Things have changed a bit since our last Authentic vs Replica jersey close-up, and it’s time to refresh the information so you can have all the tools to decide which version suits you better. This time we’ll take a different approach, devoting this whole piece for a Nike jersey comparison (the recently launched USA red third jersey), with other brands coming shortly.
Replica and Authentic? Why are there two versions?
Player needs and technology have been evolving in the past few years, and will continue to do so. Nike produces an elite product to help soccer players to perform at the top levels, introducing enhanced comfort, breathability and lightweight materials. This is what we have come to know as an Authentic or Match jersey, the exact same professional players use on-field. A Nike Authentic jersey costs around $165 right now.
On the other hand, fans give jerseys different uses, they wear them more often and most of the time outside the pitch. The focus on these jerseys is durability and comfort rather than on-field performance. That’s why Replica jerseys exist, to fulfill the needs of average – and hardcore – fans. To buy a Nike Replica jersey you will need around $90.
It is worth mentioning that not every national team or club has Match jerseys, most play with the same Replica jerseys sold to the fans. Top technologies are reserved for top teams and players. Let’s take a look to the main differences between both versions.
Authentic jerseys are designed with an athlete’s body and performance in mind. These feature close fitting to reduce graze between the skin and the fabric; the sleeves and body are slimmer than a Replica jersey, which features a more true-to-size fit that is closer to your usual clothing.
Professional players are not exactly fans of embroidered logos, the brush of the sewing against the skin can be distracting and even irritating for some of them. That’s why Nike came-up with heat pressed logos for the Authentic jerseys, reducing friction and the overall weight of the cloth.
As you may deduce, these logos are slightly more delicate than the usual embroidered ones, so you need to be careful when washing the jersey (cold water and reversing the jersey are good tips for this).
Embroidered logos will always have a more prominent look than heat-pressed ones, so it is only natural that fans may prefer this option to the one offered by Match jerseys.
We’ve mentioned the word ‘technology’ a couple of times in this post, so let’s get into more detail here. Authentic jerseys for the top teams in the Nike books feature the groundbreaking AeroSwift technology, which was launched in 2016 and made jerseys lighter and way more comfortable.
The texturized yarn used to create AeroSwift jerseys dries faster, while the knitting techniques allow a stronger construction and the introduction of small holes and breathability zones into the fabric, making the previously famous laser cut holes on the sides of Nike kits no longer necessary.
Replica jerseys still feature the good old Dry-FIT technology, made 100% of Polyester with moisture removal capabilities. These are slightly heavier than the Authentic jerseys, but still lighter than normal clothing.
Nike jerseys usually include some extra cool features that highlight team pride or history. Details differ from one version to another, and we’ll show you all of them now.
The USA authentic jersey features the ‘One Nation. One Team.’ motto knitted on the inner cuffs of each sleeve. This is absent from the Replica jersey.
The ‘USA’ name is featured on the back of the collar of both jerseys, knitted on the Authentic version and made of rubber for the Replica.
A special stamp is exclusive to the Replica version, placed on the inside, close to the hem.
The authenticity tag is slightly different from one version to another. The Match jersey is identified by a golden tag, whereas the Replica features the usual silver tag.
Which version is your favorite? Are you a fan of the Nike AeroSwift match jerseys? Shop Authentic and Replica USA jerseys at World Soccer Shop.