Our Comprehensive Guide To The Best Soccer Ball

By Mike W / November 23, 2017
best soccer ball

We’ve all imagined ourselves as pro-footballers at some point in our life, let’s be honest.

For anyone on their way up, anyone still chasing the dream, or just anyone playing with the boys before a few beers at the park, the right ball is essential.

I’ve compiled these soccer ball reviews to save you the time, effort and money involved in buying the wrong ball!

I’ve found the best soccer balls out there so there’s something to suit every budget as well as every player. I’ll be covering the basics of buying soccer balls, as well as reviewing my five favorites and five back-ups.


Best Soccer Balls Comparison Guide


Different Types Of Soccer Ball


There are lots of different types of soccer balls out there, made from different materials for different purposes. Naturally, they also vary in price.

Two things to note here: 

  • Don't go for the most expensive ball because you assume it will be the best. 
  • Don't go for the cheapest ball because you’ll end up paying several times over for all its replacements.

I’ll go into more detail later on when I offer some general buying guidelines, but let’s dip a toe before we get to the reviews!

Soccer balls can be made from different materials, of course.


Materials


Leather is obviously the pricier option out there and can feel great to play with, but isn't suited to outdoor use. The leather actively absorbs liquid/ moisture and the ball can become too heavy to kick properly, so leather balls are best for indoor use only.

Synthetic leather balls are a great alternative and can be used for both indoor and outdoor use, and are generally cheaper.

Price-wise, rubber balls tend to be the cheapest option. They’re pretty durable, too, and are great for friendly games and kickarounds, but won’t feel the same as balls that are used in official play.


Bladder


When a product describes its ‘bladder’, I’d suggest looking out for either nylon or rubber. This is the part inside the ball that controls the way that the ball holds its air.

This, in turn, affects the shape and feel of the ball, as well as the amount of control you can have over it and the momentum that it can gather.


Hard or Soft 


Some soccer balls are very hard, some are very soft. I’d recommend something in the middle – great for doing headers, but also weighty enough to gather some speed on the pitch and carry itself.


Panels 


Panels aren’t just for aesthetics, they also help the movement of the ball. Typically, soccer balls are made from 32 panels, but you can get balls with more or less if needed.

Fewer panels mean the ball will be more streamlined and will move faster. More panels mean you have better control of the ball (in theory, at least) as it won’t be racing around the pitch!


Brands


We all have our go-to brands, whether we’re buying food, toiletries or clothes – this can be due to price, quality and the general feeling or vibe that a brand projects. I’ve got a couple of personal favorites, and for good reason.


Adidas


As you’re about to find out, I love Adidas. They just seem to get it right every time.

Their sports gear is always well-priced and high quality and their soccer balls are no different. For me, they’re one of the best brands out there and offer products for children and adults of all abilities and experience.

Whether you’re looking for a long-term ball to use for serious training or just something to take out with friends to the park or beach, they’ve got you covered.


Nike 


Nike is obviously going to feature in my reviews. Again, high-quality products at relatively low prices – they’re onto a winner there.

Nike is one of the most-recognized brands when it comes to sports, and not just for their famous logo. They’re trusted for a reason and always deliver on their promises.


Wilson


I also love Wilson – another high-street brand offering great products for all, from people who are only vaguely interested in sports to the absolute fanatics out there who train every day.

Wilson’s soccer balls are great, too, as they hold their shape for a long time and have a great feel to them, making it feel easier to play, somehow!


Top 10 Best Soccer Balls Reviewed



Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball


Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball

First up is a ball from one of the biggest names in sport – Wilson.

This is the best soccer ball for a number of reasons, its price being just one of them.

You’ll probably be used to playing with a size five ball, which comes in at just over $15.

Bargain!

This ball made it to the top of my list because it’s made of synthetic leather, so it’s easy to play with.

 It also has a rubber bladder, so holds its shape well, however long you to choose to practice or play for.

The bladder also controls the durability of the ball, and this one can really keep going with deflating.

Featuring classic black and white panels, this is a stylish ball for a kick around as well as for the more serious players among you. If you’re after a soccer ball which is both easy to play with and durable, this is it.


Adidas Performance Starlancer Ball


Adidas are another favorite of mine when it comes to sports gear – they make quality products at high-street prices.

The Starlancer is a fantastic soccer ball for players of all levels and costs just over $15.

Don’t let the low price put you off, however, as this ball is the real deal.

Adidas Performance Starlancer Ball

Nylon is used alongside a butyl bladder, so the ball is easy to kick around and gathers just the right level of momentum.

Its USP?

It uses special Adidas technology in the form of TPU (a kind of plastic material) to help it withstand any abrasions, rips or tears. This is a long-lasting product that you should definitely consider if you’re looking for a new soccer ball!


Adidas Performance Champions Capitano Mystery


On to my third choice and it’s another product from Adidas. I’m not even sorry.

For just under $20, this is a great soccer ball for anyone who wants to play soccer to the best of their ability.

This ball is made from polyester and contains a

Adidas Performance Champions Capitano Mystery

nylon carcas, allowing you to use it as much as you want to without it deflating or developing any kind of abrasions.

This ball has a fantastic bounce to it and plenty of elasticity that doesn’t seem to give out at any point. It’s a pretty hard ball with decent momentum so is perfect for players of all levels and abilities.


Under Armour Desafio Soccer Ball


Under Armour are relatively new on my radar in terms of sports brands (I know, I’m behind the times), but I’ve been very impressed with all of their products so far.

This soccer ball is no exception.

It’s around the same price mark as most of the

Under Armour Desafio Soccer Ball

balls on this list, coming in at just over $17, and is well worth it. 

This ball has a great feel to it and moves very nicely – it’s soft enough to really go for it with the headers without worrying about concussion, which is always a bonus in my book!

In fact, they’ve included a layer of foam in this ball to keep you safe while you play. It’s not the lightest ball out there, however, so it still gains momentum nicely. Another rubber bladder, again giving you great control while you play.


Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball


Mikasa is the last to make it into my top five with this ‘Serious Soccer Ball’.

Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a kick around kind of player, this is a great option for you, too, and it costs just over $15.

I love Mikasa for the fact that they’ve

Mikasa Serious Soccer Ball

specifically designed a ball that’s soft enough for you to really work on your header game. This is, for me, the best soccer ball for practising headers and other tricks!

This ball contains a butyl bladder, as most do, so stays fully inflated for a long time and allows you maximum control while you play. This ball is also great for outdoor use as it won’t become waterlogged – a great all-rounder.

Soft shell, durable and inexpensive – what more could you ask for?


Adidas Performance Glider Ball Black


Another from Adidas, with a nylon carcas for durability

Adidas Performance Glider Ball Black

Nike Pitch Premier League Ball


32 panels of joy with this soccer ball from the champions over at Nike.

Nike Pitch Premier League Ball

Adidas Performance Glider Ball White


This ball holds air amazingly well, giving you total control while you practice and play.

Adidas Performance Glider Ball White

Nike Premier League Strike Ball


The design on this is meant to help you focus more and play better - must be worth a try.

Nike Premier League Strike Ball

Adidas Champions League Soccer Ball


Adidas have dominated my reviews for good reason.

This ball has newly-developed thermal technology so you can stay in control.

Adidas Champions League Soccer Ball

Buying Guide for the Best Soccer Ball


So – now the results are in, it’s time for me to offer some general advice on buying a new soccer ball.

As with any purchase, it’s important to take various things into account before you commit to anything. Buyer’s remorse is no fun.

Soccer balls might seem like a pretty easy thing to buy, but think about these things before you dive in.


Price


This is always going to be an important factor when you’re buying something, I know, but it’s still worth mentioning.

A lot of people know a lot about soccer as a game, but may not know too much about the kit required, and therefore buy the most expensive ball without really thinking about it or doing any research.

As I mentioned earlier, this isn't always a great idea! There are some really great, high-quality products out there which won’t break the bank (and which are listed above, handily!).

More expensive doesn't always mean better, and you’ll only end up feeling ripped off if you decide to buy the priciest ball and then realize that it doesn’t suit your needs.

Research pays off, believe me, which is why I’ve done a lot of it for you already…


Inside or Outside?


A lot of soccer balls now are designed for both indoor and outdoor use, which makes it pretty easy to find one that’s right for you.

If you’re really only committed to just one terrain, it might be worth buying a ball specifically designed for that environment, as it’s likely to be higher quality.

The location of your practice or matches is something to think about, as it will determine what kind of material you should be choosing for your new soccer ball.


Size Matters


Most adults use size five balls for both practice and playing, so it’s probably a good idea to get this size unless you really want to try something new.

I’d suggest going for consistency, however, as your feet and body will get used to the feel of a ball very quickly. If you change sizes from practice to playing, all your hard work will have been for nothing.


Ball Bladders


Ball bladders sound strange but are actually a crucial part of any soccer ball. The bladder is what helps control the ball’s movement, as well as momentum and feel.

I’ve mainly chosen balls with nylon or butyl bladders as I think they give the best results. Latex bladders are also an option but are known for deflating more quickly than the rubber alternatives - not great when you want to get on with the game.

soccer ball reviews

In Summary...


So, there we have it. The five best soccer balls out there, and the next best five balls. I’ve included balls of different prices, but they’re all great quality and very affordable.

These balls are ideal for players of all levels and experience, so hopefully, you’ve found something that suits your needs. I’ve also offered up some general advice to help you choose the perfect ball – good luck!

First thing you need to learn is to dribble the ball. Below is a video which shows you three moves you can learn.

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.

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