The most popular sport in the world! You can play it anywhere, really. All you need is some space and a soccer ball (better known as a football or “fútbol” around the world)! So let’s go through some of the best soccer balls you can play for training, recreational, or league games!
The experience of soccer, a game cherished globally, is heavily influenced by the soccer ball. The soccer ball is more than just the centerpiece of the game; it affects how players interact with the game, influencing factors such as speed, control, and accuracy.
Soccer balls come in different materials, sizes, and designs, each with its unique influence on the game. We are going to highlight some of our favorite soccer balls, taking into consideration factors like durability, touch, control, and flight.
What Are The Best Soccer Balls?
1. Adidas UEFA Champions League Official Match Ball (Best Overall)
Designed for the most prestigious European club competition, this ball promises high-level performance. Its seamless surface provides better ball control and less water uptake. It features a thermally bonded, 100% polyurethane cover for increased durability and consistency.
2. Adidas UCL League 23/24 Group Stage Ball (Good Replica)
The Adidas UCL League Ball features graphics inspired by the UEFA Champions League official match ball. With 12 stars shine on a seamless TSBE surface designed for perfect soccer performance. FIFA Quality Certified, this ball is perfect for training and matches. It feels really good to play with and it’s very durable.
3. Adidas Oceaunz Pro Official Women’s World Cup Football (Most Expensive)
For those looking to get their hands on the same ball used by the US Women’s Team at the World Cup! The Oceaunz Pro ball is distinguished by its stunning design and great quality. The graphics on the ball showcase the significance of Australia and New Zealand’s breathtaking coastlines, as well as their vital lakes and waterways.
4. Adidas Oceaunz Replica Women’s World Cup Football (Best Replica)
For those who want to play with a replica of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, this ball is perfect. It offers the same design as the official match ball and can also be used as a high-quality training or match ball. The texture of the ball enables easy control and allows for playing with different foot contact points. Plus, it’s a great alternative if you don’t want to invest in a $170 ball.
5. Adidas MLS Training Ball (Good Durability)
A training soccer ball inspired by the MLS official match ball. This soccer ball offers excellent value, with its ability to maintain air pressure for longer durations, optimal texture for footwork drills, plays well indoors, and has an exceptional kicking response. It’s a reliable ball for both playing and training purposes.
6. Nike Merlin Premier League Official Match Ball (My Favorite)
I appreciate the molded grooves that reduce drag and the grippy texture for better control in any weather. Additionally, it incorporates Nike’s Aerowsculpt technology, which minimizes unpredictable movement in the air, improves shooting accuracy, and assists players in achieving powerful strikes.
While it may be on the pricier side for a soccer ball, I believe it’s the best and I thoroughly enjoy playing with it.
7. DSG Oscala (Most Affordable)
This ball has many positive reviews. Only ~$15, and it is great for practice as well as recreational play. It’s made of durable PVC with a polyester cover and foam backing. The texture of the ball provides good and predictable control, while its construction ensures long-lasting durability. Additionally, it’s perfect for youth soccer and training. And for an even lower price, you can bundle and save with the DSG Youth Soccer Package!
8. PUMA Brilliance Graphic (Best Minimalist Design)
The soccer ball boasts an impressive performance. Its minimal and clean design, adorned with the Puma logo, gives the ball an attractive appearance. Ideal for youth soccer, this 32-panel machine-stitched ball is crafted with a PU outer material, TPE foam, and a polyester backing. These features make it suitable for both training sessions and recreational games.
9. Franklin 100 (Best Youth Soccer)
This beginner-level soccer ball, stitched by machines, looks just like the soccer ball you’d doodle if someone asked you to draw one. It’s got a squishy polyurethane foam cover that gives it a nice, soft touch. Perfect for younger players! And it comes fully inflated and ready to play. Lastly, you can grab a dozen of these for less than $10 each!
10. Adidas Tiro League Sala Ball (Best Value)
I really like that Adidas offers a thermal bonded ball that is both affordable and durable. It’s a versatile ball – lightweight, fast in the air, and suitable for dribbling, shooting, and passing. The ball has a great grip and touch. I highly recommend it.
11. Wilson NCAA Vivido (Official NCAA game ball)
The Wilson NCAA Vivido is the official game ball of NCAA soccer and it’s great for competitive play. It features an Advanced Micro-Textured surface with a skin that is cushioned just enough for a good feel. Ball is firm but not hard with exceptional air retention and touch. The design features bold graphics that really make it stand out on the field. Overall, a high-quality ball that is perfect for league play.
12. Mitre Soccer Ball Training Impel (Best For Training)
This soccer ball is perfect for training. It has a dimpled microfiber outer coating that is designed to last through countless drills and practices. It’s also very affordable, so you can grab several to make sure you’re entire team is never without a ball!
How to choose the Best soccer balls?
1. Choose the Right Size
Soccer balls come in sizes 1 through 5. Size 1 balls, also known as mini-balls or skill balls, are primarily for skill development and not for games. We list the different soccer ball sizes below.
2. Consider the Type of Play
- For casual play, you may opt for a more durable and budget-friendly ball, often made with PVC.
- Training balls are designed to withstand regular use over time and often offer a balance of performance and durability.
- Match balls and premium match balls are top-quality balls that meet FIFA’s specifications for professional play. They provide excellent feel and consistent performance but may not be as durable as training balls.
3. Material and Construction
The material greatly affects the performance and durability of a soccer ball. High-quality match balls usually have a polyurethane (PU) cover for an optimal feel and control, while PVC-covered balls are more durable but offer less control.
Examine the ball’s stitching. Hand-stitched balls tend to be of higher quality, offering a softer feel. Machine-stitched balls are more durable, while thermally-bonded balls, often seen in top-level match balls, provide a seamless surface for optimal performance.
Your budget will play a significant role in your choice of a soccer ball. While expensive balls often offer superior performance and feel, they may not be necessary for casual play or for young players who are still learning the game. Select a ball that offers the best balance of quality and affordability for your needs.
5. Personal Preference for Best Soccer Balls
Lastly, personal preference plays a part. Some players might prefer a ball that offers a softer feel, while others might prefer one with a firmer touch. Some people may like molded groves, and other may care about the design of the ball. So if possible, try out a few balls before making your decision.
What soccer balls Are used in the top football leagues?
- Bundesliga -> Derbystar
- La Liga, Serie A -> Puma Orbita
- Premier League -> Nike Premier League Flight
- MLS -> Adidas MLS Pro
- Ligue 1 -> Kipsta
- UEFA -> Adidas UCL Pro
What are the Different Sizes of Soccer Balls?
Soccer balls come in different sizes, primarily designated by the numbers 1 through 5. Each size serves a particular purpose or age group.
- Size 1: Also known as the mini or skills ball, size 1 balls are primarily used to hone footwork and ball control skills. With a circumference of 18 – 20 inches, they are perfect for young children learning the basics or players working on specific skills.
- Size 2: These balls are slightly larger than size 1, with a circumference of 20 – 22 inches. They are sometimes used for skill development, but they are less common than size 1 balls.
- Size 3: These balls are intended for young players aged 8 or below (U8). They are smaller and lighter than the balls used in professional matches, making them suitable for young children. The circumference of a size 3 ball is 23 – 24 inches.
- Size 4: For players aged 8 – 12 years old (U8 – U12), size 4 balls are used. They have a circumference of 25-26 inches, providing a middle ground between the small size 3 balls and the full-size size 5 balls.
- Size 5: This is the standard and official size for players aged 13 and above (U13 and above), including all professional and adult leagues. Size 5 balls have a circumference of 27 – 28 inches, and they are used in all FIFA-sanctioned matches.
What Size Ball is Futsal?
In addition to these, there’s a size called “Futsal ball,” typically used for indoor games or on hard surfaces. Futsal balls are roughly the same circumference as a size 4 ball but are heavier and have a reduced bounce to accommodate the unique style of play associated with futsal.
Is There a Difference Between Women’s And Men’s Soccer Balls?
No. Both use a size 5 ball, which is approximately 27 – 28 inches in circumference and weighs between 410 – 450 grams, as per FIFA regulations.
Who is the Governing Body For Soccer?
The international governing body for soccer, known as football in many parts of the world, is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Established in 1904 and headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, FIFA is responsible for overseeing and promoting soccer worldwide.
FIFA’s responsibilities include organizing and managing international tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the Women’s World Cup. It also sets the Laws of the Game, the rules that dictate how soccer is played globally.
In addition to FIFA, each region has its own governing body that manages soccer within that area. These include:
- Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in Europe
- Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Africa
- Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in Asia and Australia
- Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in North and Central America and the Caribbean
- South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) in South America
- Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in Oceania
Each of these regional organizations oversees the game at the regional level, organizing competitions and promoting the development of soccer within their jurisdictions.
At the national level, each country has its own football association to manage the sport, such as the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) in the United States, the Football Association (FA) in England, and the Deutsche Fußball Bund (DFB) in Germany. These national bodies handle domestic leagues and competitions and develop grassroots soccer in their respective countries.