Swish! Your Complete Guide To The Best Basketball

By Mike W / November 9, 2017
best basketball

You may be a pro or you may be new to the game (literally), but there’s no time like the present to buy yourself a new basketball.

Indoor and outdoor basketball alike, you want the best ball out there to help you reach your goals. I’ve done my research and found the top five basketballs out there, as well as five runners up that I just had to include in my reviews.

If you’re looking for the best basketball, I’ve got you covered. I’ve found a variety of products to suit every budget and every need, from indoor equipment to the best outdoor basketball.

I’ll go through the reasons behind choosing each ball, as well as offering some general advice when it comes to buying a basketball.

I’m not sure how many more times I can say ‘basketball’ before it stops sounding like a real word, but let’s find out…


Outdoor and Indoor Basketball Comparison Table 

Image

Product/Model Name

Colour

Size Options

Material

Price

Rating

Wilson Evolution Indoor Basketball

Classic

Yes

Composite Leather

$$$$

Spalding NBA Street Basketball Official

Classic

Yes

Rubber

$

Spalding Classic Indoor Basketball

Classic

Yes

Composite Leather

$$$$

Under Armour Outdoor Basketball

Classic

Yes

Rubber

$$$

Wilson NCAA Replica Basketball

Classic

Yes

Composite Leather

$$

Killer Crossover Basketball

White and Orange

Yes

Composite Leather

$

Baden Perfection Official Basketball

Classic

Yes

Composite Leather

$$$$

Wilson Phenom Official Basketball

Classic

Yes

Rubber

$

Under Armour Stephen Basketball

Black and Yellow

No

Rubber

$$

Spalding NBA Street Basketball Intermediate

Pink and Purple

No

Rubber

$


Different Types Of Product


Essentially, these reviews will cover two types of basketball - indoor and outdoor.

If you play indoor basketball, you’ll need a ball designed specifically for the purpose.

The terrain you’re playing on is obviously different to an outdoor court, which means the ball will be manufactured differently.

Typically, indoor balls are made from leather or synthetic leather. Real leather is obviously the pricier option here but synthetic leather is a great alternative if you’re not looking to splash the cash.

I’ve included a number of these in my reviews, so take a look below…

If you’re after an outdoor ball, I’ve got you covered, too!

Outdoor basketballs are generally made from synthetic leather, as this fabric is durable and can easily be used outdoors in any weather, on any terrain. Alternatively, rubber balls can be a great option – bouncy, grippy and normally pretty well-priced.

I’ve chosen several outdoor balls for a range of prices, so there’s something to suit all budgets.


Brands


When it comes to brands, my mind immediately springs to one in particular – Spalding. Everyone has heard of them for a reason.

Spalding is one of the most famous brands when it comes to basketball, and the logo itself is the stuff of legend. Spalding makes a huge range of basketballs, all incredible value for money, and great quality.

I’ve obviously included some of their products in my reviews (how could I not?), so read on to find out more…

Wilson is also a huge name when it comes to basketball. Their products are still great value for money, but are a little pricier than Spalding.

I love them for the special touches they add – extra-grip channels, moisture-wicking surfaces and more. They know basketball, and they know how to help you improve your game.

One of my favorites included in this list has extra channels added to help really improve your shot success.


Top 10 Best Basketballs



Wilson Evolution Indoor Basketball


Wilson Evolution Indoor Basketball

Wilson is one of my favorite brands out there when it comes to basketball, and this product proves why.

If you’re looking for a great indoor basketball, this is my champion of champions. $55 may seem a little steep but, trust me, it’s well worth it.

This ball is super grippy, which is perfect for indoor basketball, and will help you improve your game, from dribbling to shooting.

Those little bobbly bits on the ball are actually moisture-wicking channels, which help you control the ball at all times.

In terms of feel, this ball made from real leather and you can tell that it’s good quality – it feels great to hold and to use.

The fact that it’s made from genuine leather does mean that it may take a few tries to wear it in, as it will be very soft initially and needs a little bit of breaking in.

There’s some rubber in there, too, which only adds to the ball’s bouncability and makes it a great choice for players of all levels.

The best indoor basketball you can get. Enjoy.


Spalding NBA Street Basketball Official


Let’s take this outside with my favorite outdoor ball from none other than Spalding.

This is a bargain of a product for around $15 and will put the hours in for as long as you do, or can!

Spalding NBA Street Basketball Official

It’s an extremely durable ball thanks to the rubber covering, which means it’s great for outdoor use.


You can use it in any weather thanks to the coating, without having to worry about losing grip. It will take a long time to show any signs of wear, so be prepared to have a lovely, brand new-looking ball for a long time.

This ball holds pressure really well, so is great for street games and playing on a variety of terrains and won’t pop or deflate unless you somehow do something really, really weird with it (so weird that I can’t even imagine what that might be!)

This is my bargain ball and is great for beginners who are dipping a toe in the waters of basketball and don’t want to break the bank.


Spalding Classic Indoor Basketball


Back to indoor balls with this Spalding product specifically-designed for indoor games.

This is one of the more expensive balls out there, but, at $50, is great value for money considering what you’re getting.

Spalding Classic Indoor Basketball

The geniuses over at Spalding have used a special micro-fibre with this ball, which means that it feels nice and soft in your hands and maintains a dry feel even if your palms are sweaty (insert Eminem lyric here, something about spaghetti?).


The channels on this ball are nice and wide in order to help you keep total control while you play – while you have the ball, at least! 

Please only use this indoors otherwise you’ll totally wreck it, and it’s too good for that.

It’s perfect for indoor use only and really maintains its shape, however much you use it. Ideal for practice as well as games, it’s a long-lasting, durable ball.


Under Armour Outdoor Basketball


The last indoor ball I’ve decided to include in my top five is from Under Armour and is the cheaper option when it comes to indoor use.

Super grippy, this ball is perfect for indoor games and gives you complete control while you’re handling it.

Under Armour Outdoor Basketball

That said, it’s still a nice, tactile fabric so is easy on your hands, no matter how much you use it. This ball is mainly made from nylon, offering a great bounce without compromising on quality.

For under $30, you won’t do much better! The air retention on this ball is fantastic, meaning that it keeps its pressure and shape for a long old time.

For such a low price, this is a great investment and will really help you improve your game. Happy days.


Wilson NCAA Replica Basketball


And so we’re down to the last product in my top five, and this one is designed for outdoor use.

For under $30, this little dreamboat of a ball can be yours.

Another Wilson product, and for good reason!

Wilson NCAA Replica Basketball

This ball is a great option for anyone playing outdoors, thanks to the wide channels and ‘gripability’ they provide. Wilson use ‘Cushion Core Technology’ – a fancy way of saying that the ball is super comfy to use and is nice and soft on the hands.

You might find that this ball bounces slightly differently to most you have used in the past, so I’d suggest practising for a while before using it for serious practice or a big game.

That said, it’s great value for money and is a durable ball that will keep going for as long as you can.


Killer Crossover Basketball


Killer Crossover Basketball

Under $10 for a ball that you can use both indoors and outdoors? Sure!


Baden Perfection Official Basketball


If it says ‘elite’ on the tin, you know it’s going to be good.

This little gem from Baden will keep you going for a long time

Baden Perfection Official Basketball

Wilson Phenom Official Basketball


Extra channels mean extra grip, and makes this the best basketball for shooting

Wilson Phenom Official Basketball

Under Armour Stephen Basketball


Heavy-duty and durable, this all-terrain ball had to be on my list

Under Armour Stephen Basketball

Spalding NBA Street Basketball Intermediate


If you’re looking for a budget street-ball, look no further (but maybe put sunglasses on!)

Spalding NBA Street Basketball Intermediate

How to Choose the Best Basketball


Hopefully, you’ve found something in my reviews that has sparked your interest, but I thought I’d put together some tips just in case you want to venture out on your own.

When it comes to buying a basketball, either for indoor or outdoor use, there are a few things to consider.

It can be hard trying to find the right basketball when there are so many options – discount sports stores, the internet and specialized stores all seem to offer very similar products for totally different prices.

I’ve offered up some general advice for when it comes to buying a basketball, as doing some background research really does make a difference.

Think about what you’ll be using the ball for, as well as what particular needs you have as a player.

There are constantly new developments in technology, which means that there are always improvements being made and new USPs on each product.

If you need extra help with shooting, look for something with wide or extra channels added on – this will help you with your grip while you dribble, as well as while your shooting. Size plays a big role, too, and the material you go for can make a huge difference.


Indoor Basketball or Outdoor Basketball?


As we’ve discovered, indoor and outdoor balls are very different, so you’ll need to decide which you want first of all.

Sure, some balls can be used for both terrains, but the higher-quality products will most likely be designed for either one or the other.

For indoor balls, I’d suggest buying a leather basketball – it provides a lovely, soft feel and is super comfortable to play with.

They can be more expensive, so make sure you only use them indoors in order to get your money’s worth without compromising the quality of the product.

Leather balls can take a little while to wear in fully, so it might be worth using it alone at first before using it for heavy-duty practice or a big game.

If you’ll be playing outside, go for a synthetic or rubber ball. Synthetic balls are great for indoor and outdoor use, and are ready to go as soon as you are. They don’t require any ‘breaking in’ and are grippy and bouncy, which is exactly what you want.

Rubber balls are perfect for outdoor use and provide grip on all surfaces, as well as being durable.


Think About Your Budget


Price is obviously going to be a factor when it comes to investing in a new bit of kit.

I’ve done my best to cover a wide range of budgets, but it’s always wise not to scrimp when it comes to buying a new basketball!

Buying something cheap and cheerful may be tempting at the time, but spending just a little bit more money will really pay off long-term when you end up with a high-quality, durable and long-lasting basketball. Trust me.


Final Considerations


Size does matter! Think about what you’ll be using the ball for, or who’ll be using it.

I’ve reviewed basketballs for semi-professional to professional adults, but there are better products more suited to children or beginners, if that’s what you’re after instead.

best outdoor basketball

Conclusion


Whether you were looking for a great indoor basketball, or the best outdoor basketball, I hope you’ve now found it.

Some say that a poor workman blames his tools, but, with basketball, what you’re working with really does make a difference to how well you perform.

I’ve included a range of products from the best brands out there, and have done my best to cater for all levels of budgets.

Choose the best basketball out there to help you stay on top of your game!

Below is a video of Michael Jordan about the basics of basketball.

About the author

Mike W

Welcome to Homegameshub.com I have always enjoyed a variety of games at home. As a child, I played on the trampoline, in our above ground swimming pool and absolutely loved Ping Pong. This obsession with games has continued and now I am sharing my experiences so you too can benefit from a wide variety of home games.