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Minnesota Vikings Unveil New “Winter Warrior” Helmet and Uniform

The Minnesota Vikings have unveiled a new alternate uniform, which they’re dubbing “Winter Warrior.” The uniform is all-white from head to toe, and features a new white helmet to wear with it.

The team plans to wear the new uniforms for their annual “winter whiteout” game on December 16, when they host the Chicago Bears in prime time on Monday Night Football. The team has played two winter whiteout games previously, but wearing their standard purple helmets and white uniforms with white socks. Beginning with this December, they’ll go entirely white for this game.

Let’s take a look at the new helmets first:

As you can see, the helmet is white, and features a white horn decal, thinly outlined in purple on the sides, and with a metallic gray facemask. A thin metallic gray stripe with what looks like a faint purple outline runs from front to back of the lid. The nose bumper reads “VIKINGS” in purple.

Here’s a closeup of the side and back, which shows more detail:

Rather than simply pair the new white shell with their regular white uniforms, the Vikings have created an entirely new uniform, which differs in several ways from their white outfit.

The jersey has purple numbers outlined in metallic gray. A small-ish “VIKINGS” wordmark sits atop the numbers and is also metallic gray. The team has created an entirely new font — ditching the ridiculous sail font in which the first digit of a two-digit number had an additional ‘tail’. This new font also has a slight gimmick: the numbers now appear to show a “dripping icicle” on the digits.

Vikings Art Manager Jackie Ramacher explains, “By eliminating the gold from the uniform, we have removed all warmth. Metallic gray has not only taken its place but has become the star of the show. It is a nod to ancient Vikings armor, as well as to ice. Further supporting the ice theme, the numbers feature ‘dripping icicle’ accents that are a unique twist on our existing SKOL font serifs. We took a similar curved shape from our original number set but rotated it downward to emulate the look of ice drips, supported by the metallic gray outline.”

The shoulder sleeve caps feature a metallic gray with a slight horn shape (which is the same shape as is on their current uniforms), bisected by a thin strip of purple.

The jersey back features purple NOB in a modified block font, while numbers are purple outlined in metallic gray.

The collar has a Nordic knot design embroidered on the back neckline, also in metallic gray.

The white pants have a metallic gray stripe running down the length of the leg, with a purple stripe which is not centered, but instead is towards the front of the gray stripe (which is a similar pattern to their regular pants).

To complete the “Winter Warrior” look, the Vikings will wear white socks — or leggings — and it’s expected players will also wear white shoes, although that remains to be seen.

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As a uniform, I rather like this new look. I’m extremely pleased the team ditched their regular “SKOL” font, as the new numbers are much easier to read. I don’t necessarily like the “dripping icicle” motif, but the effect is so muted that it won’t affect their legibility, or even be noticeable up close.

As far as a Vikings alternate, it is what it is — obviously the new trend in football, both in college and now the pros (with both the Browns and Bengals having introduced all-white alternates recently). Let’s face it, these are sure to be popular with the players, as the trend to mono head-to-toe has taken over football. I don’t like all-anything, no matter the color, but if a team must wear a mono uniform, all-white is probably the best color to use.

With a white decal on a white helmet, they’ll probably appear as solid white from any kind of distance. The use of metallic gray in lieu of gold definitely sets this uniform apart from their other looks.

In order to get a second perspective, I’ve invited reader Cole Trace, a Minnesota resident and Vikings fan, to provide his thoughts. Here’s Cole:

For the last two seasons the Vikings have held a “winter whiteout” game at US Bank Stadium pulling out all the stops with white and purple field graphics and sideline padding, and giving away white shirts so fans can play their part in the whiteout.

The Vikings matched that the best they could with their white jerseys and pants and in most cases, white accessories. This led to the standard purple helmet sticking out like a sore thumb. There were rumors that they’d surprise everyone for last year’s “winter whiteout” and unveil a white helmet for that game. It didn’t come to pass. Until now.

Since the Vikings’ founding, they’ve had one helmet color, purple. So it’s jarring to see an official look from the team without that standard. Compounded by the lack of gold.

With that said and accepting the premise that we’re going to see more alternates, I like this uniform. I like the icicles melting down from the edges of numbers. They should have taken the extra step and included ice dams and an icicle that stretched all the way to the pants (Note: if your house has icicles that long or ice dams, it could be a sign you need a new roof). The shiny silver works with the aesthetic of ice.

If I had my qualms, I would have liked to see a different helmet logo; the Vikings horn will likely disappear into the white helmet on TV and the upper deck. The silver stripe will too. I also would have liked to see a throwback as the base of this jersey, like the Randy Moss era whites with the UCLA shoulder striping. This game will also be played indoors so it loses out on a true snowy element.

If this is Nike’s first foray into City Editions or City Connects for the NFL, I think they did a good job.

Thanks, Cole.

UPDATE: Weekend Editor Jim Vilk has added his thoughts:

I’m torn by this new look. On the one hand, I love snow, cold, and the beauty that is Winter. On the other hand, I find it hilarious that a team who plays in a cozy indoor stadium would go this route. This “Winter Warrior” gives me the same vibe as “Hashtag Activist”… making a statement but not really doing anything. You want to celebrate December in Minneapolis? Play in the Golden Gophers’ stadium (in your regular unis) for that game!

Anyway, unlike Phil I don’t think all-white unis are the least-bad choice for a mono uniform. I would have preferred a slushy silver or light gray. The jersey is good. Keep that number font! The pants are okay. Then there’s the helmet. I almost understand the fascination with mono, but I do not understand the fascination with stealth-ifying the helmet logo. Since they switched silver for gold, I would have preferred a silver helmet better so the horn wouldn’t be obscured from a distance.

In short, this seems to be one or two tweaks away from being a decent (albeit unnecessary) alternate. And I guess I should be glad these unis won’t be used in a real snow game…

Thanks, Jim!

You can read more about the uniform and its development directly from the Vikings here. That also contains a fairly large photo gallery.

Readers? What say you?

 
  
 
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Comments (60)

    That was literally my only thought reading this article. Just call is silver.

    The team calls it “metallic gray” so that’s what I used. But yeah, it’s silver. At least they didn’t come up with something totally ridiculous like “H-Town blue.”

    I wish we could blame all the Nike designers for their marketing-speak on colors, but this goes back as far as Charley Finley, who famously called the A’s colors “Kelly Green, Fort Knox Gold and Wedding Gown White.” And Jack Kent Cooke calling purple “Forum Blue.”

    YMMV

    I was unable to comprehend any of the words that came after “metallic gray.” Mindblowing.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this uniform set along with the colts “Indiana Nights” and the Texans “H-Town” sets is our first look at a NFL city connect program…..and it’s not a bad start.

    Purple horn and socks and a guy would have a uniform there. Heck, even three purple strips on the socks and a purple horn! Close.

    This alt is what the colts “Indiana nights” alternate from last year wishes it could be. Purple and “”””metallic gray”””” actually make a pretty good combo here

    The Vikings are calling it the “coldest uniform in the league”.

    link

    I would say that purple is a warmer color than royal blue. Therefore, this is the *second coldest* uniform in the league, with coldest honors going to the Colts.

    “cold” is up there with “clean” as the most overused, annoying adjective used by young people to describe any kind of designed product (but especially sports uniforms/logos). And that’s coming from a young person.

    I don’t hear “cold” as often as I hear “clean” and “iconic.”
    (the two crossed-out words are on my personal list of banned words/phrases)

    In fact, I hear “fire” more than I do “cold.”

    I take it you don’t spend much time on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok ;)

    Twitter, yes. None of the others.
    As Susan said, I see “icy” more than I do “cold.” But I do see it.

    “icy” has a specific use. When I said “cold”, I was referring to how it’s used as a synonym for good, cool, awesome, etc.

    Which is funny because inside the dome in december it’ll be nice and toasty warm.

    Now if only they could match the stripe on their normal white uniforms to their normal white pants.

    Waiting patiently for the comments:

    “Teams are going WFWS for marketing/money grab”
    “I mean I know typically a team will have a white jersey and a color jersey, but all-white just because?? It’s too much”
    “White really isn’t a team color. It’s a neutral base on which the uniform is based. This version of all white really isn’t tradition, I don’t like it”

    Tongue is firmly planted in my cheek. I fully expect many of the comments will be complementary of the all white palette. I just wish the all black unis would get the same love (of course there are bad all black unis – but I feel many of them are bad because there is little contrast between the base of the uni and the details of the uni)

    I’m not sure if this is your point, but I wish uniforms would be judged purely on their merits. As in, not based on any preconceived notions about how many elements can be the same/different colours, what colours should be worn home/away, whether popular/trendy colours should/shouldn’t be used.

    Yup, partially my point! It seems that the mere mention of a team introducing a black jersey/uni is met with such vitriol/negativity that the ACTUAL jersey/uni is not given a proper critique. That’s why I say that yes, there are some bad black jerseys/unis (Toronto CC being the most recent – can’t read a thing unless you’re up close). But that doesn’t mean that a black jersey/uni, in and of itself, whether it is a team color or not, has no merit/worth/visual desirability

    I know Toronto’s CC is dark blue

    “I mean I know typically a team will have a white jersey and a color jersey, but all-white just because?? It’s too much”

    It is too much.

    All-silver, I might be on board with. WFWS (and BFBS) are overdone.

    I agree with you, Marcus, but not in the way that you’d think. I dislike this WFWS uniform in the same way that I dislike most BFBS uniform! As you said, there just isn’t enough contract. It looks like someone turned up the “brightness” fader too bright. You lose all of the nuance and depth of the uniform. I also tend to dislike monochrome uniforms, so the head to toe white isn’t helping out here. Even a colored helmet would break up the monotony.

    Rather boring and lackluster IMO. I’ve always had the Vikings in the Top 10 or so in uniform look. This doesn’t match up.

    I am a Minnesota native, lifelong resident, and Vikings season ticket holder with a deep connection to the team and its overall look. Generally, I like the new Vikings alternates apart from one thing. The team’s colors are purple and gold. The absence of the latter omits a key part of the Vikings’ identity.

    Regarding revisiting the shoulder stripes that adorned the Vikes’ white jerseys from 1969 through 2005, the tailoring of jerseys these days makes it hard to do so and have it look good. The chosen stripes look good and would look better had gold been used over the silvery grey used instead.

    A good point was made about the thin purple outline of the white horn not being visible from far away. The Vikes should use their horn logo on the helmet as opposed to anything else but might do well to use a thicker outline or shading of the logo itself in the future.

    I really like the Winter Warrior set. Finally a team nailing change.

    Actually, not bad. Let’s remember, the Cardinals wore mono-white many, many years ago before the trend today.

    Colts, Jets and Dolphins too. But back then, teams also wore color stirrups/socks, and had low whites and (usually) black shoes.

    The new *new* trend is for EVERYTHING to be mono-white. Like a super hero costume.

    As long as they don’t throw a WFWS helmet in with their gold-number all-whites, I think it breaks up nicely with the gold helmet, kind of classic….black helmet, black number jerseys, not so much, IMO

    I agree that look is tiring and the Saints just look better in black or gold pants with the white jersey. The mono white look is forced from the Saints. The Lions never needed all white either.

    I think this works because at least they have a strip on the pants to break it up. As a lions fan, i thought they looked dumb in all white last year because the pants have no stripe, but with a stripe to break things up it looks good.

    I get they want to have a whiteout theme so just went all in on it. I would rather see them make a good looking white uniform. Their classic white with the UCLA shoulder striped and a purple horn with a little gold on the helmet could be a nice “all white” look that is still a good uniform you wear more than one time

    If they really wanted to lean into Winter Warrior they would play the game outdoors at TCF Stadium

    Anyway, I know that’s not going to happen. I still think they look great.

    When I woke up and saw Phil’s message asking me if I wanted to add something, I said the same thing. I like how you think!

    Although I don’t love the look as much as you do.
    If they want to celebrate Winter in a big city, they should have gone with a slushy gray instead of pure white.

    Clearly the Vikings did this for the youth. They are positioning themselves to be the favorite team of my four year old daughter and all of the world’s Frozen lovers. Minnesota Ice Queens!

    My eight-year-old son just asked, “Why are the Vikings in Elsa’s ice castle?” I guess I’ll just let it go.

    Gotta suspend disbelief when it comes to sports.

    Do the Dolphins play underwater? Do the Jets play at 30,000’?

    Not even remotely the same comparison lol. By your logic OP would want Vikings to play in the water on a ship. No one’s saying anything of the sort but it’s just ironic that their new nickname is the ‘winter warriors’ yet they don’t even have to play in the cold weather elements aka outdoors.

    I couldn’t get past the use of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in the background. Nike continues its run of underwhelming to awful uniform design.

    Bad move for a team that hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since moving inside and playing winter games in summery air conditioning. And more evidence that for any team that doesn’t have a white helmet, a white helmet will always make the team look worse. With purple horns, it may just be salvageable, but white horns on white? Why bother with the horns at all?

    Some incredible marketing-speak here–saying metallic gray (silver) is a “nod to ancient Vikings armor, as well as to ice” is so funny. I can’t get “a nod to ice” out of my head! As for the uniforms, whiteout games are so high school/college, so it is fitting the biggest Mickey Mouse franchise in the NFL would embrace them. The uni is fine but cmon man. One caveat is that I am a Packers fan, so I can’t help but do a little hating lol

    Re: white helmets.

    It makes me wonder if NFL teams have data on climate change and are starting to outfit teams in white versions of their current helmets to compensate for the rising global temperatures (which is, of course, not going to happen for a December game in Minneapolis).

    This being said, this WFWS is a dang fashion show.

    Not a bad look, but the silver on the sleeve makes it look like Nike designed a Kansas State alt.

    Dome team “winter warrior”… I would like these better with a purple horn on the helmet, or white or silver numbers with purple outline. To me, the bold purple numbers look odd with the white-forward look. I get my suggestion would make the numbers hard to see, etc. Just saying the look would be better IMO.

    On a side note, that’s not the best job of logo application on a helmet I’ve ever seen.

    Was wondering if I was just seeing things. Like, if you are taking hi res photos for a reveal, make sure the damn stickers are applied as well as possible.

    I don’t understand why these totally alternate looks exist or their purpose (ok yes fine it’s merchandise money), but I think it is saved from failure by the fact that it’s Viking purple. The Vikings were the Purple People Eaters and my mind didn’t go to the Ravens. If any red team or a “darker than Lions Honolulu” blue team tried to do this, I don’t think it would have worked for me.

    Well… at least the numbers are an upgrade? Albeit still with a gimmick. Just a less stupid gimmick.

    I actually like this particular number gimmick. Though I’m definitely judging on a curve that includes the team’s terrible normal gimmicky numbers.

    I’m with you, in that I really don’t like mono-white or mono-anything. (I much prefer the Vikings in their purple pants with their regular white jerseys, for example, which they didn’t even have in their wardrobe on a regular basis until fairly recent times, early 60s aside).

    But of the mono-white treatments, I’d put this nearly the top of the list. The purple and “metallic gray” (otherwise known as silver) accents are pretty sharp together. Yes, they’ll probably get lost from the top row, but most elements do.

    These are fire lol, makes me wonder why Nike can do so well with NFL uniforms (and NBA), but encounter issues with MLB (ignoring the involvement of some other clothing company lol)

    Wow. Paul retires and all the purple teams release new uniforms. The whole system is breaking down!

    I thought the same thing. I wonder if he’d even mention this happening today ;-)

    I can’t help but think watching this on tv most of those elements will be lost. Sometimes that’s okay as it’s more of small details for the fans but this is really just going to look like all white practice jerseys without decals on the helmets.

    Since the kids are all about the icy and they are from Minny, my simple tweaks would still keep it that theme but take it up a notch.

    Helmet – make it metallic grey just like Viking helmets were
    Jersey – put the Nordic knot in purple on the sleeve inside a metallic grey sail stripe
    Pants – put the Nordic knot in purple on the down the pant inside a metallic grey stripe

    I like it except for the “metallic gray” stripe on the helmet. I think the Vikings helmet horns looks best without a center stripe. The silver, or gray, looks great with the purple. Kind of reminds me of Kansas State.

    Change the horns to purple now before this game. Otherwise, it will just be done for the next season when it’s realized that the horns can’t be seen.

    Just wait everyone. The all ice white will be ruined by a purple undershirt sticking out 8 inches under the jersey. That’ll break up the all white!

    Hey Phil, looks like the link to the regular pants isn’t working – could just be me though

    Huh. It was working this morning when I posted this, but yes, it seems to not be now. I’ve swapped in a different photo.

    Good catch and thanks.

    I like this better than their main kits for one reason and one reason only… the black face mask from out of nowhere. That thing drives me batty. Would I rather see them in purple helmets and yellow accents? Of course. But that superfluous black face mask is enough for me to prefer this look.
    I’ll even bring back one of my major pet peeve words from the past.
    It looks “tight”.

    Just for the record, in the early 1970s all five teams in the AFC East — Jets, Colts, Patriots, Bills, and Dolphins–wore mono-white uniforms on the road. At the Dolphins at home as well. I know that “mono-anything” feels brash, trendy and new. But it’s not.

    If you wanna make the case that those teams wore contrasting socks, fair enough. But still, white helmet/jersey/pants.

    Yes yes y’all, and ya don’t stop…
    Mono white is the only mono I’ve ever loved. I have mono love for mono and it’s mono white.

    Great write-up, Phil! I love the thoughtfulness of your analysis.

    Judging it in a vacuum, simply as a football uniform, I give it a B-. Mono-white is okay in some circumstances, including this one. And purple is a decent enough pairing with a white uniform. Silver can be, too, but it often benefits from being outlined in purple so it doesn’t get lost against the white. And frankly, this uniform needs MORE purple to make the silver stand out and to break up the whitewashed effect. My god, does this uniform cry out for purple-topped socks!

    The white horn on a white helmet is too hard to see from a distance, and the striping down the middle is both too much adornment when paired with the large side decals and off-putting because of the asymmetry. The number font is fine, and the silver facemask works decently well with the overall design.

    Judging it as a Vikings uniform, I give it a C. Incorporating all of the analysis above, I would also add that I really miss yellow/gold as an accent color. I think this uniform could really soar if they added the gold, even it it were metallic gold rather than athletic gold. I guess it wouldn’t look as “icy,” then, but the white conveys that well enough. And if the silver were swapped out for gold, it would at least look like a Vikings uniform instead of “sick” new fashion retail item.

    Some helmets should never have center stripes. For example, the Rams, Chargers, and the…. Vikings! Looks ridiculous.

    With the original helmet, I agree.
    On this one, it actually works. Although I wish the whole helmet was silver instead so the horns would be more visible.

    Not the first person to comment that this uniform looks more like Kansas State or Northwestern than the Vikings but yeah that was my immediate reaction too; really could’ve used a bit of gold. Decent-looking uniform out of context though, glad they went with a better number font for this one.

    I love this uniform. Even the stealth logo. It’s a “whiteout” game and they nailed it.

    I agree that its too bad that these uniforms won’t have the option to see snow while on the field….
    Well, you never know…
    link

    I like it, but I think it’s held back by my issues with their MAIN uniforms oddly enough. Their storytelling talks about using silver and ditching gold to “show a lack of warmth”. But their regular uniforms already have very little gold. That effect only really lands if the absence of gold is more noticeable.

    The helmet stripe makes me wonder what it would look like if they added a white/yellow/white stripe to their current helmets?????

    I think it looks good, but it doesn’t look like the *Vikings*. This look would be better suited for the Wildcats, either Northwestern or Kansas State.

    I love the concept — all white, wintery. But the execution feels flat to me. It lacks anything sleek and “crisp”, anything that makes me think of winter. Feels a bit like laundry day. They should have added a metallic to the cloth to give it a shimmer and maybe taken away the gray stripes which feel like a lack of courage in the design.

    If you overlook the ridiculousness of playing in a 70 degree stadium, this is a solid design.

    Mono white is fine, as I tend to always view white on uniforms as sort of blank space, so rather than overloading with color, it is just empty space with various logos, numbers, etc. Dolphins ,Colts, Auburn, etc mono white are great uniforms (assuming socks with some sort of color).
    Mono WFWS is another thing altogether, especially the recent trend to associate white with icy or cold. As Vilk pointed out, sort of silly to have your winter white out uniforms when you are playing indoors.
    Aside from it being hard to see white logos on a white helmet, this isn’t a bad uniform divorced from context. But the context of it is a bad and unnecessary gimmick. My short review would be it is a not-awful but wholly unnecessary alternate uniform.

    These scream TCU to me. Like, I can see these being worn against Baylor for a night game.

    At this point, why not just really go for it and have all the elements be white? White numbers on a white jersey with white on white striping. Maybe there’s a faint silver outline, or maybe not. I feel like that’s where all this is headed.

    It’s okay for a once a year late season home promotion. The silver pants would’ve been nicer, though, but I get it. The Lions should’ve never gone to the mono white uniform, but it would’ve been cooler to be worn only once a year at home, never on the road. Lions should only wear silver, black, or blue pants on the road. Vikings should be exclusively purple pants for every single road game like last season.

    Saints are another team that should never wear white pants. Black and gold only, some of these teams should not be forcing an all white look.

    2 things I haven’t read yet:
    -football uniforms used to be white pants for most teams. No big deal. Most teams had white jersey and solid color jersey. So why is “white out” such a controversy?
    -these look high school uniforms to me. They’re fine, but not pro.

    I am also not a fan of “all anything,” but, if any team should go back to all-white, it should be the Bears. There’s a great deal of history in those white on white road uniforms.

    I kinda like the white, but technically speaking, the day the Vikings plan to wear these uniforms is almost a week before the actual winter solise. But then again, winter in Minnesota probably extends from October to May.

    I’m not 100% against the mono look in general, and I do like the combination of purple and silver. But mono-white is just so uninteresting. Give me more color!

    I’m just not seeing it with these uniforms at all. They look like they are taken out of a coloring book that someone forgot to finish coloring. The best thing about them is the number font.
    -white logo on white helmet is going to get washed out on TV
    -helmet stripe won’t be visible
    -like the helmet logo, the sleeve caps and pants striping will be hardly noticeable from TV vantage point
    -silver facemask doesn’t pop at all on white helmet
    -zero contrast, it will look like a plain white uniform with purple numbers

    If they insist on an all-white alternate:
    -purple chrome facemask with purple metallic helmet horn logo
    -incorporate I dunno, team colors throughout. yellow number outlines, yellow on the sleeve cap etc.
    -use the Nordic knot design as some sort of striping be it the helmet, pants or sleeves
    -stripes on socks

    Maybe at 42, I’m just not the demographic anymore. This is one big swing and a miss for me though. Totally uninspired and completely boring.

    For the love of all that is holy, can the FN trend of untucked shirts die a horrible death sooner rather than later and while we’re at it, stripe less yoga pants are not suitable for a professional football league. Both “trends” are look cheap and sloppy.

    “Winter Warriors”, Lol. This would make sense if they played outdoors in the harsh winter elements. Playing indoors on fake grass in a temperature controlled environment hardly screams “warriors”

    winter warriors but you play indoors…..o-k-a-y. bears should one up them and go with the polar bear unis (all white with white helmet) when they play the vikings at home. now this would make sense.

    They just put the jerseys for sale. They have Randy Moss and Cris Carter Winter Warrior Jerseys. Why do teams sell jerseys that a player never wore?

    always wondered that too. does your team not have enough current stars? and when did wearing legends on current jerseys become a thing?

    I dig ’em.
    Of course, I generally like most uniforms with symmetry. All white has symmetry. But for some reason looks way better than mono anything else. But the helmet has to be white too. Colored helmt and all white, you just look cheap.
    Nice job Vikes

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