011-12 home kit doesn’t offer much.
In truth, it looks like something that you could order in bulk for a Sunday league team.
Worth Buying A Rapids Jersey?
The change in club designs have given Rapids fans a lot to choose from when picking their next Colorado Rapids jersey.
There are some lovely kits in this club’s relatively short history. At the same time, though, the more recent offerings have been too often dull.
It won’t be easy, but it’s well worth it if you can get your hands on one of the Kappa kits. Failing that, perhaps search for the 2013 to 2015 away jerseys.