Home: white shirt with black trim, black shorts, black socks
Away: dark/charcoal grey shirt with khaki sleeves and white trim, cream shorts, cream socks
Coach: Joachim Löw.
After the break with tradition and the World Cup winning “chevron” design, the DFB and kit creators Adidas immediately switched back to a more traditional design for the home Trikot released in late 2015 in time for the international friendly against France in Paris. That evening, November 14th, would sadly be remembered more for the horrific attacks in the French capital rather than either the result or the German team’s new outfit.
The kit change would see not just a return to a classic plain white and black design, but also to the black shorts which replaced the somewhat controversial all-white look. But there was a little twist with the introduction of black socks. Following the largely negative reaction to the “chevron” design, the 2015 was far better received by both pundits and supporters.
They key to new design is its simplicity. Design features and the use of additional colour are both minimal and subtle. From a distance the shirt looks plain white, but on closer inspection there is a very fine design feature that runs down the centre from the neck to the base. This vertical design is slightly random and has no obvious meaning, and one can only assume that it is one of the many intricate features Adidas have included to differentiate the genuine article from cheap imitations.
The solid black round neck harks back to the classic design sported in the 1974 World Cup, with a touch of modernity on the inside, with features a thin horizontal strip in the colours of the German national flag, accompanied by the legend “Designed and Engineered in Germany”. The use of English rather than German is a clear suggestion that the Mannschaft are looking beyond their home support towards a more international audience and fan base. The back of the neck carries the same thin strip in black, red and gold.
Perhaps the biggest obvious change compared to previous designs comes with the implementation of Adidas’ famous three stripes. We are usually used to seeing these on the shoulders, but the latest design run sees them moved to the sides of the shirt. The design may not sit well with some and initially looks a little strange, but the three black stripes running down the length of the shirt from under the armpit through to the base provides a neat and tidy contrast. The cuffs of the home shirt are black, with thin slivers of red and gold.
Mats Hummels in the 2016 Heimtrikot, against Slovakia at Euro 2016
There is also a return to tradition with the application of the national crest. While the 2013 shirts featured a modern-looking plastic national eagle roundel, the new design sees good old-fashioned machine stitching. The national eagle is stitched in standard black thread and is crowned by the four black World Cup winning stars, and the Adidas logo is also stitched in black. Sitting proudly in the centre is the gold FIFA World Cup winners’ patch. There is a very simple “Climacool” logo in black lower case letters, situated on the bottom of the shirt on the right.
The white shirt is teamed with equally simply black shorts with the three vertical Adidas stripes in white, with the national crest on the left. The socks are black with three white horizontal stripes, and the four stars in white running down vertically. Overall, the kit ticks every box marked “traditional”, “classical” and “German”.
Having made its debut on 15th November 2015, this white Trikot would not even last a year. On 11th November 2016, it was replaced by a new design to be worn at the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017.
As far as memories go, there are few. The 2016 European Championship promised much but didn’t deliver, and either side of the tournament there was little to speak of. If any one player could be associated with the shirt, it would be for one special moment at the Euros against Ukraine in the group phase. Just moments after coming on as a late substitute, Bastian Schweinsteiger scored a memorable goal to seal a 2-0 victory. After his long-running battles with injury, it was a truly emotional moment for the German captain.
In stark contrast to the clean, simple and somewhat understated home shirt, the away Trikot for 2015 is clearly intended to push boundaries and play to the fashionable crowd. While the white short plays to established history on the pitch, the new-look grey and khaki design takes its cues from German football’s modern street culture.
The shirt is a mid-grey, with thin horizontal hoops in a slightly darker shade of grey – which when looked at closely consists of closely compacted horizontal dark grey pinstripes. While the hooped design is new, the colour grey has featured in national shirt designs before, including the charcoal-grey away shirt from 2002-2004 and a dark grey presence on the 2000-2002 home shirt. Like the recently-launched home shirt, the black round neck is straightforward and fashionably retro.
Contrasting gently with the two shades of grey are khaki green sleeves with black cuffs. A gentle nod, perhaps, to the old DFB green tradition. Like the home shirt the three Adidas stripes have been shifted from the shoulders to the sides, running horizontally from the armpits in strongly contrasting white. The Adidas logo is machine stitched in white thread, as is the national crest which sits on top of a black disc. Sitting above the national eagle are the four championship stars, also in white, while the gold FIFA world champions badge looks a little out of sync with the colour scheme.
Toni Kroos in action in the stripy grey Auswärtstrikot against England in Berlin
In addition to sporting its somewhat strange colour combination, the 2017 Auswärtstrikot is also the first design to be fully reversible. Turn it inside out, and you end up with what a lime/neon green training bib. Sporting the maker’s name in fashionably old school style in black, the design also contains the slogan Bolzen. Kicken. Pöhlen – three words roughly meaning “kickabout” in regional street dialect.
The shorts accompanying the new grey-khaki shirt are as old school as you can get – a plain design in what can best be described as off-white, cream or ivory, with the national crest in black. The socks, also white, are topped in dark grey and khaki that matches the shirts, with the four championship stars in black.
Modelled for the first time for the public in Paris rather than Germany, the shirt was intended to make its debut in the friendly international against the Netherlands in Hannover on November 15th 2015. The abandonment of the game following a terrorist threat meant that it would makes its debut the following year against England in Berlin.
2016 UEFA European Championship, France: semi-finalists
2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, Russia: winners (away only, not worn)
White: v France, 14.11.2015, Paris
Team: Neuer – Rüdiger, Boateng (46. Mustafi), Hummels, Hector (33. Can) – Khedira (61. Gündoğan), Schweinsteiger (c) – Ginter (79. Volland), Müller, Draxler (61. Sané) – Gómez
Score: 0-2 (- / Giroud 45+1., Gignac 86.)
Grey: v England, 26.03.2016, Berlin
Team: Neuer – Can, Rüdiger, Hummels (45. Tah), Hector – Khedira (c), Kroos – Müller (75. Podolski), Özil, Reus (64. Schürrle) – Gómez (79. Götze)
Score: 2-3 (Kroos 43., Gómez 57. / Kane 61., Vardy 74., Dier 90+1.)
(The grey Trikot was originally meant to make its debut against the Netherlands in Hannover on 17.11.2015; the match was abandoned following a terrorist threat.)