The second edition of the new dual bonded production method is the Target DB. This new ball is both machine-stiched and sealed with glue. The contstruction consists of a PU-material laminated with 3.5 mm foam. Two layers of textile underlining are them laminated to the foam layers to add stability. Finally, the panels are 3D printed with a 3mm edge glue and stitched together. The glue is activated in the heat mold to hide the stitches and the seam sealing is done by hand. By using glue in the sealing of the seams, the water uptake is reduced significantly.The bladder inside is a SR-bladder with excellent air retention. The result is a soccer ball with both stability, control and a softer touch compared to other balls in the range.
Whereas plenty of manufacturers that we reviewed opted to go with a soccer ball that was more durable than responsive, Mikasa takes the opposite approach and focuses primarily on the touch that their ball can provide. This is most apparent in the soccer ball’s choice of casing material. The synthetic leather casing of the Mikasa is by far the softest and naturally responsive-without the inclusion of texture-out of any other soccer ball we reviewed.
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.
Some additional information worth noting with this Adidas smart soccer ball is that you cannot use the sensor features for kicks once the ball is in motion. Users report you cannot use it for tracking stats associated with, for example, a drop kick. The ball must be sitting still on the ground before being kicked if you wish to track the statistics.
When a tournament is held (like the FIFA World Cup), the sponsor of the event will design a brand new ball. These are official match balls – they’re used by professionals during real matches. They are designed to the highest possible build quality, have textured surfaces to improve stability in flight, and feature thermally-bonded panels for durability.
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.