Top kits at AFCON 2022: Who has the best threads at the Africa Cup of Nations?

The Africa Cup of Nations always delivers when it comes to well-designed and eye-catching national team uniforms, and this year’s tournament is no different.

Teams from across the continent, from mighty Nigeria and Ivory Coast to tiny Comoros, have arrived with their national pride on their sleeves, literally and figuratively.

From bold designs to classic callouts, this year’s competition is full of color, sparkle, and style. Here’s our pick from the lot, as the teams have done their best with the first round of group stage matches completed.

The best kits of the Africa Cup of Nations 2022

Below is a list of the top 10 kits at AFCON 2022. Each nation is listed along with its official kit manufacturer.

10. Cape Verde (Tempo Sport)

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The Austrian kit maker has done quite well here for the Blue Sharks. Two darker blue stripes in the middle, with the lighter blue background helping to stand out. Wave designs cover the kit and a neat looking shark peeks out from the bottom left of the jersey. An excellent design.

The only problem is that the dark blue shark is difficult to see on the dark blue background. It would be even better if that was more prominent.

9. Guinea (Mastia)

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The Irish kit maker was inspired by Guinea’s design on the country’s mascot, the National Elephants, sporting light tusks and an elephant silhouette printed on the jersey, behind tribal designs. Also notable are the fantastic shorts, which are yellow with red stripes down the sides with similar designs. An overall excellent kit, both subtle and intriguing.

8. Guinea-Bissau (Guisport)

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Guinea-Bissau partnered with a local kit maker for this tournament, and it paid off. The jersey they wore in the opening round match against giant Sudan is actually the least interesting of the bunch, but the four kits available for the Djurtus to wear are clean, fresh and exquisite.

The white with the black, red and yellow horizontal rhombus behind the number is our favorite, a spectacular design.

7. Egypt (Puma)

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Puma has had better tournaments overall, and while the Pharaohs’ strings are safe and clean, they jump very well. Subtle designs can be good, and the black on the shoulders goes very well with the deep and satisfying red color of the uniform. There is also a very subtle design within the red, a faint pattern that resembles hieroglyphics. Well done, although the team will have to play better than they did in the opening match against Nigeria to have a chance of claiming the title.

6. Sierra Leone (Umbro)

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Out of the blue, Umbro crushed him this tournament. This Sierra Leone kit may be divisive, but we love it. The home kit they wore to the opening game is a large shade of green interrupted by a stylish blue spot design at the bottom left.

The white away kit has a cleaner look with the flag under the collar. We are especially looking forward to seeing that third kit on display. It’s neon enough to attract attention without being painful.

5. Ivory Coast (Puma)

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It is almost the best Puma uniform in the tournament, but it does not beat Ghana. Ivory Coast has had some classy designs in the past, and this fits the bill perfectly. The broken vertical stripes are a great look, and it’s even better on the orange home uniform (bottom left in the tweet below) reminiscent of a number of the Elephants teams in the nation’s true heyday.

4. Mali (Airness)

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That Mali Eagle design is fantastic! In the center of the sternum, the eagle is supported by green, yellow and red stripes that resemble the wings of the eagle and reflect the colors of the country. The visitor kit is similar, with only the green background changed to white. It is an excellent creation of the French designer Airness.

3. Ghana (Puma)

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While Puma failed to produce anything really bold at this tournament, their more conservative designs still hit home. The Ghana kit is the best of the bunch, featuring a checkered pattern of pinstripes and faint stars below the centralized black star in the middle. The green numbers and the Puma logo pop out really well, and the background isn’t too ornate to ruin the design.

The home kit is even better, with a yellow background instead of the away kit’s white that really pops off the jersey, and black sleeves that complement each other very well.

2. Nigeria (Nike)

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It’s a shame that Nigeria wore their bland third kit in the opening match of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, but surprise is looming. The Nigerian home kit for this tournament, as seen above, worn by Victor Osimhen during a World Cup qualifier in November, is an absolute beauty.

A throwback to the legendary Nigerian kit of yesteryear, including the iconic 2018 kit. This is actually maybe too close to that, which fits it slightly for lack of originality, but is nevertheless a wonderful design in a vacuum. The vertical tooth pattern with a white center is bold and energetic.

1. Zimbabwe (Umbro)

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This kit is bold, and simply put, the result is spectacular. A yellow background with red, orange, green and black rips the chest from the shoulder. The colors reflect the nation’s flag and are eye-catching without being too distracting. The teardrop design is perfectly executed.

The yellow shorts and yellow socks continue the look, with the shorts sporting green numerals that highlight but don’t take away from the work done by the jersey. Overall, it’s a staggeringly brilliant kit, and Umbro gets bonus points for a brave design, because taking risks is always appreciated rather than something safe and easy that doesn’t blow up. Bravo.

The away and third party kits aren’t quite as bright, with a “thatched roof” design, but the home kit stands out above all the others.

Honorable mention: Burkina Faso goalkeeper kit

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We have to show the goalkeepers a little love, right? HervĂ© Koffi of Burkina Faso showed his in the first match of the tournament against Cameroon. The yellow kit with Burkina Faso’s red and green stripe in the middle is tan, finished off with a clean star in the center. Charming.