1997 - 1998
With the Mizuno contract ended, Puma took over to design a new set of uniforms for the championship games. While the idea of a renewal was welcome, the attendance would never be so low... Too bad for those who missed the first steps in orange of Daisuke Ichikawa and Alessandro Santos, nicknamed Alex, who would become one of the most spectacular players in the history of Shimizu S-Pulse.
Even though Puma designed new kits, the team would still play pre-season games with the 1992 version. The new home set still uses a more redish shade of orange, far from the Mikan shade. The collar uses a lighter orange. Five rows of blue arrows follow the sleeves from the collar to the cuffs. The front of the shirt features the world map in an orange and yellow globe style, with countries' names as well as the new club crest. Shorts and socks are pretty simple, with only two stripes, one blue and one yellow, to break the monotony on the socks. The away kit is, once again, a white version of the home kit. The numbers used are the same as the 1992 ones, in a darker shade of blue. For the first time, a jock tag makes an appearance on the bottom left of the shirt, as a certificate of authenticity and as a way to know if the shirt is made for the fans or for the players.
-Emperor's Cup : None.
-Runners-up : 1998.
Numbers / Nameset :
Template used : None.
Counterfeit : No.
Differences between authentic and replica : There were three versions of the 1997/1998 shirt : one made for the players, with the "Pro Use" jock tag, an embroided club crest, a special fabric made of a sun pattern and displaying the club's name, and the promoting 2002 World Cup Japan badge on the sleeve. A premium fan version had the same features as the player version with the exception of the 2002 World Cup Japan badge, and the jock tag was displaying a "Professional" mention instead of a "Pro Use" mention. The club crest was located lower than on the player version. Finally, an other fan version was made of plain, shiny fabric, with no jock tag at all on the bottom, and a glued crest. This third version's quality was overall cheaper than the two others.
-The arrow legacy : From the mid-90's to the early 2000's, Puma integrated an arrow pattern in every Shimizu S-Pulse uniform it designed. On the 1997/1998 version, the arrow pattern is placed all along the sleeves.
-Secret logo : Under the back of the collar, a secret logo is hidden. It is the club's script logo. This feature will appear again on the 1999/2001 uniforms, and then on the 2013 one.
-Useless button : A button is placed on the bottom of the collar, and doesn't seem to have any logical purpose. It's just for aesthetics.