To be honest, this ball’s a bit like a classic car, in that it’s awesome – when it works. The Jabulani is prone to valve issues, although they can be fixed. If you need something durable, we wouldn’t recommend this ball. However, if you’re looking to add an awesome ball to your collection – and you’ve got the cash – consider grabbing a Jabulani before they go extinct.
The ultimate determination is how a soccer ball feels and performs for you on contact. A good soccer ball will not only be tough enough to hold up to your fast and furious play, it will feature a soft casing for comfortable heading, and durable stitching (if stitched). It should handle well, and have good response. Most good soccer game balls feature a poly-urethane (PU) casing. Most leagues prefer 32-panel designs for its performance value. Also check for a warranty. Your new soccer ball should come with a manufacturer's warranty against defects and damage caused by normal play.
This soccer ball is virtually indestructible. The manufacturers have designed it to withstand any challenge yet still keep afloat. It can be run over by a truck yet it will still maintain its balance. Set it ablaze and it will still hold its ground. Instead of air, this ball uses a unique foam known as ethylene-vinyl acetate foam. With this, the ball will never need a pump and will never go flat even when punctured. This special foam reinflates the ball when the need arises. This is a durable ball and you can use it on all types of playgrounds: concrete, grass, sand or any other surface.
How Do I inflate my soccer balls? Soccer balls lose air pressure over time. Sometimes over a few days (soccer balls that use butyl bladders keep air pressure longer than balls that use latex bladders). Be sure to check the pressure frequently to make sure the ball is properly inflated. Therefore, invest in a good ball pump, have a supply of inflation needles and use a low pressure gauge to measure for proper inflation.
Outside of PU and TPU, pretty much every other material used for a soccer ball’s casing will be specialized for either durability or responsiveness. When it comes to synthetic leather, the focus is also exclusively on responsiveness and this is by far the most responsive material used for a soccer ball’s casing. It is important to note that PU, TPU, and PVC are all often labeled as synthetic leather.
We found that the feeling of this ball was a bit harder than other soccer balls at this price point. This doesn’t affect the performance of the ball, as the movements were accurate and authentic when struck. The weight does tend to affect the foot and ankle over time, causing a bit of soreness after continuous play. It also features a machine-stitched construction that is accompanied by an internal nylon-wound carcass so the ball has an improved level of durability compared to other soccer balls at this price point.
The 1GK USA ball may seem to look a bit odd, but that is definitely by design. However, do not let its unusual appearance fool you: the 1GK USA is by far one of the most durable soccer balls that we reviewed. This begins with a solid TPU casing, but it is primarily due to the construction of the ball. Specifically, this is the only ball on our list that uses hand stitching. Granted, that is somewhat necessary to ensure that the butyl rubber fins stay attached.
The internal nylon wound carcass makes certain the ball is a perfect sphere at all times so that its shape can glide smoothly on any surface. The machine stitching is extensive and delivers unrivaled quality in its structure. The butyl bladder guarantees that no air will escape no matter how often the ball is used. TPU material on the outside is advantageous because it resists scuffing and exterior damage.
The most modern feature is an embedded NFC chip, which is found on the top of the ball. If you download a free app on iOS or Android, you can personally interact with the ball's exclusive content and location-specific challenges. You'll also be able to participate and enter competitions and World Cup-related challenges. Of course, you can record and upload your experiences for social media posterity.