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 2020?
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.
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.
Here are the Best Soccer Balls to buy 2020: my recommended list
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Best Training Soccer Balls In 2020
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.
Before we start with our top list, I wanna show you something special.
A soccer ball like I have never seen before.
Meet the Aztec Ball, one of the best soccer balls on the high end that are in the market today. Use link below to check it out.
Best Premium Official FIFA Soccer Balls In 2020
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$.
Best Indoor Soccer Balls In 2020
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.
Best Futsal Soccer Balls In 2020
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 2020.
Best Beach Soccer Balls In 2020
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 soccer balls that will make your experience in the beach unforgettable.
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.
These are the best soccer balls in terms of quality and performance. That explains why they 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Soccer Ball Bladder:
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.
Best Soccer Balls Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ Updated For 2020)
What Is the Best Brand for Soccer Balls?
This German-based multinational corporation is regarded as the best brand for soccer balls seeing as they are FIFA’s official soccer ball brand.
Adidas manufactures high-quality soccer balls that have been used in the Olympic Games, World Cup, and UEFA champions league, among other prestigious soccer tournaments.
This American multinational corporation comes in a close second when it comes to manufacturing high-quality soccer balls.
You will often find Nike balls being used in the professional leagues of Brazil, Spain, England, and Italy, among other soccer-loving nations all around the globe.
What Soccer Balls Do the Pros Use?
Professional soccer players use different types of soccer balls depending on whether it is to be used for a match, for training, or use on turf.
- Professional Match Soccer Balls
These are FIFA-approved balls that have undergone rigorous tests to ascertain their shape, performance, flight, air retention, and water absorption.
Premium match balls are costly and are therefore used in tournaments and professional soccer leagues.
- Match Balls
Besides, the premium match balls, we also have match balls. These are similar to the former in terms of material used. Instead of being FIFA-approved, however, most are NCAA- and NFHS-approved.
Match balls are used in high school and college level leagues and tournaments.
- Training Balls
These balls are built to withstand high stress and strain. They are incredibly durable and can be used on a variety of field types, including concrete and asphalt.
- Turf Balls
Just as the name suggests, these soccer balls are only suitable for use on turf or artificial grass. Such a ball would skid on natural grass.
Are Adidas Soccer Balls Good?
Yes, they are.
So good in fact that Adidas is the official soccer ball brand for FIFA.
The fact that all FIFA-approved balls have to undergo rigorous testing for accurate circumference, weight, rebound, water absorption sure does say a lot about Adidas soccer balls.
Adidas not only makes among high-end soccer balls, but their lower end options also never disappoint.
You can always rely on the quality of an Adidas soccer ball, regardless of whether it’s a $17 ball or a $250 ball.
How Hard Should A Soccer Ball Be?
The hardness of a ball depends on how much air pressure the ball has.
A FIFA-approved size 5 soccer ball should have an air pressure of between 8.5 and 15.6 PSI.
Often, however, you will find most other soccer balls having an air pressure value ranging between 8.7 to 11.6 PSI.
When the air pressure in the ball is too high, the ball feels very hard and becomes too bouncy, thereby proving hard to control.
When the air pressure is too low, the ball won’t bounce very well, and neither will it kick properly.
Ideally, when a soccer ball is properly inflated, then you shouldn’t be able to press more than ½ an inch when you press on the ball with both hands.
What Size Soccer Ball Do Pros Use?
Size 5 is the standard size ball for professional soccer players.
Besides just professional players, a size 5 soccer ball is what’s ideally should be used by any adult and players over 12 years old.
This ball measures 27”-28” in circumference and weighs about 410-450 grams.
For use in professional matches, the ideal size 5 ball should come bearing a “FIFA Inspected” or “FIFA Approved” stamp to show that it has undergone all the necessary tests.
FIFA-Approved soccer balls are quite expensive, which is why they may only exclusively be used for match play.
How Long Does A Soccer Ball Last?
The durability of any soccer ball depends on its quality as well as its usage.
Most soccer balls have a one-year warranty.
A decent quality ball that’s used every weekend could last maybe 5-6 months while a ball that’s used relatively infrequently could last up to 2 years.
The rule of thumb here could be to get a new ball every season.
How Do I Pick the Right Soccer Ball?
What material is the casing of the ball made from? PU balls are of higher quality than PVC ball, while Synthetic leather balls are designed for professional matches.
What material is the inner bladder layer of the ball made out of? Butyl bladders have superior air retention as compared to latex bladders.
However, latex bladders are preferred by the pros because of their soft feel and excellent bounce.
How many panels does the ball have? Fewer panels mean fewer seams to seal, thereby resulting in better shape retention and water resistance.
How have the panels been attached to the casing? Hand stitching offers the best combination of quality and durability as opposed to machine stitching.
At the same time, thermal molding is more durable than gluing.
What Does FIFA Quality Mean?
A FIFA quality soccer ball will come bearing the markings “FIFA Approved”, “FIFA Inspected” or “International Matchball Standard (IMS)”.
These markings show that the ball has passed a variety of tests ensuring its circumference, sphericity, rebound, water absorption, weight, air retention, and shape, and size retention.
What’s The Best Soccer Ball 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 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
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.