8. Major League Soccer is the top flight of professional soccer in the U.S. and so no surprise that the league’s official ball, the adidas 2018 MLS Glider Soccer Ball, is a big seller. Fans see the ball in all MLS matches and young fans aspire to one day be kicking the ball in a competitive match. Fans also take the ball to kick around before matches while tailgating with younger fans grabbing one to get player autographs.
Update (2 years post-purchase): Still love this ball and it's in its fifth season of use! I've just ordered another for our team since the fall season makes for darker and darker practices on our unlighted scrimmage field and we've come to rely on this ball so much. My teenagers use this ball at home all the time, including playing "soccer tennis" on hard surfaces and for banging against a brick wall (all of the print is long gone from the outer surface). We even took it to the beach this year. It never fails to get a reaction from people who see it bouncing around in the dark. I did have to replace one of the two lights, but they're available from GlowCity and are very reasonably priced (I purchased a couple of extra lights, just in case). I also bought a pack of 100
This can be used as a great option for goalkeeper training as well. Why? Look, you can hardly see the lines on this ball, hence you won’t be able to guess the direction by only seeing the spin of the ball. That means as a goalkeeper you will have to give full concentration to detect the direction of the sliding balls. This is obviously helpful if you are a goalkeeper, and looking for a sliding challenge.
The ball lends itself perfectly to beginners or soccer enthusiasts who want to hone their craft. Additionally, with both a bright pink and dark green color scheme, it is a terrific outdoor accessory for boys or girls alike. With an emphasis on solid construction, the Starlancer is a logical fit for anyone wanting to start a quick pickup game or practice skills like passing and scoring. At just over 8 inches tall, it is adept at being thrown in travel bags and taking up minimal space.
As an International Match Standard and NFHS (high school) and NCAA-approved ball, this one gets a lot of play out of high schools and colleges in the United States. And for good reason. Every time I played with a select ball, I knew what to expect and I got each and every time. Coming in a number of colors, this ball can be tailored to match your team while still looking classy with the white to contrast it. It has a latex bladder and is hand-stitched. This is a premium match soccer ball for the price of a practice ball. Definitely a ball to consider looking into.
We covered the quality in small detail above, but we’ll look into a little further here. The quality of the ball you pick is very important. If you want exactly what the pros play with, then you will have to pay a little more as a result of picking the premium choice. Those balls fly better and more true than their counterparts, but they are not meant to be practiced with on a regular basis. Premium balls tend to have a softer impact on both your cleats and ankle guards to allow for more ball control and handling. After the “premium” match ball category is the “match ball” category. These aren’t nearly as expensive as the premiums are, but are still very good in match situations. These aren’t meant for practice, but they typically can hold up for extended periods of time, possibly a season or two. The third type is “training balls.” These balls are meant for training and practice, and they can be used continuously without doing damage to it. I have some great training balls that have lasted upwards of six years! The quality of training balls has gone up drastically over the years that I have been playing. When I was younger, some of them were so hard that you’d feel like your foot was broken after kicking them. Nowadays, they literally feel like a premium ball with their softness and their flight. So, almost any ball is great nowadays from the right supplier!
1. The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia stole the attention of soccer fans around the globe this summer and the tournaments official ball, the adidas Telstar 18 World Cup Official Match Soccer Ball, ran away with the title ‘Best Selling Soccer Ball of 2018.’ (We don’t see any ball catching it over the next months). The ball was inspired by the famous Telstar ball that debuted at the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico and released in November 2017. The design drew some criticism from fans but once on the field it lived up to its namesake in looks and performance.
In terms of durability, you can’t really go past Select. The polyurethane cover on the Numero 10 is tough enough to withstand dog bites and general wear and tear, but still feels nice and soft when kicked. Although this ball is a bit more expensive than other replicas, it comes with a two year warranty for peace of mind when buying. It also retains its bounce very well over the years – perfect for practising volleys and clearances.
This next soccer ball is truly one of a kind! The Adidas miCoach Smart Soccer Ball uses a training tool application coupled with your Bluetooth device to optimize your training time and hone your skills. It is the most expensive of all the options here, but it also offers the most in technology and training. This is a top contender for best soccer ball, just for the technology portions alone!
The size 1 is a mini ball. Thus you’ll need to check with your local league to know the size requirements before making a purchase. The MLS Glider has a unique TPU exterior material that resists abrasion and a butyl bladder that will keep it in shape and inflated for a long time. It is machine stitched and also has nylon wound carcass inside for durability and long-lasting performance.
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.
This ball truly lives up to its name as a “glider,” having a stable flight path when shot and a nice feel when passed. The surface is relatively grippy, which is great for goalkeepers looking to practice their catches. Because the ball isn’t as slippery as some other replicas, you can shoot it with a bit more swerve, and dribbling and skill moves are a bit easier.
Early footballs began as animal bladders or stomachs that would easily fall apart if kicked too much. Improvements became possible in the 19th century with the introduction of rubber and discoveries of vulcanization by Charles Goodyear. The modern 32-panel ball design was developed in 1962 by Eigil Nielsen, and technological research continues today to develop footballs with improved performance. The 32-panel ball design was soon overcome by 24-panel balls as well as 42-panel balls, both of which improved performance compared to before, in 2007.
Excellent texture for a size 4 ball. I purchased this ball for my son who is playing in a U9 team. It's soft and many kids like this ball. On home games it is our game ball. It arrived properly inflated and 2 months later, I still have not had the need to add air. Expect faster wear and tear if your kid plays on concrete. :( I would recommend this ball.
This match ball is an updated version of the popular Nike Ordem Professional soccer ball. Its goal is to withstand high-level play. A fuse-welded synthetic leather casing is optimal for touch and response. It also has a restricted six-wing carbon latex bladder for maximum air retention and explosiveness. The wrapped bladder also gives it a perfectly round shape, touch, and bounce. High contrast graphic design creates better visibility for this match soccer ball. Overall, this official match soccer ball boasts of 40% synthetic leather, 30% rubber, 20% polyester, and 10% cotton.
This ball is a premium match ball from Adidas, whom I consider to be the best of the best at making soccer balls. This is a high-visibility ball, coming in a bright orange, to help teams just in case of inclement conditions such as rain or possibly snow. This ball has the highest possible rating from FIFA because of its seamless makeup and its latex bladder which allow for excellent rebound in your shot. The seamless panels also allow it to take in very little water, making this an excellent buy if you are looking for a premium match ball.
Official Nike Merlin Match Ball used within the ACC division of NCAA collegiate soccer. This is a used ball with some minor scuffs and sharpie on the ball. The ball holds air perfectly and has no defects during play. This ball does not come with the original packaging as they come in bulk. The ball is too scuffed to be played during official games, so there are surplus between these and practice balls. This ball will ship deflated to make shipping cheaper. Will ship fast. No returns.
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!)