Which soccer ball is best?
While Americans love their football globally, soccer is the top sport worldwide. This means many manufacturers make and sell soccer balls. If you are unsure what you are looking for, you might think all soccer balls are pretty much the same. This is not the case.
The best soccer ball will be sized for your needs and durable enough for rugged use. The adidas Starlancer V Club Soccer Ball, for example, is a quality option that is available in three sizes and features machine stitching for extra durability.
What to know before you buy a soccer ball
Soccer balls come in different sizes
You might not have ever noticed, but soccer balls come in five different sizes. The best size to use depends mostly on the player’s age.
- Size one: These soccer balls are 18-20 inches in circumference and are best for younger kids who just want to have fun. Alternatively, they can be used by an older player to build skills.
- Size two: These soccer balls are 20-22 inches in circumference and are best for kids ages 3 to 5-years-old. Like size one, you can use these balls for skill development.
- Size three: These soccer balls are 23-24 inches in circumference and are good for kids ages 5 to 8-years-old. This is the smallest size you will see in competitive play.
- Size four: These soccer balls are 27-28 inches in circumference and are good for kids ages 8 to 12-years-old. The slightly smaller size of this soccer ball allows the player to hone their skills to be ready for a regulation-sized ball in a few years.
- Size five: These soccer balls are 27-28 inches in circumference and are the official size for international play. They are best for kids 12 and up.
There are different types of soccer balls
Depending on where you are playing, different soccer balls may better suit your needs. Besides an official size five ball for outdoor play, there are a few common options.
- Beach soccer balls: These are lighter than typical soccer balls, so they are easier to kick with bare feet.
- Turf soccer balls: These are made a little tougher to hold up on the rougher playing surface of artificial turf.
- Indoor soccer balls: These soccer balls have less rebound. This way, they won’t bounce as much when hitting harder surfaces, such as the walls of an indoor playing area.
- Futsal soccer balls: These soccer balls are similar to indoor soccer balls, only they are size four and may sometimes be made with a felt or suede casing to make it easier to control the ball on slippery surfaces.
What to look for in a soccer ball
The best size five balls will have a stamp that says “FIFA Inspected” or “FIFA Approved.” This lets the buyer know these soccer balls meet all the standards for size, weight and more that FIFA sets.
Type of bladder
The bladder is what holds the air inside a soccer ball. There are two main types: latex and butyl. A latex bladder is softer and offers a better feel, while the butyl bladder retains air better but creates a harder ball.
The color and design of a soccer ball are largely a matter of preference. The two key items to remember are vibrant colors tend to be easier to see, and high-contrast patterns help a player identify which wall the ball is spinning. Some manufacturers even make light-up soccer balls to make nighttime play possible.
How much you can expect to spend on a soccer ball
For home recreational use, you can get a soccer ball for under $25. However, you could spend up to $50 or more for youth sporting events. On the other hand, high-end soccer balls may cost over $150.
Soccer ball FAQ
How do I care for a soccer ball?
A. To get the maximum life out of your soccer ball, inflate it to the proper pressure, and do not sit on it or kick it against an immovable object, such as a wall. Either of these actions can cause the ball to lose its shape. It is also important not to play on rough or abrasive surfaces, as this will cause the ball to wear more quickly. It is also a good idea to wipe your soccer ball clean with a damp cloth after each use.
How do I store a soccer ball?
A. If you will not be using your soccer ball for extended periods, deflate it a little to reduce the stress on the stitching and bladder. Additionally, store your soccer ball in a dry, room-temperature location that is protected from temperature fluctuations and the elements. Also, remember not to store your ball in a location where it will be exposed to sunlight.
What are the best soccer balls to buy?
Top soccer ball
What you need to know: This is a top-quality soccer ball designed for rugged play.
What you’ll love: The Adidas Starlancer V Club soccer ball is 100% thermoplastic polyurethane. It has a butyl bladder for better air retention and features machine stitching for durability. The ball can be hand washed for ease of care.
What you should consider: The ball arrives with stickers on it that are difficult to remove.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top soccer ball for the money
What you need to know: This is an affordable, well-constructed soccer ball suitable for 8 to 12-year-olds.
What you’ll love: The four-ply, soft-touch thermoplastic polyurethane cover on this ball helps it withstand vigorous play. It features a unique star pattern for easy distinction, while the air-lock bladder keeps the air inside the ball to retain its shape and pressure during use. This soccer ball is available in other sizes.
What you should consider: As with other options that are shipped to the home, this one arrives deflated.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you are looking for a soccer ball with a traditional design from a trusted manufacturer, this option will suit your needs.
What you’ll love: This ball features the traditional white and black pentagon design. It is available in sizes three, four and five. With the synthetic leather cover, this ball has a balance of durability, flight and control.
What you should consider: Some users felt this ball wasn’t quite as durable as higher-priced options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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