Built for durability, recreation balls are made of soft synthetic materials for play on nearly any field. Typically, these balls are slightly heavier for beginner’s slower play, yet, competitors of all skill levels use these balls for practice and recreation on hard turf fields due to their resilience. Machine-stitching is the most stand-out visual difference between match balls and training balls and it offers a consistent touch for any player.
Before reading this I thought a soccer ball was a soccer ball I had no idea there were so many different types for different things. I found this information very useful on where to start with buying a soccer ball for my 5 1/2 year old son who has just joined his first soccer team and is showing great interest in learning new tricks and skills. What would be your best recommendation for him? Thanks

Huge fan of Bend-It, I would not consider buying any other brand of ball. I have 4 or 5 different styles that have been used and abused during club training and off-season indoor games. It's fun watching another coach pick it out of a crowd of balls to check the brand. I've even had a pro player pick this ball out of a crowd to use in group training sessions (Go STL FC!!)

Still, when it comes to soccer ball, which should work well for most people, we recommend the adidas Adidas WORLD CUP Official Match Ball. Every aspect of this ball is designed for professional play including the stitching that actually uses the superior thermal bonding for a truer flight. Even better, this ball as an NFC chip to provide feedback on your play.
I bought three and used them for juggling, shooting practice and kicking against a wall. I juggled 90,000 times in 3 months, and shot many times on goal and kicked against walls. These are very durable. I look for durability in practice balls and these are superb. I wonder if Wilson has the newer cover pattern with the same internal structure in any model of ball. It would be wise to do that for the sake of staying current. I love the feel when kicking. Variable amounts of air can be used based on personal preference while practicing. A little less air allows a more forgiving bounce while juggling.
During the 1900s, footballs were made out of rubber and leather which was perfect for bouncing and kicking the ball; however, when heading the football (hitting it with the player's head) it was usually painful. This problem was most probably due to water absorption of the leather from rain, which caused a considerable increase in weight, causing head or neck injury. By around 2017, this had also been associated with dementia in former players.[8][9] Another problem of early footballs was that they deteriorated quickly, as the leather used in manufacturing the footballs varied in thickness and in quality.[6]
When it comes to soccer ball bladders, you will generally opt for the material that provides the most responsive touch for the highest levels of play. This is because it is a simple matter to re-inflate a soccer ball not to mention the fact that most competitive leagues will have numerous balls on hand. If touch and responsiveness are your key bladder attribute, there is no other material better than latex.
If you are unsure of which size to get your child, I will recommend what size I think based off real-world use. The size 3 is good for any child until about first grade or second grade, which is when a child should move into a size 4. The size 4 should last until they get to middle school (around 6th or 7th grade), and then they would move into the adult official size 5.
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Another imprint you’ll find on your Adidas 2016 MLS Official Match Ball, is the FIFA quality seal. As you recall, the FIFA testing involves many aspects of testing in order to pass certification and earn this imprint. This ball passed in all categories including circumference, sphericity, rebound, water absorption, weight, loss of pressure, and shape/size retention.
This is what the majority of quality soccer balls are made out of. It offers a great blend of durability and responsiveness and is the material most commonly used by professional leagues for their game balls. In fact, FIFA uses polyurethane, or PU, exclusively for their game balls. One thing that allows PU to stand out above many of the other materials is its versatility.
However, by selling out so hard in terms of responsiveness, the Mikasa has painted itself into a bit of a corner. Specifically, the synthetic leather casing makes this ball unsuitable for use on any surface outside of natural grass.In fact, even artificial grass will begin to wear down this ball once the glossy finish has been worn away. When you factor in the machine stitching, you end up with one of the least durable soccer balls on our list.

Thank you very much for your exceptionally informative guide. It provides excellent detail around the composition of soccer balls, different types of balls on the market, and what balls appear to be the best on the market in each category. A really useful website that I have bookmarked for consideration when I am next in the market for a new soccer ball (which will be soon as my old champions league ball from several years ago is getting a bit tatty!)
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