Wisconsin football helmets through the years

Wisconsin football helmets through the years

While many don’t associate Wisconsin football with new or flashy uniforms, the Badgers have debuted several refreshed looks, including updated helmets over the past few decades.

The lasting changes for Wisconsin uniforms and helmets came with the turnaround of the Badgers program under former head coach Barry Alvarez when it began in 1990. Since 1991, Wisconsin has used the design of “W” movement with the classic red mask and two central bands. for the majority of their games.

Although Wisconsin keeps a single helmet for most of their games, the Badgers have launched several uniforms with different helmets since the 90s. One of my favorite helmets is the Rose Bowl-inspired helmet with rose petals highlighted in the movement “W”, which Wisconsin wore against Oregon in 2011.

Below are all of Wisconsin’s football helmets over the past few decades. Let us know which ones you think should make a comeback in the comments section below.

1978-87, 1990

Malcolm Emmons – USA TODAY Sports

This is the Badgers first big step towards the helmet we recognize today. This helmet features the ‘W’ block in cardinal with a red face mask and two center stripes.


Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

There were no photos available for this helmet, but the two center stripes from the previous design have been removed for these two seasons. It must not have been a popular change, as they returned when Barry Alvarez started in 1990.


Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Motion ‘W’ design has definitely become Wisconsin’s most recognizable helmet, which I think has made it a classic.


(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

This helmet was only worn once against Bowling Green in 2005 and features a retro design to the Badgers helmets of the 1960s. On the throwback helmet there is a gray face mask with a “W” on the back. front and back while player numbers are on the sides.


Kirby Lee/Image de Sport-USA TODAY Sports

This helmet is my favorite of Wisconsin designs over the years, and it was only worn once in the 2011 Rose Bowl. The red outlined petals on the helmet are a subtle change from a design classic looking.


(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

This uniform and helmet were designed by Adidas for the Badgers game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2012. The helmet was cardinal red and featured the 1960s “W” logo and a single center stripe in white. Something unique about this helmet is that it is one of the first appearances of the color black on a Wisconsin helmet.


Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Badgers played with two red helmets in 2013 and this design was worn against Tennessee Tech and Northwestern. This helmet is the reverse of the classic Wisconsin design and featured a white face shield, center stripes, and the “W” motion.


Trevor Ruszkowksi – USA TODAY Sports

The last of Adidas’ red Wisconsin helmets, this design was worn by the Badgers in five games during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. It is very similar to the other red helmet the Badgers wore in 2013 but brings back the masks black from 2012 and features black center stripes.

2014 ; 2016-Current

Reese Strickland – USA TODAY Sports

A design first implemented at the end of the Adidas era in 2014, the white mask version of the current helmet is still used by Badgers today. This design is a fan favorite as it is associated with the all-white Badgers uniforms.


(AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Designed as part of Under Armor’s celebration of 150 years of college football, these uniforms were meant to be a throwback to the early days of football in Wisconsin. The helmet sports an 1890s “UW” logo and opts for a gray mask to add to the “vintage” look of the uniforms.


Patrick Gorski – USA TODAY Sports

These helmets have only been worn once in 2021 as part of the ‘Forward’ uniform in the Badgers game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While most of the details honoring the state of Wisconsin are on the jersey itself, the helmet features the state’s motto “forward” over the “W” motion. Additionally, the all-white helmet opts for two center stripes over the normal stripes.

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