Minnesota Vikings Helmet

Minnesota Vikings Helmet History

The Minnesota Vikings helmet history goes back to the team’s founding in 1961. While the helmet has remained almost the same since the team’s inception, there have been updates throughout the previous six decades, the most notable changes occurring in the mid-2000s.

A Scandinavian Nod

I’ve always been a closet Vikings fan, mainly due to my fascination with Scandinavian culture to the point I’m learning a few of the languages as I write this post.

Along with many of my favorite bands being native to Scandinavia, most notably Finland’s Nightwish, it’s exciting for me to finally sit down and write about one of my favorite helmets, logos, and color combos in the NFL.

While I have zero Scandinavian blood running through my veins, I’ve always felt compelled to the region’s rich history, which has always been associated with the Vikings. So for me, it’s awesome to watch Vikings games due to the team’s culture, be it the Viking horn or the Skol clap.

Okay, enough irrelevant culture talk; let’s talk about the team’s helmet history.



The Vikings’ helmet debuted with a purple helmet, white Viking horn, and gray facemask. This helmet remained until 1979, when the Vikings, like many teams during the late 1970s, swapped the gray facemask in favor of white, a look which lasted until 1984.

Finally, in 1985, Minnesota switched from a white to a purple facemask.

During this time, the helmet remained essentially the same, using identical color schemes and logos in the team’s first 45 seasons, remaining so until 2005.



For the 2006 uniform redesign, the team updated their trademark horn, giving it definition and a more realistic look. The Vikings retained the purple facemask and incorporated a lighter, more metallic shade of purple, as was common in the era.

In 2013, the uniforms underwent another redesign, reverting to a uniform set resembling the originals yet with modern upgrades. The current helmet design was retained, with the only update coming when the team switched from purple to black facemasks. This is the only place on the uniform where black became apparent, as neither black accents nor anywhere else on the uniform bore the color except in the logo definition.


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My Take

It’s another one of those helmets that can go either way. While I supported the move to a more defined logo, I wasn’t a fan of the Vikings’ overall 2006-2012 uniform redesign, feeling it had too much detail. I was glad to see the helmet stick around for the Vikings’ uniform redesign in 2013.

What I love about the Vikings’ helmet the most is the fact it is yet another design to have stood the test of time, with only slight updates throughout the decades. While I’d rather see the team switch back to purple facemasks and dump the black, which is becoming beyond outdated, I can live with this helmet’s only flaw in the facemask.

My advice to the Vikings is to never try to fix a broken product. This helmet is far from broken and rightfully so.

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  1. I have to say I have been a viking fans for many years, back to the Chris Carter era.  They were so exciting to watch. Although they didn’t win it all, they were fun to watch.  One of my favourite things about them is the colors and logo they have. Purple is a great color and their logo is simple, and so recognizeable.  The color stands out in a crowd and that is important. I loved that you taught me something about the history of the Vikings I didn’t know. Great job.!

    1. It’s funny because I’ve always looked at the Vikings as my NFC team, next to the Browns, due to my love for Viking and overall Scandinavian culture (I’m actually somewhat fluent in Swedish). Yes, the Cris Carter Era was exciting, and I remember the 1998 Vikings. What a season, and I think had they beaten Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game that season, they would’ve spoiled John Elway’s swan song in the Super Bowl. 

  2. Since I am from Minnesota and am a diehard Vikings fan, I was very interested to read your information about. their helmet and apparel. I didn’t really notice the changes in the face mask color, but I certainly did notice when their helmets became the lighter color. The more defined horn was also a plus for me as it gave the look a less “cartoonish” feel. I liked the uniform updates, too. Do you foresee any other upcoming changes to the helmet or the uniform? I’m okay as long as they keep the purple! SKOL!

    Best wishes,
    Karin 😁

    1. I’m cool with the lighter color, but I’ve definitely never made sense of the facemasks changing color from purple to black. While the helmet isn’t bad, the black just doesn’t fit. I liked the defined horn better and agree with the old one being more of a cartoonish look; I was never really for it and never knew it was a Viking horn until I was older! I do think the team will revert to either a purple, white, or gray facemask. A lot of teams have been reverting to more traditional designs, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Vikings doing the same. 

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