Do you want to live more of an active lifestyle? Basketball could be just the thing that you need in your life! It gets you moving and gets you outdoors. But starting out playing means that you should have the best outdoor basketball or best indoor basketball and matching hoops.
You’ll need these products before you begin so that you can play to the best of your abilities as you learn. But to be sure, even if you’re already a pro at the sport, you’ll want the best products.
With that being said, all basketball balls are not built alike, and good basketballs can be hard to find among the cheaper products. That’s why I’ve created this guide for you, and it’s complete with the best outdoor and indoor basketball reviews so that you can get started playing right away this amazing sport!
Our Top 10 Recommended Outdoor Basketballs
Our Top 5 Recommended Indoor Basketballs
- 1 Our Top 10 Recommended Outdoor Basketballs
- 2 Our Top 5 Recommended Indoor Basketballs
- 3 Best Outdoor Basketball Reviews
- 4 Best Indoor Basketball Reviews
- 5 Best Basketball Brands
- 6 Things to Consider When Buying a Basketball
- 7 Tips on Choosing the Best Basketball
- 8 Basketball FAQ
- 9 Where to Buy Best Basketball
- 10 Summary and Making Your Final Decision on a Basketball
Best Outdoor Basketball Reviews
1. Spalding NBA Street Basketball
If you’re in the market for a Spalding basketball, the Spalding NBA Street Basketball is a great choice. You can get this model of basketball in youth size or 27.5 inches, intermediate size or 28.5 inches or official size or 29.5 inches. All of the sizes provide a great learning and playing ball for kids and adults.
The cover on this ball is rubber, and it’s designed to be durable even outdoors in the street or on your driveway. On the rubber cover, you can see the Spalding name brand as well as the NBA or National Basketball Association Logo because Spalding is the official ball for the NBA.
I recommend the smallest two sizes of this ball for kids who are just starting out and want a nice, durable ball to play with at home and off the courts.
2. Spalding NBA Indoor/Outdoor Replica Game Ball
A great Spalding indoor outdoor basketball can be a solid choice for families who may use a basketball in the house or at a gym as well as outside on the street or driveway. I like the rubber Spalding NBA Indoor/Outdoor Replica Game Ball.
Keep in mind that this ball won’t exactly be at the level of only indoor balls because it’s straddling both inside and outside use and needs to be durable enough for outdoor play. Also remember that when you use it outside, you will need a pump and needle on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon for an outdoor ball to deflate after a few sessions or days of play. Just pump it up and you’re good to go.
3. Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball
The Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball is a high quality ball that can be used inside or outside. Wilson basketballs get notoriously high reviews, and the Wilson NCAA basketball is no exception. In fact, it’s Wilson’s best selling ball. I happen to have one at home, and we’ve used it for years with no problems. This ball is available in intermediate and official sizes.
This ball is made of composite leather that absorbs moisture and won’t get sweaty and slippery. The ball as patented Cushion Core Technology as well as patented composite laid in channels for easy grip and play. Many people can palm this ball because of the great grip, but I did read a few basketball reviews that did mention the channels were quite deep.
4. Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
Under Armour basketballs are relatively new to the sport, but the reviews have been positive so far. The Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball is one of the favorite models from this brand.
It has excellent deep channel grip and pebbling on the entirety of the ball. 80 percent of the ball has nylon windings, which helps it keep its perfectly round shape even after rough play. There is also a butyl bladder filling the entirety of the ball to help it retain air. This helps you avoid having to refill it after every game.
The ball is made of composite leather and is available in 27.5 inches, 28.5 inches or 29.5 inches.
5. Baden Grip-Tread Rubber Basketball
For a ball that’s a little different, consider the Baden Grip-Tread Rubber Basketball. This is a black ball with bright lime green channels and Baden logo. It’s available in the largest professional regulation size of 29.5 inches.
The grips on this ball are not made up of pebbling. Rather, it has a thick tire tread that is extremely cool. Just keep in mind that if you plan on practicing for school or professional sports with this ball, that might not be the best idea. This is more of a street ball that is not professional.
With that being said, the Baden Grip-Tread Rubber basketball is super fun and extremely durable. It can be played inside or outside, but I usually recommend this ball for outside street players. It’s bright and fun.
6. Spalding NBA Varsity Rubber Outdoor Basketball
The Spalding NBA Varsity Rubber Outdoor Basketball is a strictly outdoor basketball that is targeted toward youths who are still learning the ins and outs of the game. With that being said, you can purchase this particular ball in one of three sizes. It is available in 27.5, 28.5 and 29.5.
The cover is made to withstand play even on the roughest street or pavement. It is durable and long lasting. I like that about this ball, but I also like that it is affordable.
If you are looking to find a decent ball for you or your kids to practice with, this is the one that I would recommend more readily. It’s rubber and strong, so it will last a long time with great play, but it’s also not going to break your bank account.
7. Molten BGM7 Basketball, Indoor/Outdoor, FIBA Approved
The Molten BGM7 Basketball, Indoor/Outdoor, FIBA Approved ball is one of the nicest looking balls that I’ve ever used.
A Molten basketball generally has a unique style, but naturally, it’s still orange with the classic pebbling for a great grip. Because of the brand name and the high quality, this ball is going to run you a little more than your average ball.
You can get the Molten BGM7 Basketball, Indoor/Outdoor, FIBA Approved ball in either the size 5 junior size or the size 7 official size. It is not available in the size 6 intermediate size.
The ball has a butyl bladder filling the whole thing for great air retention. It is FIBA approved and says so on the ball itself. There is a 2 tone orange and black design with 12 panes. The ball also carries a 1 year warranty on it, so if you ever have any problems in the first year, you’re covered!
8. Under Armour 295 Spongetech Basketball
The Under Armour 295 Spongetech Basketball is another ball that has a unique look. This is rather a classic theme from the Under Armour brand. You’ll notice right away that the classic orange cover has been ditched for a black cover with a large Under Armour logo across the side in orange. This logo helps to form some of the wrap around channels as well.
This ball has great cushioning on its cover and uses Sponge Tech dual density technology for a super soft feel during play. It’s an excellent ball for play on the street because of its durability. Buy this ball in the official size 7, which means that it is 29.5 inches in diameter.
The ball has top reviews wherever I have looked. But again, if you’re looking to improve your game for play in high school, college or elsewhere, stick to a more standard ball.
9. Spalding Neverflat Outdoor Basketball
The Spalding Neverflat Outdoor Basketball claims that it never goes flat. Whether or not this is true all the time, I can’t be sure, but I do know that the ball has received hundreds of raving reviews online. Because of the name brand and the high quality of this ball model, it is slightly more expensive than some of the other balls on this list.
The cover on this ball is made of high quality rubber, and the ball is designed to be played outside. To keep the ball from truly never deflating, NitroFlate molecules have been added to the ball, and this is supposed to create a protective barrier where air cannot seep out during play. In addition, special technology on the membrane helps to tighten up the bladder’s pores, and this helps retain and add pressure as well.
10. Baden Contender Official Wide Channel Basketball
The Baden Contender Official Wide Channel Basketball is one of the few outdoor basketballs on this list that can be purchased in a number of different colors. If you are someone who cares bout the color of the ball that you own, this may be something that you want to think about for yourself.
Kids tend to like this feature as well. Get the ball in either the natural orange of most basketballs, a more leather colored orange, pink and white, navy and white with some red or red and white.
The design is even and symmetrical with panels that are widely spaced. The valve does not interfere at all with play as it utilizes the Stealth Soft Valve system. You can get this ball in two sizes. It is only available in the youth size 6 at 28.5 inches or the regulation size 7 at 29.5 inches.
Best Indoor Basketball Reviews
1. Wilson Evolution Game Ball Basketball
For indoor play, I always recommend a Wilson indoor basketball. And in particular, I recommend a Wilson Evolution ball. The Wilson Evolution line has almost a cult following, and I’m part of that cult! These are excellent balls for indoor play.
The ball has an amazing grip with moisture wicking technology in the channels. The feel is cushioned and offers amazing control for any type of indoor play. The cost is a bit more than your average training ball, but the quality is well worth it.
This particular Wilson Evolution basketball is available in three sizes. You can get the youth size 5 at 27.5 inches or the intermediate size 6 at 28.5 inches, or you can purchase this Wilson basketball Evolution in the regulation professional size 7 at 29.5 inches.
2. Spalding TF-1000 Classic Indoor Basketball
The Spalding TF-1000 Classic Indoor Basketball is another one from the classic line at Spalding. The ball features a nice dry tack feel and soft touch for easy play. Both of these features are made possible by the composite ZK microfiber cover material, which is rather rare in terms of basketballs, but I tend to like it and have seen customers have success with it also.
This ball is naturally for indoor playing alone and should not be used outside. The windings are 100 percent nylon, which gives this ball top integrity and strength. The ball also has a wide channel design. You’ll notice right away that this ball is not as soft as the Evolution ball, but if you like a hard ball, this is what you want.
3. Molten GG7 Official FIBA Indoor Basketball
The Molten GG7 Official FIBA Indoor Basketball is available in orange and yellow. It comes in both size 6 and size 7, and both sizes are made of composite leather. Inside, the ball as a butyl bladder to help it retain air.
People like Molten balls, and for indoor play, I always recommend this model to Molten lovers. It’s a lighter ball that feels good when gripping. You might notice that because it’s made of composite leather, there does tend to be some loss of grip over time. But for a leather ball, it holds up rather well.
This is also a ball in terms of its monetary value matched with high quality. Naturally, being made of composite leather and having a top brand name behind it means that you’re going to be paying more than usual for this ball, but it keeps air well, bounces nicely and has a sticky yet dry grip.
4. Nike Mens Elite Championship Basketball
The Nike Mens Elite Championship Basketball is part of the signature Nike Elite Ball line. The Nike Elite Airlock basketball is available in black and platinum and features the large Nike swoosh logo as well as the name of the ball on the front. The spacing of the channels is wide, and the entire ball has the signature pebbling that you’d see on regulation balls.
Grip is soft and cushioned to the touch with woven microfiber backing. I like that this ball stays dry because of the perforated material near the top. It wicks away moisture and helps keep the material from becoming slippery. This is a ball for indoor use only.
5. Spalding NBA Official Game Basketball
The Spalding NBA Official Game Basketball is the final one of the best indoor basketball products that I’ll mention here. It’s more expensive because it is made of 100 percent leather. As I state elsewhere in this basketball buying guide, leather is a top quality material for indoor play, but it is more expensive. You should also keep in mind that over time, you’re going to see more wear so that some grip may be lost.
The leather on the ball is full grain horween. This ball is sold only in official size 7 at 29.5 inches. The Spalding logo is on the orange, pebbled skin ball and so is the NBA logo and the NBA’s Twitter handle. This is the official ball of the NBA.
Best Basketball Brands
The biggest basketball supplier in the world is Spalding. This company was also the first company in America to create basketballs and sell them. Both the NBA or the National Basketball Association and the WNBA or the Women’s National Basketball Association have Spalding as their official basketball brand.
Spalding was started in Chicago, Illinois just like number two on this list, which is Wilson Sporting Goods. Spalding has been in business for over 100 years as it was founded in 1876 by a man named Albert Spalding Jr. Today, the headquarters of this company is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky in the USA.
Spalding basketball reviews are consistently high. This company makes all sizes of basketballs to be used indoors or outdoors as well as many other types of sports balls.
Wilson basketball reviews are also high and right up there with Spalding balls. This company is based in Chicago, Illinois. They are a division of Amer Sports Corporation. The corporation is one of the top manufactures of apparel, accessories and equipment for sports in the world.
Wilson makes all types of balls for sports in addition to basketball balls. They make balls for baseball, tennis, badminton, volleyball, golf, soccer, squash and many other sports. You can follow them on social media for updates about their company. Wilson makes the official footballs for the NFL or National Football League.
Nike is another US-based corporation making fine, high quality sporting goods. The company began in 1964, but it was first named Blue Ribbon Sports. The company started making shoes for long distance running, and since the 60s, it has morphed into a huge corporation that makes sporting goods for all types of sports.
Nike basketball reviews get excellent ratings, and they make basketballs for many high schools and colleges. They also make other basketball apparel and equipment.
Under Armour Incorporated was founded 2 decades ago in 1996 by Kevin Plank in Baltimore, Maryland. Today, the company makes basketballs, apparel and other sporting equipment for people around the world. They also make a high quality line of footwear for sports.
Under Armour basketball reviews fair well, but this company does not have quite as many basketball options as the other three companies listed above. The company focuses most on accessories and clothing, but they have been branching out in recent years, so perhaps we will see more basketball options in the near future from Under Armour.
Baden Sports is a smaller family-owned company that specializes in sporting equipment. This company especially makes a lot of balls for various sports, including basketballs, volleyballs, play balls, footballs, baseballs and soccer balls.
If you’ve ever come across Baden Sports basketball reviews, you’ll notice that they are usually positive. This smaller company has a great website with a lot of information about using their balls for official sports and also about the technology that they use to make their equipment.
Molten is the last company on this list. You may have seen some positive Molten basketball reviews during your shopping as well. This is again a smaller company, but they have top quality products and many official balls for basketball as well as other sports.
Molten’s motto is “For the real game” because they are committed to making the best possible products for sports. They want to help athletes reach their full potential and maximize their performance. Molten Sports has been in business for more than 57 years, and they sell sporting goods on 5 continents.
Things to Consider When Buying a Basketball
As you go shopping for the best outdoor basketball, best indoor basketball or best indoor outdoor basketball, there are 7 main factors that you’ll need to consider. Thinking about all of these factors as you browse and read reviews will help you make the best choice on a good outdoor basketball or indoor basketball.
There are honestly tons of different types of basketballs, and the best basketball will be specifically made for how you want to use it. For example, you have the two main types of balls. These are outdoor basketballs and indoor basketballs.
Within these categories, you also have the leather basketball, the best street basketball and many other sub-types. Consider whether you will primarily be using the basketball outdoors or indoors and go from them to start.
Size of the Ball
The best basketball fits the size that you need, and there are basically three sizes to choose from. You can get a 27.5 basketball, a 28.5 basketball or a 29.5 basketball. Most of the larger basketball brands carry all of these sizes, so you can choose what’s best for your purposes.
If you are completely new to the game, don’t worry about it! Sizes can be confusing, but you definitely want to get the right one. To help you understand, you should know that the 29.5 inch basketball is the best basketball ball size for professional play. This is regulation size for men’s basketball. It’s also that size that you want for males who are 13 and older.
In addition, the size 28.5 inch ball is for males who are between 9 and 12 and females who are over the age of 9. This is a women’s basketball. Finally, for all kids who are 9 and under, you can get the 27.5 inch ball. This is a youth basketball.
Material Covering the Ball
Material is another important factor when it comes to choosing the best indoor basketballs and the best basketballs for outdoor play. In general, there are three materials that you can choose from.
Most people who are shopping for a basketball are looking for the best leather basketball. Spalding is the biggest producer of these types of basketballs today, and they sell quite well with this brand.
When you first hold a leather basketball, it may feel slick, but over time, the leather will wear into a great feel and grip. Professional players use leather balls.
If you have a ball that isn’t leather, your best bet can be that it’s composite leather. This is a pretend leather material that is less expensive than genuine leather, and it’s quite common. Colleges and high schools sometimes use composite leather because this material makes a good indoor basketball, but it’s not the best basketball for outdoor play.
The best outdoor basketballs for kids who are just learning the game are made of rubber. These are super durable, and the grip is amazing. Sometimes, even the best indoor basketball ball that’s made of leather will have a bad grip, but this never happens with the best basketball for outdoor play that is made of rubber. Literally any expert that you talk to will agree that rubber makes the best outdoor basketball.
Ball Grip and Feel
This factor has some to do with the material on the ball. Again, leather is a great material, but it can make it hard to have a good grip when it comes to palming. If you’re not worried about palming, any type of grip on any form of basketball should be good enough for your use.
Naturally, you’ll want your basketball to last as long as possible. Most indoor outdoor basketballs will last a few years if you use them regularly, and the same goes for basketballs for outdoor play only and those that are specifically made for indoor play too. Just make sure that the outdoor basketball reviews or indoor basketball reviews that you read give you a good idea of how long each product will last.
Bounce is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to buying a good basketball. You’ll be bouncing the product most of the time, and you’ll want to have a consistent bounce that you can count on so that you can manipulate the ball to your liking.
In addition to a consistent bounce, you should also make sure that the ball isn’t off center and is perfectly round. Anything less than perfection where the shape is concerned can make it difficult to improve your game and win!
Price and Overall Value of the Product
Lastly, you will of course need to consider the overall price of the product that you’re considering. How much is this product going to cost you? When it comes to shopping around, keep in mind that you will probably be able to get coupons or discounts if you keep your eyes open, but don’t forget that if you’re looking at high end products, a lot of the basketballs on the market right now are extremely expensive.
For this reason, I always make sure that I set a maximum price for myself before I start shopping. This keeps me to my word and stops me from making an impulse buy on something that’s a little too price for me. You should also remember that just because a basketball is expensive, this does not mean that it’s going to be a great product.
To be sure, there are a number of more expensive basketballs out there that cost a pretty penny, but never buy a basketball that is expensive just because you think that it’s going to be of great quality. There are plenty of quality balls on the market that are sold at reasonable prices.
Tips on Choosing the Best Basketball
The following tips will help you make a well educated decision as you come closer to purchasing an indoor or outdoor basketball for your basketball court or playing area.
Make a List of the Things You Want in Your Basketball
Before you even set foot in a sporting goods store or look into basketballs online, start by just making a list of what you hope to use your basketball for and what features you’re looking to buy.
Once you have a list of the features you want in your new basketball, make sure to shop at more than one place. If you only go to one brick and mortar sporting goods store or onto one website on the Internet, you likely won’t get the best deal.
Stick to Well-Known Brands
Some of the biggest brands in basketballs have been making balls for decades, and they know what they’re doing. It’s best to stick to buying from these brands.
Don’t Skimp on Quality
If you’re serious about the game or even if you just want to be able to have a lot of fun playing, don’t skimp when it comes to quality. You don’t have to break the bank, but do look for good materials and craftsmanship.
Read Reviews Before Your Final Purchase
Before finalizing the purchase of a new basketball, make sure to check out ratings and reviews online to see how others have liked the ball that you’re looking at.
What size basketball should I buy for a child?
For all children under 9 years old, purchase a 27.5 inch basketball. This is a youth basketball for smaller hands. For boys who are 9 to 12 and all females 9 and over, get a 28.5 inch basketball. This is a women’s basketball. Finally, for males who are 13 and over, get a 29.5 inch ball, which is regulation size.
How do you properly clean a basketball?
This is a simple process. Just get a bucket of warm water. Add one short squirt of liquid dish soap and stir. Soak a rag, wring it out and wash the ball. Rinse with water from a new rag and dry with a towel. Once each month, use some wood polish on your ball.
How do you know when a basketball is too old to use anymore?
Basketballs age out after 2 or 3 years of regular use, but if you don’t use them very often, they can last for many more years. Throw a basketball away if it cracks, pops, gets any sort of hole, loses its grip, develops an uneven shape or stops bouncing well.
What is the best basketball to buy?
I get this basic question all the time! What I really want to tell people is to look at this entire guide, so please take the time to read everything, and this should answer your question.
But if you’re really at a loss, I recommend that you peruse the best selling basketballs you can find. Read reviews and ratings, and just go with something that everyone else seems to like. The chances are good that you will like it too.
Where to Buy Best Basketball
Knowing where to find the best selling basketballs at great prices can be tricky. Naturally, any sporting goods store will have basketballs for sale, and if you have the time to go to many different stores and compare prices and products, then you can definitely find the best basketball to buy at a brick and mortar store like this.
But many people also opt to buy basketball online. Basketballs online will be just as high in quality and craftsmanship as basketballs sold in brick and mortar stores, and they will also be much cheaper.
My sporting goods store has a few basketballs, but they are only for people who are desperate and need a ball right away. We do more of our business in other types of outdoor activity sales, and we also offer classes. So when someone comes in and asks where to find the best basketball, I always tell them to go online, and that’s what I’m telling you as well.
In my opinion, Amazon has the largest and most diverse selection with excellent prices. But you can also try smaller manufacturer’s sites and other online sites that sell sporting goods as well.
Summary and Making Your Final Decision on a Basketball
Are you ready to make a final purchase decision on the best outdoor basketball or the best indoor basketball?
Whether you’re just playing for fun with your kids or hoping to seriously improve your game, finding a high-quality basketball that will last a long time and work great for your specific needs is important.
If you’re someone who is new to basketball, I recommend going through this guide and then making a list of what you are looking for in the best indoor or outdoor basketball. For example, you might ask yourself the following questions.
Well this basketball be used inside or outside? How old are the individuals who will be the primary users of this ball? Are they males or females? What type of material do I prefer? Do I have a brand preference? How much am I willing to spend? How much does quality matter to me?
By answering all of these questions before going shopping and reading the best outdoor basketball reviews and indoor basketball reviews, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for, and you won’t be weighed down by the mass amounts of basketballs that are on the market today. To be sure, there are many basketballs and basketball accessories to choose from.
Once you have an idea of the exact type of basketball that you’re looking for, you can choose from the best products listed above to narrow down your search. And at this point, you’re ready to go shopping.
Good luck on your quest to find a to quality basketball, and have fun with this amazing sport!