Whether you call it football, futbol, or soccer, the beautiful game is the same for us all. It is one of the most progressive sports in the way it promotes inclusion. Everyone deserves the opportunity to get onto the pitch to play this great game. These are the soccer balls that can help to turn dreams into reality.
The Best Chart for Soccer Balls
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Ball Size||Price|
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Ball Size||Price|
|Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball|| 4.5 ||5|| $$ |
|adidas Starlancer V Soccer Ball|| 4.2 ||5|| $$ |
|adidas MLS Glider Soccer Ball|| 4.3 ||5|| $$ |
|Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball|| 4.4 ||5|| $$$ |
|Under Armour Desafio 395 Soccer Ball|| 4.6 ||5|| $ |
|adidas Champion's League Finale Capitano Soccer Ball|| 4.2 ||5|| $$$$$ |
|Nike Pitch EPL Soccer Ball|| 4.1 ||5|| $$ |
|Vizari Blossom Soccer Ball|| 4.0 ||5|| $$ |
|Nike Aerow Team Soccer Ball|| 4.1 ||5|| $$$ |
|adidas Champion's League Finale Top Training Soccer Ball|| 4.1 ||5|| $$$ |
My friend and I were kicking a soccer ball around the front yard. It was maybe 2007 and I was getting ready to leave for a couple weeks on a trial. Trying to be cute, I tried a handling skill where I flipped the ball up behind my back and then kick it with my heel so it comes back over my head again. So I kicked the ball too hard, it goes out into the street, and a truck promptly runs it over.
End of soccer ball. Goodbye $120.
If your budget is tight, that kind of experience can be extremely frustrating. It makes you hesitate when making a purchase because you don’t want to be out that much money. You can buy a lot with $120, so why buy a soccer ball for that price?
Here’s some good news: the best cheap soccer balls can be just as effective with skill development as the most expensive soccer balls.
When it comes to specific skills or gameplay routines, however, the investment into a three-figure soccer ball will help a player at any level of play. Most organized leagues at the high school level and above use premium soccer balls for games, which means a player benefits when they can practice with a similar ball.
So if you’re looking for the best soccer ball to meet your needs, you’ll be able to choose the right ball for your game and style of play right now.
What Are the Different Types of Soccer Balls?
You’ll find that there are several different types of soccer balls that are available today. Each type of soccer ball has some unique features that can be turned into a player advantage. Here are the various options that are available at the moment.
- Turf Balls. This soccer ball is specifically designed to work on artificial surfaces that mimic grass. They are durable and reasonably affordable, but tend to skip more when used on a natural pitch.
- Training Balls. These soccer balls are designed for an ultimate level of durability. They can be used on virtually any field. You can even kick them around on the street or a playground without them scuffing much. They are designed for basic skill development and can be used by players at any level.
- Match Balls. These soccer balls cost more than turf or training balls, but they have a superior level of quality. The outer casing is either leather or an approved synthetic and it will typically be water-resistant as well. All sizing requirements as dictated by the laws of the game must also be followed.
- Premium Match Balls. These are the most expensive soccer balls that you’ll find on the market today. They are FIFA-approved balls, so they meet all of the standards necessary for international play. Air retention, water-resistance, and performance are far superior when compared to a training ball. Virtually every professional league uses a ball of this quality for game play.
Another type of soccer ball that some players may find to be useful is the indoor soccer ball. Indoor balls are designed to have less bounce and rebound to them, making it possible to control the ball on a tighter court or field. The cover of an indoor ball is also the strongest of any category, so it can withstand play on turn, hard court surfaces, and impacts with walls.
There are also miniature soccer balls, beach soccer balls, and futsal balls that are all available if you’re looking for the best soccer balls to meet your needs.
What Are the Different Sizes of Soccer Ball and What Do They Mean?
Soccer balls come in five different sizes.
- Size 1. This miniature soccer ball is extremely small and is used to sharpen the footwork of a player. They are often sold for fun more than they are as a serious soccer ball.
- Size 2. This size is about half of a regulation-sized soccer ball. It is a good option for playing within a small space. It is also a recommended ball size for children in organized soccer leagues at the U4 level.
- Size 3. This soccer ball size is recommended for younger children. It has the same ratio of weight to a youth foot as a regulation ball to an adult foot.
- Size 4. This soccer ball is intended for children at the U12 level or below. It is not quite the full size of a regulation ball, but it will help to advance the skills of younger players.
- Size 5. This is the regulation size for a soccer ball. Both men and women use this size for all organized play at the high school, collegiate, and professional level.
What sets each soccer ball apart from another is the quality of the materials that are used in its construction. The lining, bladder, cover, and the quality of the overall craftsmanship will all influence the final cost of the soccer ball you’re looking at. Higher quality balls are usually bonded together to provide a superior shape retention experience and offer a truer flight.
Cheaper soccer balls may offer a certain level of unpredictability during use, but they also tend to have a better overall durability. This is especially true when it comes to playing on rougher surfaces or on artificial turf.
Though if you kick your ball in front of a truck and it explodes, no soccer ball of any quality is going to survive that.
How Are the Best Soccer Balls Constructed?
The quality of craftsmanship and construction that goes into a soccer ball will directly impact how true it flies. This is true no matter how much the soccer ball may cost at the end of the day. Good panels, whether they are fused or stitched, will provide a good usage experience.
For the modern soccer ball, there are three options for construction that are utilized by every brand.
- Thermal Bonding.
Depending on the quality of the work to put the cover together, a soccer ball may be incredibly water-resistant or it might absorb water like a dry paper towel. Extra water absorption will make the ball heavier to the foot, increase the chance of a personal injury, and prematurely degrade the materials of the ball itself.
Look for strong water-resistance to obtain the best possible value from your new soccer ball.
There is no set number of panels that go into the construction of the modern soccer ball. The most common design involves 32 panels, but 18-panel and 26-panel designs are also easy enough to purchase. Some thermally bonded soccer balls with modern panel designs may only incorporate 8 panels, much like the first soccer balls that were created.
In general terms, the 32-panel design provides a similar flight experience for the ball, no matter what brand has manufactured it. Unique designs that are offered, particularly by Adidas, can result in changes to the flight experience and the overall performance of the ball.
The bottom line is this: fewer panels means fewer seams that need to be sealed. This means the ball is able to maintain its shape with greater regularity and resist water more consistently.
What Materials Go into the Modern Soccer Ball?
Although leather soccer balls are often approved for use by the laws of the game, it is incredibly rare to actually be using one. The vast majority of soccer balls that are on the market today have an outer coating that is made from either PVC or polyurethane.
If price is a primary factor when shopping for the best soccer ball to meet your needs, then you’ll want a PVC ball. PVC is use for most indoor balls and is more affordable than polyurethane, so you spend less to get a ball that is more durable.
Polyurethane is typically used for premium match balls, though some standard match balls may be constructed in a similar way. There is a noticeable difference in the softness of the soccer ball when it has been made with a polyurethane cover. Look for a glossy coating to receive the best possible water-resistance with your new soccer ball.
Inside of the cover is the bladder of the ball. Most of the premium match balls have a natural latex bladder, which provides the player with a softer touch and natural bounce or roll during practice or play. The only problem with a natural latex bladder is that it tends to lose air with regularity, so it needs to be consistently refilled.
To avoid the air pressure maintenance issue, a butyl rubber bladder is an option to consider. They have a certain rigidness to them that helps the ball maintain its shape very well without much of a need to keep refilling the ball.
How to Care for Your Brand New Soccer Ball
A soccer ball can last for a long time when it is properly cared for on a regular basis. Even if the ball is used frequently for practice and play, you can still get multiple seasons out of a well-maintained ball.
Proper care of your new soccer ball begins with maintaining an ideal inflation level. For most soccer balls, the right amount of inflation is between 9-10.5 pounds of air. If you’re not sure what your specific ball wants to have, there should be a manufacturer’s recommendation on the ball, next to the inflation valve.
If a recommendation is not available, then look on the packaging and one should be there. If not, then just follow the general recommendation listed above.
It is also a good idea to clean your soccer ball after you have finished using it. Although regularly cleaning a soccer ball can be a time-consuming chore, it will extend the life of the ball’s cover. The grit, dirt, and debris that the ball can pick up on any pitch impacts the panels and stitching with every rotation. So clean it thoroughly and then allow it to dry for the best possible results.
Changes in temperature will also affect the inflation level of the soccer ball. Extreme heat or extreme cold will alter the shape of the bladder and this will affect the integrity of the soccer ball. Although it doesn’t seem like you could reach an extreme temperature that could do this to a soccer ball, just leaving a ball in your trunk or the back of a van on a hot Summer’s day will do it.
In youth soccer, you’ll also find that kids tend to pull up a soccer ball and use it as a chair if you’re talking to them about something. Try to discourage this practice whenever possible. The added weight that is placed on the ball can alter its shape very quickly.
Pricing Points for the Best Soccer Balls
If you’re looking for an affordable playground soccer ball or one that works for general use, then you can grab a decent one today for about $20. These balls are fairly durable, but may not retain their shape well over time.
For players who are looking to develop their personal skills and want a ball to use at home, a good training ball is typically in the $30-$50 range. These balls will last for multiple seasons if a proper amount of maintenance and care is given to it.
Match-quality balls are typically in the $50-$100 range. This is the best soccer ball to purchase if you play competitive, organized soccer. High school or college players benefit tremendously from having this level of quality in their ball, as do adult recreation or competitive players in local parks and rec leagues.
Premium-quality match balls are generally $100-$150, but can sometimes be priced even higher. These balls typically have a glossy surface, are made with a polyurethane cover and natural latex bladder, and provide the truest practice and play experience. You’ll want to check air pressures regularly to maintain the integrity of this soccer ball.
Our Reviews on the Best Soccer Balls
These soccer balls are exact replicas of the finale game balls, right on down to the specific design details that can be found on the ball. If you’re looking for a durable, reliable ball that can help players replicated the feeling of playing the game at home, then the Top Training Series by Adidas is one of the best options to consider today. Each ball is guaranteed to pass FIFA tests for weight, circumference, rebound, and water absorption. It is the closest you can get in the entry-level categories for a soccer ball to the match ball experience.
This ball has a TPU cover that we wouldn’t describe as “highly durable” for rough play. Although it handles indoor turf, it won’t handle concrete, gravel, or court-based play like you have with futsal. This ball prefers to have a natural or artificial grass surface and that is about it. If you happen to impact a tree, run the ball on concrete, or have it bounce on a gravel driveway, the outer cover does tend to get scratched up pretty rapidly. The butyl bladder is of a higher quality than other balls at this price point, allowing the ball to hold its inflation pressure with an impressive amount of consistency.
If you have a youth player for whom you are purchasing this soccer ball, then take note that the Size 3 ball in this series is closer to a Size 4 ball. The weight and feel is still accurate, so it is good for home practice and play. The sizing just might make it difficult to take this ball to practice for some players. It doesn’t come with a 32-panel design, but it does have the traditional hexagon panels over the entire cover of the ball. This allows players to work on some ball movement skills, as well as placement drills, with relative ease at home.
This was one of the few soccer balls that came our way that didn’t come inflated out of the box. How well the ball is inflated will depend on the long-term viability of the butyl bladder in this ball. When properly inflated with the correct needle, the air can be held for weeks, or even months, at a time. Compared to latex bladders, which need to be inflated about once per week on average, this Nike soccer ball offers a minimal maintenance experience. As a practice and play ball, the Nike Pitch Premier League Soccer Ball offers players a number of options that can help them improve their skills.
We found that the feeling of this ball was a bit harder than other soccer balls at this price point. This doesn’t affect the performance of the ball, as the movements were accurate and authentic when struck. The weight does tend to affect the foot and ankle over time, causing a bit of soreness after continuous play. It also features a machine-stitched construction that is accompanied by an internal nylon-wound carcass so the ball has an improved level of durability compared to other soccer balls at this price point.
The secret to the authentic movements on a rebound with this ball is the inclusion of an SBR foam layer underneath the PU cover. This allows the power of a pass or shot to be transferred with more accuracy. It keeps the ball somewhat soft to the touch, but creates a realistic movement which allows players to develop an ability to start reading the game with accuracy without the need to purchase an expensive premium match soccer ball. It comes in all of the standard sizes and offers 4 unique design options, allowing players of any age or ability to begin working on their soccer skills.
If you’re working on headers, then your forehead won’t feel like it is being repetitively hit with a meat tenderizer thanks to the design of this ball. That soft touch also translates to a reasonably authentic movement when working on crosses or shots. There is a reasonable bend that allows players to wrap a leading ball around a defensive line, curve a shot around a wall, or work on accurate passing. Control skills off of the chest or knee feel close to authentic as well.
Over time, many soccer balls tend to go out-of-round, especially if they are well-used. The Glider is designed to maintain its shape without losing air thanks to the firmness and consistency of the butyl bladder. Under regular use, we found that the air pressure was consistent enough that we didn’t need to add more air to the ball. If you play in organized soccer, then having consistency from the practice ball to the game ball is very important for skill development. The machine-stitched panels offer that experience for most players, even though the ball has the standard panel design.
Whether it was a size 3, 4, or 5, we found that the Adidas Starlancer performed as it should. This allows beginning players at any age to begin getting a feel for what it is like to have the ball at their feet. There are two color options that come with the Starlancer as well and each performs as it should. For normal passing, crossing, and shooting drills, we found this soccer ball to be true to form. The machine stitching is strong and offers a fairly long lasting performance.
This soccer ball offers the traditional look and design of the pentagon panels in alternating black and white, allowing players to learn foot placement for a good bend. There is enough weight to the ball to allow for accurate crossing and passing drills, while enough rebound exists for dribbling and shooting drills. If you take your game seriously and you want to improve at home, this is one of the best and most affordable options that you’ll want to consider. Multiple sizes are available with this traditional design.
The best soccer ball will help you to have fun and improve your game. Whether it’s at home, on a local pitch, or you take the ball with you to practice, you’ll find that these are the best value-priced options that are available in the industry today.