FSC Approved – 2021 Porto away shirt
Porto have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with New Balance.
Since 2015, the tandem have consistently produced eye-catching shirts with a range of colourways and ideas on the away and third side in particular. From the daring brown away effort of 2015, to the star spangled black 2016 away or the art-inspired 2018 third, New Balance have continued to reach exciting heights.
Ahead of the 2021/22 season, the brand are bringing something strong to the table in the manner of their best efforts from recent times. Porto’s latest away shirt is a gorgeous getup that combines many of the best trends we’re seeing across the wider footballing landscape.
Let’s talk first about the pattern. I was immediately reminded about the aesthetic of Inter Milan’s training range from the season just passed. Across a number of different shirts, jackets and training wear, Inter employed a series of different patterns, with one particular look standing out. That pattern, a sort of mottled effect, stood out in particular, and a similar look can be seen on the 2021 Porto away shirt.
I make the comparison in the best possible sense; Inter’s shirts and training wear combined for one of my favourite collections across all teams last season. I’d even go as far as to say it was one of my favourite collections I can think of from the past 10 years. Given the production cycle of shirts, the Porto design would have been in the works long before the Inter gear hit the shelves, but regardless both parties are treading down an aesthetically pleasing path.
We should also mention the gold details. Gold details, and specifically gold details on black shirts, can be found everywhere at the moment, and for good reason. It used to be that gold details were more of thing for teams celebrating a trophy (or the occasional Real Madrid shirt), but their attractiveness has led to a marked rise in frequency across the board.
Simply sticking a gold badge on a shirt isn’t enough though; you need to make sound design choices. New Balance have done that, with a blissful shade of gold that perfectly complements the deep navy tones underneath. The chunky, plastic applications also lend themselves well to the overall look, and the consistency across the monochrome crest, brand logo and sponsor is exactly what you like to see.
A final word too on a wonderful detail at the bottom of the shirt. New Balance have majored on small, often hidden details in their shirts over recent years, and this tag more than continues the tradition. The words “Como Nós, Um de Nós”/”Like Us, One of Us” are embroidered in a beautiful, intricate, script. Details like this help make a shirt great, and though the majority of people will overlook something like this, it’s worth your attention.
Between the trendy pattern, luscious gold details and hyper-focused attention to detail, this Porto away shirt is both a celebration of the best contemporary ideas and a strong contender in it’s own right.
What is FSC Approved?
What makes a football shirt good? It’s a purely subjective question, right?
Whilst there are indeed a lot of subjective elements when it comes to shirts, there are still factors to consider. Sometimes, a design is notable for its unique aesthetic. The colourway, pattern or construction may have gone where no shirt dared to go before it, or it might simply be a particularly good utilisation of a classic approach. Other times, a legendary player elevates a design to immortality, even if the design in question would’ve been hard to pick out of a crowd before.
Our series FSC Approved will be a lovingly curated list of shirts that deserve to be in the conversation as good, possibly even great football shirts, no matter who you support or what your taste in shirts is. Old classics, new contenders, if it’s FSC Approved it’s as close to a certified banger as you can get.