Not sure on what jersey you’re going to get?
What’s the difference between a replica jersey and an authentic jersey? Are they that different?
Odds are you, or someone you know, have asked these questions before.
We have come up with a quick guide to show the differences between an authentic and replica jersey. Because of the variety of jerseys in the market, we thought it would be best-served if we shared some of the most common jerseys in the market: Nike, Adidas, Puma, and New Balance.
Replica jerseys are very similar to the jerseys that are seen in the field when it comes to style and appearance. A replica version of an official club or national team jersey often has a looser cut to provide a more comfortable fit for fans of all shapes and sizes.
A replica jersey might also use different materials to keep costs lower for fans who don’t need the elite performance benefits that professional players demand.
Authentic soccer jerseys, on the other hand, are identical in materials and fit to the jerseys worn by the professional players. Authentic jerseys often use more advanced materials and have a tighter fit than replica jerseys.
The team badges and brand logos on these jerseys are usually heat-pressed.
Occasionally, the authentic jersey may feature small aesthetic details not found on the replica version.
For example, inspirational words can be found woven underneath the sleeves on authentic Nike (AeroSwift) jerseys but not the replica versions.
Both authentic and replica jerseys are built with Nike’s popular, moisture-wicking Dri-FIT technology and are 100 percent polyester. An easy way to distinguish Nike authentic jersey from the replica is the gold authentic tag, found on the bottom right of the front panel of the shirt. This tag is silver on the replica edition.
Adidas’ authentic jerseys have an athletic fit. This is designed to decrease weight, wind resistance and any other distractions that could impact you negatively while playing. The replica is a more traditional, loose-fitting jersey.
On replica jerseys, the Adidas logo and team crests are embroidered, while on the authentic they are heat pressed. Again, this is to decrease weight and irritation that can happen when you mix a player’s sweat with embroidered detailing.
Like the Nike jerseys that can be quickly spotted by the tag if the jersey is authentic or a replica, Adidas’ authentic version features an adizero knit, which is designed to be slightly thinner and more breathable, replicas, however, use the climacool knit.
When it comes to Puma jerseys, like Arsenal, the most noticeable difference in the authentic shirt is the skin-tight fit. While the replica jersey is made of 100 percent polyester, the authentic incorporates lycra that allows it to stretch around your muscles like a compression shirt. Puma authentic jerseys feature a technology called powerCELL, while the replica fabric is made with dryCELL. The replica version is a more traditional, loose-fitting jersey.
Visually the design details are the same on both Puma’s replica and authentic jerseys. On the authentic version, however, the PUMA cat logo is heat pressed rather than embroidered. This decreases the weight of the shirt and prevents irritation while playing.
New Balance authentic jersey is made with an elite stretch polyester fabric. The interlocking body map and bonded seams are designed to hug the player’s body for an athletic fit. The replica version features body map fabric only on the side panels and provides the wearer with a looser, more relaxed fit.
The biggest difference between an authentic or replica jersey, regardless of brand, is the fit. Authentic jerseys will always have a tighter fit and an extra feature or two that won’t be found in the much cheaper replica jersey.
Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing jerseys is the size. As stated above, authentic jerseys have a tighter, athletic fit. Generally speaking, you should order one size up when purchasing an authentic jersey, unless you want a tight fit.