Choosing a soccer ball can be really overwhelming for most people. It’s totally understandable since all these balls look pretty much the same. So, you may be wondering what are the best soccer balls to buy in 2018?
The answer to this question is not that simple. There’s no one ball that can be considered to be the best because it all depends on what you’re willing to do with that ball.
In other words, different balls are made for different purposes.
But, don’t worry. I made this guide with the goal to meet all of the different needs out there.
Are you in a hurry? Check out my recommendations of the best soccer balls for all possible situations by clicking HERE
So whether you’re looking for a soccer ball as a gift for your nephew or you’re searching for a training ball to improve your soccer skills, this guide is for you. It has it all covered.
Before getting into it, let me assure you that this guide is the result of weeks of research and analysis in order to provide you with the best advice on the internet regarding soccer balls.
Let’s get started then.
If you like to go directly to the reviews, you can use the following links.
Best Soccer Balls In 2018: My Recommended List
This table below is like a summary for this guide and it shows you my recommendation for every category. This was mad especially for people who don’t have enough time to read the detailed reviews.
Soccer Ball Types: Which Type Best Suits Your Needs?
Soccer balls may look similar to you. However, there are several types that were made to suit different needs and environments.
Here are the most common soccer balls types that you need to know:
- FIFA approved soccer balls: These are the balls used in international top leagues like English Premier League, MLS or UEFA Champions League. They are the highest quality balls that have been approved by FIFA. This guide doesn’t cover this type.
- Premium match soccer balls: These balls are very close to the previous type in terms of quality but they are less expensive. These balls are generally NFHS or NCAA approved which means that they are usually used in college soccer leagues or similar competitions.
- Training balls: They are generally good for any level of skills. They have a strong construction and are built to survive different types of fields. This is your SAFE CHOICE if you don’t know yet how you gonna use your ball. And this is the most common type of soccer balls that you’ll find on any market.
- Indoor balls: They are built to suit the tight conditions of indoor environment. They have less bounce than training balls. You can recognise them by their felt cover that feels like the cover of a tennis ball.
- Futsal balls: They are made for futsal matches. They’re slightly smaller than the above types. They’re specifically made to endure hard surfaces and are suitable for fast play. Also, they have a very low bounce.
- Beach balls: These balls are made to be used in sand. They are made with soft outer cover so that they can give more comfort to the bare feet when playing with them. They are usually waterproof.
All of these types will be covered in this guide except for FIFA approved balls.
In case you’re not sure which type to choose and you just wanna buy a regular soccer ball, then training balls are the way to go.
Understanding The Different Sizes of A Soccer Ball
There are three major sizes that are universal metrics to determine the size of a soccer ball.
- Size 3: This size is dedicated for the youngest soccer players under the age of 8.
- Size 4: They are used by younger players between the age of 8 and 12.
- Size 5: It’s the standard size which is used by adults and young players above the age of 12. This is the size used by professional soccer players all over the world.
How To Choose The Best Soccer Ball?
This section is dedicated to explaining the different elements that you should give attention to when choosing your soccer ball. I’ll be discussing things like the material used in a soccer ball, types of bladder and that sort of things.
I’ll keep this as short as possible. I promise
But if you are not interested by this or you simply don’t have enough time, you can skip all this and head directly to the reviews below by CLICKING HERE
If you still here, let’s get into it.
That’s the exterior part of the ball that you can see and feel. The cover is mainly responsible for the feel and durability of a ball. There are three types of material that are used by manufacturers to produce covers for soccer balls.
- Synthetic leather: This is the most expensive type of material and it’s used in premium balls. It provides great control and softness even though it’s not as durable as the other types of material.
- Polyurethane (PU): This type is commonly used in training balls and it’s known for providing a higher durability than synthetic leather. However, it doesn’t provide the same feel as leather.
- Poly Vinyl Carbonate (PVC): This is a highly durable material but the downside is that this material makes the ball difficult to control. It’s the cheapest type of material.
That’s the first layer of a ball. It’s the part that contains the air which makes it responsible for the shape and movement of the ball. There are two types:
- Latex/Rubber: This is used in high quality balls because it provides a better bounce for the ball. However, this type of bladder doesn’t hold air for a long period of time
- Butyl: This type provides a less overall playability than latex but it’s known for providing a better air retention.
These refer to the different segments that you can see in the outside covering of a soccer ball. Most balls come with 32 panels covers. However, there are types of balls that have 18 or 26 panels. Generally, fewer panels means that the ball can be easily curved in kicks and more panels can usually provide more control over the ball.
These panels are put together in three different ways:
- Stitched: High quality balls are usually hand-stitched to provide a better durability. Other balls can be machine-stitched which is good but not as durable as hand-stitched balls.
- Glued: This is generally used in low-quality balls. I don’t generally recommend glued balls.
- Thermally molded: This technique has proved to provide excellent durability. It’s definitely similar to stitched balls in many ways.
That’s the layers between the cover and the bladder. These layers are either composed of polyster or have been laminated together to provide the ball with its strength and bounce.
More layers of lining means that the ball won’t lose its shape or bounce anytime soon. Cheaper balls will usually come with less layers of lining.
Now, let's get to the reviews of the best soccer balls in 2018 in all major categories: Training, premium, indoor, futsal and beach soccer balls.
Best Training Soccer Balls For Practice In 2018
Training soccer balls are made for practice purposes and they are usually the go-to option when you don’t really care about which type of ball to buy.
Since they’re the most common type of balls, I decided to start with them.
1. Select Numero 10: My First Recommendation
Numero 10 is by far the best seller for the well-known manufacturer Select Sport America in the last couple years. It’s a great choice for either outdoor or indoor activities. It comes with a soft and durable polyurethane (PU) cover that makes your experience with the ball truly amazing.
Numero 10 comes with many colors and designs to choose from. It can be used in local soccer competitions as well as in training sessions. The bladder of the ball is made from latex which is usually used only in premium balls. As a result, you get this nice feel when touching the ball. That’s certainly a plus for this ball.
In addition, the ball is hand-stitched and does comply with IMS (International Match Standard) regulations. The bottom line is that this ball is worth more than its price. It was and will always be my first recommendation for people with a budget under 50 dollars.
2. Adidas MLS Glider: For MLS Fans
(Major Soccer League) fans, this beauty that comes with different variations and colors is the go-to ball. It’s part of the balls collection that is being used in the MLS games.
This ball comes with a strong construction with internal nylon wound carcass for maximum durability and strong resistance to all types of fields. It’s machine stitched. It comes with Butyl bladder to ensure maximum air retention and it’s shipped deflated so you may want to consider buying an air pump if you don’t already have one.
People seem to love these MLS adidas balls. They last relatively long and they actually provide a decent soccer experience. So if you’re looking for a decent ball with an affordable price, this ball can be a good choice.
3. Brine Voracity: Brine's Best Soccer Balls
Another ball worth including in this guide is the Verocity ball from Brine. This ball is hand-stitched and its cover is made from Polyurethane (PU) which provides a good experience on the field. This ball is equipped with Brine B.E.A.R. bladder system that holds air 10X Longer than normal Latex as the company claims.
The ball comes with different colors so that you can choose whatever is your favorite. However, this ball only comes in one size which is the size 5. This means that Verocity is for adults and youngsters above the age of 12. It’s also worth mentionning that this ball can be used in local soccer competitions especially high school tournaments.
To sum up, Verocity can never be a bad choice for a training soccer ball. The price is reasonable and the reviews about this ball that we found on the internet are mostly positive which means that Verocity is indeed a great ball.
4. Baden Thermo: My Favorite Design
I don’t know if you already aware of that but I’m a big fan of Baden soccer balls. So, I might be a little bit biased here when I say that Baden Thermo has probably the coolest design ever. This ball, as its name suggests, was thermally-bonded to ensure long durability as well as maximum shape retention.
Thermo is water-resistant which is a feature we find rarely in soccer balls under 50$. It’s NFHS approved. You can get it in size 4 or 5 depending on the age of the player. It comes with a rubber bladder which provides a high air retention no matter how much you use the ball.
Bottom line, I do believe that this ball is the best you can get for less than 40 dollars. It’s not as popular as the Numero 10 primarely because it’s still a new ball compared to the Numero 10. Besides, people are saying nothing but positive things about Baden Thermo which makes it worth checking at least.
5. KixSports KixFriction: A Solid Ball
This last choice may seem a little bit odd to many of you. And you’re right. This ball is the exact opposite of what is conventional in soccer balls. KixSports wanted to make KixFriction Ball stand out from all other balls. And I think they’ve succeeded.
The KixFriction ball is hand-stitched with a scratch resistant PU cover and comes with a latex bladder for top level performance. The exterior design is quite unusual as you can see from the picture. This ball can be used in all types of surfaces. It was made to be used in streets as well as in grass fields.
I think it’s safe to say that the Kixsports KixFriction soccer ball is literally a ball for any type of surface. You can use it for training as well as freestyling on the streets. It’s actually very difficult to find a ball like this that can be used in several types of surface.
Best Premium Official Match Soccer Balls In 2018
In this section, I’ll discuss with you why I do believe the next three balls you’re about to see are today’s best premium soccer balls in the world.
Please not that I didn’t want to include any soccer balls that cost more than 200$.
1. Adidas UEFA Euro 2016 Official Match: My Go-To Premium Ball
It’s true that it’s been more than a year and half since the UEFA Euro 2016, but that doesn’t mean that this ball is out of date. Adidas hasn’t produced until this day anything better than this ball. The Euro 16 official ball is by far the best premium ball under 200$ that I ever owned.
Euro 16 ball has a sturdy construction. The cover is made from synthetic leather which is top quality and it was thermally bonded for better touch experience. This ball has been tested and approved by FIFA. As most premium soccer balls, it only comes in size 5.
Adidas Euro 16 Match ball is really an outstanding soccer ball that can enable you to live the same experience that professional players enjoy in every game. If you’re a real soccer fan that is looking for nothing but the best, this ball won’t disappoint you.
2. Telstar 18: Adidas Fifa World Cup 2018 Official Ball
This is the ACTUAL ball that will be used in the next Fifa World Cup that’s going to be held in Russia this summer. It’s called the Telstar 18 and it’s a reimagining of the first ever Adidas ball that was used in a World Cup in 1970. This isn’t some replica. This is the real thing.
Telstar 18 has synthetic leather covers that are known to provide the best immersive soccer experience as well as perfect control over the ball. The construction was thermaly-bonded to ensure seamless touch. It comes only in size 5 which I think you’ve probably already figured out by yourself.
This ball looks amazing. However, I must disclose that I didn’t personally use it so I can be totally sure about how great it is. But, it’s the next world cup official ball. So, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by this ball.
3. Knuckle-It Pro: A Premium Ball For An Insane Price
This is a very special soccer ball which I’ll think you’ll fall in love with. At least that was the case with me. I must say that I don’t normally trust new comers in the industry of soccer equipment. I mostly prefer established companies like Adidas, Select or Brine. However, the guys at Bend-it (the company behind Kunckle-it) really changed my perspective.
The Knuckle-it Pro is a thermal fused ball with a butyl bladder for long air retention and the surface material is made from Polyurethane PU. This ball comes inflated by the way which makes it ideal as a gift for your nephew so he wouldn’t need to have a pump at home.
This ball was made for people who love freekicks and are looking for a ball that is easy to do Knuckle ball kick with. The Knuckle-it Pro is certainly a ball that is as good as a 100$ ball from the famous brands. That’s why I totally recommend it for people who don’t care about brands.
Best Indoor Soccer Balls In 2018
In this section, I’ll go through some of the balls that I consider to be the best value-for-money balls for indoor activities.
Let’s get to it then.
1. Mikasa SX50 Indoor: Best Value for Money
My all time favorite indoor soccer ball is without no doubt the Mikasa SX50. I don’t really use indoor balls a lot but I’ve played with this ball once and was actually better than I expected it to be.
This hand-stitched ball was made especially for indoor soccer activities. You can see that from its cover. This ball is heavier than regular training balls which normal because you don’t want an indoor ball to be too bouncy. This ball comes deflated so you need to consider that a pump is needed before being able to use it.
The only downside I can see with this ball is that it doesn’t come in size 3 or 4. This ball is only available in size 5 which is disappoing it for parents with kids under the age of 12. However, if the size doesn’t matter to you, it’s still the best indoor ball out there that you can get for this affordable price.
2. Tachikara SS32: A Harmless Ball
Tachikara’s specialty isn’t really soccer balls. They make amazing volleyballs that are very popular among volleyball players. That’s their specialty. However, they did an amazing jobwith the SS32 soccer ball. I think it’s because of their expertise in volleyballs that they were able to create a perfect indoor soccer ball like this one.
Tachikara SS32 comes with a nylon cover which is very soft compared to normal soccer balls. This ball comes as the perfect ball for kids, especially in a mother’s point of view :), since it cannot do any damage to the kid if they ever get smacked in the face with this ball.
This ball comes with only one size which is 4 and to be more precise a 8″ diameter. Looking for a ball to use inside the house? stop reading and go purchase this one. It doesn’t get better than this especially if you’re buying it for a kid under the age of 8. He or she will love it.
3. Select Speed Indoor: Not A Bad Ball
Speed is the indoor ball from the guys at Select Sport America. This ball was made with intention to make it a perfect ball for indoor activities inside the house. And I think Select Sport America did a good job with this one.
As the company claims, this ball was made principally for hardwood surfaces. It comes with a soft felt cover and it’s a light ball that is easy to play with no matter your age. Actually, some people dislike this ball because it’s very light compared to other balls such as the Mikasa SX50 we mentioned earlier.
Bottom line, this ball is good for indoor activities. However, I do believe the two balls I reviewed earlier are defintely better options than this one. I honestly added this ball specifically for people who are fans of Select Sport soccer balls.
Best Futsal Soccer Balls In 2018
As I said earlier in the introduction, my goal is to make this guide as complete as possible. I want this guide to satisfy all kind of needs that are related to soccer balls.
That’s why we’ll talk in this section about the best futsal soccer balls to buy in 2018.
1. Senda Rio Futsal Training Ball
Senda is with no doubt the best manufacturer of futsal balls. That’s why my first recommendation when it comes to futsal is always the Senda Rio ball. This machine-stitched ball is in my opinion the best value-for-money futsal ball out there.
Senda Rio comes with 0.6mm PU cover that is highly durable as well as rubber bladder that is known for high air retention records. The bounce of this ball is really low which is perfect for futsal games because it provides better control on hard surfaces.
Besides, this ball is the official ball of United States Youth Futsal competitions which means that it’s a top notch futsal ball. This ball comes with size 3 and 4. Bottom line, this is the best futsal ball in today’s market.
2. Senda Vitoria DuoTech: An Official Match Futsal Ball
At the second place, there’s another Senda ball that worth checking out. It’s the Senda Victoria. It costs a little bit more than the previous ball since it comes with a cover that has a duo-tech construction (stitched and bonded).
This ball is also a great ball that feels good when playing with it in solid surfaces. It features a low bounce synthetic rubber bladder that ensures maximum air retention. And keep in mind that this ball comes deflated so you’ll need a pump to inflate it.
To sum things up, the Victoria ball is pretty much the same as the Rio ball. However, it can offer a better durability thanks to its sturdy construction. Which one to buy? I think it depends on your budget here since there isn’t a big difference between the two balls.
3. Baden Futsal: A Good Alternative
Baden has actually made a ball that is specific for futsal games. It’s the Baden Futsal and I think it’s a good ball that worth considering before making your final decision. This ball comes with two sizes which are size 3 and 4.
The Baden Futsal has a low bounce to provide a great playability in solid fields. As for the cover, it’s made from PU which is pretty durable. A Butyl bladder that will ensure a high rate of air retention. It’s worth noting also that this ball meets all regulations of US Futsal Federation. This ball comes inflated unlike previous futsal balls.
In short, Baden Futsal is really a good futsal soccer ball. It’s well built, durable and people seem to love it. It can never be a bad choice even though I would recommend more going with a Senda ball since they have a better reputation than Baden in futsal balls.
Best Beach Soccer Balls In 2018
Playing soccer in the beach can be a lot of fun. However, using the wrong ball can ruin the whole experience and you end up with severe bruises in several areas in you feet. That’s why you need to consider buying a ball that is made especially for soccer beach.
And in this section I’ll show you some of the best beach soccer balls that will make your experience in the beach unforgettable.
1. Senda Playa Beach: My First Recommendation
We start with this incredible ball from Senda called Playa. You can see from its name that this ball was made just for playing soccer in the beach. And after reading all the reviews about this ball on the internet, I came to the conclusion that this ball is probably the best affordable beach soccer ball.
Playa comes with a soft cover that is stitched using a hi-tech machine for for tighter and stronger seams. There’s a rubber bladder that provides an excellent rate of air retention. When touching this ball, you can see that it was made to be perfect for any barefoot play especially in a beach.
Bottom line, the Senda Playa is an amazing beach ball that so many people seem to enjoy in their beach games. This ball was made especially for sand and I think Senda did a great job since everybody’s saying positive things about this ball.
2. Select Beach Soccer Ball
Select Sport America has actually a ball that was made especially to play soccer in sand. It’s the Select Beach. This waterproof ball is made of hard-wearing rubber material to ensure maximum durability.
This ball was made with the intention to protect your barefoot when playing in a beach. That’s why the cover of this ball doesn’t let sand get stuck on it and therefore your experience playing using this ball will be totally harmless.
To sum things up, the Select Beach is a good ball for soccer games on the beach. It has an affordable price and I think it’s a choice that needs to be considered before making your final decision. I totally recommend it.
3. Baden Praia Beach Soccer Ball
The other ball I want to talk about in this section about beach soccer balls is the Baden Praia Beach. This ball comes with TPU cover that is water-resistant and it does provide a soft touch. This ball comes only in size 5.
The Praia Beach has a butyl bladder which known for a better air and shape retention. Also you don’t have to worry about the sand sticking to this ball when playing on the beach. There’s not so many reviews about this ball in the internet. Nevertheless, the ones I found were all positive.
Bottom line, the Praia Beach can be a good choice if you’re planning on playing soccer in your next vacation to the beach. However, I do believe that the balls were mentionned before provide a better price-quality ratio.
What’s The Best Option For My Situation ?
I know that having so many options in front of you can get really confusing sometimes. That’s why I added this section to this guide.
To make things easy peasy for you, I outline here below different situations that may be similar to what you’re going through now.
For each situation, I’ll include suggestions for the adequate soccer ball that I recommend.
Situation 1#: A ball that I’ll be using in a daily basis
If you’re willing to use the ball every single day, then you better buy a premium ball.
Premium balls are a little bit expensive but that’s because they’re made using better materials. This means that they can endure excessive usage and last longer than cheaper balls.
My recommendations here would be either Adidas Euro 16 Match Ball or Knuckle-it Pro.
Situation 2#: A ball to use occasionally: A few times per month
In this case, a training ball would do the work. Any of the training balls I mentioned above would be a good choice. Although, I would recommend the most either Numero 10 or Baden Thermo.
Situation 3#: You’re looking for a soccer ball as a gift for a kid
You know that your friend’s kid is passionate about soccer and you wanna give him something nice but not overly priced. This situation depends on the age of that kid. Therefore:
- If he/she is under the age of 8, I would recommend Tachikara SS32 which has a soft surface and it’s perfect for indoor activities.
- If he/she is between the age of 8 and 12, I would go with a size 4 ball like this Adidas MLS Glider
- If he/she is above the age of 12, then you should buy a size 5 ball like Numero 10 or Brine Voracity.
Situation 4#: A NFHS Approved ball to use in local soccer competitions
This case demands purchasing a premium soccer ball. I would recommend any of the three NFHS Approved balls I reviewed above.
Situation 5#: You want to start playing futsal soccer
I reviewed above three futsal soccer balls which I think are great deals. If you want specifically an official match futsal ball, then you should probably go with Senda Vitoria. If you’re looking just for a practice futsal ball, I’d go with the Senda Rio.
Still Confused? Let me help you
If you have any specific needs and you don’t know which ball to choose, you’re welcome to describe your situation in a comment below and I’ll reply with the best options for your particular situation.
I guess that’s it.
I don’t want to make this guide longer than it should be and at the same time I wanted it to cover all different needs related to soccer balls.
The only way I can for sure know if I did well is by hearing you say it at the comments section.
So, feel free to post a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions to make this guide even more informative.
And don’t forget to check our detailed guide on how to become a soccer player: Click here to read it