When it comes to playing basketball indoors, there are plenty of options for the ball. From the nets to the backboards, you have a few choices to pick from. However, when it comes to the actual basketball, there are only a few. The problem is, it’s hard to know which one to choose between the many, many options. That’s why we’re here to help you find the best indoor basketball. (2021)
The title says it all. These are the best indoor basketballs that we have tested in the past two years.
Basketball players have many choices when it comes to indoor balls. From texture to rebounding, each basketball has its own unique characteristics that all players love to discuss.
Indoor basketballs should only be used on hard courts, as they wear out quickly when played outside. Their softness and leather-like qualities make them comfortable to hold, but they do not stand up well to rough surfaces.
In this article, we’ve listed the top 5 to help you choose the best indoor sneaker. But before we get to the list, let’s cover the most important terms you need to know when buying a sneaker.
Sporting goods manufacturers make basketballs out of rubber, composite leather or real leather.
Rubber basketballs are cheap but durable. Discount stores usually sell cheap rubber basketballs. They are not comfortable in the hand and do not have the texture and bounce of match balls. Consider a rubber basketball for outdoor use only.
Leather composite basketballs are made of synthetic leather. They are softer than rubber basketballs and offer a better grip. A good composite leather basketball offers the same feel as a real leather ball, but doesn’t cost as much. The game ball in the NCAA basketball tournament is made of composite leather.
Leather basketballs are the highest quality basketballs on the market. They have an adjustment period, but after that, their treatment is second to none. The official NBA game ball is made of genuine full grain leather.
Good indoor basketball characteristics
Probably the most important thing for a basketball is a good handle. A weak grip can make it difficult to receive passes, dribble and play the ball with your palms.
However, more traction is not always better. In 2006, the NBA replaced natural leather basketballs with composite leather balls. NBA players complained that the new basketballs had too much grip, and in 2007 the old leather balls were reintroduced.
A good sneaker feels soft. A little cushioning improves the feel when receiving passes, dribbling and shooting. Cheaper basketballs made of rubber and composite are usually too hard.
A good sneaker is sticky, not slippery. They are slightly moist and feel sticky.
Finally, a good indoor basketball has consistent rebounds. They bounce like an official game ball and bounce like you expect, every time. The seams and pebbles on a basketball can have a subtle effect on rebound.
Our 5 best indoor basketballs
Let’s get right into our top 5 recommendations for indoor basketballs, in order:
1. Wilson Evolution Indoor Match Ball
Indoor basketball with all accessories
The Wilson Evolution is the best-selling leather composite basketball on the market and is very popular with high schools and universities. Wilson Evolution basketballs are used more than any other basketball in the NCAA Tournaments that last the entire season.
Wilsons are known for their grip and the soft, almost buttery texture of their microfiber composite coating. Most players love them, but some prefer the more natural feel of Spalding or Nike basketballs.
The chutes are covered with pebbles for better traction. As you would expect from a basketball used in competition, the ball has premium rebound stability.
Wilson’s evolution with pebbles in the canals
In terms of price, the Wilson Evolution is in the middle of the high-end basketball market. There are also several color options for those who want something unique.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with the Wilson Evolution. It is perfect for training or competitive play and is inexpensive.
2. Baden Elite Indoor Basketball
Another great handler with a consistent rebound
The Baden Elite, another popular college basketball, is a premium composite leather ball from Baden.
Baden designed the composite coating for more traction and more grip. It’s very similar to the Wilson Evolution.
Moisture control and a built-in soft flap system are two of its unique features. The moisture wicking layer provides good moisture wicking properties (useful for players with sweaty hands). At the same time, the low profile valve gives the ball a more correct bounce and flight.
The Baden Elite is in the same position as the Wilson Evolution, so the choice for most people will come down to a small matter of preference.
Message: For players who prefer a slightly smoother, less sticky skin texture, we recommend the Baden Elite’s little brother, the Baden Element game ball. Many colleges also use the Baden element, where coaches or athletic directors have the final say.
3. The RockBasketball Stadium
Superior quality from an independent brand
The Rock is a highly rated, NFHS approved basketball produced by John Stout’s relatively unknown house brand, Anaconda Sports. If someone mentions The Rock, you can tell they’re a basketball fan.
With its striking name and bold letters, The Rock is a pleasant change from the relatively dull offerings of the big sports brands.
Just like the Wilson Evolution, the skirt has jagged seams (channels) all around for better grip. The grooved channels naturally provide extra traction, but the pebble lining provides even more traction.
The stone sticks when you unwrap it. The bounce is consistent, it doesn’t feel flat or too bouncy.
Every sneaker wears out over time and loses its grip. But judging by the reviews of others, The Rock seems to have a longer shelf life. As it should be for a basketball named after The Rock!
John Stout designed The Rock from the ground up to be the perfect composite leather basketball. And it’s going to be tight. Given its high price, this is a product for enthusiasts.
4. Molten X-Series Basketball GG7X
With the unique 12-panel design seen at the Olympics.
Molten is the official ball supplier for FIBA international competitions. This also applies to the Olympic Games.
The Molten X-Series GG7X indoor sneaker features Molten’s unique 12-panel design, which means more channels (albeit narrower and shallower). If you like dealing with chains, this basketball might be for you.
The design of the Molten GIUGIARO cover also promotes visibility of the ball and helps players follow its rotation.
The Molten X-Series is the most different of all the basketballs on this list. This is because the pebbles in the basket are symmetrical!
Tracing coherent molting (left) and traditional random molting (right).
The GG7X is an excellent ball, but the texture is a bit uneven. For some, it is too sticky and porous and gives an overall impression that is a bit synthetic. We highly recommend that you try it before you buy it.
5. Official NBA Basketball from Spalding
The official leather basketball used by the pros
No list of the best indoor basketballs would be complete without the official ball used in NBA games – the Spalding NBA Official Game Basketball.
This is the only real leather sneaker on our list. If you’ve always wanted to learn about natural leather, this is a real gift. But remember, it’s not cheap!
Real leather basketballs are increasingly hard to find, and even the NBA switched to composite leather balls for the 2006-2007 season. It’s only because of player complaints that the NBA is back to using natural leather these days.
To be honest, it’s not the best choice for most people. Despite their price, genuine leather basketballs have a long adjustment time. In the NBA, the Spalding bouncer is used to crush basketballs on the court before a game.
Shooting, dribbling and bouncing the ball in leather is a special experience. Every basketball player should play at least once in their life.
Other notifiable entries
Spalding TF-1000 Classic
At the time, the Spalding TF-1000 was the best.
Talk to any former basketball player and they will tout the original TF-1000. It had the perfect amount of grip, stickiness and softness.
Spalding stopped production of the original TF-1000 (to the disappointment of many), but it resurfaced in 2015 as the Spalding TF-1000 Classic.
Unfortunately, the TF-1000 Classic is no longer available. This is a decent sneaker that gets slippery when wet and has many quality control issues.
Spalding may be the official supplier of the NBA, but in reality the quality of their composite leather basketballs has left a lot to be desired lately.
Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball (Indoor/Outdoor)
Indoor basketball usually costs more than $50 and is not suitable for outdoor use.
Street basketballs don’t feel as soft and don’t store as well, but they cost about half as much and can be used on any court.
The Wilson NCAA Replica Game Ball is our favorite budget option, especially for those who just want a quality practice ball. It may not be the softest ball, but because it’s made of composite leather, it’s still a head taller than any rubber basketball.
Additional advice to purchasers
What is the best brand for basketball?
This is a very subjective issue as each person has different preferences. Spalding and Wilson are clearly major players in the basketball market. But Nike, Molten and Baden also make some of the highest rated basketballs.
Can you play outside with a basketball?
It can be tempting to play basketball outside because it makes them feel better, and sometimes we have no other choice. However, indoor basketballs should not be played outdoors because the soft surface quickly crumbles. Instead, invest in a good outdoor basketball.
For a good quality indoor basketball made of composite leather, you should spend between $40 and $60.
Real leather basketballs are much more expensive and cost upwards of $100.
The official size for men and boys aged 15 and over, as determined by official bodies, is size 7. The circumference of basketballs size 7 is 29.5 inches.
Women’s basketball leagues use slightly smaller size 6 balls. The size 6 basketballs measure 28.5 inches in circumference.
Youth basketball players should practice with a standard size 5 basketball (11 and under). The circumference of these balls is 27.5 inches. Options may be more limited at this size.
You can probably imagine that the weight of a basketball affects everything from your shooting to your dribbling. Look for basketballs with an official weight. All basketballs in our list have an official weight.
Blow up your new basketball
New basketballs usually come inflated, but you should use a ball pump to make sure the air pressure is within the recommended range of 7-9 PSI.
No one can magically determine air pressure unless your pump is equipped with a pressure gauge (like this one from Under Armour), instead use the following rule of thumb:
Raise the ball to face level and let it fall freely. It should come to the waist. If it gets higher, it means the balloon is inflated. If it’s lower than your waist, it needs to be inflated even more.
This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about genuine leather basketball and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best indoor basketball to buy?
If you are just starting with playing Basketball, you might not know where to start. It is not a do-it-yourself-project. The purchase of an indoor basketball is the beginning of a new exciting adventure. So let’s take a closer look at this amazing game. Many people started playing basketball because it was an accessible, affordable sport to play with friends. However, a lot of people want to take their game to the next level, and they want to start playing in a league with other people. When you play in a league, you want to make sure you have the best basketball equipment. There are many different types of basketballs you can choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses that make them better or worse for certain situations.
What is the best indoor men’s basketball?
Full-size basketballs are too big to fit in most indoor basketball hoops, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play basketball inside. There are several smaller balls designed specifically for indoor play, and you can find them anywhere from specialty sporting goods stores to big-box retailers and even online. While some of these mini-basketballs are produced just for fun and not intended for serious competition, there are quite a few that are designed for serious use, including by competitive youth and adult leagues. Basketball is a popular sport, and there are many kinds of hoops. Some are for children and some for adults, and still others are designed for specific environments, such as indoors or outdoors. Whatever your preference, you want a hoop that will last and that will keep you entertained for years to come. When shopping for the best indoor men’s basketball, consider factors like durability, design, and the material used in its construction.
Is Wilson or Spalding better?
You could argue that the ball is the most important accessory to a basketball player, particularly for 3 pointers and free throws. So which ball is better: Wilson Spalding or Nikes? These two ball brands have been battling it out since the 1950s. While there are many factors to consider when choosing what kind of basketball to buy, there are two main differences in basketballs: how airtight the ball is and how much bounce the ball will have. Once you’ve been playing the sport for a while, you’ll probably start to wonder which ball is the best for you. If you’re just starting out, though, the question may be a little overwhelming. The main differences between Wilson and Spalding basketballs is in their features. Wilson balls are generally more expensive, although they do come with a lifetime guarantee. Spalding balls are cheaper, but their life expectancy is shorter. It’s important to consider all the options before deciding what ball will work best for you.
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