The best Basketballs stands out as a sport that people of all ages love, and they have good reason to. It’s fun to play by yourself or with a team, and it’s also a great way to get in shape because it helps your heart and builds your muscles at the same time. Getting better at basketball or starting a successful basketball journey starts with choosing the right ball for your needs and preferences.
We started talking to basketball coach Greg Kot about the best balls on the market because we wanted to find the best ones. Our goal was to learn about the most important things to think about when getting into basketball gear. After that, we did a lot of research on a lot of different basketballs from well-known brands and read a lot of customer reviews very carefully. Below we have mentioned the best basketballs.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Basketball
For a fun and effective game, it’s important to choose the right basketball. Here are some things to think about when choosing a basketball:
🏀 How to Use: Find out if the basketball can be used indoors or outdoors. Most indoor balls have a smoother surface and are made to be used on hardwood courts. Outdoor balls, on the other hand, are stronger and can be used on rougher surfaces like concrete.
🔍 What’s in it: Most basketballs are made of rubber, synthetic leather, or a combination of the two. Synthetic leather is easy to hold and feels good, but it can cost more. Rubber balls last long and can be used outside.
🤲 Handle and Surface: Look for a basketball that is easy to hold and has a good feel. A ball with deep grooves or pebbles will be easier to handle and control.
⚖️ Bounce and Inflation: Make sure the ball has the right amount of air in it according to what the manufacturer says. Check that the bounce is just right; it shouldn’t be too high or too low.
🏷️ Model and Brand: When choosing a basketball, think about well-known and trusted brands. Popular brands of basketball often have better quality and last longer.
💸 Spending plan: Set a spending limit for the basketball you want to buy. Good basketballs can be expensive, but there are also options that won’t break the bank.
Best Basketballs Comparison Table
Check out our detailed table that compares the best basketballs on the market, including the Spalding NeverFlat Elite, the Wilson Evolution, and more. Find out the pros, cons, and key features of each basketball so you can make an informed decision and improve your game, whether you play inside or outside.
|Spalding NeverFlat Elite||Indoor/Outdoor||Official Size||Composite leather with NeverFlat technology|
|Champion Sports Official Heavy Duty||Indoor/Outdoor||Official Size||Heavy-duty rubber|
|Wilson Evolution Game||Indoor||Official Size||Composite leather with moisture-wicking|
|Spalding NBA Street||Outdoor||Official Size||Rubber|
|SportimeMax Hands-on Junior||Indoor/Outdoor||Junior Size||Rubber|
Spalding NeverFlat Elite Indoor-Outdoor Basketball
|Dimensions||10.3 x 10 x 9.69 inches|
This basketball was our top pick because it is strong and can be used on both blacktop courts and indoor courts. This fan favorite also has a composite faux leather cover with pebbling that gives it the right feel and lets you play indoors or outdoors. Overall, this is one of the best Basketballs you can buy right now.
We also like that the NeverFlat Elite comes fully inflated and has a lightweight sponge core. It’s a great choice that gives you a lot for your money. You can use it to practice free throws in your driveway or bring it to a local gym to give yourself a home-court advantage.
- Excellent durability for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Features the NeverFlat technology to maintain consistent air pressure.
- Provides a good grip for ball handling.
- Higher price point compared to some other options.
- Slightly heavier than other basketballs.
Champion Sports Official Heavy Duty Rubber Cover Nylon Basketball
|Dimensions||12.17 x 8.78 x 3.19 inches|
We love the Official Heavy Duty basketball from Champion Sports because it’s affordable and can be used in a lot of different ways. It can be played with both inside and outside, comes in seven bright colors and five different sizes, including a small one for very young kids. It has a durable rubber composite cover and a nylon-wound 2-ply butyl bladder that is supposed to keep air in better than other bladders, but some customers say it may lose air over time.
Also, the ball ships come deflated, so you’ll need to buy a pump (which is sold separately) to blow them up at home. When you have the right tools, it’s easy to blow up the ball. The ball bounces well and is great for both kids and adults. Overall, this is one of the best Basketballs you can buy right now.
- Affordable and budget-friendly option.
- Durable construction with a heavy-duty rubber cover.
- Suitable for recreational play and outdoor use.
- Limited grip compared to higher-end basketballs.
- Not ideal for serious competitive play.
Wilson Evolution Game Basketball
|Dimensions||10.2 x 9.8 x 9.7 inches|
If you want to get better at indoor basketball, try practicing with the Wilson Official Evolution Basketball. Many high school and college players prefer this ball. The Cushion Core Technology, which uses two kinds of rubber to make the ball feel soft and last a long time, is one of the reasons why this ball is so good.
This ball is only meant to be used indoors. It has a microfiber cover with high-definition pebbling that makes it easier to grip and control. We also like the ball’s composite laid-in channels, which help keep the ball’s texture and feel consistent. The Evolution is more expensive than most balls, but we think it’s worth it. Still, this is one of the best Basketballs you can buy right now.
- Widely used in competitive settings due to its quality.
- Exceptional grip and feel for ball control.
- Suitable for indoor play on hardwood courts.
- Pricier than some other basketballs.
- Not designed for outdoor use, which may limit versatility.
Spalding NBA Street Basketball
|Dimensions||10 x 10 x 9.25 inches|
We also recommend the NBA Street model from Spalding for use outside. It has a high-performance rubber cover that gives it a consistent bounce and makes it tough enough for courts made of asphalt or concrete. The channels are also easy to hold on to because they are wide and deep. It works well right out of the box, so there’s no need to break it in. You can start dribbling and shooting right away.
We like that the NBA Street comes in three sizes, so you can choose the one that is right for your age and skill level or that of your child. If you want a reliable, high-quality outdoor basketball that won’t break the bank, this is a great choice. Thus, this is one of the best Basketballs you can buy right now.
- Affordable and accessible for casual outdoor play.
- Durable rubber cover for rugged use.
- Features the NBA branding for authenticity.
- May lose grip and bounce over time with heavy outdoor use.
- Not suitable for indoor hardwood courts.
SportimeMax Hands-on Junior Basketball
|Color||Blue, Orange, Red|
|Dimensions||11.1 x 4.4 x 3.4 inches|
It can be hard for anyone, especially young kids, to learn how to shoot a basketball the right way. But the SportimeMax Hands-on Junior Basketball makes it easy to teach young players where to put their hands. Overall, this is one of the best Basketballs you can buy right now.
The ball has color-coded right-hand and left-hand prints on the surface to show both righties and lefties the right way to shoot with one hand. Also, the yellow and orange stripes make it clear how the ball should spin, so kids can easily see how to give their shots the right amount of spin.
- Designed for younger players with smaller hands.
- Promotes skill development and confidence in young athletes.
- Affordable and age-appropriate.
- Limited to junior players, not suitable for adults.
- Not intended for competitive play due to its size and material.
How to Choose the Best Basketball for You?
To enjoy the game and do your best, you need to choose the best basketball for you. Here are a few things to think about when choosing a basketball:
🏀 Indoor vs. outdoor: Figure out where you’ll be playing basketball most of the time. Indoor basketballs are made for gyms or courts and have a surface that is softer and sticks better. Outdoor basketballs are more durable and have a tougher cover to handle the rougher surfaces of outdoor courts.
🏀 Material: The covers of basketballs are made of rubber, synthetic leather, or a combination of the two. Synthetic and composite leather balls are easier to hold and feel better, but they usually cost more. Rubber balls are cheaper and last longer than plastic ones, but they may not grip and bounce as well.
🏀 Grip: For a good grip, look for a basketball with deep grooves and a rough surface. To control the ball and shoot accurately, you need a good grip.
🏀 Bounce: Try out how the ball bounces. It should bounce the same way every time to make dribbling and shooting easier.
🏀 Weight: Check how much the ball weighs. A standard men’s basketball weighs about 22 ounces, while women’s and children’s basketballs are a bit lighter. Pick a weight that feels right for your skill level.
🏀 Brand: Wilson, Spalding, Nike, and Adidas are all well-known brands that are known for making high-quality basketballs. Even though people have different tastes in brands, these brands have a history of making reliable basketballs.
The Wilson Official NBA Game Ball is made of real leather and is made to meet the NBA’s high standards. This is the ball that all teams and players use in every game.
Wilson took over from Spalding as the NBA’s official supplier at the start of the 2021-22 season. From 1946 to 1983, Wilson made the basketballs for the league.