Suggest a fix
Football is the most popular sport in the world, and a big reason is that all you really need to play is a ball. However, if you’re a serious player looking to improve your dribbling and shooting skills, just any old ball won’t do.
If you want a high-quality ball for training sessions and in-game use, Adidas has plenty of great options, no matter your skill level. the Adidas Conext21 League Soccer Ball, for example, is an affordable and durable FIFA-certified ball that offers superior tactile control.
A reference soccer ball is a size five and suitable for anyone over 12 years old. However, smaller balls are available for children and are usually marked as youth or junior balls. A youth ball is size four and designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12, while a youth ball is size three and designed for children under the age of 8.
There are also “mini balls” which are not intended for play and are often considered novelty items. However, a mini ball is sometimes used in leagues involving children under the age of four.
Outdoor game balls are the most common, but variations of the sport use different balls. For example, beach soccer balls are much lighter and softer, and indoor balls don’t bounce as much as a regular outdoor ball.
This isn’t a huge consideration if you want a personal practice ball, but some leagues have specific play requirements if you’re looking for a ball to use in games.
US high school competitions require approval from the National Federation of High School Associations. All professional-level competitions require the approval of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, more commonly known as FIFA.
A soccer ball is made of leather and usually has a surface covered with polyurethane or polyvinyl carbonate, as leather does not offer much protection against moisture. The PU material allows for better tactile control but is not as durable as the PVC material.
The bladder holds air and is made of latex or butyl. Latex bladders provide more responsiveness when kicking, so they are commonly used for pro-level competition. However, latex does not retain air as well as butyl, so it is not always the desired option. Butyl is more durable, but they deform much easier and faster than balls that have latex bladders.
If you are thinking of investing in a soccer ball, chances are you want it to have a stylish design. A typical soccer ball sported a design with 20 hexagons and five pentagons stitched together, but these days you can find balls with all kinds of designs. Some leagues have rules regarding specific patterns, but it’s best to pick a ball with a design and color you like if you want a practice ball.
Plus, some Adidas balls have unique designs inspired by famous players, so you can support your favorite player while honing your skills at the same time.
You can find a practice ball for as little as $15, but a premium ball costs between $20 and $60. A ball with advanced construction and high-end designs can cost upwards of $150.
A. The highest quality balls are made of synthetic leather, have polyurethane covers and meet FIFA standards for circumference, weight, rebound and water absorption.
A. No, but it’s a good idea to wipe it down after a game or practice as debris can stick to it. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but you can more easily control a ball with minimal dirt on its surface.
What do you want to know: This ball meets the standards for circumference, weight and bounce, so it is FIFA quality certified and suitable for all competitions.
What you will love: You will have a better touch of the ball and will be able to control it more easily, thanks to its seamless surface and its minimal water absorption. It’s great for workouts but tough enough for gaming too.
What you should consider: It is only available in one color style.
Or buy: Sold by Dick Sporting Goods
What do you want to know: It’s a durable training ball that’s perfect for recreational use and is a bargain at its low price.
What you will love: Its machine-stitched construction offers superior durability and better tactile control. It is designed to withstand several hours of shooting and dribbling exercises without losing its shape, thanks to its butyl bladder for optimal air retention.
What you should consider: It comes with two stickers that leave hard-to-remove residue once the stickers are peeled off.
What do you want to know: It’s the perfect ball for Lionel Messi fans as it features an FC Barcelona color scheme and a design inspired by the prolific Argentine striker.
What you will love: This ball looks fantastic and has a durable TPU shell making it ideal for training and games. It retains air well and its smooth surface allows for a softer feel. Also, it comes in a lavish royal gold color and design.
What you should consider: It is suitable for training and games, but it is not as durable as other balls.
Or buy: Sold by Dick Sporting Goods
Register here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.
Kevin Luna written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.