For all those budding Pelés, Maradona’s and Messi’s out there (how come nobody wants to be a defender or goalkeeper?) I have put together a guide to the Top Ten most popular and best selling soccer balls available. While having the best soccer ball at your feet will not necessarily make you a better player, every little helps and a quality ball will at least increase your enjoyment of the beautiful game and, quite possibly, your accuracy and ball control. Well, you gotta have faith, don’t you?
Why do I always have to pump up even expensive balls? Many balls use bladders made out of latex. Natural Latex Rubber bladders offer the softest feel and response, but do not provide the best air retention. Micro pores slowly let air escape. Balls with natural rubber bladders need to be re-inflated more often than balls with butyl bladders. Even after one or two days, the latex bladder will leak enough air so that you will have to inflate the ball back to recommended pressure. Some balls use carbon-latex bladders in which the carbon powder helps to close the micro pores. Soccer balls with carbon latex bladders usually increase air retention to approximately one week. Of course, check the ball for punctures that may cause the air to leak out.
Soccer ball covers are meant to protect the construction of a ball, and make it more durable and long lasting. Manufacturers use two types of materials, mainly polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl carbonate (PVC). PVC is the cheaper and much affordable variant, but it is more durable than PU. It has scuff-resistance, which makes it perfect for training soccer balls. PU is used for match balls, since it is softer than a PVC soccer ball and tends to respond better to contact.
The technology portions of this DribbleUp soccer ball are truly cool. This ball is designed to help you perfect your training and keep track of your progress over time. Amazingly, it doesn’t need to be charged in order to do this! It actually works with the DribbleUp application. The package comes with a smartphone stand and, once the application is downloaded, the application uses your phone camera to track movements and provide instant feedback. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information regarding how this will impact your phone’s battery life. But I would recommend having a full battery before game play or keeping a charger handy just in case.
My friend and I were kicking a soccer ball around the front yard. It was maybe 2007 and I was getting ready to leave for a couple weeks on a trial. Trying to be cute, I tried a handling skill where I flipped the ball up behind my back and then kick it with my heel so it comes back over my head again. So I kicked the ball too hard, it goes out into the street, and a truck promptly runs it over.
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!