Soccer Ball Buying Guide

How To Choose The Right Soccer Ball Size, Type and Quality

A soccer ball is the most fundamental piece of soccer equipment. It’s needed to play the game in a formal setting, to polish your ball skills, or to just have fun by kicking it around. In each of these scenarios, a different ball should be used. has any and every ball you’re looking for, but before you visit our site to make a selection, we want to educate you about soccer balls: – the various methods of construction, the different sizes and types – and offer a few helpful shopping tips. Remember, choosing the best soccer ball is the first step to finding success on the field.

About Soccer Ball Construction

A soccer ball usually consists of four parts: the cover, the stitching, the lining, and the bladder. In order to choose the best soccer ball for your needs, it’s best to understand each part and the role it plays in how your ball performs.


Three types of synthetic leather are used to make soccer balls: PU (Polyurethane), PVC (Poly Vinyl Carbonate), or a PU/PVC mixture. Those searching for maximum performance generally use polyurethane balls. They are softer and much livelier than PVC. However, if you’re searching for a ball with more durability, then PVC is the better option. It lasts longer and does not scuff as easily as the softer PU, which will show signs of wear more quickly.


The number of panels determines how the ball moves through the air as well as how much control the players have. Generally, a ball with more panels will be more controllable and playable. The number of panels on a soccer ball varies, but a 32-panel ball remains the most common and is used in most professional matches. Other designs include 18- and 26-panel.


The quality of a soccer ball can be determined by the stitching. High-end balls are hand-stitched, which provides deeper seams that are consistent and protected. This enhances the playability and durability of the outer layer of the ball. Also featured on high-end balls is a process called thermal bonding. Thermally bonded soccer balls use a special adhesive that replaces stitching altogether, creating a smoother, seamless surface for increased accuracy, water resistance and durability. Mid-priced and low end balls are machine-stitched, which is a quick and inexpensive method that leaves the seams consistent but completely exposed, leaving them susceptible to stretching and tearing. If money isn’t a concern, you should choose a ball that is hand-sewn. No ball is as durable or easy to use than one with hand-stitched panels.


Multiple layers of lining are often placed between the cover and the bladder. These layers are usually composed of polyester, nylon, and/or cotton bonded together to give the ball strength, structure, and bounce. Promotional or practice balls are often constructed with less layers of lining. Many soccer balls include a foam layer for added cushioning and ball control.


The bladder is the inside part of the ball that holds air and gives the ball shape and movement. Bladders are usually made from latex or butyl. The latter retains air for longer periods of time and offers an excellent combination of contact quality and air retention. Latex bladders are softer, provide better surface tension and feel, and are preferred at higher levels, but require frequent inflation.

*Soccer balls should be inflated with 9 to 10.5 pounds of air. Any more or less could damage the ball and affect your play.

What Are The Different Types Of Soccer Balls? carries all types of soccer balls. Here’s a closer look at each type.

Match Balls:

Designed for use in soccer matches, match balls usually have an association imprinted on them, like NFHS (National Federation of State High School), or “FIFA Approved” or “FIFA Inspected.” Match balls are the most expensive type of ball since they are made with the best materials and offer the softest touch and truest flight path.

Training/Practice Balls:

Tough and durable, training balls are designed for extended use and to withstand all types of surfaces.

Street Balls:

Even tougher and more durable than training balls, street balls are also designed for extended use and withstand the toughest of surfaces like asphalt and concrete.

Futsal Balls:

The main difference between a futsal ball and a typical soccer ball is that the bladder is filled with foam, which makes the ball heavier and less bouncy for use on a hard playing surface.

Mini Balls:

Mini balls are used for skill development and for fun.

What Size Soccer Ball Should I Choose?

Soccer balls for match use range from Size 3 to 5. Only the youngest players use Size 3. Junior players often play with a Size 4. Size 5 is the international standard match ball for ages twelve and older, including all adult play. Many soccer leagues have different size requirements, so check with your coach or organization to find out the proper size for your particular league. It’s important that you practice with the same size as you will be using in game play so that you can get used to the way the ball plays off your foot and how it moves through the air.


  • Size 3/Ages 8 & Under/11-12 oz/23-24″
  • Size 4/Ages 12 to 13/11-12 oz/25-26″
  • Size 5/Ages 14 to 16/11-12 oz/27-28″

*Balls that range from Size 1 to 2 are mini or promotional balls not intended for match play.

How To Shop For Soccer Balls On

Our website can help you choose the best soccer ball(s) for you. Just click on the “Equipment” tab on our homepage and then select the “Balls” category. From that point, you can refine your search by brand and size. The website will narrow the field of products based on your selection.

Why Buy Balls From

Great Prices And Selection

We’re confident we have the best prices on soccer balls anywhere. But if not, we’ll match it. Restrictions may apply. Price match details.

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No matter what your total purchase is, we ship everything to you for $6.99. The more you order, the more your save

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If you’re not satisfied with the soccer ball(s) you selected, we offer free shipping both ways on exchanges.

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