The Telstar 18, the design for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, is as close to a perfect sphere as you can get. It has subtle pimples and six thermally bonded panels designed to avoid knuckling, which is the characteristic bobbing and weaving movement when a ball is kicked without spin. All 32 teams have been able to play with it since November in preparation for the tournament, which runs from June 14 to July 15. But despite its similarities to the old ball, players have grumbled about the Telstar 18. Compared to the last few World Cup balls, the Telstar 18 is very similar to the ball used for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It won’t fly quite as far down the pitch, and will wobble in the air a little differently, but aerodynamic testing suggests it will be more stable in the air overall.
If you are all about playing soccer competitively or recreationally, you know how important it is that you have a great game ball for play. The thing is, buying a quality soccer ball can get really expensive, and it can be difficult to find a great soccer ball for a great price. So where do you start looking for finding a good soccer ball for a low price?
Latex bladders are used in high-quality balls. These kind of bladders are soft and provide good feeling. They offer better response and bounce than Butyl bladders, but the downside of this kind of bladder is they don’t hold the air for too long. As a result, they require filling more frequently. Air escapes due to micropores on the cover, but nowadays some balls are constructed with carbon latex bladder to help to close these micropores. As a result, the balls can hold air for a longer period.
In the end, the winner was fairly clear to us. Amongst all of these soccer balls, it appears that the best in this case, was the last one that we looked at Adidas MLS Top Glider Soccer Ball. When comparing all of the products side by side it just appears that in terms of design, gameplay, and durability that this one stood out amongst the rest. It has a ton of great reviews and positive customer feedback, so it appears that the vast majority of soccer players and customers were really happy with this ball.
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:
If you’re working on headers, then your forehead won’t feel like it is being repetitively hit with a meat tenderizer thanks to the design of this ball. That soft touch also translates to a reasonably authentic movement when working on crosses or shots. There is a reasonable bend that allows players to wrap a leading ball around a defensive line, curve a shot around a wall, or work on accurate passing. Control skills off of the chest or knee feel close to authentic as well.
This ball has a TPU cover that we wouldn’t describe as “highly durable” for rough play. Although it handles indoor turf, it won’t handle concrete, gravel, or court-based play like you have with futsal. This ball prefers to have a natural or artificial grass surface and that is about it. If you happen to impact a tree, run the ball on concrete, or have it bounce on a gravel driveway, the outer cover does tend to get scratched up pretty rapidly. The butyl bladder is of a higher quality than other balls at this price point, allowing the ball to hold its inflation pressure with an impressive amount of consistency.
This was one of the few soccer balls that came our way that didn’t come inflated out of the box. How well the ball is inflated will depend on the long-term viability of the butyl bladder in this ball. When properly inflated with the correct needle, the air can be held for weeks, or even months, at a time. Compared to latex bladders, which need to be inflated about once per week on average, this Nike soccer ball offers a minimal maintenance experience. As a practice and play ball, the Nike Pitch Premier League Soccer Ball offers players a number of options that can help them improve their skills.
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