What sets each soccer ball apart from another is the quality of the materials that are used in its construction. The lining, bladder, cover, and the quality of the overall craftsmanship will all influence the final cost of the soccer ball you’re looking at. Higher quality balls are usually bonded together to provide a superior shape retention experience and offer a truer flight.
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.

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’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.
Adidas says its design was motivated by Russia's urban landscapes. It uses textured graphics and a metallic sheen to bring a modern look to the classic design. The ball is made of six panels of thermally bonded TPU and about 15% silicone. The materials allow for better trajectory, accuracy, responsiveness, and low water absorption. It also feels well-padded and slightly lighter than previous match balls.
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.
With so many of them currently available in the market, it isn’t easy to find the best soccer ball without prior research. When soccer has evolved significantly in the past few decades, the soccer ball has changed with it. From featuring stitches and patches in the past to using multi-panels construction nowadays, the ball of today is much quicker, agile and swing friendly as compared to its former counterparts.
We have gathered a list of soccer balls that all fall within the mini to youth categories from across the web. These balls are the perfect size for your little one, whether they are just learning how to kick or about to start their first year on their middle school soccer team. We hope that one of our Top 10 Best Soccer Balls for Kids will be the right size…and style for your child.
Premium Match Balls. These are the most expensive soccer balls that you’ll find on the market today. They are FIFA-approved balls, so they meet all of the standards necessary for international play. Air retention, water-resistance, and performance are far superior when compared to a training ball. Virtually every professional league uses a ball of this quality for game play.

At the World Cup level, these tiny changes in a ball’s aerodynamics can legitimately impact a team’s performance, so the intense scrutiny of the World Cup ball is perhaps to be expected. “You could argue that it’s the most important piece of equipment in the most popular sport in the world,” says John Eric Goff, Professor of Physics at University of Lynchburg.

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.


Shop hand-stitched, machine-stitched and thermally bonded soccer balls for the size and construction you're looking for, like size 5 soccer balls, including adult soccer balls and kids soccer balls. Check out soccer balls from top brands, including adidas® soccer balls, Nike® soccer balls and Select® soccer balls. Shop the best soccer balls for top-rated styles.
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