Best Basketball

Anyone who has dribbled a basketball can agree that size, material, and brand reputation are most important when you look for the right ball.

That was our top criteria for selecting the best basketball.

The Spalding NBA Indoor/Outdoor Basketball scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick when you are looking for a great, long lasting ball to shoot hoops with.

Basketball
15 mins to read
56 products considered
15 products reviewed
20 hours reviewing

Top 10 Basketballs

RankPictureBasketballsSizesUsage
1
Spalding NBA Zi/O7Indoor / Outdoor
2
Wilson Evolution5, 6, 7Indoor
3
Spalding NBA Conference6, 7Indoor / Outdoor
4
Spalding NBA Street5, 6, 7Indoor / Outdoor
5
Spalding NBA Courtside7Outdoor
6
Spalding Rookie Gear7Indoor / Outdoor
7
Spalding NBA Varsity7Outdoor
8
Spadling Varsity5, 6, 7Outdoor
9
Wilson NCAA Replica6, 7Indoor / Outdoor
10
Spalding NBA Replica6, 7Indoor / Outdoor

DID YOU KNOW?
LeBron James was the youngest player to score 10,000 points in the NBA, doing so at just over 23 years old.
 

Basketball Comparison


Spalding NBA Zi/O
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Wilson Evolution
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Spalding NBA Conference
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Spalding NBA Street
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Spalding NBA Courtside
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Spalding Rookie Gear
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Spalding NBA Varsity
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Spalding Varsity
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Wilson NCAA Replica
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Spalding NBA Replica
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ColorOrangeOrangeOrangeOrange
/ Pink
/ Purple

Multi
Color
Multi

Color

Multi

Color

OrangeOrangeOrange
Size75 / 6 / 76 / 75 / 6 / 77775 / 6 / 76 / 76 / 7
Diameter
(inches)
29.529.529.529.529.529.529.529.529.529.5
UsageIndoor
/Outdoor
IndoorIndoor

/Outdoor

Indoor

/Outdoor

OutdoorIndoor

/Outdoor

OutdoorOutdoorIndoor

/Outdoor

Indoor

/Outdoor

Weight
(pounds)
21.521.711.25210.860.96
MaterialZi/0 PU
composite
leather
cover
Microfiber
composite
leather
cover
Traditional
PU
Composite
Cover
Rubber
cover
Rubber

cover

Composite LeatherTraditional rubber coverRubber

cover

Microfiber

composite

leather

cover

Composite Leather
Warranty1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year

Basketball Buying Guide

Basketball Reviews

All about Basketballs

Basketball1Basketballs offer many features, sizes, colors, and overall quality. A good ball will provide a good grip for the player. It will have superior lacing to seal the air into the ball and will provide a good bounce over a long period of time. The texture and material the ball is made from will play a major role in the overall quality of the ball. The material used on the exterior of the ball will determine if the ball can be used in indoor or outdoor applications.

Basketballs have come a long way and these modern designs have brought the game to a whole new level. They maximize efficiency and improve overall performance and technique.

Size

Basketballs generally come in three different sizes. The sizes are based on the circumference of the ball. Smaller balls will also weigh less than the official NBA balls. The ball sizes are commonly referred to as a size 5, 6 or 7.

The official NBA and NCAA size is 29 1/2 inches in circumference (Size 7) for men’s teams and weighs 22 ounces. This is the size used in middle school, high school, college and professional teams and the most common size used in leagues and for individual play. Generally children ages 16 and over will use the full size ball.

Women most often use a slightly smaller ball that is 28 1/2 inches in circumference (Size 6) and weighs 20 ounces. The smaller ball is made for a better grip with smaller hands that women tend to have. The smaller ball is also popular among children from ages 12 to 15, who want to play but have a harder time controlling the larger men’s ball. This is the official ball size for the WNBA.

Youth basketballs are generally 27 1/2 inches in circumference (Size 5) and weigh 18 ounces. These balls are good for those starting out in the game and are commonly used for children ages 11 or younger. As their hand size grows and their skill level improves they are able to handle a ball with a larger circumference.

Choosing the correct size ball for the player will enable them to gain their skills faster and build their confidence as they learn to dribble and shoot the ball.

Indoor or Outdoor

Basketball3Basketballs are designated for use in either indoor or outdoor play. Some are able to be used in both settings.

Indoor basketballs are designed to perform well on indoor courts. They do not have a rugged exterior that can handle outside conditions, but are made to be played on vinyl floors. For those who play mostly in gyms the indoor balls are a great choice. They will last longer because the surface conditions are easier on the balls material.

Outdoor basketballs are designed to withstand outdoor courts. This includes concrete and blacktop surfaces along with pebbles and rocks that are invariably found on outdoor courts. If you play mostly in outdoor courts having a basketball specifically designed for that will provide a longer lasting ball. Many outdoor balls are able to be used in an indoor environment.

Materials and Construction

One of the most important features is the construction of the ball. The material that is used and how the ball is designed will largely determine the life of the basketball. Today balls have a similar design in the sense that they all have an interior bladder that keep the basketball inflated. The exterior of the ball can be made from leather, rubber or a synthetic material. These will have different grades and quality based on the density and construction process.

Indoor balls are most often made from leather or synthetic material. Outdoor balls are often made from rubber or synthetic compounds, because they are more durable. Leather balls are softer and provide a solid grip. Composite or synthetic material can respond much like leather in the look and feel of the ball. It can also be made to resist moisture, making it more durable for outdoor use. Rubber balls are the least expensive material and are very durable. For playing though, the balls are rougher to handle and do not feel as good on the hands.

Basketball2Every ball has the same key construction elements. These include the bladder of the ball, the threading that seals the ball, the carcass, cover, channel and pebbles. The bladder is the inside of the ball and seals the air tight helping the ball retain its shape and maintain air. The threading provides structure. Around the bladder is the carcass which is made of leather, rubber or synthetic material. The cover is what is visible when you look at a basketball. The channels are the black lines seen on the ball and seal each panel together. The pebbles provide the balls texture on the surface of the basketball and help improve grip and bounce.

Color and Print

The color of official basketballs is orange and black. Though many manufacturers make basketballs in an array of colors. While the orange and black are the most popular colors, many players like the ability to personalize their balls buy selecting different colors.

Conclusion

Whether you want to learn to shoot free throws or practice your slam dunks, owning your own basketball is the surest way to improve your game. With just a ball you can learn to dribble and ball control. Add a hoop and you can practice endless numbers of hours in your driveway. It is a way to exercise, spend time with friends and family or just enjoy some alone time. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the US and with a little practice you may find yourself the star of a local team.

Resources

  1. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball – Official size 7 (29.5”): http://www.spalding-basketball.com/
  2. Wilson Evolution Indoor Game Basketball Official: http://www.wilson.com/
  3. Spalding NBA All Conference Basketball: http://www.spalding-basketball.com/