Top 10 Basketballs

top 10 basketballs

Looking for a basketball can be stressful, especially when you don't know where to start. We've compiled a list of the ten best basketballs available along with information on each basketball to help you make the best decision for you. Read about basketball types, materials, and sizes before making your final choice!


Types of Basketballs

Types of Basketballs
  • Indoor basketballs
  • Outdoor basketballs
  • Hybrid basketballs

Ball Materials

  • Leather
  • Synthetic

Ball Sizes

Basketball Ball Sizes
  • Size 4 (25.5" circumference): For boys and girls ages 5-8.
  • Size 5 (27.5" circumference): For boys and girls ages 9-11.
  • Size 6 (28.5" circumference): For boys ages 12-14 & girls and women ages 12 and up.
  • Size 7 (29.5" circumference): For boys and men ages 15 and up.

What are the best basketballs?

  1. Spalding NBA Zi/O
  2. Under Armour Stephen Curry Outdoor
  3. Wilson NCAA Replica
  4. Molten BG3800 Series
  5. Spalding NBA Street
  6. Spalding Street Phantom
  7. Spalding TF-500
  8. NIKE Versa Tack Basketball
  9. Baden Contender
  10. Mikasa BX1000
ImageProductDetails
Spalding NBA Zi/OSpalding NBA Zi/O
  • Price: $34.99
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Brand: Spalding
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Under Armour Stephen Curry OutdoorUnder Armour Stephen Curry OutdoorSee on Amazon
Wilson NCAA ReplicaWilson NCAA Replica
  • Price: $34.95
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Brand: Wilson
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Molten BG3800 SeriesMolten BG3800 Series
  • Price: $34.48
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Molten
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Spalding NBA StreetSpalding NBA Street
  • Price: $17.99
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Brand: Spalding
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Spalding Street PhantomSpalding Street Phantom
  • Price: $19.98
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Brand: Spalding
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Spalding TF-500 BasketballSpalding TF-500
  • Price: $39.99
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Spalding
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Nike Versa Tack BasketballNIKE Versa Tack Basketball
  • Price: $37.15
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Nike
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Baden ContenderBaden Contender
  • Price: $34.95
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Baden
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Mikasa BX1000Mikasa BX-1000
  • Price: $16.65
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Mikasa
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1. Spalding NBA Zi/O

Spalding NBA Zi/O

Specifications:

  • Price: $34.99
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Brand: Spalding

Spalding is regarded as one of the best basketball brands in the world. They have many different unique designs that come in a wide range of prices. The Spalding Zi/O ranks number one on the list because of its revolutionary composite leather design. This design makes the ball reliable for the player, whether they are playing indoor or outdoor basketball.

The composite leather has deep channels which allow for control over the basketball. The material is grippy and resilient. The composite leather has a foam backing which allows for better control when dribbling. The ball comes in the official NBA size (size 7).

Although the ball does not use real leather, the composite leather gives it very similar handling to a real indoor ball. The price is unbeatable at around $30 per ball.

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2. Under Armour Stephen Curry Outdoor

Under Armour Stephen Curry Outdoor

Specifications:

Under Armour does not produce as many basketballs as Spalding or Wilson, but the Under Armour Stephen Curry Outdoor has nearly topped the list. This ball is made of composite material, giving it a similar feel and grip to most basketballs used in an official game.

This ball is popular as it is the exclusive Stephen Curry player ball, one of the NBA's best shooters to ever play the game. The durable rubber cover protects the ball when being used on any surface, an important factor to consider if you mainly play outdoors. The rubber bladder helps provide great air retention for both outdoor and indoor use. This ball is designed for recreational play and is a great option for basketball players at any level. It comes in two size options, youth size and official size, both at an affordable price of under $50.

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3. Wilson NCAA Replica

Wilson NCAA Replica

Specifications:

  • Price: $34.95
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Brand: Wilson

The Wilson NCAA Replica has been a renowned basketball ever since it was named the official ball of the NCAA March Madness Tournament. The ball has a unique design, offering deep channels which are not made from rubber. The channels give the ball a firm grip allowing the ball to easily be palmed. This indoor/outdoor ball is user friendly and many describe the ball as easily controllable when dribbling.

The ball has a high and responsive bounce that dribblers enjoy. The ball has few downsides, one of them being air retention rate. The ball loses air faster than others on the market, and many do not love the patterned cover that the ball has. Although the channels allow for the ball to be picked up easily, some say the patterned cover is a less comfortable feel. The ball is priced low at around $35 making it a very good option for many players.

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4. Molten BG3800 Series

Molten BG3800 Series

Specifications:

  • Price: $34.48
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Molten

The Molten BG3800 Series is a renowned indoor/outdoor basketball both in the United States and Internationally. It is FIBA approved, meeting their quality and dimensional standards. FIBA likes the BG Series so much, in fact, that it is the official game ball of the FIBA World Cup. The ball has a synthetic cover making it comfortable to dribble and easy to grip. Further, a sleek design makes this ball a fantastic option for anyone looking for a ball with maximum performance capabilities.

With this ball being so broadly well liked, and produced by a brand utilized in international competition, a price point of just over $30 is a steal.

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5. Spalding NBA Street

Spalding NBA Street

Specifications:

  • Price: $17.99
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Brand: Spalding

The Spalding NBA Street is considered one of the more basic basketballs on the market. This basketball is intended strictly for outdoor use only. The ball is made of rubber and is one of the more durable balls on the market. The Spalding NBA Street has a consistent bounce making it comfortable for most dribblers. The ball is priced around $13, one of the cheaper balls on the market, and is described as the perfect beginner basketball.

Since the ball is made of a firm rubber cover, it does not have as much grip as others on the market. The rubber coating makes the ball extremely durable giving it the ability to play in all conditions. The channels are deep on this ball giving it a distinct feel. Along with its durability, the Spalding NBA has a high air retention rate making it very reliable for outdoor use.

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6. Spalding Street Phantom

Spalding Street Phantom

Specifications:

  • Price: $19.98
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Brand: Spalding

The Spalding Street Phantom is one of the more unique Spalding brands. It has the deepest channels out of all the outdoor Spalding brands, and the ball is made of similar rubber to the Spalding NBA Street. This ball has circular pebble composition and the ball is described as the most grippy in the realm of outdoor basketballs. In fact, this ball is so grippy that some say it does not have as natural of a feel. The ball only comes in black, making it very visible during a sunny day, but harder to play during a night session of pickup basketball. Since the ball is black, it can get very hot when sitting out in the sun. The Spalding Street Phantom is priced around $20 so it is only a bit more money than the Spalding NBA Street ball. This ball has great air retention rates and bounce responsiveness.

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7. Spalding TF-500

Spalding TF-500 Basketball

Specifications:

  • Price: $39.99
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Spalding

Along with many of the other great Spalding products on the list, the Spalding TF-500 is another great ball. The TF-500 is similar to the Zi/O in size and weight, but the design is slightly different. The ball is less grippy than the Zi/O but has a more distinct feel than the Spalding NBA Street. The ball has a high air retention rate, but it does not have as much bounce as many of the other Spalding balls.

Although the ball is around the same size as the Spalding Zi/O, the cover is much more firm and has less give than the Zi/O. The ball is priced around $30 making it relatively similar to the price range of the Zi/O. The ball is for more experienced players who prefer a more firm feel rather than a cushion feel.

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8. NIKE Versa Tack Basketball

Nike Versa Tack Basketball

Specifications:

  • Price: $37.15
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Nike

Nike is less known for its basketballs compared to brands like Spalding or Wilson, but this ball is designed to feel great in the hand while being as durable as they come. The Nike Versa Track is an indoor/outdoor ball that is made of composite leather, rubber, nylon, and other materials. The ball has incredible shape retention and many players have stated that this ball has lasted more than 5 years of play!

The ball is easy to break in and its wide channels offer stability when dribbling and palming the basketball. The Nike track versa has a soft rubber core and a pebbled surface which give the ball good bounce retention with a controlled feel. The ball is around $25 and its composite leather composition allows it to feel much like the texture of a full leather indoor ball.

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9. Baden Contender

Baden Contender

Specifications:

  • Price: $34.95
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Baden

Baden is another brand with only one product reaching the top ten basketballs. The Baden Contender is an indoor/outdoor basketball which is well known for its comfortable feel. This ball is much harder than the feel of the Spalding NBA Street, as it has large pebbles on the cover making it feel comfortable in the palm. The ball has very high air retention and many players say that the Baden Contender has a balanced bounce making it very controllable.

Although the ball has a great feel due to the large pebble cover, the ball is less grippy than most of the balls listed here. Players who are experienced may find it easier to grip the ball off of the dribble than players who are younger or players with smaller hands. The ball is priced around $30.

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10. Mikasa BX1000

Mikasa BX1000

Specifications:

  • Price: $16.65
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Mikasa

The Mikasa BX-1000 is described as being a fairly basic basketball with less technological features for experienced players. The ball is priced around $15 and is perfect for beginners, or kids who are playing ball at home. The ball is one of the smaller standard size balls in circumference, but it is also one of the heavier balls. It is strictly meant for outdoor use and the ball is relatively durable.

This ball has very shallow channels, making it harder to pick up and hold onto. The ball is made of hard rubber and the standard pebble cover is less grippy than many of the other basketballs listed. Its low price makes it a budget basketball, but even so, it does not compare to the Spalding NBA Street which is the same price and intended for the same purpose.

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FAQ

What are the best basketballs?

Basketballs are very different when it comes to size, grip, bounce and durability. Each ball may be constructed of different materials such as leather, composite leather, rubber, or nylon. Through each of these factors, basketballs may all serve a different purpose for the player. The best basketball is the one that best suits the player's needs. For example, one player may value a grippy basketball while others may value a ball which is durable under harsh conditions.

Are Spalding or Wilson basketballs better?

Spalding is the official ball provider to the NBA and the brand is ranked better than Wilson; although, Wilson is second by a small margin. Spalding is known for its revolutionary composite leather designs as Wilson focuses more on its grip. Both brands have very durable basketballs that are priced in the same range. The brand with the better ball can simply be decided based on the customers purchasing decisions of size, grip, bounce, and durability.

Which basketball is best for outdoor use?

The best basketball for outdoor use is the Spalding Zi/O. The Spalding Zi/O ranks number one on the list because of its revolutionary composite leather design. This design makes the ball reliable for the player, whether they are playing indoor or outside basketball. The ball mimics the feel of the Official Spalding NBA basketball. It is priced at around $30.