Much like PU or TPU for soccer ball casings, rubber is considered the best of both worlds for soccer ball bladders when it comes to striking a balance between responsiveness and air retention. Oddly enough, this balance does not actually inspire a greater adoption by either manufacturers or players, and as such, soccer balls with rubber bladders are less popular.
The next soccer ball on our list is the Under Armour Desafio 395. This soccer ball is built for training younger players and has the lowest price point of all the balls we’re comparing here. Since this ball is built with younger players in mind, it isn’t as heavy or durable as some of our options. However, at this price point, most reviewers agreed it’s a great play.
Due to it being significantly softer than the other types of rubbers used for soccer ball bladders, latex is generally seen as the premier material. Though, this same perception may not hold as true for practice balls or even game balls at lower levels of competition. This is because latex bladders retain air worse than all of the other soccer ball bladder materials and will need to be re-inflated more often.
You may be worried because you feel it sells too expensive but this is not the case. With all these great features, the ball still ranks as an affordable ball. It features a machine-stitched construction with internal nylon wound carcass that ensures maximum durability and long-term performance. Further, the TPU material used on the exterior will resist abrasion, and the butyl bladder provides best air retention to keep it in shape and remain inflated for a long time.
A quick inspection of the construction of the ball might help you make a quick decision. The first thing that you should look at is the panel of the ball. A soccer ball that has panels sewn together is a better choice than the ones that are glued together. The panels of a premium ball are stitched by hand while those of a lower quality are machine stitched.
This ball has been through all of the hazards that kids can dream up. Dribbling the ball on pavement walking to the car, practicing shots against a brick school, being used as a seat, heavy use at practice, and its frequent selection as the game ball. With all of that, it still looks great with very little wear and tear. Could still pass as a new ball from a few feet away. It's held it's pressure very well. The outer shell texture allows good grip without being to soft or too hard.
Over time, many soccer balls tend to go out-of-round, especially if they are well-used. The Glider is designed to maintain its shape without losing air thanks to the firmness and consistency of the butyl bladder. Under regular use, we found that the air pressure was consistent enough that we didn’t need to add more air to the ball. If you play in organized soccer, then having consistency from the practice ball to the game ball is very important for skill development. The machine-stitched panels offer that experience for most players, even though the ball has the standard panel design.
Another type of soccer ball that some players may find to be useful is the indoor soccer ball. Indoor balls are designed to have less bounce and rebound to them, making it possible to control the ball on a tighter court or field. The cover of an indoor ball is also the strongest of any category, so it can withstand play on turn, hard court surfaces, and impacts with walls.
The outer casing of a soccer ball is composed of panels made from synthetic materials, such as PVC, PU, or a combination, sewn or glued together. Soccer ball casings are rarely leather anymore, since leather tends to absorb moisture making the ball heavier and not perform as well. The number of panels or sections of the outer casing varies according to design. Most professional soccer balls are the 32-panel design. More panels mean a rounder and stabler ball, and a more accurate flight.
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