Great replica soccer balls! My kids love them. So much so, they are waiting until the fall when their new season starts to "keep them nice." They are authentic Adidas, and even come with the FIFA reflective sticker to place once the ball is inflated. Side note: The balls do arrive flat, so make sure you have a good pump with separate gauge as not to over inflate.
On the other hand, replicas (sometimes called training balls or gliders) are designed to be just like the official match balls but are much cheaper. Their panels are often stitched rather than thermally-bonded and are made of a different material. However, they’re not necessarily less durable than official match balls. So, they’re the recommended option for most players.
If you have a youth player for whom you are purchasing this soccer ball, then take note that the Size 3 ball in this series is closer to a Size 4 ball. The weight and feel is still accurate, so it is good for home practice and play. The sizing just might make it difficult to take this ball to practice for some players. It doesn’t come with a 32-panel design, but it does have the traditional hexagon panels over the entire cover of the ball. This allows players to work on some ball movement skills, as well as placement drills, with relative ease at home.
When looking for the right ball for your child, you may come across a reference to different sizes of soccer balls. These sizes can vary a bit from product to product but most do conform to certain league standards. A size 1 ball is also known as a mini ball and is typically between 18 and 20 inches in circumference. This size is perfect for toddlers and early walkers to help them develop footwork skills and ball control. A size 3 ball, or a junior ball, is usually between 23 and 24 inches around. This is the type of ball that most peewee soccer teams use as it is designed for children 8 years and younger. As your child grows and continues with their soccer team, they will eventually need a size 4 ball which is 25 to 26 inches. This is known as a youth ball and is ideal for children between 8 and 12 years of age. Finally, the size 5 or adult ball is 27 to 28 inches in circumference. This is the size of the soccer ball used by professional athletes and is suitable for anyone age 13 years or older.
The downside? They’re expensive. Like, really expensive, depending on which one you get. Whether you really need one depends on your budget and how you’re going to be using your ball. For example, I use official match balls for practicing freekicks because they fly through the air really nicely. However, I don’t use them for training because if I lose my ball I’ll be set back $100-$300.
Controlling the game is everything. From touch, shape, and movement, to flight of the ball, the construction of your soccer ball can impact how well you command the pitch. Competitive soccer players usually have different types of soccer balls for training, match day or just to kick around. See the options below for choosing the right adidas soccer ball for your favorite type of play.