This ball has seen a lot of use since Christmas, and while that's not a good indication of how long the batteries and lights will last, my kids have been having a blast with it at night. This ball isn't like a normal soccer ball, it's more of a smooth rubber, so it won't have the same feel as a normal ball. It feels heavier to me too, but I didn't confirm that on the scale. Once or twice the ball turned off in use, but came back on after a minute. I recommend this ball as an outdoor nighttime novelty ball, certainly not a competition ball. And the 5-star rating is directly from my 8-year-old son. His words, "I love it!"
That Mikasa ranks #2 on the list comes as no surprise to me as I have had great experiences with Mikasa. This is a great mid-range soccer ball that falls into the match ball category. Many users have claimed that they have been able to play with these balls for a couple of seasons! That’s unheard of for most soccer balls because the stitching begins to come off. This is a FIFA Approved Professional ball, meaning that it is up to the standards of professional players. This is rare to see an approved ball for this price. This is a great mid-range ball to have.
Actual match balls should be of awesome quality.. I was happy to get the chance to review this size 5 match ball from the 2017 Confederations Cup Collection that was used in Russia. With the majority being white and the splashes of red with grey it stands out both on the shelf and on the field when it spins (a plus or x symbol depending on how you turn it)..
Our next soccer ball on the list is the DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball. This ball is the second (and only other) “smart” ball on our list. Like the Adidas brand ball, this DribbleUp ball is designed for use with a smart device and application for training. There are a lot of features to love about this ball; however, it’s more expensive than the Adidas alternative.
The Obsidian 5 has trademark graphics paying tribute to the USA national team. It is a prestigious soccer ball to add to your soccer equipment if you love buying anything US. The material used is 12% EVA, 13% polyester, 15% polyurethane and 60% rubber. These top-quality materials ensure great performance and excellent ball control to help improve your playing skills in the field. The material is durable enough to handle day to day use, and machine-stitched construction reduces water absorption while equally ensuring durability. It has a rubber bladder that enhances air retention and shape.
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.
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This is the perfect ball for young children to practice drills before any competitive soccer game. Besides, if you love anything “USA,” you’ll surely want to buy this colorful and shiny ball by Vizari. It has a pocket-friendly price tag, and you’ll truly feel your money’s worth when you buy it. It comes deflated and sells in three different sizes. The ball is pretty durable and can be used on most surfaces to practice drills.
The fact that this ball was not only tested but used in 2016 Euro qualification matches makes it a trusted choice. Its graphics are minimal with the majority of the surface being white in color. A hint of red and silver streaks breaks the monotony of the white yet maintains a simplistic appeal which appeals to the simplistic users. The graphic designs go against the panels which gives it a unique appeal. Its casing uses 100% PU leather and the panels are thermal-bonded which makes the surface smooth. Its bladder uses butyl material which improves air retention. The surface of the ball provides lower water absorption which contributes to its durability and gives it a better feel.
For those taking their game to the next level, it’s important to train with a ball similar to what is used for your matches. Your passing, shooting and general foot skills will be different for lighter soccer balls made with a premium bladder like latex. Try out an NFHS approved ball which is used for some club, high school, and college teams. To be NFHS approved, the soccer ball needs to:
Sizing is very important in selecting a soccer ball. For the purposes of this article, I will mostly concentrate on size 5 outdoor soccer balls, but I will quickly go over the various sizes and let you know what they are used for. Size 1 soccer balls, or skill balls (also known as mini balls), are primarily used by youth players that are just being introduced to the game. These are typically 1-3-year-olds. Another use for Size 1 balls is for older players to learn to juggle. It is much harder to juggle a size 1, so instead of using a hacky sack, they use a skill ball. This is done because the texture and materials are similar. Size 3 balls are slightly bigger than size 1 and are used for ages four through seven. They do this so that the ball isn’t too big in comparison to the players. Size 4 balls are used for age eight through eleven. Size 4s are smaller than size 5, which is used for everyone past the age of eleven. This is the same size that the professionals use. Making sure that you have the proper ball is just as important as picking out which materials one has.
In early FIFA World Cups, match balls were mostly provided by the hosts from local suppliers. Records indicate a variety of models being used within individual tournaments and even, on some occasions, individual games. Over time, FIFA took more control over the choice of ball used. Since 1970 Adidas have supplied official match balls for every tournament.
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
Training balls are ideal for training and recreational use. These are the least expensive and more durable compared to professional match balls as they are meant to be continuously used for an extended period of time. This type of ball is usually constructed with 4 or fewer layers. The casing is made of PVC which makes its quality lower compared to a professional match soccer ball. Usually, the panels of a practice ball are molded together and not stitched together. These type of balls can withstand rough surfaces such as; asphalt and concrete.
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The bladder, or the inside, of the soccer ball, is also very important to talk about. There are typically only two choices that they are made out of butyl and latex. The higher-end balls usually are latex while butyl is typically meant for training balls. However, butyl is much better at keeping the air and shape of the ball for longer periods!
I purchased the soccer ball for my son as a gift. It came deflated so we filled it with air before boxing it. Upon opening it, it was deflated. It only held air for a few hours. I contacted the company and they immediately shipped out a new one without hassle that is holding air just fine. (I was very pleased with how prompt and pleasant they were!) It lights up very bright when hit or bounced and turns off on its own after a little while of not being hit or bounced. My kids all love it and play with it nightly. It is not stitched as a real soccer ball is, but is more of a heat fused soft plastic. It holds up just fine though to my 13 year old soccer player's kicks. We are all enjoying playing with it and happy with our purchase.