The Evolution of the San Diego Chargers Jersey


The San Diego Chargers – a founding team in the American Football League with the Dallas Texans and Boston Patriots in 1960 – got their start in the city of Los Angeles, California. They moved to San Diego in 1961 and merged with the NFL in 1970.

Fans of the Chargers haven’t experienced the joys of winning a Super Bowl yet, but the team almost made it to the promised land in 1994, but they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 26-49. After many years in the league, the team has been able to send six legendary players and one coach to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The elected include wide receiver Lance Alworth, quarterback Dan Fouts, wide receiver Charlie Joiner, offensive lineman Ron Mix, tight end Kellen Winslow, defensive end Fred Dean, and head coach and general manager Sid Gillman.

When it comes to their uniforms, the Chargers have used one of the more unique color combinations in all of sports. And they’ve brought this look to the field in their ongoing effort to claim the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Lightning-Fast Jersey Changes


1960: White and blue are the two main colors used in the Chargers’ first uniform. A blue lightning bolt is placed on the helmet.

1961: The lightning bolt is updated when the Chargers move to San Diego. The yellow bolt becomes a prominent fixture on the helmet, shoulders, and pants.

1966: Gold pants replace the previously white ones. A blue and white stripe runs down the side of the pants instead of a thunderbolt. The lightning bolt on the helmet goes back to blue this year.

1968: The era of powder blue uniforms begins. While there are several minor tweaks in the early 1970s, the powder blue hangs around until 1973.

1972: The Chargers continue to tweak the pants, going from blue lightning bolts back to blue and white stripes.

1973: The team adds matching blue cleats to the mix.

1974: Gone is the powder blue as the team darkens the blue on both the jerseys and helmets.

1979: The lightning returns! White bolts are added to the sides of the team’s yellow pants.

1985: The Chargers retire the yellow pants for white ones. They also start matching the helmet and jersey blues.

1988:  The team, continuing the trend of altering their pants, removes the lightning bolt on the sides and replaces it with a blue and gold stripe pattern.

1990: They Bolts adds blue pants to be used with their white jerseys.

1992: The Chargers opt to show off two sets of pants this season, with the lightning bolt on the side being used only in preseason.

1994: For the 75th anniversary of the NFL, the Chargers join in by bringing back their powder blue as throwback uniforms.

2000: For the San Diego Chargers’ 40th anniversary, the team brings back the powder blue once again.

2007: The team adds wavy pant lines with interior lightning bolts. New to the uniform are white collars and lightning bolts pointing toward the chest from the shoulders.

2016 Color Rush: On October 13th, the Chargers are featured in the Thursday night matchup. The Bolts look good in their Nike Color Rush uniforms as they earn themselves a big 21–13 division win against the Denver Broncos.

Want your clothes to scream “Go Bolts” as you’re heading to catch the game? Head to where you can get the best officially licensed merchandise and apparel for the Chargers – and all 32 NFL teams – right now.




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