Soccer, in most parts of the world, is a beloved sport that unites millions. At the heart of this beautiful game lies a crucial element – the soccer ball.
The best soccer balls are more than just spherical objects; they are precision tools distinguishing between a good and a great game.
They come in various sizes, materials, and designs, each tailored to different play styles, skill levels, and age groups. This guide aims to help you navigate the world of soccer balls, ensuring you find the perfect one for your needs.
Soccer Ball Size Chart
Understanding soccer ball sizes is crucial when choosing the right ball. The size of the ball you need can vary depending on the age of the players and the type of game being played. Here’s a simple chart to guide you:
|Ball Size||Age Group||Circumference (inches)|
|Size 1||All ages (skills/practice)||18-20|
|Size 3||Under 8 years||23-24|
|Size 4||8-12 years||25-26|
|Size 5||12 years and up (standard adult size)||27-28|
Size 1 balls, also known as mini-balls, are typically used for improving footwork or for fun. The youngest age group in organized soccer uses size 3 balls. Players between the ages of 8 and 12 use size 4 balls. Size 5 balls are the standard for all players aged 12 and above, including all adult play.
12 Best Soccer Balls
Discover the 12 best soccer balls that deliver unmatched performance, durability, and unique designs inspired by various cultures. Whether you’re a pro player or an enthusiastic fan, these top-tier balls will take your game to the next level.
1. Adidas Al Rihla Pro
The Adidas Al Rihla Pro, the official FIFA World Cup Qatar football ball, is a top-tier selection for soccer enthusiasts and professionals. This ball is celebrated for its speed, durability, and unique design inspired by Qatari culture. Equipped with a high-grade Butyl bladder and a Rhombus carcass, it provides superior rebound and consistency. Its water-based polyurethane casing, known as Speedsheel, is upgraded, and the 20 diamond-shaped thermally bonded panels feature dimple and groove micro-texturing that enhance aerodynamics and flight stability. Soft, responsive, and incredibly fast, the Al Rihla ensures grip and reliability, making every game exceptional.
- High-grade Butyl bladder
- Soft yet responsive
- Grippy micro-texturing surface
- Spherical shape for consistent performance
- As a premium ball, it may be more expensive than other options.
- Its advanced features may not be necessary for casual or beginner players.
2. Adidas MLS Club Soccer Ball
The Adidas MLS Club Soccer Ball, a replica of the 2021 Major League Soccer season’s official ball, Nativo 21, is a testament to quality and durability. This ball is crafted for excellent touch and control, perfect for professional play. It boasts a 100% TPU machine-stitched cover with a textured surface and a butyl bladder for efficient pressure maintenance and optimal air retention. The Adidas MLS Club Soccer Ball aims to elevate your soccer training and sharpen your skills on the field.
- Offers excellent touch and control
- Durable machine-stitched cover
- Efficient air retention
- Perfect for professional training
- As a replica ball, it may not offer the same performance as the original.
3. Chaos Aztec Soccer Ball
Vibrant and unique, the Chaos Aztec Soccer Ball is perfect for players who want to make a statement on the field. This ball delivers playability, reliability, and performance comparable to top premium outdoor grass and turf options at an affordable price. Its 32 hand-stitched 1.5 mm dimpled polyurethane panels offer fantastic reliability, optimum flight stability, and controllability, making this match ball a sure winner.
- Excellent playability and reliability
- Optimized flight stability
- High-quality construction
- Affordable price
- Despite its high quality, it may not be as recognized or prestigious as balls from larger brands
- The design may not appeal to everyone.
4. Select Numero 10
The Select Numero 10, a product of the Denmark-based Select company, is a top-tier ball suitable for match play and practice. The company claims to be the first to develop a 32-panel soccer ball, making the Numero 10 an extraordinarily round option. Complying with FIFA International Match Standard (IMS), National Federation of High Schools (NFHS), and NCAA regulations, it’s a popular choice for many teams. Its soft touch and high-quality materials offer consistent flight and durability.
- High-quality training ball
- Consistent flight
- Soft touch
- Durable construction
- Like many premium balls, it needs frequent air refills.
- Some players find them to be a bit hard.
5. Champion Sports Extreme Series Composite Soccer Ball
The Champion Sports Extreme Series Composite Soccer Ball is a trustworthy choice for intense training and recreational play. It has a TPU construction which offers durability without being too hard. Its high rebound and pleasant foot feel make every kick enjoyable. Coming in nine bright, flashy colors, this ball thrives in any weather condition, making it popular with kids and adults alike.
- TPU construction for durability
- High rebound and pleasant foot feel
- Available in various colors
- Good for all weather conditions
- It is considered too light for serious play by some players.
- Scuffing could also result from playing on artificial turf.
6. Adidas Champions League Official Match Ball
The official UEFA Champions League ball is the Adidas Champions League Official Match Ball. It’s one of the best match balls used for official club team games, boasting a 100% polyurethane cover and thermally bonded panels for more predictable flight. This FIFA Quality Pro-certified ball will make you feel like a superstar on the field.
- Official match ball
- Thermally bonded panels for predictable flight
- FIFA Quality Pro certified
- Suitable for official club team games
- It is expensive.
- It may need some breaking in as the ball sometimes feels sticky on the foot when you first start using it.
7. Nike Pitch Team Training Football
The Nike Pitch Team Training Football is a durable training ball offering consistent performance. With a 100% Synthetic TPU casing, it’s quite durable. Available in a variety of colors, this ball is an affordable choice for home practice or adding to your training ball lineup. It’s a great choice for players of all ages and skill levels.
- Durable Synthetic TPU casing
- Available in various colors
- Suitable for all skill levels
- It seems a little wet and slippery.
8. Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball
The Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball is a classic choice for recreational play. This ball appeals to soccer purists with its old-school design and feel, echoing its cousin from the movie Castaway. With a machine-sewn synthetic leather cover for better durability and a rubber bladder for air and shape retention, it’s one of the best and most affordable balls for home training or on the pitch.
- Old-school design and feel
- Machine-sewn synthetic leather covering
- Durable rubber bladder
- Affordable price
- The ball can feel hard due to the focus on durability. It’s too tough to play without shoes.
- After a long time of use, synthetic leather may show signs of wear.
9. Nike Academy Ball
The Nike Academy Ball is a top-quality soccer ball, perfect for both training and games. Made from 60% rubber, 15% polyurethane, 13% polyester, and 12% EVA, it offers excellent responsiveness and bounce. The vibrant colors make it easy to spot on the field and maintain its shape even after multiple uses.
- High-quality material ensures durability.
- Excellent responsiveness and bounce.
- Vibrant color schemes for easy spotting.
- Suitable for both training and games.
- Maintains its shape after multiple uses.
- Not the cheapest option available.
10. Nike Futsal Pro Ball
The Nike Futsal Pro Ball is a high-quality soccer ball designed specifically for futsal players. Futsal is a fast-paced indoor soccer game that requires a durable and accurate ball. This ball is perfect for playing small-sided games or practicing skills in tight spaces.
- Designed specifically for futsal, a fast-paced indoor soccer game.
- Offers great responsiveness.
- Good grip for performing tricks.
- Suitable for small-sided games and tight spaces.
- Can be used for training drills to improve footwork, passing, and shooting.
- May not be suitable for regular outdoor soccer games.
11. Senda Rio Training Futsal Soccer Ball
The Senda Rio Training Futsal Soccer Ball is designed to help improve your skills and technique. It’s a best-in-class training futsal ball, smaller, heavier, and with less bounce than a standard soccer ball, making it ideal for close-control training exercises. The Senda Rio is made with a 0.6mm PU cover for increased durability, perfect for indoor use on hard courts, gyms, and wooden floors. The ball is machine-stitched for stronger seams.
- Best-in-class training futsal ball.
- Made with a 0.6mm PU cover for increased durability.
- Ideal for indoor use on hard courts, gyms, and wooden floors.
- Machine-stitched for stronger seams.
- Comes with a 1-year warranty to protect against manufacturer defects.
- Not suitable for outdoor use due to its specific design for indoor play.
12. Puma La Liga 1 Accelerate Match Soccer Ball
The Puma La Liga 1 soccer ball is a quality ball for the money. It’s one of the cheaper options on this list, but it performs like a ball that costs twice as much. The Puma La Liga 1 is the official match ball of Spain’s La Liga. It features a unique 8-panel configuration, enhanced aerodynamics, and excellent air retention due to the rubber bladder with a PUMA Air Lock valve. It’s THB-molded for excellent shape, durability, and reduced water absorption.
- Offers excellent value for money.
- Official match ball of Spain’s La Liga.
- Unique 8-panel configuration for enhanced aerodynamics.
- Excellent air retention due to the rubber bladder with a PUMA Air Lock valve.
- THB-moulded for excellent shape, durability, and reduced water absorption.
- May not be suitable for players seeking high-end features.
For those wondering “who makes the best soccer balls,” this list includes top-rated options from well-known brands like Adidas and Select and more budget-friendly choices like the Chaos Aztec and Champion Sports Extreme Series. Ultimately, the best soccer ball for you will depend on your skill level, playing style, and budget.
Here are the Best Soccer Balls in Each Category:
Best Size 5 Soccer Ball:
- Adidas Al Rihla Pro: The official ball of the FIFA World Cup 2022, known for its speed and durability.
- Adidas Champions League Official Match Ball: The official ball of the UEFA Champions League, offering superior performance.
Best Size 4 Soccer Ball
- Adidas MLS Club Soccer Ball: A high-quality ball used in Major League Soccer, offering excellent touch and control.
- Nike Pitch Team Training Football: A durable training ball from Nike, offering consistent performance and excellent touch.
Best Training Soccer Ball
- Select Numero 10: A top-tier ball suitable for both match play and practice, known for its soft touch and high-quality materials.
- Champion Sports Extreme Series Composite Soccer Ball: A durable and reliable ball, ideal for intense training sessions and recreational play.
Best Soccer Ball for Kids
- Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball: A classic, reliable soccer ball from Wilson, perfect for recreational play in the backyard or the park.
|Category||Best Soccer Balls|
|Best Size 5 Soccer Ball||Adidas Al Rihla Pro, Adidas Champions League Official Match Ball|
|Best Size 4 Soccer Ball||Adidas MLS Club Soccer Ball, Nike Pitch Team Training Football|
|Best Training Soccer Ball||Select Numero 10, Champion Sports Extreme Series Composite Soccer Ball|
|Best Soccer Ball for Kids||Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball|
How to Choose the Best Soccer Ball for You
Soccer balls come in different sizes, each suitable for a specific age group. Make sure you choose the right size for your age or skill level.
The material of the ball affects its performance. Balls from synthetic leather offer a better feel and performance than those from PVC or rubber.
The ball’s bladder affects its air retention and feel. Latex bladders offer better control but need frequent inflation, while butyl bladders retain air longer but are stiffer.
Hand-stitched balls offer better durability and performance but are also more expensive. Machine-stitched or thermally-bonded balls are cheaper alternatives.
Brand and Reviews:
Consider the brand’s reputation and read reviews from other users before purchasing. When deciding “what is the best soccer ball” for you, these factors will help you make the right choice.
What Are Soccer Balls Made of and Why Does It Matter?
The outer casing of a soccer ball, which gives it its shape, can be made from PVC, PU, or synthetic leather. Each material offers different levels of durability, feel, and performance.
The bladder holds the air inside the ball. It can be made from latex, which offers more control but needs frequent inflation, or butyl, which retains air longer but is stiffer.
The way a ball is constructed affects its performance. Hand-stitched balls offer a more predictable flight and bounce, while machine-stitched or thermally-bonded balls may not perform as well.
The design of the ball, including the panel shape and configuration, can affect its flight and the way it moves on the pitch.
How Soccer Balls Are Made
Soccer balls are made of an outer casing and a bladder. The casing can be made of PVC, PU, or synthetic leather. The bladder, which holds the air, can be made of latex (offers more control, softer) or butyl (holds air better but is stiffer).
Do Soccer Balls Make a Difference?
Performance: A soccer ball’s size, weight, and material can significantly affect its performance. The texture and surface of the ball can also impact its grip and spin, affecting its movement and how it responds to a player’s touch.
Player’s Skill: The type of ball can also influence a player’s skill development. For instance, using a smaller ball can help improve ball control and technical skills.
Top-10 Best Soccer Ball Brands
- New Balance
Remember, the best soccer ball for you depends on your specific needs, including your level of play, where you’ll be playing, and personal preferences.
Summing Up on Best Soccer Balls
Choosing the right soccer ball is crucial for enhancing your game. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, understanding the different types, materials, and sizes of soccer balls can help you make an informed decision.
Remember, the best soccer ball is the one that suits your specific needs and playing style. So, take your time, do your research, and find the perfect soccer ball for you. Happy playing!
Faqs on Best Soccer Balls
What Soccer Ball is Used in the Premier League?
The official ball used in the Premier League is the Nike Flight ball. Nike has been the official ball supplier for the Premier League since the 2000/01 season. The Nike Flight ball is known for its innovative AerowSculpt technology, which promotes consistent flight, and All Conditions Control (ACC) technology, which ensures optimal touch and control in all weather and pitch conditions.
What Does Size 5 Soccer Ball Mean?
A size 5 soccer ball is the regulation size for soccer matches for players aged 13 and up. Its circumference is 27-28 inches, and it weighs between 14-16 ounces. This size is also used for all professional soccer leagues and tournaments worldwide. It’s important to note that different leagues may have different age cut-offs, so it’s always best to check with your league representative to ensure you have the correct size for your age bracket.
Which Ball is Used in FIFA Football?
The official match ball for the FIFA World Cup 2022 was the Al Rihla, with a variation called the Al Hilm used for the final. The Al Rihla and Al Hilm are similar in design but have slightly different color profiles. Both balls are equipped with the latest ‘Connected Ball’ technology, including a motion sensor which sends out data 500 times per second to help officials. The FIFA World Cup has seen a variety of balls used since its inception in 1930, each with its own unique design and technological advancements.