Best Soccer Balls

Best Soccer Ball

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Playing with a good soccer ball is fun, isn’t it?

But what about buying a quality ball?

“How difficult could it be” is what we all think!

At least till we see the hundreds of balls available in the market.

Soccer balls come in all kinds of designs, brands, prices, and more.

And it’s safe to say that finding a quality soccer ball can seem a lot like finding a needle in a haystack!

But you have nothing to fear!

We’ve done most of the work for you and shortlisted the best soccer balls you can find today.

We understand the importance of the soccer ball.

Essentially, a less than optimal soccer ball would take all the fun away from soccer.

And soccer has always been one of the most fun and famous sports globally!

We used each of these best soccer balls extensively to give you an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of each ball.

Be sure to read our informative buyer’s guide and FAQs after the reviews.

Without further ado, let’s get straight to reviews!

Best Soccer Balls – Top 15

1. Under Armour DESAFIO Soccer Ball

The numero uno ball on our list of recommendations goes to the DESAFIO 395 from the reputed brand of Under Armour.

Under Armour is one of those brands that every soccer player and enthusiast knows, if not already tried!

So what made us select this quality ball as our top pick?

Product Highlights

The DESAFIO 395 soccer ball has an excellent and authentic rebound.

In fact, no other ball in its price range can compete with it in that department.

It allows young players to get an insight into ball movement in different situations, which is crucial for improving overall soccer skills.

The Good

We know that you are less likely to think of soccer balls when you hear the brand name of Under Armour.

It is undeniably more famous for its apparel, but the DESAFIO 395 is a high quality ball and deserved the first spot on this list.

Straight off the bat, we loved the high-rebound rubber bladder.

We recommend these balls to all the developing players who want to take their soccer skills to the next level.

One of the key highlights of the DESAFIO 395 soccer ball is its affordable price range.

You will most likely not find a better soccer ball that costs less than 40 bucks.

If value for money is what you’re looking for, this soccer ball won’t disappoint one bit!

When it comes to versatility, this incredible ball scores yet another goal!

These quality balls are available in sizes 3 to 5.

And you can choose from six color options.

Did we mention that this best soccer ball came fully inflated and beautifully packaged?

The Bad

Although these are not premium match balls, they should last at least a couple of seasons of standard play.

We were a bit disappointed to see that this best soccer ball barely lasted for more than one season.

Pros

  • Available in three sizes and six colors
  • High-rebound rubber bladder
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes fully inflated

Cons

  • Not as durable as it should be

Under Armour DESAFIO 395 Soccer Ball

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2. Adidas Performance MLS Glider Soccer Ball

Are you a Major League Soccer fan?

If yes, then this next quality ball will make your eyes twinkle with joy!

The Adidas Performance MLS Glider ball is perfect for every die-hard MLS fan out there.

But that doesn’t mean it’s only for MLS fans – these quality balls make an excellent choice for nearly all soccer players.

Product Highlights

Apart from the MLS series design, there are a couple of standout features of the Glider ball.

The ball has a durable thermoplastic polyurethane exterior and a butyl rubber bladder.

You can use this best soccer ball on wet grass and in the rain without any hassle.

And the ball comes fully inflated, ready to be kicked around!

The Good

We selected the MLS Glider ball after seeing its average rating of 4.1 out of 5, which is based on over 1,800 customer reviews on Amazon.

There have to be some reasons for thousands of people liking this ball, right?

And when we finally got it at our doorstep, we knew exactly why it is so popular among soccer players.

First of all, the ball has a very soft feel, which is quite similar to premium (expensive) soccer balls.

With the MLS Glider ball, you get to practice using an almost match-like soccer ball.

So you won’t be required to change your game much in a professional match.

Its machine-stitched panels, nylon lining, and TPU outer casing makes it one of the most durable soccer balls in its price range.

Moreover, it is an exceptional bargain at a mere price of 20 dollars, mainly because of its long-lasting butyl bladder.

Although it is not much of a big deal, you won’t have to waste any time and effort inflating these quality balls.

You can choose from more than a score of color options and all five sizes.

The Bad

There isn’t much to not love about the MLS Glider ball.

The sizes do not coincide with the regulation sizes, especially size 5, which feels more like a 4.5.

Pros

  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane exterior
  • Very soft feel, like premium soccer balls
  • Butyl bladder
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Size inconsistent with regulation size

Adidas Glider Soccer Ball

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3. GoSports Premier Soccer Ball

Although GoSports does not command goodwill as strong as Adidas or Under Armour does, the Premier ball is an excellent budget training ball.

This quality ball comes for 40 dollars and includes a premium inflation pump.

You can choose from three size options between 3 and 5.

Product Highlights

You won’t get a better bargain when it comes to buying soccer balls.

The Premier ball is available in a pack of six high quality soccer balls, including a premium pump and ball bag.

These high quality soccer balls feature an attractive design with the color combination of white, red, and blue.

The Good

When it comes to training, much is demanded out of training balls.

And we can vouch for the GoSports Premier ball to be your safest bet in that regard.

Its machine-stitched panels ensure long-lasting and sustainable performance.

We especially liked the soccer ball’s synthetic leather cover, which can effectively resist abrasions from rough use.

Moreover, the ball does not deteriorate the optimum feel during footwork.

But nothing comes close to the sheer value for money it provides if you opt to buy the training balls six-pack.

We recommend these quality balls to team managers and coaches because they need to keep a stock of them.

If that wasn’t enough to make you want to buy these training balls, you also get a premium inflation pump with it (along with a ball bag if you buy the pack).

You can use the pump at regular intervals to ensure that the ball has optimal air pressure.

Although it isn’t too significant, we liked the thoughtful storage of the needle in the pump’s handle, as it makes it much more convenient.

The Bad

You cannot get an indestructible ball, especially at a low price.

As good as the Premier ball for soccer is, these balls are not durable enough to last long sessions of long-range kicking drills.

Pros

  • One of the most affordable options
  • Comes with a premium inflation pump
  • Synthetic leather cover
  • Machine-stitched panels
  • Needle stored in the handle of the pump

Cons

  • Not suitable for long-range kicking

GoSports Premier Soccer Ball

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4. Adidas Capitano Soccer Ball

The next recommendation on this list comes from a brand that needs no introduction – Adidas.

The Capitano ball is available in sizes 3 to 5 and more than a score of different color and design options.

The quality ball comes at a very reasonable price and makes for an excellent piece.

Product Highlights

The Capitano ball from Adidas is a hard-wearing ball that offers excellent bounce.

Machine-stitched construction, coupled with a butyl rubber bladder makes it a durable option.

If you are a die-hard soccer fan, you will be pleased to know that it is a replica of a match ball from European Qualifiers.

The Good

Irrespective of the color and design option you choose, you can rest assured that the Capitano ball will catch everyone’s attention as it makes its way through the ground.

That’s what we expect from a match ball replica – a stylish and eye-catching look with unparalleled visibility!

We especially liked the butyl bladder in this ball, it gives you the best of both worlds to a certain extent – the look and feel of a match ball and the longevity of a training ball.

Overall, this ball has stood the test of time and stayed in good shape after several practice sessions.

These quality balls do lose some air after a while, but that’s the case with almost every ball for soccer.

We used this ball on both natural and artificial grass surfaces, and it worked fine.

However, these balls are not meant for hard surfaces.

The Bad

Unlike most of the other soccer balls in its price range, it comes deflated.

Although it is not a deal-breaker, we expect to get an inflated, ready-to-play ball at a price exceeding 50 bucks.

Pros

  • Machine-stitched construction
  • Butyl bladder
  • Hard-wearing design for optimal bounce
  • Elegant look provides great visibility
  • Holds air and doesn’t absorb water

Cons

  • Comes deflated
  • Tad bit expensive

Adidas Capitano Soccer Ball

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5. Adidas World Cup Top Glider Soccer Ball

The next quality ball we have picked for you is one of the best Adidas balls.

The World Cup Top Glider ball has an impressive average rating of 4.2 out of 5 based on over 180 customer reviews on Amazon.

These best soccer balls are available in two colors – White/Red and White/Black/Silver Metallic.

Product Highlights

Adidas offers the Argentina soccer ball from the FIFA World Cup 2018 held in Russia.

The ball is available in size 5 for adults.

You will not find a match ball replica at such an attractive price – the World Cup Top Glider ball could be yours for as low as 25 bucks.

The Good

This recommendation is another match ball replica from Adidas.

The World Cup Top Glider ball functions as an excellent training ball and can be used to improve your soccer skills.

For $25, it is one of the most reasonable branded balls you can find in the market.

We especially liked how durable this ball is.

The exterior is 100% thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

And the ball has a butyl bladder, which facilitates prolonged air retention.

The panels on this high quality ball are machine-stitched for added durability and softness.

Whether it is long-range kicks, penalty kicks, or short passes – you can use this ball to practice and hone your soccer skills.

The stylish design and color combination of white with red is a bonus, as it ensures visibility on all kinds of surfaces.

The ball is equipped to stand the test of time, as long as you treat it with respect and not abuse it.

The Bad

The ball doesn’t come inflated, meaning that you would have to buy a pump (in case you don’t own one).

We expect the high quality Adidas soccer balls to come inflated!

Pros

  • Match ball replica of FIFA World Cup 2018
  • Machine-stitched build
  • Textured surface made of TPU
  • Butyl bladder
  • Stylish white and red color

Cons

  • Comes deflated

Adidas World Cup Top Glider

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6. Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball

If you intend to take your soccer game to the next level, you have to try out the Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball.

The ball not only looks professional, but also guarantees a lively outing for you and your mates.

Product Highlights

These balls are not hard, thanks to soft and synthetic leather.

Therefore, playing with it is not complicated, irrespective of whether you go for a header or a kick.

The Good

These balls are available in four sizes that makes them ideal for people of all ages to enjoy a good game in the park.

Plus, these balls comes in five different colors, which have been carefully chosen to make it eye-catching.

But what is more noticeable is the design due to the colored triangles.

Moreover, the ball is lightweight and weighs only 11 ounces that make it perfect for kicking or heading.

So, if you get the right contact, it will dip, bend, or curve into the top corner, just like you have seen on TV.

The lightness of these balls is achieved because of the soft, synthetic leather, which has been stitched.

The stitching encases a butyl bladder that ensures you get maximum air retention.

Furthermore, these balls are durable due to the detailed construction, allowing them to withstand many kicks while ensuring that no one is seriously hurt.

The Bad

There have been reports that the ball may not hold air in certain instances.

It could be due to the fact that after regular rigorous games and more than a few hundred kicks, it may start to wear out.

This could be an inconvenience but not a significant worry.

But some may feel that the slick outer covering could make it a bit more challenging to kick.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Available in many sizes and colors
  • Soft and synthetic leather
  • Stitched to provide the perfect design

Cons

  • Could lose air
  • May be hard to kick

Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball

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7. Wilson NCAA Premium Soccer Ball

Just one look at the Wilson NCAA Premium Soccer Ball, and you will want to be out in the field all day long.

You will love the feeling as it takes flight from your feet and lands in the back of the net.

Product Highlights

These balls feature a 20-panel ball design that has improved the striking zones, aiming to provide maximum accuracy and ball control.

The Good

The ball is available in three different colors, but they do more than make the ball look pretty.

The three stripes design along with the three-axis colors helps you to pick out the ball better, even in varied surroundings.

Thus, you can track it from a distance and get into better positions.

Meanwhile, thanks to the 20-panel design of the ball, you can experience better striking zones, thereby giving you optimum performance.

Moreover, these panels have EVA foam incorporated into them that produces more energy return upon striking or heading.

Plus, the ball comes with TPU covers that improve the durability and give you a great feel.

Therefore, even if you are part of a long, grinding game of soccer, the ball is designed to withstand the rough play.

Also, the ball makes sure that you get full value for your shots if you are looking to improve your technique.

The Bad

We have seen that it is challenging to locate the pumping hole, and while it may seem insignificant, it could be a problem.

You want to get on with the game as quickly as possible, but if you do not know the pumping needle’s spot, you will have to be patient.

Also, it is best if you refrain from playing with these balls indoors.

Pros

  • TPU covers
  • 20-panel design
  • Improved striking points
  • Three-axis colors
  • EVA foam incorporated

Cons

  • Hard to locate pumping hole
  • Not suitable for indoors

Wilson NCAA Premium Soccer Ball

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8. GoSports Classic Soccer Ball

The GoSports Classic Soccer Ball is the quintessential football, and it has even retained the old school design.

But more than the looks, what will interest you are the components that come with these balls to make it a valuable acquisition.

Product Highlights

The ball comprises 32 individually machine-stitched robust polyester panels that give it great flight and are perfect for regular football games.

The Good

The ball has a composite surface due to the PVC exterior with which it is made.

As a result, it is both scratch and water-resistant while offering a lot of durability for regular use.

Further adding to the robustness are the 32 panels that have been individually machine stitched to deliver a strong performance.

Likewise, it has a 2.7mm padded foam layer that makes it shock absorbent and resistant to harsh playing conditions.

But more importantly, it ensures that you can play a long game of football without facing any difficulties.

On top of these, there is an additional layer of polyester .

The polyester has been woven into the ball that provides extra support to the padding.

Lastly, the ball has a butyl bladder that ensures more air retention, thereby giving it a more natural flight.

Thus, players of all ages will enjoy playing with it without having any trouble.

The Bad

The material for these balls could have been better, which is an issue.

Despite the stitches and the additional padding, the quality is not good.

There have been reports that it tore after daily use.

Therefore, it is a cause for concern leading to questions about the durability, and soccer players will not like to stop a game because the covering was ripped off.

Pros

  • PVC exterior
  • 2.7mm padded foam layer
  • An extra layer of polyester
  • Butyl bladder
  • Machine stitched panels

Cons

  • The material is not the best
  • The covering could rip

GoSports Classic Soccer Ball

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9. American Challenge Brasilia Soccer Ball

If there is one country that knows a thing or two about soccer and balls, it is Brazil.

The American Challenge Brasilia Soccer Ball has been designed with vibrant colors and detailed planning to improve your skills like your South American friends.

Product Highlights

The ball a 3.25mm TPU material outer layer with a shiny coating that allows you to swerve and bend the ball.

The Good

These balls are machine stitched, meaning that careful attention has been given to all the individual parts.

As a result, the ball is built for durability, further reinforced by the two layers of poly or cotton lining.

The lining not only provides longevity but ensures that even after a prolonged game, you face no problems kicking it.

The extra padding on these balls protects the outer 3.2mm TPU material, which gives it a shiny coating.

Due to the shine, the ball will swerve and curl with the right shot and give you full value for your skills.

Therefore, it is an excellent ball to keep getting better at your game.

Plus, the ball comes with a hybrid SR-bladder that makes it ideal for all age groups and well suited for use on grassy pitches.

Consequently, with the numerous sizes and colors it is available in, you will not be disappointed.

The Bad

It does not hold air all that much, and there are also issues with the lifespan.

So, it does not bode well that despite the stitching and the extra reinforcements, there are some fundamental problems with the model.

Hence, many people may not opt for it, and given the choices at your disposal, we cannot blame you.

Pros

  • 3.2mm TPU material
  • Hybrid SR-bladder
  • Two layers of poly or cotton lining
  • Suitable for all age groups
  • Ideal for grassy surfaces

Cons

  • May not hold air
  • Durability issues

American Challenge Brasilia Soccer Ball

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10. Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball

The number 10 is usually associated with the best player in a team.

So, if you have a dream to be the best, you could try practicing with the Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball.

Featuring the latest design, this ball is bound to grab your attention.

Product Highlights

The bladder of these balls are made from natural latex, making them perfectly round, thereby giving them a right bounce and ensuring an ideal flight.

The Good

It will please you to know that it is available in nine different colors and many sizes, thereby making it suitable for all age groups.

Now, coming to the details, it is made from PU material, which is laminated with neoprene foam.

The foam gives the ball the necessary softness, and the zero-wing latex bladder well complements it for the best bounce.

Furthermore, it is hand-stitched, and the 32 panels have been intricately crafted to ensure that you get an accurate flight with all your shots.

Additionally, it is made from synthetic material to make it long-lasting and to allow you to carry on with your game in all circumstances.

You need not worry if the ground conditions are heavy or if the match is particularly rough.

The soccer ball has been built to hold its own so that you can proceed with the game uninterrupted.

The Bad

It could be hard to locate the inflation hole as the designers have concealed it quite well.

Thus, you may have to strain your eyes to find it positioned under the word ‘SELECT’ scrawled on a triangle.

Besides, it could be challenging to get it into the bag because of the nylon stop, causing it to fall out.

Pros

  • PU material
  • Laminated neoprene foam
  • Hand-stitched
  • 32 panels
  • Zero-wing latex bladder

Cons

  • Challenging to locate inflation hole
  • It may not fit into your bag

Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball

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11. Franklin Sports Blackhawk Soccer Ball

Your eyes immediately go to the texture of the Franklin Sports Blackhawk soccer ball, which gives you the feeling that it has been professionally crafted.

With these balls, you can better your skills and pull off acrobatic efforts like bicycle kicks and flying headers.

Product Highlights

The ball has an exclusive Blackhawk design that produces a glossy two-tone black cover best suited for improving the technical aspects of your game.

The Good

These balls are available in three sizes that makes them well suited for all age groups.

If you are a professional player or enjoy a game on the weekends, you will love the dynamic optic graphics.

It contrasts with the base to better your aim and focus.

Therefore, as you keep improving your skill set, you will experience the results first hand with the model.

To help you some more, the designers have included 32 panels that have been precisely stitched to offer better ball control and a natural flight.

Therefore, if you have the right technique, it will undoubtedly dip and bend as you wish.

Another great feature is the foam cushioning system, which provides a softcover.

The cover makes sure that the ball is quick to respond to the deft touches and flicks that could turn a game around.

Lastly, it has a glossy two-tone black cover that makes it technically sound.

The Bad

There are a couple of complaints despite all the good things about it.

For one, customers have reported that it may not hold the air, which could be an inconvenience considering that it could start to deflate after several successive days of play.

Also, there are questions about the durability and the fact that it may not last as long as expected.

Pros

  • Dynamic Optic Graphics
  • 32 panels
  • Precisely stitched
  • Glossy two-tone black cover
  • Foam cushioning system

Cons

  • May not hold air
  • Not very durable

Franklin Sports Blackhawk Soccer Ball

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12. Adidas Capitano Soccer Ball

If we are going to be talking about football, it would be challenging to leave out Adidas.

The Adidas Capitano Soccer Ball will let you take command of the field based on your precise touches and net rippling shots.

Product Highlights

This ball is machine stitched that supports the butyl bladder allowing this match ball to store air for long soccer matches or regular games with your friends.

The Good

Right out of the blocks, you will be charmed by the range of options you get from the model.

The ball is available in three different sizes and a whopping 19 different color combinations.

And some of the designs are reminiscent of the soccer balls previously used in World Cups or top club competitions around the world.

Moreover, the ball is made from 100% TPU film that gives the outer layer a shiny appearance and makes it ideal for moving in the air.

Additionally, it is machine stitched to make sure that it can withstand the daily demands of soccer.

Plus, the stitching compliments the butyl bladder that is essential for maximum air retention.

These soccer balls are made from a synthetic material that adds to the durability and allows you to use it for a long time.

Likewise, the lightweight of 0.45kgs makes it ideal for taking long shots or heading the ball.

The Bad

The ball has some of the issues that are seen in other balls.

Despite the attention to sturdiness, it is not all that durable.

The stitching may come to lose, and the material may tear that could bring your matches to a premature stop.

Plus, these balls may lose air as well, and they are not feasible for you to have to keep inflating it frequently.

Pros

  • 100% TPU material
  • Machine stitched
  • Shiny appearance
  • Lightweight
  • Range of colors

Cons

  • Durability is a problem
  • Could lose air

Adidas Capitano Soccer Ball

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13. Adidas CPT Soccer Ball

The Adidas CPT Soccer Ball flaunts a sleek design and a bright solid color that makes it stand out.

Complimented by the excellent features, you get a fantastic feel while playing, which makes the practice sessions worthwhile.

Product Highlights

It is made from high-quality leather that gives it a glossy look and makes it ideal for those curling shots to find the back of the net.

The Good

Unlike some other models, Adidas have used one solid color for the entirety of the ball, making it an excellent buy for kids.

They love the color, and you can choose from a total of three different shades, which makes it very popular.

Now, it comes in an imported 100% TPU film covering that provides a shiny appearance for the professionals.

Furthermore, it is machine stitched so that on proper contact, you will have no trouble scoring the perfect goal.

In that regard, you will also be able to practice your tricks and flicks as well as better your overall game with this ball at your feet.

Plus, the butyl bladder offers the best possible air retention.

Thus, there will be no problems with the trajectory of the ball.

Additionally, it provides the necessary support to last for several seasons of daily soccer action.

The Bad

Much like the earlier Adidas ball, it too faces problems with regards to air retention and durability.

Players have reported that the ball does tend to deflate after regular use, which is a cause for concern.

Failure to hold air means that you either have to pump it frequently or get a new one.

Also, under certain circumstances, the sturdiness has been found wanting.

Pros

  • 100% TPU film
  • Machine stitched
  • Butyl bladder
  • Solid color for kids
  • Great for improving technique

Cons

  • Air retention could be better
  • Durability is an issue

Adidas CPT Soccer Ball

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14. Select Future Light DB V20 Soccer Ball

The Select Future Light DB V20 Soccer Ball comes with several improvements that have made it a highly desirable option for all age groups.

And as the name suggests, it is a light ball with many advantages that you are sure to love.

Product Highlights

It is made from a synthetic rubber bladder that offers a high amount of air retention and more stable shots and a controlled bounce.

The Good

There are several benefits of using a lighter ball like this one.

For one, it makes kicking, heading, or chesting the ball much more comfortable as you are protected from the impact.

Moreover, it reduces fatigue considerably, and you can make the long, diagonal passes for your teammate.

Meanwhile, it comes with a dual-bonded construction that includes 32 panels.

The panels are machine-stitched and sealed with heat-activated glue that ensures that there is less water absorption and more durability.

Moving on, thanks to the SR-bladder, you get more air retention for a better flight trajectory.

Likewise, the cover is made from TPU material, which is soft and matches the synthetic rubber bladder to provide a consistent bounce.

Buyers of all ages – from kids to adults – can enjoy playing with it.

If you are an aspiring player, then you will love your practice sessions with it.

The Bad

Depending on your preference, you may feel that the padding is less.

Because the designers have decided to cut down on the weight, the filling is not as significant as in some of the other balls.

It is not a big issue, but some users have reported that it may give off a foul smell, which is a worry.

Pros

  • TPU material
  • Synthetic rubber bladder
  • 32 panels
  • Machine stitched dual-bonded construction
  • Heat-activated glue

Cons

  • May give off a foul smell
  • Padding is less

Select Future Light DB V20 Soccer Ball

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15. Shoke Soccer Ball

The Shoke Soccer Ball has been made with the latest technology that makes it a ball good enough to be used in professional matches.

Just like the design, the intricate features will make anyone want to play with it.

Product Highlights

It is thermally bonded, which makes it waterproof and ensures that there are no gaps among the panel edges.

The Good

It is soft, which makes it great for enjoying a game of football in the park or for your practice sessions at home.

You can use it for both indoor and outdoor play, allowing you to engage with your dribbling routines even inside your house.

Now, it has a high rebound rubber bladder that improves both your touch and ball control.

Likewise, the integrated Aero grooves make for an unparalleled flight, making it much more stable, and allowing you to be deadly accurate with your shots.

Additionally, it is made from synthetic waterproof leather that makes sure it can withstand not just rain but all kinds of weather conditions.

Thanks to the lining, it can hold its shape and provide a reliable bounce over a long time.

This is due to the many polyester layers that give an enforced strength.

Lastly, the latex valve is positioned intelligently to make the ball perfectly round.

The Bad

It may seem a bit heavy for some people.

Depending on how the ball feels, it may appear to be heavier than some of the other models.

But the more serious problem is with the pumps that are included.

Many users have reported that they fail to inflate the ball.

Pros

  • Thermal bonded
  • Weather-resistant
  • High rebound rubber
  • Synthetic leather
  • Aero grooves

Cons

  • May feel a bit heavy
  • Pumps may not work

Shoke Soccer Ball

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Buyer’s Guide

Several factors determine how good a ball for soccer is!

And you must pay close attention to these factors before selecting one to buy.

Sure, reading the reviews of other buyers is a good starting point.

But do not forget that utility is subjective!

You need to focus on the pros and cons based on your requirements and budget constraints.

However, we recommend assessing the quality by looking at the following five generic factors:

Casing Materials

Today, nearly all soccer ball casings are made using PVC or polyurethane, which are significantly lighter than traditionally used leather.

Most players today will find a leather ball to be too heavy and will likely not be able to play at all.

PVC soccer balls are the most reasonable of the lot and also the most durable.

These soccer balls feature a harder exterior and are often used as indoor soccer balls.

Polyurethane (PU) soccer balls are more expensive and usually higher quality relative to PVC soccer balls.

These soccer balls are more responsive and soft to the touch.

You will often find a glossy coating on PU soccer balls to reduce scuffing and water absorption.

Size

You get soccer balls in five different sizes.

But how do you select the right size?

  • Size 1 is a miniature ball mainly used for recreational purposes and not for serious practice. Young kids can use these soccer balls to hone their footwork and overall soccer skills.
  • Size 2 is a half-sized ball that is best suited for children up to the age of four.
  • Size 3 is perfect for youth soccer. These match balls feel the same to a kid as a full-sized ball feels to an adult.
  • Size 4 is a tad bit smaller than regulation size.
  • Size 5 is the regulation or full-sized ball that is used by all male and female players over the age of 14. These match balls are used professionally.

Panels

The panels are the octagon-shaped quilts visible on the exterior.

FIFA-approved balls for soccer contain 32 panels, but other soccer balls may contain 18 or 26 panels.

How do these panels affect the soccer ball?

In terms of how the soccer ball flies!

There are three commonly used methods of creating the panels – hand-stitching, machine-stitching, and thermal bonding.

There isn’t one correct way of doing it.

The general rule of thumb states that the lower the number of panels, the stronger and more water-resistant it will be.

Bladder

The bladder is not visible to the players, but it is perhaps the most integral part.

It is the interior that holds the air.

Two materials are commonly used for the bladder – butyl, and latex.

Professional soccer balls often consist of a latex bladder as it is softer.

Butyl bladders provide relatively higher air retention, making it ideal for practice and regular use.

After all, who wants to reflate every day?

The standard inflation lies in the range of 9 to 10.5 pounds of air.

Linings

Linings separate the bladder from the outer casing.

High quality soccer balls often have at least four layers of lining to ensure optimal bounce, protection, and structure.

Linings are usually made using a mixture of polyester and cotton.

Types of Soccer Balls

You must choose the right type of soccer ball.

You would have to choose from one of these four soccer ball types:

Training Balls

As the name suggests, these are meant to be tough to get you through rigorous soccer practice sessions.

A training ball can be used on nearly all surface types and should ideally last for a long time.

You can have a peek at our dedicated article based around the best training soccer balls here!

Match Balls

Match balls are of superior quality than training balls and likewise, cost more.

Match balls are used for soccer matches and these match balls are required to comply with all the size requirements other regulations applicable professionally.

Turf Balls

Turf soccer balls don’t do well on real grass surfaces.

They were designed for AstroTruf and other artificial surfaces that feel like grass.

Turf soccer balls are some of the most affordable and hard-wearing items you can find.

Premium Match Balls

Premium soccer match balls are the most expensive ones you can find.

FIFA approves these soccer balls for international soccer matches.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to soccer balls, some FAQs keep cropping up in the minds of the majority of us.

Let’s answer them once and for all!

A. What size do you need?

The size is directly proportional to the age of the player.

For ages eight and under, a size three will work best.

For players aged 9 to 12 years, a size four is ideal.

And for players aged 13 years and up, a size five would be perfect!

B. How long does a soccer ball last?

If you maintain and use it properly, a quality ball should ideally last for at least a couple of years.

If you abuse it and do not maintain it, even the greatest ball may not last more than a season.

C. How can you deflate a soccer ball?

You can deflate them without a pump.

Carefully insert a moist inflation needle into the valve and gently apply pressure to flatten the ball slowly.

Players prefer deflating a ball for storage.

D. How is a soccer ball affected by temperature?

Temperature affects them in terms of its bounce and how far it will go when it is kicked.

The gas molecules inside will expand with a rise in temperature leading to an increase in their energy.

So, a hot ball will bounce higher and travel farther than a cold ball.

E. What is the optimal air pressure for a soccer ball?

The optimal air pressure for the majority of balls lies in the range of 6 to 8 pounds per square inch.

However, FIFA recommends higher air pressure for professional balls for soccer.

Conclusion

Buying a soccer ball is no joke!

When we were kids, we would have never thought that there is so much that goes into choosing a high quality soccer ball.

At the end of the day, it’s not possible to shortlist one item that would be perfect for every soccer player out there.

The soccer ball that works best for you depends on your budget, skill level, practice surface, and many more subjective factors.

Are you in need of a ball for your kids, check out our article with the best kids soccer balls here!

Having said that, we are confident that this guide will help you select the best soccer balls to purchase.

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