The ultimate determination is how a soccer ball feels and performs for you on contact. A good soccer ball will not only be tough enough to hold up to your fast and furious play, it will feature a soft casing for comfortable heading, and durable stitching (if stitched). It should handle well, and have good response. Most good soccer game balls feature a poly-urethane (PU) casing. Most leagues prefer 32-panel designs for its performance value. Also check for a warranty. Your new soccer ball should come with a manufacturer's warranty against defects and damage caused by normal play.
If you're headed to the park to play a quick pickup game, brightly colored adidas soccer balls can help make it easy to distinguish your match from other games that might be being played nearby. Dribbling skills conducted with mini Nike soccer balls can hone your control skills, so you can glide past defenders with ease. Look for 12-panel soccer balls that provide a true, accurate flight with each strike, and rubber butyl bladders that offer excellent shape and air retention, so you can quickly jump into a game without looking for a pump. If you prefer playing indoors, check out a futsal ball that's slightly smaller than regulation soccer balls and is designed for use on hard indoor courts.
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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 practicing volleys and clearances.
In 2010, the infamous Jabulani balls for the World Cup in South Africa transitioned from turbulent to laminar flow between 50 and 45 miles per hour, right at the speed for corner and free kicks. The transition between these different types of flow causes even more drag on the ball, which caused the Jabulani to wobble in the air and drop in ways that players weren’t expecting.

As always with Nike balls, the Merlin has an excellent feel, particularly when passing. The ball is also great for shooting due to Nike’s 4-panel construction, 360-degree sweet spot technology and the soft polyurethane outer material. It won’t deviate too much in the air due to the thermally-bonded pentagonal panel layout, so it’s perfect for training as well as games.
Although the length of kick may end up being a little shorter, the changes make the Telstar 18 more balanced, says Alam. On other balls, Alam and his team have found that there is a difference in how the ball flies based on where it’s kicked in relation to the seams. His tests have found that the Telstar 18 ball doesn’t have as much variation. The total length of seam of the Telstar 18 is 14.1 feet, 3.28 feet more than on the Brazuca. With the longer seam, and more symmetric panels, no matter how the ball is turned there is the same amount of seam exposed. “The other two balls were not like that, they were significantly different,” he says.
The highest in cost, top match balls for elite soccer players are constructed with a supreme quality cover, backing, and bladder for the most predictable flight pattern and striking ability. Some of the most impressive official match balls on the field are made with the threadless, seamless, beveled edge (TSBE) technology which provides a seamless surface for touch and less water uptake to stay in control. adidas soccer balls that pass a demanding series of tests, set by FIFA, on the shape, weight, performance, rebound and water absorption have the highest ranking a soccer ball can get. Most adidas training and pro match balls are FIFA approved so you can lead the charge down the pitch.
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