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Update: While this ball was ruined in 3 days of use, the customer service team contacted me quickly and offered to send another product to try from this company. I thought this was very generous and warrants another try. With 3 kids now in soccer, I will update this review upon receipt of the next ball. (I added a star to the rating because they seem to want to stand by their company.)
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.
This is a size 5 ball that can withstand an intense practice sessions and heated soccer matches. It has the highest FIFA rating which assures its users of its quality. To further ascertain its quality, this match ball has passed through a series of tests. These check to see whether its weight, shape, water uptake, and size retention are up to par. The casing uses PU and panels are hand stitched which sees to it that the ball holds together match after match. The latex bladder facilitates its high rebound characteristics.
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.
The contours and grooves on the NIKE Strike Soccer Ball give it a unique surface that is textured and designed for ball handling. 6 color patterns and 3 different sizes make it a ‘jack of all trades’ ball that can entertain any age group. The power graphic adorning the side with the signature swoosh makes tracking the ball a breeze no matter how fast it is moving.
The interior of the 1GK USA is a bit more mixed in terms of quality than the exterior is. However, the materials used are explicitly designed to increase the ball’s responsiveness-likely to make up for its uncommon rolling and flight patterns due to the butyl fins. Still, aside from being the only hand-sewn ball, this is also the only ball made with a latex bladder on our list. The potential downside is the cotton lining which will get heavy when wet-though it is much softer and provides better responsiveness than either polyester or nylon.
Adidas says its design was motivated by Russia's urban landscapes. It uses textured graphics and a metallic sheen to bring a modern look to the classic design. The ball is made of six panels of thermally bonded TPU and about 15% silicone. The materials allow for better trajectory, accuracy, responsiveness, and low water absorption. It also feels well-padded and slightly lighter than previous match balls.