What are the Top Leather Indoor Game Balls?
Any basketball player who is fully aware of how impactful the choice of a ball can be to any game will tell you how cheap often proves expensive in the long run.
Low-priced balls made of cheap rubber will look good at a glance, but will they serve their right purpose when brought to the track for a game trial?
Some decades ago, when I was still a youngster, I had this raging passion for basketball.
The only obstacles I faced back then were resources and access to proper gear. My school wasn’t a posh one, so we had to endure playing the game with some bouncy rubber-balls that could barely last a week.
As time passed by, I came to realize that the outcome of a game and the joy that comes from an enjoyable game not only depends on the players’ skills but also the quality of the basketball.
Quality is the rudimentary factor that gives you everything you need in order to find a good basketball: one that matches your gameplay, suits your indoor layout and ultimately lasts you or your loved ones a lifetime.
This piece focuses on an inclusive list of prime basketballs. We have included the best picks for your indoor and outdoor preferences, designs made of authentic leather, the expensive basketballs and an affordable variety that won’t dig too deep into your pockets.
|① Wilson NCAA Basketball - TOP PICK|
|② Wilson Evolution|
|③ Spalding TF- 1000 Legacy|
|④ Baden Elite|
|⑤ Wilson Evo NXT|
1. Wilson NCAA Basketball
The Wilson NCAA is labeled the official basketball for NBA games.
The Wilson basketball, the company that is in charge of the production and distribution of the ball, has been working in close partnership with the NCAA championships to provide an all year-round enthusiastic flow of the sport for athletes and fans.
Having been in the spotlight for over two decades, Wilson has managed to keep its competitors far off its heel. Everything about the basketball reveals authenticity and durability.
The unparalleled juncture for Wilson, however, is connected to the unending innovation that ensures the ball adapts to any new changes. With such developments, it keeps up with the emerging trends in the sport. This way, it stays authentic and durable even as the years pass by.
Most of the basketball courts are made of hardwood or tarmac. It’s only a basketball with a strong skin that can endure the intensity of a 48-minute long game, a basketball like Wilson.
- Grip is everything when it comes to passing the basketball. The Final-Four testing is integrated into the Wilson to give it a better grip. Besides, the ball’s cover has a 100% moisture dispelling ability hence it stays dry to provide unrivaled handling in the game.
- It’s the official basketball of the NCAA tournaments and an excellent pick for indoor games.
- Players get better control of the ball with the pebble synthesized channels.
- The ball is too small for older and more experienced players.
- The Wilson NCAA basketball is barely durable.
2. Wilson Evolution
I have done my fair share of tournaments for a basketball player, especially in my junior high school years. In all the championships my team and I made entry, one thing caught my eye. It was the Wilson Evolution Game Basketball.
It got me wondering, why is this ball so common? It seemed every school I went to had the ball in its court, ready to let teams battle their way with it. On giving the ball a closer study, I came to know that there is more to what meets the eye.
As ordinary as it looks, the Wilson Evolution is nothing close to a conventional basketball. It’s one of the bestselling balls so far, primarily because it is best suited for indoor games.
The outstanding feature of the ball is the multi-layered cover that wicks off moisture, leaving the ball dry and with an excellent grip. In a nutshell, its performance is unrivaled.
- The Cushion Core Carcass gives the ball a softer feel and an easier grip on the rim.
- The Evolution ball has a better grip compared to most indoor balls. The Evo Microfiber composites on the cover also make the basketball more durable.
- The NFHS approves the ball for indoor games. Furthermore, most players highly recommend the basketball for indoor play.
- The finish on the exterior is rather poor. Some purchasers noted that the black leather strips came off a few days after use.
- There are a lot of concerns about the poor quality of the basketball. Generally, the seams are uneven and making inflations doesn’t seem to give the ball a firmness that’s required of a good ball.
3. Spalding TF- 1000 Legacy
Once you fish it out of its packaging, you’ll wish you had purchased the basketball earlier. It is ready to be bounced on and off the court immediately it’s unpackaged. With such a ball around, the excitement and thrill of the game never dies down, it only gets better.
Essentially, the Spalding is made of three tough composites. The exterior cover has a deep channel design meant to give the player superior control when handling the ball.
The middle layer is made of nylon windings. These improve the structural integrity of the whole design. Lastly, there is an innermost butyl bladder, an airbag that is rotationally balanced to provide better air retention.
The TF-1000 Legacy is not only NFHS approved but also recommended for use by NCAA coaching ambassadors and professional athletes.
- The basketball is shipped when 50% inflated thus game-ready.
- The remarkable design of the basketball matches its exceptional quality.
- Most buyers are pleased that the price of the basketball actually matches the quality. It’s worth the price.
- Despite the complaints raised by one or two customers in regards to an inconsistency with the packaging, the Spalding turns out to be a preferred basketball amongst purchasers.
4. Baden Elite
Perfection. In basketball, there is professionalism, then there is perfection. You need to be perfect, in skill, energy, grip and sharpness, if you are determined to find your bearing to a professional status.
Baden is the right choice for a player who is determined to make their way to the top. Each detail that’s included in this ball has the athlete in mind. Every inch of a good basketball is all about quality. Baden is more than a good basketball, it’s the perfect one.
Baden’s cover is reinforced with tough microfiber which ultimately creates an even balance of grip and softness for maximum performance. In addition, it wicks off moisture to minimize the slippery feel and create consistency when gripping the ball.
The symmetrical design of the panel spaces gives users a comfortable feel anywhere around the ball. When filled with the right amount of air, Baden gives any athlete a remarkably steady bounce.
Slight protrusion of the air valve is one characteristic of a basketball that’s difficult to play with. Baden has solved this problem with the Stealth Valve. It’s so recessed and undetectable that you will barely feel the rubber around the air inlet during the game.
- The cover is made of premium microfiber that improves a player’s grip on the ball.
- Athletes get better control of the ball owing to the symmetrical build that creates the ultimate balance and consistency required of a quality basketball.
- The stealth valve reduces the amount of protruding rubber on the air valve. This has a significant impact on the gameplay and general feel of the ball.
- Many high school basketball associations as well as the NFHS approve the Baden Elite for indoor tournaments across the country.
- A few users have complained of quality and durability problems; the rubber wears out fast.
5. Wilson Evo NXT
NXT is the next big thing in the basketball arena.
Simply put, every unique aspect you’ve ever imagined in the ball of your dreams has been included in the NXT: durability you’d only find in the Evolution, the grip of the Solution, moisture-wicking uniqueness of a chosen few designs, everything you need to win, right?
That’s just but a tip of the iceberg. A new technology is integrated into this make to give shooters a better feel and a more accurate range when approximating their targets. Another winning point.
All in all, I didn’t fall for the NXT because of its excellent grip or its ability to dispel moisture at a go. It’s the Micro-Touch Cover and the superb extended range technology that got me wondering about my basketball purchases my entire life.
The cover is a two-layered structure, pebbled over and over to provide the best grip and channel away moisture, even when sweat gets clammier on your hands.
Shooting from long ranges is also made easier, thanks to the soft-core construction that redistributes the balance and weight of the ball. This is ultimately made possible with the extended range technology.
- The technological internal construction, otherwise known as the extended range technology allows users to shoot from long ranges with enhanced accuracy.
- A lot of miniature cushioning has been done on the cover to give players a better grip on the ball. The double composite cover is also responsible for the enhanced grasp of the ball.
- The moisture wicking technology dissipates the excess sweat on your hands.
- There are players who don’t like the bright orange color.
- It’s also an expensive basketball.
What you need to consider when choosing the right indoor basketball
When shopping for an indoor basketball, your choice of design, color, size, material and quality becomes very important, as you will rely on these for performance the moment you step into the court for a game or practice.
Indoor basketballs are quite different from outdoor hops. Knowing this difference before purchasing any basketball will save you a good amount of time and money.
Our main focus today is on indoor basketballs. There are so many indoor balls being sold in both online and physical stores in the country.
The availability of a wide variety makes it harder to choose the best designs. Who wouldn’t be fatigued by the mere thought of scrimmaging through hundreds or thousands of hops in a bid to get just one basketball?
In addition to the endless lists of basketballs in stores, there’s the issue of quality. In my lifelong search for the best basketball, I’ve learnt to come to terms with the fact that there are so many good balls in stores.
The only thing that makes the difference is the choice you intend to make. Your pick will definitely rely on your taste of color, size or feel.
However, there are a few factors that cut across all kinds of selections, regardless whether the purchaser has a certain liking.
I’ll be taking you through such factors and a whole new methodology of determining and picking the best indoor basketball, one that will perfectly suit your kind of gameplay, serve you for the longest time and ultimately be a purchase worth your money.
The materials used to make indoor basketballs is so different from that used in outdoor hops. Cheaper rubber is commonly used when making outdoor basketballs. The main advantage of this type of rubber is its durability.
It lasts longer and is generally cheaper. Nonetheless, the rubber comes with a downside of its kind. Any ball made of the material will give any athlete difficulties when trying to handle or when making a grasp. The rubber does not provide a firm grip.
On the other hand, indoor hops are designed using synthesized leather. This type of blend is way softer compared to rubber. Its upsides include a better grip, easier dribbling, handling and improved accuracy.
Generally, a conglomerate of leather will improve your indoor gameplay and make your time on the court worth your while.
The only disadvantage of blended leather is the poor durability. They won’t last for long, despite the firmly layered grip on the cover. Besides, they tend to be slippery from time to time, especially when your hands are all clammy with sweat.
In case you need a material that won’t disappoint over time, then go for authentic leather. Most of the skilled players in top leagues like NBA go for this real fortune. Notably, however, the leather is way pricier than composite.
Even so, it is the perfect pick if you are looking for unparalleled comfort in the game. This leather not only provide athletes with improved control of the ball but also better accuracy and a grip like no other.
Some basketballs come packaged when half inflated. Most are always deflated, so you will need a ball pump to fill in air and get the ball up and bouncing.
Regardless, it’s worth noting that a basketball ought to be filled with the right amount of air before being let into the court for use. Likewise, the ball should retain air for as long as it’s needed in the game.
The NBA has a special touchstone for determining the right air pressure in basketballs. Their gauge is betwixt 7.5 to 8.5 pounds for each square inch. A little room of fluctuation is allowed though it shouldn’t be that large.
The biggest frustration during a game is when the ball continuously loses air and there’s nothing you can do about it. Luckily, it’s not a common occurrence for a good indoor hop to lose air.
During winter, temperatures tend to drop below normal. It should only be during such times that the ball should be inflated a little extra. Besides these times, it should be nearly nonessential to use a pump to fill your basketball with air.
That said, a good basketball should retain air for a longer time, even when not in consistent use.
Passing a basketball during a game is mostly reliant on how good an athlete’s grip on the ball is. Due to the intense running and vigorous movement around the court, sweat often trickles around the hands, causing a lot of wetness on the palms.
Moisture on the hands reduces your grip on the basketball. To curb this issue, some balls were designed with moisture-wicking covers that take the sweat off your hands, making it easier to hold the ball more firmly without slippery faults.
Besides the improved surfaces that are designed to lessen dampness on the hands, the channels and grooves of a basketball are other sections that could change the entire game, especially when making accurate throws as well as passing.
Grooves that run deep and widths that cut in more elongated lines give your fingertips a deeper and firmer grip on the ball, such that swishing three-pointers or any other shots becomes as easy as bouncing the ball across the hardwood.
Basketball as a sport comes with its fair share of rules. One thing that even an amateur would know, is that you can hardly make progress in the game without learning how to dribble.
Dribbling in basketball is reliant on how fast and accurate the ball can bounce off the floorboard. This depends partly on skill and significantly on the ball.
That’s why it’s critical that the ball you use for dribbling comes with a reliable as well as a consistent bounce.
A good ball will provide a consistent bounce only when its surface is smooth enough. Sometimes athletes focus too much on their shooting that they forget the relevance of a smooth surface.
A deep groove will be helpful when shooting, because of the improved grip. However, this may become a hindrance when you need to dribble, as the cutting lines render the bounds of the ball unreliable.
If you feel you need to improve your shooting and still maintain your prowess when dribbling, then it would be advisable to pick a hop that balances the two: a fairly smooth facade and some slightly abstruse furrows in one ball.
The right size
Each basketball league has specifications and recommendations, depending on the kind of competition it’s running. The NCAA has its own ball size and so do most of the famous leagues around the world.
My advice, care to check all the regulations of any league you’re getting into, be it a high school organization or a big league. Specifically, check the game balls and the sizes being used in the tournament.
With background information on the right size of the ball, you can master your dribbling and shooting with the hop of the recommended size, so that it becomes easier to step into the court for a tournament clash that matters.
Ensure you are purchasing the correct size. Basically, basketballs designed for girls or children are usually lighter and smaller. With these, shooting and controlling the ball is way easier.
Boys aged 15 years or above and men should purchase the size 7 balls. The circumferences of these balls are 29.5 inches.
The size 6 balls come next. Size 6 is the standard one for women. It’s also the recommended size for boys aged between 12 and 14. The margins of size 6 balls are 28.5 inches.
The smallest of the group is the size 5 balls. The periphery of a size 5 hop is 27.5 inches. The ball is a standard model for youth aged 9 to 11.
Most of us are often undecided when it comes to making a resolute choice of products, especially when dealing with basketball hops. There’s no need to worry, I have been on the crossroad more than once too. Fortunately, I found a solution for dealing with such indecisive situations.
Sometimes, we have excellent varieties beforehand that it actually becomes harder to make one conclusive selection. The easier thing to do in such a circumstance is to take note of your needs and level of professionalism in the game, before going for the right basketball.
First, I’ll start with beginners. The perfect durable basketball for a beginner is the Wilson NCAA Basketball.
In case you are an advanced athlete in the sport, looking for an affordably priced hop that will complement your level of skill, then the Wilson Evolution is the pick to go for. It’s the most popular basketball amongst athletes, there’s no way you’ll get it wrong!
The Spalding TF-1000 Legacy is the hop to acquire if you are interested in a premium basketball or a quality model made of genuine leather. The cover of this ball has an excellent grip to make handling and control easier.