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Soccer or Football is without a doubt my favorite game. To watch, to play, to fight over, to scream over – nothing bonds our family more than a game of Football. I remember every freaking four years staying up till 4 in the morning to watch FIFA, waiting to see my favorite teams hit the field (yes, my favorite was Brazil, very typical). I used to sit with my brother and sisters, munching on potato chips and junk food whilst the game went on, affixing my eyes on that sailing colorful ball as it landed in Casillas’s (the best keeper ever) able hands. I loved that game and I know many of you do too.
How to choose the best soccer ball? Buying Guide
So you must know what a difference best soccer balls can make in your gameplay. Whether you’re just starting out, taking your first kicks on the field or you’re a well-seasoned pro on their thousandth game, you need a proper soccer ball to be your companion. So you better choose among the best soccer balls, and we’ll show you how.
Different Types of Soccer Balls to choose from:
The two most common soccer balls you will come across are match balls and training balls, though futsal balls and rubbers balls can also be used. Match balls are for game-play and must follow official rule for size, weight and shape regulations. Training balls are meant for practice and recreational use on a variety of playing environments. They are also more durable since they are made specifically to be used for an extended period of time. Soccer balls are made up of two parts: the casing and the bladder. The casing is what covers the outside of the ball and its panels, while the bladder is the compartment inside the ball that holds the air. Each can be made of several different materials with some materials being great for balls, others not so.
Material is Important:
Most balls nowadays are constructed of polyvinyl carbonate (PVC) and polyurethane. PVC is a tad more affordable and perfect for playing indoor soccer or street games because of their durability and rigid structure. However, polyurethane is used for more premium match balls and elite tournaments. This also allows a well designed and well-engineered system that results in a highly sensitive feel and rapid response at the onset of a kick. The panels are the octagon-shaped quilts that are seen on the outside of soccer balls. Official FIFA-approved balls contain 32 panels, but many good professional endorsed balls contain 26 or 18 or 12 panels, giving the balls a cleaner look.
Size does matter:
Soccer balls also come in various sizes ranging from 1 to 5. The choice of this usually depends on the age of the player. Size 1 soccer balls are known as mini or skills balls, which are used to improve footwork or just for friendly fun play. Size 2 soccer balls are sometimes used during matches for children under the age of 4, and can also be used for ball control drills.
Size 3 soccer balls are the smallest official professional endorsed ball and used during matches for children under the age of 8. Size 4 soccer balls are used during matches for children between the ages of 8-12. Size 5 soccer balls are the largest official ball and standard for all players above the age of 12 and all adults.
Soccer Ball Care : Pro Tips
Wow! you have chosen one of the coolest soccer balls. Therefore, you need to care for it. First, a few rules to remember:
Never Sit or Stand on the ball:
Please never ever stand or sit on your soccer ball. It may seem fun and childish for a time but it does deteriorate the quality of your ball in the long run as it causes deflation and lopsidedness.
Refrain kicking the ball against a hard surface:
Refrain from kicking your ball against a solid wall hard as this damages it and may cause it to wobble during flight.
Clean the ball:
Clean your ball using some form of mild soap as most of your balls are made of quality synthetic leather. So, do not use a strong pressure of water to spray the ball to clean it, water might lodge itself inside the ball.
Frequently check inside Air:
Pressure is also pretty important whether you choose from the best soccer balls or ordinary ones. Therefore we recommended investing in a proper air pump with a fine-tuned gauge and needle. The pressure of the ball must be kept at the recommended bar as per the manufacturer’s manual, you can go slightly higher but not too much so.
If pressure inside the ball is too little, its flight way will be crooked and it won’t be sailing in the air as smoothly and in a straight motion as it should have. A high pressure may cause the ball to hold in too much air and cause it to burst and deflate thus ruining all your fun. It may bounce weird and prevent a straight flight. The leather may tear or may cause the ball to become lopsided and ruin its spherical shape. All of these conditions can be easily avoided if you buy a premium quality and well-tested match ball as well as if you take the precautions, have the proper tools and follow the steps to inflate your ball accordingly. If you want your soccer ball to have a long and healthy life, keep it well-inflated and well-maintained.
According to FIFA regulations, a normal soccer ball must maintain a pressure of 0.6 and 1.1 bars at sea level. As well as if you look at the manufacturer’s details, they may specify a different pressure. For example, MLS stresses that balls must be at a 1.3 rather than FIFA’s range. A little bit of research here can go a long way as well as taking into account the size of the ball. But when it doubt, the FIFA specification is always a safe bet! These experts have to know what they’re doing.
There are a million other intricacies to find the perfect soccer ball for you which we will get into soon enough but without further ado, let’s get to the best soccer balls that are well worth the money!
11 Best Soccer Balls Review:
The Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball:
This Soccer Ball is a perfect choice for anyone looking to learn to refine the skills required for the game. Above all, it is traditional for a reason, inspired by the age-old stylistic tradition of a soccer ball in varying shades of true black and pure white – it is perfect for the old school soccer player. Therefore, it gives you the authentic experience and is of solid quality, clean aesthetic, and has excellent air retention and bounce. It is also the official match ball for the NCAA Sports Championships. It is available in three sizes – standard 3, 4 and 5 perfect for most kids, high school boys and adults.
Other notable features:
- Synthetic cover for increased durability
- Butyl bladder for excellent air and shape retention
- Traditional panel graphics with silver accents
- Recreational use
- Proper Inflation Level: 8-10 PSI
The alternating black and white 32 panels are good to learn proper foot placement and proper bend. There is enough solid weight to the ball to allow for accurate crossing and passing drills, while enough rebound exists for dribbling and shooting drills thus making it a perfect ball for the learning experience of an aspiring soccer ball.
If you’re serious about getting into a good form or just want to play a few friendly matches with your family and friends, this soccer ball will see you through. The ball is made up of good solid materials that are durable and increase its strength and fluidity such as synthetic leather which is water-resistant (note: not waterproof so you still need to keep it relatively not wet) and PVC which while being soft to touch, makes it intensely durable and the bladder is made of Butyl. This makes it incredibly good at shape retention and much less likely to deflate often. It is a sturdy soccer ball that will retain its shape under most player conditions and handles extreme temperatures with decent outcomes.
Although some cons would include that it may take some getting used and playing so that it gets less slippery. This only should encourage you to start and keep on playing! This Wilson Soccer Ball has been well tested and we recommended with the utmost satisfaction! Especially at the cheap price, it comes at!
Pros and Cons of The Wilson Soccer Ball:
Adidas MLS Top Glider:
The MLS series of soccer balls are the standard of replication for a soccer player who is itching to get a taste of the professional adventure. These match balls feature an updated panel design – new from the Adidas line up and multiple sizes designed for players of all ages. The Adidas MLS Glider Ball is a soccer ball that while not being match standard, gives the essential experience for an aspiring player who is looking to get his kicks to the next level. It is inspired by the MLS aesthetic of country, community, and club – the three pillars of MLS.
Other notable features:
- Stitched by machine and internal nylon-wound carcass for maximum durability and performance.
- Special TPU exterior material is designed to resist abrasion and last longer.
- Butyl bladder for best air retention to keep the ball’s shape and stay inflated longer.
It is machine stitched – as most high-performance balls are on the current market and made up of 100 percent polyester (polyurethane), artificial synthetic leather that makes it extremely durable and strong, thus making it a long term investment. It has also exterior cover of TPU that is built to withstand tears, damage, and abrasions.
The bladder of Adidas MLS soccer ball is also made to give the same super experience since it is made of butyl a material accepted worldwide as among the best for making ball bladders. The butyl latex bladder is highly responsive and maintains a nice shape for the ball as again butyl is essential for air retention, shape fixture, and smoothness during flight, making it less likely to deflate. It comes in standard sizes of 3,4 and 5 though it may be a tad smaller than normal soccer balls at these sizes.
This may prove a problem as it is not the proper size to be involved in demanding match play. Also, a close inspection of the ball may help as to not get a damaged one upon purchase.
Other than that the Adidas Soccer Ball comes in three brilliant distinct patterns and colors allowing you to spot the ball during motion making play much more easier and fluid.
Pros and Cons of Adidas Performance MLS Glider Soccer Ball:
Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball:
The name says it all, Mikasa really did produce a “Serious” soccer ball in this baby. Known for taking a beating, this is not only the best soccer balls but probably the strongest ball on this list – extremely durable for withstanding impact on those rough and tough school playground which many serious soccer players end up calling home.
Other notable features:
Available in 5 different styles, think of this soccer ball as the ultimate practice ball that can be used by a team or class during recess, gym class, or after-school practices for their aspiring Ronaldos. At this cheap of a price, the ball can take those rough terrains, all those youthful heavy-handed kicks and those tears (both the players and the terrain’s) well.
The product has a pretty hard exterior but the stitched synthetic PU leather it is made up of still provides it with reasonably comfortable texture and a soft hold. It is again made of polyurethane, our old friend known for immense sturdiness, resistance to damage and wear and tear as well as providing solid weight and a good counter balance against friction to allow for a smoother flight path. The silver, white and black color leather exterior of this soccer ball comprises of butyl bladder that would facilitate maximum air retention. Butyl again is known as a solid A grade material for constructing bladders that allow the ball to retain shape, even while in motion and thus increase playability with ease. The ball is about 1 pound in weight, so perfect for our younger soccer enthusiasts and players.
As well as that the soccer ball can be found in a variety of color combinations including the traditional alternating black and white panels as well as more eye-catching tones of red, green, blue, etc.
Pros and Cons of Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball:
American Challenge Brasilia Soccer Ball :
The thing that strikes you the most about the American Challenge Brasilia Soccer Ball is its distinct and vibrant color pattern. Dazzling in brilliant shades of yellow, pink, orange, red and green, you’ll be seeing it sailing in the air for miles to come.
It has a durable 32-panel outside casing a hybrid SR-bladder that strengthens it and allows retention for 2 to 4 weeks in one go so you don’t have to worry about re-pumping it full of air that often.
Other notable features:
- 100% Fiber is used in the making of the ball which makes it ideal for young players.
- Outlined with hard TPU exterior material
- The ball is available in different sizes ranging from size 3 to 5.
- You can also get the size 1 mini ball for your kids as well.
So in summary, the match ball is easy to use and control, a bright, attractive option. The materials used to construct the design and texture of the ball make it optimal for turf or street or field use and its hybrid butyl holds air very well and makes the shape pretty sturdy for the price while the hybrid quality also makes it a great deal soft and easy on younger players hands. This ball makes a great case to be used in street and freestyle play even if it cannot be used for more official matches, making it a safe beginner’s choice to hone skills before advancing to the next level of soccer mastery. For the features mentioned above, this ball falls in the shortlist of our best soccer balls.
Pros and Cons of American Challenge Brasilia Soccer Ball:
Nike Training Pitch Soccer Ball :
As Nike says, “Built for top training sessions and improving your footwork, this Nike Soccer Training Ball features a butyl bladder that ensures consistent shape retention and enhanced protection against tears and abrasions.” We can testify it does whatever it says on the box! As well as this ball has lots of other features that make it well worth the price!
Other notable features:
- Visual acuity graphics improve tracking on the pitch.
- Durable and smooth casing for lasting play.
- Consistent impact diffusion across all 12 panels.
- Rubber bladder improves air and shape retention for extended ball life.
It is made up of 12 panels constructed in Nike’s well known traditional design taking inspiration from the official premier league style balls so you can have the aesthetic of the FIFA championships in your hands. Nike’s premium technology regarding graphics and visual motion tracking is also on display on the tactile surface of this ball, enabling it to be spotted from far off distance and in-flight motion easily. This makes the play enjoyable and allows for faster response time and sensitivity.
Pros and Cons of Nike Training Ball:
Nike Strike Football/ Soccer Ball :
The Strike Soccer Ball from Nike is the second ball to be inspired by the Premier League official darling Ordem line. Built with most of the tech specs from that lineup, the Nike Strike Soccer Ball does not fail to impress soccer fans with its state of the art design and engineering and stylistic choices.
The Aerowtrac grooves have been a firm favorite tech spec of mine as they allow maximum gripping force while on the terrain as well provide a smoother more precise pathway of flight. The 12-panel design is also a personal favorite as I quite like the minimalist, cleaner aesthetic it provides upon inspection. The panels are made from a foam material and are machine stitched together, enhancing the sturdiness and providing a mild touch while the bladder is made up of butyl giving it its high air retention and lasting shape. At this price point, the Nike Strike is a good choice, particularly if you like the look and feel of the Ordem balls.
Pros and Cons of Nike Strike Football/ Soccer Ball:
Adidas Starlancer Soccer Ball :
Right of the bat, I love the look of the pink and blue surface of the Starlancer V. Its clean while remaining fun and vibrant. Both the color and the name remind me of Starfire of the original Teen Titans and that kind of nostalgia can’t be beaten.
This is one of those great beginner soccer balls if you’re just starting out to play. It features the traditional pentagon-panel design with alternating hexagons so this helps to understand foot placement during the play. The cover offers modern graphics that make playing with this soccer ball attractive. Don’t worry it just doesn’t come in pink. It maintains its shape well during practice and play and allows for beginners to start the development process for an easily affordable price.
Again this ball is machine-stitched making it durable with a butyl bladder making it long-lasting and firm and with great air retention that doesn’t cause deflategate. Therefore, all the sizes seem to be in order as well with the exterior materials reaching almost official certification quality. Moreover, Adidas has equipped the Starlancer with a special exterior of TPU. This allows the soccer ball to mimic match quality without the higher price for that quality of ball. You won’t want to use this soccer ball on rough ground, any natural or artificial soccer pitch will work with this ball so players can work on their skills. It’s a great deal for a near-premium ball!
Other notable features:
- Quickly control the ball and precisely pass and shoot; great ball for a beginning or young athlete
- As the ball is stitched by machine and internal wound carcass made of nylon for maximum durability and long-lasting performance
- Special exterior by TPU material is designed to resist abrasion and last longer. Butyl bladder for superior air and shape retention
- Ball ships deflated. Inflation is required. Pump not included
- Size 3 suggested for ages 8 and under, Size 4 suggested for ages 8-12, Size 5 suggested for ages 12+
However a note of caution on this specific ball:
Make sure to check the seams of your ball immediately. The stitching on this ball to be extremely well made, but there are some common complaints regarding the ball losing pressure due to improperly stitched panels. So make sure you check this issue out before purchase or right after. If a ball is falling apart at the seams, then you definitely do not want it!
Pros and Cons of Starlancer Soccer Ball:
Adidas Performance Glider Soccer Ball:
With the bold brilliant colors of the Confederate Cup emblazoned on the surface of the glider surface ball, the Adidas Performance Glider Soccer ball boasts the performance of pioneer beginners soccer balls with its brand history and status of creating great balls, even taking part in official FIFA matches. The graphics in this particular ball make it shine like an ember across the field, almost blazing its path to victory.
Other notable features:
- This ball is perfect for a beginning or advanced athlete.
- Machine stitched for maximum durability and performance.
- The exterior is made with TPU material. This helps the ball To last longer and resist abrasion the exterior is designed with special TPU material; Butyl bladder for best air retention to keep the ball’s shape and stay inflated longer.
- Size 3 ball suggested for ages 8 and under; size 4 ball suggested for ages 8-12; size 5 ball suggested for ages 12+. Size 1 is a mini ball. Check with the league for size requirements.
Show your European “Football” pride with joy with one of these beaming smiles of a soccer ball!
Pros and Cons of Adidas Performance Glider Soccer Ball:
Champion Sports Extreme Series Composite Soccer Ball
This soccer ball was exclusively designed for beginners just starting out to mid-level intermediate players of the game. The material used to make this ball is durable and should satisfy to endure a range of conditions. They are well built, has good retention and is built to withstand a great deal of rumble and tussle while you learn to hone your skills and master the game.
The panels are covered with a soft composite known as TPU which is a blend of two types of soft and hard silicones. This makes it soft and comfortable to handle so it does not pose as too much of a frictional surface to the novice hands of the player, thus preventing careless injury. It is again made with quality butyl bladder – the best of the best when it comes to water retention, shape and form wear. The machine-stitched technology for the panels makes the ball extremely durable and sturdy as it uses polyesters to make the surface. As a bonus, it comes in a range of colors and sizes from red to blue to grey to pink all the way up to 9 different options with sizes of 3, 4 and 5!
Other notable features:
- This soccer ball is perfect for beginner to mid-level athletes. Built for high-retention activity, these balls will not lose composition and will provide optimal surface coverage and handling, rain or shine.
- Unlike many kids balls that have no give, the Champion Sports dribble balls are comprised of TPU (a hybrid of soft and hard silicone) that offers smoother handling, juggling, kicking, passing, and less chance of injury.
- When you use our premium, youth-regulated soccer ball, you will notice quality that supersedes any equipment like it. Our rec balls are made with a butyl bladder that promises exceptional air retention and precision.
- Each #3 premier JV and junior league ball is ideal for kids between the ages of 8 and under. With our patented, machine-stitched panels, they are reinforced for extra strength and rough handling.
- Whether your child is playing on a school team, a recreational league, training in the backyard or using it to play kickball, volleyball or some other sport, the Champion Sports ball will meet all their sporting needs.
If you’re going to impress a kid with an array of options with good solid quality, this may be the one for you!
Pros and Cons of Champion Sports Extreme Series Composite Soccer Ball:
Under Armour DESAFIO 395 Soccer Ball:
Under Armour is again one of my more favorite brands for sporting attire and equipment. Its a bit on the steeper price range sure but its style, quality, and unbeatable aesthetic cannot be beaten. My Under Armour products have lasted me for years with hardly any wear or tear and to say that this is a great brand would be an understatement. They surely know what they’re doing. For the DESAFIO 395 Soccer Ball, Under Armour offers the authentic experience in soccer balls with its maximum rebound.
The secret to the authentic movements on a rebound with this ball is the inclusion of an SBR foam layer underneath the PU cover. To pass the energy or to transfer the shot with extreme accuracy and impact the SBR foam layer is very helpful. It keeps the ball soft and comfortable to the touch but creates a realistic movement that allows players to develop an ability to start reading the game with accuracy without the need to purchase an expensive premium match soccer ball. This may be the step down of the premium match ball experience that you may need. It is your skill-building ball.
Other notable features:
- UA Touchskin Technology with .15mm TPU surface layer delivers amazing abrasion resistance
- 1mm EVA foam for exceptional softness
- 2-layer cloth construction retains shapes
- Butyl bladder with 2-ply carcass for liveliness and air retention
- NFHS Approved
- Includes 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
- Sizes: 3 | 4 | 5
- Colors: White/Coral | Yellow/RWB | Camo/Yellow
However, the ball does not have the sturdiness we are looking for when it comes to most official matches so it may be better to use this when on home field-friendly matches, training matches in schools or just to practice dribbling at home when you’re alone. Keep it away from gravel as it very likely to wear and tear due to the soft casing of the ball. To preserve the life span of the ball try to stay away from indoor play areas and better play on outdoor surfaces.
The authentic rebound experience keeps it on our list as it is one of the few balls that allow the aspiring player to develop a keen and realistic feel for the game.
Other than that the sizing is accurate, it looks great, coming in a range of cool colors and for an entry-level soccer ball at that price, it’s a pretty good deal.
Pros and Cons of Under Armour DESAFIO 395 Soccer Ball:
Franklin Sports Competition F100 Soccer Ball:
Another ball that boasts traditional glory is the Franklin Sports Competition F100 Soccer Ball. It comes in traditional alternating panels of black and white variety in 12 numbers. It has all the trimmings that make it a standard good quality soccer ball for beginners, especially at this reduced price. For hardly a few dollars, you are getting well worth the money.
Other notable features:
- Traditional styling, precision stitched for official size, lightweight construction.
- High Gloss sponge PVC cover offers excellent abrasion resistance for skill-building.
- Foam cushion System provides softcover.
- Quality air retention bladder.
As with the Under Armour DESAFIO, this ball has that soft cover that allows for a better rebound and recoil though again much like its predecessor this makes it extremely vulnerable to terrain, and rough handling. It does a better job at handling impact and damage though because of the high gloss cover put nothing on the same level as the Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball, or the Nike Strike or our favorite Watson Traditional. There it may be worth your while to spend a few more extra bucks and get the Watson. The Franklin Sports does its job well though you might have to get a replacement pretty soon.
Pros and Cons of Franklin Sports Competition F100 Soccer Ball:
Frequently Asked Questions:
According to soccer.com anything around 3,4,5 is good for most players of a range of ages. Except sizes up of the Adidas V one.
Most balls do come deflated and you’d be wise to invest in an air pump with a decent gauge and needle soon enough. It’ll save your life from running down to the sports store or a gas station plenty of times.
YES, they are. Therefore, don’t play with them indoors if you can help it.
Yes all of them though you might have to be a bit more careful with the last two on this list.
This question has two answers. No, if you are just a beginner’s starting out to get into the game, you will tear your ball to shreds while practicing with it. So better get a good solid cheap one like the Wilson and them maybe when you own a championship or two, splurge on the NIKE Ordem (jk). If you’re a hardcore fan, I have no doubt you’d love a good premium OFFICIAL specs meeting match ball. So go ahead, if you have the money, just do research but do you need one? Absolutely not.
Conclusion: Best Soccer Balls
We’ve done the research for you and reviewed 11 best soccer balls. Now all of you have to do is pick one based on your needs. Under Armour is for the players who play single skill-based. It is Adidas for the stylish and quality players. If you like traditional flavor, Watson will be your best bet. All that is important is that you remember to enjoy playing to your heart’s content with whatever ball you make your companion. Enjoy!