By Richard Martin
Arena Football League uniforms have been interesting over the years to say the least. There was the Zubaz phase and the Russell Athletic phase where every uniform looked basically the same.
But there have been some very unique and interesting uniforms over the course of the past 31 years of the AFL. The following are my favorite AFL uniforms of all time.
#25 Los Angeles Cobras
Starting off the list is a simple uniform, but it’s very effective. The logo is very well done as the Cobra slithers around the L and the A. The three stripes on the sleeves have been done in almost every football league, but navy and gold is always a good look.
#24 Orlando Predators Scratch Numbers
The Predators have always had good uniforms. One of their best has to be the scratch numbers look. Add in their always excellent logo on the sleeves, and this is a very nice uniform.
#23 Toronto Phantoms
This is always the team that gets brought up when talking about strange pro sport team names. Phantoms is an interesting mascot choice, and the logo is just as interesting. While a simple uniform, the helmet with the skull on the front is a unique look.
#22 LA KISS
Yes these are crazy uniforms but I don’t care, these are awesome. So much fire. Yes the team wasn’t very good but like the band KISS, they were a look you couldn’t turn away from.
#21 Minnesota Fighting Pike
I remember unlocking this team on the Arena Football Video game for the XBOX and it threw me off. My middle school mind had no idea what a pike was, but it was intimidating. The rest of the jersey is standard fair, but the sleeve stripes look nice. But this logo is one of the most unique in not just the AFL but in all of sports.
#20 Miami Hooters
A team named after the popular wing bar seems strange but they didn’t have a bad look. The helmet incorporates the old AFL logo and the Hooters logo perfectly, and the hidden owl on the sleeve is a nice touch. Everything else is kind of basic, but the logo does turn heads and maybe it did help sell some wings.
#19 Denver Dynamite
The Dynamite had an interesting color set. Going with a red logo but blue and gold jerseys is different to say the least. The uniform is pretty basic but the helmet pops with the banging bright red dynamite logo and gold and blue stripes. An interesting uniform that while doing a little actually does a lot.
#18 Detroit Drive
Powder blue always looks good. The Drive also have a simple but eye catching logo with the orange and blue star. Triple stripes again, but the orange and white pop off the powder blue. A great look that still holds up today.
#17 Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings
To be honest, I mostly just put this one on here because of the logo and the name. Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings is a mouthful, but a unique mascot. The bright silver helmets are nice, even though the jerseys are very copy and paste from the Russell Athletic days of the AFL, but the colors make it bearable.
#16 San Antonio Talons
The Talons had a very basic uniform but it looked very nice. The bright blue logo popped off the matte helmet for a great look. The unique pants stripes and Alamo type font looked very nice and gave the Talons a great look.
#15 Georgia Force
The Georgia Force always had unique uniforms. Incorporating the lightning on the sleeves was very nice, and the blue always popped with the black. The Force always looked nice and it’d be nice to see the Force come back soon.
#14 Utah Blaze
The Blaze may have had a standard Russel Athletic uniform, but the orange and black really popped. Add in the matte black helmet with the brightly orange outlined logo and you have a very nice uniform.
#13 Indiana Firebirds
It was kind of disappointing when the Albany Empire did not choose to return as the Firebirds. The Firebirds logo was cartoonish but was very fun. The jersey is par for the course around this time but the bright orange and black looked very good together, as did the red on the helmet logo.
#12 Grand Rapids Rampage
Speaking of unique logos, the Rampage had an interesting one. Not many teams use a rhino as a mascot, so this set stood out from the start. The red, black and silver also looked very nice together, and the different colored numbers were very different. Some have petitioned for the Rampage to return to the AFL, and they wouldn’t go wrong using this uniform set.
#11 San Jose SaberCats
Another copy and paste Russell Athletic jersey, but the SaberCats always had a cool logo. The giant SaberCat on the helmet is intimidating, and the font on the jersey is unique. While the jersey and pants may not be anything interesting, it’s a solid uniform that stood out from others around this time.
#10 New York Dragons
Dragons is an amazing mascot. So many possibilities and the New York Dragons utilized them all. The bright red helmet and numbers pop with the yellow outline and names. Plus the fire with the small dragon on the sleeves is a nice little detail.
#9 Houston ThunderBears
The ThunderBears were the Georgia Force first, in the fact that they used lighting very frequently on their uniforms. They look very nice but do sort of remind me of a Gatorade logo. The helmet logo with the bear claw palming the football is very nice.
#8 Columbus Destroyers
The Destroyers are back. I’m slightly disappointed that the new franchise has decided to go with black and silver, because the red, white and blue were fantastic. The all whites were the best. The red and blue popped on the numbers, and the stripes stood out well from the pants and helmet. Hopefully the 2019 Destroyers do a nice jersey close to this, but it’ll be hard to top.
#7 Oklahoma Wranglers
I thought about putting the Austin Wranglers here, but the Oklahoma version looked a lot more interesting. A solid logo that not only looked like an O and a W, but a rope “wrangling” the W. The horse down the side of the pants is nice, and the jersey numbers are unique.
#6 and #5 New Orleans Night and Tampa Bay Storm Zubaz
I don’t care what people say, the zubaz was cool. New Orleans zubaz was solid, but the Storm pulled this look off surprisingly well. It’s interesting and some people may say ugly, but it gets people talking.
#4 Anaheim Piranhas
The Predators had the scratch numbers, but the Piranhas had the bite numbers. The pants stripe reminds me of the Seattle Seahawks pants, meaning the Piranhas were ahead of the game. Ok maybe not but a solid uniform that had a lot going on but managed to make it work.
#3 Arizona Rattlers (2006)
I was not a huge fan of the updated Rattlers uniforms before they left the AFL. I felt like they were doing too much with the snake skin and trying to use too many colors. The old Rattlers uniforms did have a lot going on but it was subtle. The sleeve design honored the Southwest United States very nicely, plus the logo on the side on the pants looks very nice.
#2 Milwaukee Mustangs (1994-2001)
The original Milwaukee Mustangs had an amazing color scheme and logo. Purple and teal look very well together, just ask the Charlotte Hornets. The running horse logo is one of the best in the history of the league.
#1 Iowa Barnstormers
What else would it be? The Kurt Warner era Barnstormer jerseys are iconic, mostly for Warner’s success a few years later in the NFL. But these jerseys are fantastic. The wings on the front, the propellers on the side, and of course, the goggles on the helmet that are still with the team today. The Barnstormers look has stood the test of time, and truly is the greatest uniform in the history of the Arena Football League.