The ball is the most important piece of equipment in any soccer game. This article will explain how to choose the best soccer ball for your needs.
The article will provide you with an overview of the different types of soccer balls, how to understand their performance, and how to choose the right ball for you.
Best premium soccer ball
If you’re looking to take your game to the next level, this is the ball for you. It has a high-quality, thermally bonded seamless surface made of 40% polyurethane and 60% cotton that’s great for match play. It’s the perfect fit for pro players and soccer enthusiasts of all levels.
- The official match of the EURO 2020
- Approved by FIFA
- 100% polyester
- Multiple seamless, thermally-bonded panels
- Rubber bladder
- High price
“Good ball, nice texture & fell. Strikes well”
“All my teammates were jealous when I showed up with my new ball”
Best soccer ball for the money
This match ball is FIFA Quality certified and is made with a thermally bonded seamless surface, 100% polyurethane, has a butyl bladder for best air retention, and is size 5 (official size) suggested for ages 12+. Tested for performance, durability, and quality, it will help you rise to the top of your league!
- FIFA-certified match ball
- 100% polyurethane
- Butyl bladder
- Thermally-bonded seamless surface
- Available in two sizes (4 and 5)
- Air retention can be a problem, especially while intensive playing.
“Awesome ball for the price”
“Once inflated, you will find that you have a really nice soccer ball that is great for playing soccer”
“We liked it so much that we bought 4 more, and they have lasted all season and will most likely last into next season”
Best training soccer ball
This Select is made of 100% synthetic leather and latex, making it light and soft to touch. Hand-stitched 32 panel construction gives this ball a lively bounce and an even lighter touch. Excellent for any player, professional or not. FIFA APPROVED, so whether you’re practicing or performing, it’s a perfect choice!
- Approved by FIFA
- Microfiber synthetic-leather combined and 3-layer underlining with a latex bladder
- 32-panel hand-stitched technology
- 3-year stitching and roundness guarantee
- The outer layer could show some signs of wearing off after a while.
“For me, it’s just a nice balanced, well-rounded ball”
“Quality materials and workmanship”
“Select is the best. This ball is stable. Touch is very soft. Curves and spins are perfect. Ball goes where you want it to go”
Best size 4 (youth) soccer ball
It’s available in size 4 is perfect for young soccer players who are learning to play the game. It’s made of synthetic leather on the outside for durability, amazing grip, and soft touch. Butyl bladder on the inside for great air retention. The bright color combination is easy to spot on the field or in a crowd.
- Affordable price
- Ideal for young players
- Long durability due to synthetic leather outer layer
- Butyl bladder
- Stable aerodynamics
- Only available in size 4.
“Lasted the soccer season”
“My son loves this soccer ball”
“Easy to inflate”
Best indoor soccer ball
The outer layer is made from a soft felt material and the panels are hand stitched which makes it more durable than a machine-stitched one. It has all the qualities that make this ball perfect for indoor use!
It does not bounce too high and is suited to indoor play, as it is also responsive and able to fly. The player can control where they aim the ball and how hard they kick it.
- Bright color
- Affordable price
- Synthetic material
- Only for indoor soccer
“This ball is super!!!! It is designed and built exceptionally well. It has a fantastic durable cover. It’s not too bouncy or light”
“Excellent indoor ball for hardwood floors”
“Solid ball, highly recommended for indoor play”
How To Choose the Right Soccer Ball For You
The best soccer balls are durable, absorb shock well, and are easy to control, by identifying the features, you can choose one that suits your playing style.
There are several types of soccer balls with different designs and materials. They vary in size, shape, weight, durability, and performance.
While choosing a soccer ball for your child or for yourself, it is important to be aware of the different types which are available on the market in order to make an informed decision about which type is best suited for you.
The following article will provide insight into the features that make up a good soccer ball and how they might affect your experience on the field when choosing between different models. Please feel free to use this resource when deciding which model is right for you.
Different Types of Soccer Balls That You Should Know
There are various types of soccer balls in the market. They are classified depending on the type of soccer you are playing, their size, a material used in its construction, etc.
The four main sizes are:
The Size 5
Size 5 is designed for any players aged 12 and older, including adults and professionals. These balls have a circumference of 27″ – 28″. They weigh approximately 410-450 grams. For match play, the best soccer balls of this category will carry one of two stamps: FIFA Inspected or FIFA Approved. This means that it has undergone proper testing for circumference, roundness, rebound, weight, water absorption, loss of pressure, shape, and size retention. Size 5 can be a little bit more expensive and so some buyers may only want to use them for match play.
The Size 4
Youth soccer players aged 8-12 typically use size 4. The dimensions of a size 4 are 25 to 26 inches in circumference and 350-390 grams in weight. Young players benefit from a smaller ball as it allows them to get adjusted to their skill set. For example, a player of this age might find it harder to practice their ball control if they choose a size 5. These players may be less likely to have quick enough reflexes and weaker leg muscles which will make this size too large and too heavy for them.
The Size 3
The size 3 is about 23-24 inches in circumference and weighs roughly 300-320 grams and is best suited for players about 8 years old or younger. This is the smallest size soccer ball that you’ll see in competitive play. Small soccer balls are great for kids at this age. They teach good ball handling, and they’re the right size for most kids in this age group.
The Size 1
Also known as “minis,” size 1 has a circumference of 18-20 inches and can be used for skill training, but their main purpose is just for general entertainment. A lot of the souvenir balls are size 1 for their portability and suitability.
Check out our article on soccer ball size and weight.
Types of soccer balls according to the type of use
Soccer balls come in a variety of quality levels. There are training, match, and premium/professional balls.
The ‘premium’ or professional soccer balls are the highest quality and most expensive ones. They are usually made of higher-quality materials and provide a better playing experience.
These soccer balls are geared towards and built for international tournaments (like the FIFA World Cup) and international and domestic professional club competitions (like the Champions League or the MLS).
Match balls are high performance and are designed for use on a variety of playing surfaces and categories of players. They are made of high-quality materials that guarantee their reliability and maximum performance, so they are not cheap and come in about the same price range as other quality sports equipment.
Training balls are the cheapest of the three main types of soccer balls, very durable and suitable for any playing surface, age group, and skill level. These balls are for training or recreational sessions with specific materials to withstand high levels of use, bad weather conditions, and rough grounds like clay, asphalt, or concrete. Lower quality components such as PVC are used for lower-cost variations. Many also come with molded panels instead of stitched ones and may have fewer than four lining layers.
Recently, the use of smart soccer ball in training has become popular. This type of ball can measure impact strength, balls’ spinning force, trajectory, ect.
Here is a list of different types of soccer balls according to the type of soccer:
Four main categories of soccer:
- Indoor soccer
- Outdoor soccer
- Beach soccer
- Futsal soccer
A lot can be said about each type of ball, but in general, each is best suited for its own environment and level of play. The type of surface that a player will play on will determine which type of soccer ball they need.
Indoor soccer and outdoor soccer are played with a regular soccer ball, beach soccer balls are designed to be played on the sand for a more enjoyable experience. The beach ball has a soft rubber texture, which makes it easier to control with your feet because sand offers less resistance than the ground. The futsal ball is designed to be played indoors. It weighs between 390 and 430 grams, has low bounce, and size is less than the normal outdoor soccer ball. According to FIFA, the specifications are as follows for a size 4 futsal ball.
What is a Soccer Ball Made of
The bladder is the inflated core of the ball that contains air under pressure.
Butyl bladders are cheaper, shape-stable, and provide longer air retention. Of course, they are not perfect and maybe not the most responsive. However, it’s where durability comes into play; what many people want is something that is built to last, meaning the device will withstand repetitive use on a daily basis. That’s why balls equipped with this type of bladder are usually used in training.
Latex bladders are the most expensive option, but they tend to offer much better bounce quality and a better feel. Yet, they also tend to have worse air retention capabilities. They’re used for both high-quality balls that are often seen in matches and for more premium options that were designed with professional players in mind.
The lining is a rubber casing that encases it and provides shape to the ball. The number of lining layers can affect its play. Soccer balls with more lining layers usually have a better performance.
The cover or casing is the outermost layer that provides protection to the surface of the ball.
Polyurethane is more expensive than other types of synthetic leather-like PVC. It’s used in the cover of soccer balls in official matches.
There are a few reasons why polyurethane balls are the best choice in the sport of soccer: they’re softer, easier to use, and react better when touched or kicked. But polyurethane covers tend to not sustain damage quite as well as the Poly Vinyl Carbonate-based ones, which are more durable.
Poly Vinyl Carbonate is the least expensive and the most durable among soccer ball coverings. It can be used in making soccer, street, indoor & futsal balls. Poly Vinyl Carbonate cover balls are usually harder than Polyurethane cover balls.
Since it’s more affordable and lasts longer, this synthetic resin is also commonly used as a material for training balls.
Rubber or plastic-covered balls on the cheapest side of things might better stay intact in rough conditions, but they are harder to use for playing with due to a less responsive/bouncy feel.
Panels are the separate pieces that make up a soccer cover. The total amount of panels, construction, and bonding all affect how the ball flies when kicked.
Fewer panels in a ball represent a lower amount of seams, making the ball closer in shape to a perfect sphere. This in turn decreases its water uptake, consequently speeding up how fast it is, and allowing it to move in any direction better.
The more panels on a soccer ball, the more controllable it becomes. This could be helpful for training or practice.
Connecting the pannels is done in several ways:
- Machine stitch. The cheapest and therefore most common in amateur balls.
- Hand stitching. Often used on premium balls, including with leather cover. It is more reliable than machine stitch, but costs more, as well as any manual labor.
- Glue. Glued pannels are held together no worse than stitched. Because of the complete absence of threads, the cover is less susceptible to tearing.
- Thermal glue. The latest development of leading manufacturers, such as Adidas. To date, this type of connection is the most durable. It is also convenient in that it allows you to make pannels of any shape, without having problems with their joining.
The top-5 best soccer ball brands on the market
Here are, what we think are the top-10 best soccer ball brands on the market
Nike is one of the world’s leading soccer ball manufacturers, and they do so by developing game-changing sports innovations, making products more environmentally friendly, and assembling a creative and diverse global team. The corporation is based in Portland near Beaverton, Oregon. Nike Inc. was founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight.
Adidas is a leading company in the world of sports, manufacturing shoes, clothing, and accessories. It was established in Herzogenaurach, Germany, and is headquartered there. Adidas is Europe’s largest sportswear and soccer manufacturer and the second largest in the world. The company was founded in 1924 by Adolf Dassler.
Puma is a German company headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany, and has been designing and manufacturing the world’s best sportswear for over 60 years. They offer a wide range of casual and athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories; all of which are both high quality and affordable. They are the third-largest sportswear manufacturer in the world. Puma was founded by Rudolf Dassler in 1948.
Select is a Danish company that started in 1947 and has since become one of the most reliable producers of soccer balls. They were founded by Eigil Nielsen, a former goalkeeper who played for Denmark’s national team. Select was the originator of soccer balls without lace and followed by many innovations.
Wilson or Wilson Sporting Goods Company is a Chicago-based American sports equipment manufacturer. Wilson manufactures equipment for a wide range of sports, including baseball, badminton, American football, basketball, golf, racquetball, soccer, squash, tennis, and volleyball. This company was founded in 1913 by Thomas E. Wilson under the parent organization Amer Sports.
What size of soccer ball do you need?
Soccer balls come in different sizes based on the age group. Smaller soccer balls are for younger players, whereas larger soccer balls can be used by elders. In general, for young players aged 8 and below, a size 3 will work. For players aged 9 to 12 years old, a size 4 should be perfect. For players aged 13 years and up, a size 5 should be ideal.
Be sure to observe the league standards to find the appropriate size. Ask your coach/league official about the ball you’re about to purchase.
How does the price of a ball affect its quality?
The cost of a ball affects the quality and durability of the ball. Balls can be found on the market for between $20 and $150. The more expensive the soccer ball, the more control of the ball will you have during play. The reason for buying a premium ball with a high price, is that it fly straight and predictable. The shape of expensive soccer balls will be preserved for a much longer time, and they will also absorb less water because of these top-quality materials.
Many people can’t afford a pricey ball. If you’re a beginner, an average ball with a lower price will work just as well.
Premium balls have a predictable trajectory, so they are more expensive.
How long does a soccer ball last?
Although the amount of time a ball will last varies by type, it is rare for a ball to last longer than two years.
If you do not maintain it over time, even the best soccer ball won’t last more than one season.
Check our article on how to care of your soccer ball to ensure its longevity.
How is a soccer ball affected by temperature?
A soccer ball’s performance is affected by the surrounding air temperature. The colder it gets, the less bouncy and responsive it becomes. It also becomes heavier over time which can change its trajectory, depending on the direction of impact.
When temperature inside an enclosed space that contains gas molecules rises, the molecules will expand and so will their energy.
A hot ball will bounce higher and go farther than a cold ball.
Does the construction have an effect upon the performance of a soccer ball?
Yes – the type of material used in production can have a major effect on how well the ball performs.
Soccer balls can be made up of different materials which impact how they behave on the pitch. If you want to find a new soccer ball, be sure to consider these aspects: the material of cover and bladder, number of panels and the way these panels are stitched.