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Best Soccer Balls For The Money

adidas Capitano Soccer Ball

Are you looking for the best soccer ball that money can buy but you do not have the time to sift through different guides and articles?

The first thing to ask yourself is, what do you want to use the ball for. If you are not well versed in soccer, this will seem like a redundant question.

However there are different soccer balls on the market, and each offers the player a unique advantage.

The next thing you will need to know is the size of the ball you want. If you are buying it for a child who is just starting out, the size has to differ from the professional ball used by national teams in training.

Our top pick is the Adidas Capitano Soccer Ball - Check price here. 

This beauty has a textured surface for a better touch, a butyl bladder for the best air retention and get this, it is officially licensed by FIFA! Let us take a look at some of the top contenders on the market today.

Also look into the durability and quality of the ball, as well as warranties from the manufacturing company. Ultimately get the soccer ball that will improve your game.

Introduction

Are you looking for the best soccer balls money can buy?

The game of soccer is one of the most progressive and inclusive games in the world. It has the amazing ability to bring people together and get them putting aside all types of issues.  

It is such an age-old sport, it is not known when exactly the first ball was kicked. The game dates back to ancient civilizations.

We have pulled together our top pick balls (that give the best value for money). We have also created a great in-depth buyers guide, that will let you know all of the different things you should look for when picking a new ball.

Our Reviews Of The Best Soccer Balls For The Money

adidas Capitano Soccer Ball

You would undoubtedly be familiar with the Capitano from the world tournaments where you would have seen it or other of a similar design.

From an aesthetic point of view soccer balls hardly ever go over the top. It is a simple cross like design that has alternating colours in between. The Adidas branding and any additional elements are scattered across the surface.

As a whole it is quite understated. More is less, is what they say.

Beyond the looks, you will also notice that the ball is well stitched. You will not have any problems with the stitches becoming undone if you play under normal circumstances.

They are machine stitched to ensure consistency and high accuracy. There are hardly any cases of rough products making it onto the market. Adidas has also used the Butyl bladder to ensure that the ball does not easily become deflated.

You will receive the ball deflated. It is left to you to then pump it up. There is no pump included. When you do pump it the pressure is best at 0.5-0.7 bar.

This ball is an official size 5.

Pros

  • It is a lovely looking soccer ball.
  • The ball is of good quality.
  • It is well stitched all around.
  • Delivers much needed durability.
  • The cover is very soft.
  • There are several designs that you can choose from.

Cons

  • There have been some deflation issues reported. Might be a few bad apples.
  • The shiny finish is not to everyone’s liking.

Our handy guide to the Best Soccer Ball features more great products like this.


adidas World Cup Top Glider

The Top Glider is an official FIFA World Cup training ball. This was the sort of ball that was used at the World Cup in Russia. It boasts of the same accurate and durable machine stitching that is on the one above. Machine-stitching also ensures that the softness of the ball is done just right.

Adidas have also it a point to add texture to the exterior of the ball. This is a feature that goes a long way to ensure that your ball control is better. There is more friction generated when the surface of the football rubs against your boots. This delivers more manoeuvrability.

The textured surface is fully made out of TPU. It is a material that is renowned for not fading or slicing too easily. It has a grainy feel to it. You will find that there are no issues associated with the loss of colour. The Top Glider has  the Butyl bladder as well.

It is designed to ensure that there is incredible air retention. We did not experience any problems related to air loss.

From a design standpoint, the top Glider can be described as having several colourful islands strutted across its surface. It is a palate that encompasses 3 colours within the design.

Two being very prominent and another 3 as peripheral supporting colours. The manufacturer logo and the teams’ flags are also represented on it. You will usually get the ball with the flags of the two nations that played in the 2018 finals.

A good touch would have been the option to pick your own two flags for this section. This is not something that I have seen offered by the manufacturer or retailers.

There are usually 3 sizes and 2 designs that you can choose from. The smallest size that you can find this ball in is a size 3. You will need to inflate your ball before using it.

Pros

  • Comes with a FIFA reflection sticker.
  • There are two designs to choose from.
  • The ball looks and feels good on the field.
  • It is reasonably lightweight.
  • This is the authentic World Cup 2018 replica.

Cons

  • It does not offer much longevity when exposed to water.
  • There have been reports of balls that are not perfectly circular.
  • It discolours much quicker than expected.

Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the Best Goalie Gloves For Youth.


Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball

The Numero 10 is one of Select’s flagship soccer balls. This is with good reason. Let us dig into the features that make this a great pick. It is made of PU material that is laminated with neoprene foam.

This makes it very soft in comparison to similar balls. The design mimics the texture of a golf ball’s texture. It makes it easier to control when playing. There are a total of 32 hand-stitched panels across the surface of each ball. This ball was designed to give you an ideal ball for both matches and training.

Select has used the zero-wing latex bladder as a way to retain pressure. It is also responsible for giving you optimal bounce when you play. Instead of machining the ball, they have gone with hand stitching. This is obviously a process that takes longer in comparison to the machine stitching option. However, we think that it is all worth it.

There are fewer cases of imperfect aerodynamics reported with this ball than you will find with the machine stitched ones. Quality control is better when there is more human involvement.

Depending on where you plan to use the ball, you may be pleased to note that Select has ensured that each ball us compliant with the National Federation of High Schools, NCCA and the IMS regulations. This means that you can use it for official High School, Club and Collegiate matches.

This last feature may be trivial, but we love it anyway. There is a white-on-black digital panel on each ball. It allows for players to personalise the ball. There are 8 colours that you can choose from. The ball is usually available in sizes 4 and 5.

Pros

  • There are several designs and colours to choose from.
  • The ball travels quicker and faster than other similar balls.
  • It is compliant with NCCA, IMS and NFSH standards.
  • The ball is completely hand-stitched.
  • There are hardly any reported aerodynamic issues.

Cons

  • The inflation point can be hard to locate.
  • Some balls have been reported to have poor pressure retention.

We have also reviewed the Best Soccer Balls For Juggling, so check them out as well.


Nike Premier League Merlin Soccer Ball

This list could hardly be considered to be complete without the inclusion of the Merlin. This ball is relatively new on the market. There is some comfort derived from knowing that it is coming from a trusted brand.

The Merlin is designed for the world famous English Premier League if the name had not already given that away. You will see it being used throughout the 2019/20 season. If there was ever a way to assess a ball’s performance before purchasing it.

This is a great way to do it. It is marketed as being the cream of the crop where technology is concerned. They have made strides in terms of aerodynamic tuning of the ball.

It boasts of a 4-panel construction that is designed to give the player a larger sweet spot. What this translates to is ease when you play with it on the field. Some of your mishit shots will no longer stray as far wide from the target as you would have usually found them to.

For versatility of use in wet and dry playing conditions, the Merlin has the 3-D ink feature. It provides much-needed target control in said conditions.

Nike has also introduced the AerowTrac groove. These grooves enable the ball to fly consistently. It has the same effect on ball spin. They have made use of the latex bladder as a way of maintaining air pressure. We have found that this method is more reliable than other bladders that are on the market.

The standards of manufacturing are obviously very high. As they should be for a ball that will be used in such a big world stage. The components that make up the ball include synthetic leather, rubber, polyester and cotton.

Pros

  • We love the minimalist design.
  • This is the ball that is currently used in the Premier League.
  • It has consistent ball spin.
  • Ball control is much easier.
  • Pressure retention is just as impressive.
  • It is suitable for both wet and dry playing conditions.

Cons

  • It is on the higher end of our price scale.
  • The ball is still new. There is not much information available to critique it.

Check out our review of the Best Soccer Cleats For Artificial Grass for our top picks.


adidas MLS Official Game Ball

If we were going solely on looks this would be up there with the very best. The design is not a novel one by any means. It is just a more subtle and refined version of one that we have encountered repeated. We appreciate a fresh take at an ageing idea.

The main material used in the manufacturing of this ball is polyurethane. One of the main things that set this ball apart from others is that it is seamless. It has been thermally bonded. From an on the pitch performance standpoint, this is incredible.

It will mean that the ball flight is better. You will also find that there are better touch and ball control. Finally, the usual water uptake issues that are often associated with stitched balls are done with.

The cover feels compact and solid. Sceptics will be surprised at how we joined the thermal-bonded areas all seem. For air retention, I am sure you are now familiar with the Butyl bladder? It is the one that they have gone with again. There are subtle improvements that have been made to an already impressive bladder.

You will also be pleased to note that this ball has a FIFA Quality Pro rating. This allows you to rest easy knowing that some rigorous testing has been done to ensure that this ball is worthy of this rating. It is compliant with regulations related to weight, water uptake, shape and overall size. They have also considered size retention.

This is a measure of how well the ball remains in its original shape and size after being exposed to conditions such as adverse weather. This is the ball that was licensed for the 2018 MLSA season.

Pros

  • Ball flight is consistent and unwavering.
  • We love the brand and the design of this ball.
  • It is well textured making for better ball control.
  • Pressure retention is much better than previous models.
  • It has a FIFA Quality Pro rating.

Cons

  • It is on the high end of the price scale.

Before you leave, why not check out our Most Comfortable Soccer Cleats guide - and see what our top picks are.


Where Did Soccer Balls Originate From - And Why It's Important

In medieval times, people used skulls or pigs bladders to play soccer. Pretty disgusting right. Well, that is all they knew back then and it seemed like the best thing ever. That is the thing about living in the present, utter satisfaction.

The soccer ball dates back from a few centuries BC to around 200AD. In China, they used balls made of animal skins, and these were called tsu chu. Players had to pass the ball through nets stretched between two poles. Other civilizations across the world, also used different makeshift balls. Most of which were made from animal skins.

Those who used pig bladders would aim to keep it in the air. The major issue that arose with this, was that the size of the ball and how the game was played, was largely dependent on the size of the pig's bladder. It very rarely went the players wanted it to, and so the game could get pretty frustrating. Quite a revolting thought, but it makes you grateful for how far the soccer ball has evolved.

The twentieth Century came round and brought with it soccer balls made of rubber (undoubtedly easier on the feet than skulls and less disgusting than pig bladders). In 1855, Charles Goodyear invented the first vulcanized rubber soccer ball. Patterns were glued together at the seams. In 1862, H.J. Lindon developed an inflatable ball. This closed the door on the pig bladder ball that decided the nature of the game, simply by its size.

After all the ups and downs, and the growing popularity of the game of soccer, the ball had to be standardized. If games were going to be played on an international scale, it meant the rules and the equipment had to be made standard. In 1872, the  English Football Association came up with this standard, prescribing that the soccer ball was spherical with a circumference of 27 to 28 inches (68.6 cm to 71.1 cm). The weight would be 13-15 oz.

This would be the standard, until 1937, when its weight increased to 14-16 oz. The law of football also prescribed the shape and design of the football. The ball was to be made with an outer casing of leather or any other material that was subject to approval. In 1863 on November the 7th, the first game between the Oneida Football Club (the first organized US team) and a team from the Boston Latin and English Schools was played. To this day, there is a monument that stands in Boston, just to commemorate this milestone.

After a few weeks, the soccer ball was ready to be mass-produced. Two companies, Mitre and Thomlinson's of Glasgow, were the first to do this.  Since the balls were now standardized, they had to be kept. The companies had to use high-quality cutters and stitchers to make sure the shape of the ball was maintained. The standard was set and kept. Today, the soccer ball comes in various skin designs, however, the shape and size is pretty much standard.

  1. Are you looking for the best soccer ball money can get?
  2. Is there an urgent need to upgrade your current soccer ball?
  3. Do you want to get the perfect gift for an avid soccer lover?

Today soccer balls are made by many different companies and they each offer different advantages and disadvantages.

Best Soccer Balls For The Money - Buyers Guide

Best Soccer Balls For The Money

If you are looking for a good soccer ball then you are probably thinking the most expensive ball is the best. This is not necessarily true. The best ball money can buy, takes into consideration other factors. What you want is value for money rather than just a high price tag. Considering the sheer number of these things that are on the market, it cannot be easy to choose the right one. Just when you think that you have gotten it right, there is a new one on the market. There is always a risk of continuously chasing the newer, shiny one. The only way to keep yourself out of this rut is by ensuring that you find one that delivers satisfaction immediately. The buyer’s guide is for those that have come out of the reviews with some questions. This is a section in which we will explore some of the things that we think that you should take into account when picking your ball.

Where do you want to use soccer balls?

There are many types of soccer balls and each one has its own unique features that can help bring out the best in your game. The faster you can fish these out, the better. Here are some of the variations you can get on the market today.

The indoor soccer ball

The name of this soccer ball says it all. It is a ball that can be played indoors. It has less bounce so you will not be smashing down furniture or windows. Indoor balls have a really strong cover, a cover that is stronger than other ball types. It can be played on hard surfaces and it can withstand impact with walls.

The miniature soccer ball

Miniature balls, beach balls, and futsal balls can also meet your needs. As the name suggests, they are smaller versions of soccer balls. They are great for working on ball control drills. If you can do it with one of these, the large balls would be easier.

The Turf Ball

These balls play best on artificial surfaces that mimic grass. They are pretty affordable but they do not fair very well on natural turf.

The Training Ball

Training balls can go the long haul with you. They are specifically designed for extensive use. They are extremely durable. One of the great things about these balls is that they are versatile and can virtually be used on any turf and on any field. They encourage basic skill development and they can be used by players at any level. So if you are a soccer coach, it is a no brainer, this has to be part of your collection.

The Match Ball

These balls are relatively pricier than turf and training balls, but the quality speaks for itself. You will understand why they are such a big deal when grabbing hold of one. The outer casing is either leather or made of approved synthetic material. These balls will normally be water-resistant. So you know you can play them even on rainy days.

The Premium Match Ball

Now, these are the real McCoy. The real deal when it comes to soccer balls that are perfect for professional games. These balls are normally on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to pricing. But this is to be expected. These balls are of extremely high quality. They are FIFA approved so you know they will meet the world standards. This ball has superior water-resistant qualities. It performs on a top-notch level and has great air retention. You will find this ball in a lot of professional soccer settings. It is undoubtedly the best type of soccer ball on the market.

Quality

Think about the quality of the ball you are getting. Read the specifications and know what the warranty on the ball you want to get is.

What size does the ball come in?

Soccer balls come in different sizes. Knowing these sizes, and which one to use when will help you make the right choice. Here are the sizes.

Size 1. This is the smallest size you will get and it is used to sharpen the footwork skills of the player. This is the size you will find in a lot of shops and it is not marketed as a professional ball size.

 Size 2.  This ball is about half the size of a regular ball. It is great for playing within a small space. It is mostly used in children's games, mainly the U4 level.

Size 3. This ball size is for much younger children and its ratio of the player's foot to its size is the same as an adult. It has a circumference of between 23 and 24 inches.

Size 4. Balls this size, are aimed at children U12 and below. It is not the size of a regular ball but it is close and it helps young players. sharpen their skills.  It has a circumference of between 25 and 26 inches.

Size 5. This ball is a regular sized ball for adults (both men and women) This is the ball you will find at a professional level.  It has a circumference of between 27 and 28 inches.

Final Thoughts

The type of soccer ball that you get is largely dependent on what you want to do. There are different levels of the game. From preschool soccer teams, meant to foster teamwork and just great fun really, to top-paying premier soccer leagues played as a profession. This will be a great determinant of the ball you get. As we have gone through some of the top picks, we hope you can get clarity and guidance, on the ball to get that will get you to value for your money. Each one of the balls on our list has earned its place. Going with any of them will guarantee you a good quality ball. The information contained within our buyer’s guide will have also enhanced your knowledge of these products. Combine these two things to reach a good pick. Happy Shopping.

If you didn't find the right soccer ball in this guide, then you should check out our Best Soccer Ball Reviews Guide.

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