Note that the products discussed on our site are independently selected by (obsessive) editors. At no extra cost to you, things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
No matter how talented a soccer player is, they’re only as skilled as their gear allows them to be Without the right pair of cleats, shin guards, and even the best soccer balls to practice and play with, they can’t build their game to its top potential. That’s why it’s so important to do your research before you buy any piece of equipment. Whether you’re replacing your old cleats or you just need a few new practice jerseys, the right quality makes all the difference.
If you’re in the market for a new soccer ball, make sure you know what you’re looking for and what the best options in the market are – and use the guide below to help you!
What to Look for in a Great Soccer Ball
It’s easy to tell a soccer ball from another sports ball. But, how do you recognize a high-quality, durable soccer ball from a sub-par model? By taking a closer look at the size and structure, and checking what the ball was made for, too.
Size and Structure
Soccer balls range in size, classified in categories 1-5. A size 1 soccer ball is the smallest and size 5 is the biggest and each size on the scale serves its own unique purpose.
- Small soccer balls (size 1) are for footwork or just for fun. Players use these when working on specific tricks and talents, or when they’re headed to the beach or just playing in the backyard.
- Sizes 2 and 3 are small as well, but they can be used for children’s matches in addition to ball control drills.
- Sizes 4 and 5 are used for official gameplay as youth players advance in age. After a player turns 13, they use size 5 balls for the rest of their gaming experience.
As far as structure goes, the main part of a soccer ball to pay attention to is the casing. This is the outer covering of a soccer ball that goes over the bladder, which holds the air. Casings can be made of PVC, PU, a mixture of the two, or fake leather.
PVC stands for polyvinyl carbonate, the hardest type of casing available. PU, or polyurethane, is a bit softer yet considered to provide the better overall quality. Synthetic balls are the typical choice for match balls, though, so if you want the most game-like experience, choose one of those.
Indoor, Outdoor, and Beach Soccer Balls
Speaking of the game experience, always think about where you’re going to be playing. It’s much different to play on an indoor soccer field than it is to play on an outdoor, and beach soccer balls are a league of their own, too.
The classic outdoor soccer ball is the heaviest, while indoor balls have a medium weight and beach balls are the lightest. Keep this in mind as you look for the best training soccer ball and the best playing ball.
The Top 5 Best Soccer Balls of 2019
Now that you know a few of the basics of what makes a good soccer ball, it’s time to find the right one for you. Here are some of the best soccer balls you can find. We’ve rounded them up and written short reviews to make your shopping a breeze.
Best Training Soccer Ball
The Nike Aerow is ideal for indoor training and play. You can use it on concrete or a traditional field if you’d like, but it just won’t last as long. This is because the outer coating will easily get scratched up and start to lose its quality.
There is a good bladder on this ball, though, which is the inner part of a soccer ball that holds air. When used properly, you can expect the overall condition of the ball to last.
Best Soccer Ball 2017
Up next is the Mikasa Serious, a great all-around training ball. The ball is soft to the touch making it easy to work on headshots and use the shoulders, chest, and knees when handling, too. The Mikasa is available in a variety of sizes. It’s easily the best size 4 soccer ball available for your youth players.
It’s also light enough to work on power skills or new shots when shooting and passing up and down the field. The tricks won’t feel the exact same with a game-time ball, but this model definitely helps you build your talents better in preparation for a big game.
Best Soccer Ball for the Money
Wilson hit the nail on the head by calling this model a “Traditional” soccer ball. It works well in training for all sorts of shooting, passing, and ball handling drills in practice, all the while mimicking the feel and response of an official game ball. Wilson makes the best soccer ball for the money.
Plus, this model comes in various sizes, so you can buy one for you and your child or use it as the go-to choice as your little one moves up in their youth league. The size and shipping you choose will play into the overall price, but you can find all those options and get exactly what you need.
The Select Numero 10 is the ultimate official turf play ball. It’s durable, soft, and sure to last for quite a while. This is the best soccer ball to buy if you’re looking to get something that will last for a few seasons and best prepare you for real-time plays in the game.
Best Soccer Ball Brand
Last but not least, the Adidas Champion’s League Capitano ball. Adidas makes the list again as arguably the best soccer ball brand. This is a PU ball with a strong, durable bladder. But, it comes deflated so you’re going to have to make it ready for use yourself.
Still, it’s worth extra bit of work on your end. This ball has been FIFA tested for all requirements, proven to hold up against rebound and water absorption as well as meeting proper size and weight requirements. It comes in various sizes for children and adults. Make it yours today for a great price!