We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

The Best Footballs to Throw Around

  1. Spalding Advance Pro Pee Wee Football
  2. Wilson K2 Composite Football
  3. Under Armour 495 Composite Football
  4. Wilson TDJ Composite Football
  5. Nike Vapor Strike Football
  6. Wilson F1100 Official NFL Leather Football
  7. Spalding J5V Advance Composite Leather Ball
  8. Wilson GST Leather Game Football
  9. Spalding Alpha Leather Football
  10. Nike Vapor One 2.0 Official Leather Football
  11. Buyer's Guide

Of all of the pieces of equipment used to play and trained for the game of football, the ball itself may be the most critical. While choosing a football may seem like a relatively easy task there are a number of features that may help one ball stand out above the rest.

Whether you are in high school, college or you are just starting out with the game see our detailed lists below to find the best football in 2022 for your level of play.

What is the best football of 2022?

Spalding Advance Pro Pee Wee Football - Best Football Overall

With the Pop Warner Mitey Mite Spalding has created a ball that looks, feels and plays like a traditional pro “pigskin” but that is actually made from a highly durable composite. That composite coating results in improved grip, which means better passes, more exciting catches and fewer fumbles during the big game. The Mitey Might also features a water resistant liner and a tough 4-ply TPU bladder for maximum air retention and durability. This ball will hold up well during game after game after game, regardless of field or weather conditions. If you want a better, more exciting game on the field you want the Spalding Pop Warner Mitey Mite in your player’s hands.

Wilson K2 Composite Football - Runner Up

Super easy grip and a durable coating and stitch structure are the primary features that help this youth football stand out from the crowd. The Wilson K2 PeeWee Game Football’s rugged composite leather covering and easy grip stripes and pebbled laces make it an absolute dream for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. This ball also boasts a tough butyl bladder for maximum air retention and durability. This certainly isn’t a ball that you will need to pump up after every few sets of downs. This ball is affordable, durable, easy to control and perfect for any game day condition.

Under Armour 495 Composite Football - Honorable Mention

Under Armour has been making high quality football equipment for adults and youths for years and their 595 series youth football continues the tradition. This is an upgrade to earlier versions of their youth football, which were excellent efforts themselves. The Under Armour 595 starts out with improved grip in mind. This incredible ball features an ultra high quality composite leather covering and laces that were crafted to improve both grip for throwing and ball control. The 595 also features a rugged liner to prevent air loss and to ensure that it will hold shape play after play during the roughest of games.

Wilson TDJ Composite Football - Consider

The Wilson TDJ is constructed from Wilson leather which resonates the feel of traditional game play – only better. This superior quality youth football has a super deep pebble grain and Wilson’s own Accurate Control Lacing System which both work to dramatically improve grip and ball control. The Wilson TDJ also features the added advantage of Grip Stripes which help players to hang onto the ball better in any game condition. Wilson has also worked to improve the overall texture of the ball which increase comfort during runs from scrimmage or runs after the catch. In short, the TDJ has an exceptional feel which translates into improved play on the field.

Nike Vapor Strike Football - Best Youth Football

Nike is one of the most popular names in just about every facet of sports because they produce quality products. The Spiral Tech 1000 Youth Football is a perfect example of everything that Nike does well. This solid youth football is designed to allow for stronger, farther and more accurate throws. Quarterbacks can easily target receivers downfield with this ball and the enhanced grip of the high quality composite leather cover make for easier catches. The Spiral Tech 1000 is durable, holds air and shape well and makes for improved play in all weather conditions.

Wilson F1100 Official NFL Leather Football - Best Football Overall

You can’t get much closer to what the pros actually use on the field than the Wilson F1100 – probably because this happens to be the official ball of the NFL. This ultra high quality effort from Wilson is produced with the perfect texture for improved grip making it easier to throw and catch – even if you weren’t drafted by your favorite club coming out of college. The Wilson F1100 is built to last with a 3-ply bladder to all but eliminate the possibility of leaks or pops under normal playing conditions. This beautifully crafted ball also features a durable leather cover with double lacing to ensure that it will last for seasons to come. If you want to put together a game of flag, rough touch or tackle on the weekends you might want to make the Wilson F1100 your official game ball as well.

Spalding J5V Advance Composite Leather Ball - Best Football Overall

Spalding made every effort to give the Wilson F1100 a run for their money at the top spot with this high quality football. The Spalding J5V starts with a highly durable 4-ply TPU bladder that ensures the best air retention. This is not a ball that you will have to re-fill at half time, no matter how hard you play. Follow up that rugged bladder with a 2-ply liner and an ultra high quality composite leather cover and you’ve got a ball that plays well on any surface and in any weather condition. The J5V also features excellent grip with make throwing and passing a breeze, even if gloves and stickum aren’t part of your repertoire.

Wilson GST Leather Game Football - Best Football Overall

Looking for a professional quality football, without the professional sized price tag? The GST from Wilson has all of the features you want in a football – great grip, durable cover, heavy duty bladder, without the cost associated with a pro level ball. An added feature I really liked from the Wilson GST was the textured, pebbled composite laces. This really improves the already solid grip to allow for easier passing and tighter spirals. The GST works well on all surfaces and in all playing conditions while managing to fit well into some tighter budgets.

Spalding Alpha Leather Football - Best Football Overall

The Spalding Never Flat aims to eliminate one of the most aggravating things for the sports equipment owner. The new pressure tension technology that goes into the Never Flat’s new membrane ensures that this ball will stay inflated up to 10 times longer than other balls on the market. This means that you’ll have more time to play while other armchair quarterbacks are frantically hunting for pumps and needles to refill their footballs. In addition to the incredible air retention, the Never Flat also has good grip and high durability. This ball performs well in just about any condition and will always be ready to play when you are.

Nike Vapor One 2.0 Official Leather Football - Best Football Overall

High school football is a serious competitive sport that paves the way for the athletes who will ultimately become NFL stars. It should come as no surprise that the official ball of high school football, the Nike Spiral, would end up on our list of best footballs. The Nike Spiral has undergone a few changes over the years and all seem to be for the best. This new incarnation features excellent grip to improve both passing and catching. This ball helps you throw a tighter spiral for improved accuracy and better game play. This ball is easy to control, highly durable and a real pleasure to use in all conditions.

Buyer's Guide

Meta Description

If you are a football lover looking to buy a new one, this buyer's guide is for you. We have tried to answer all your queries here.

Best Footballs Buyer's Guide

When it comes to footballs, there are so many alternatives that it's easy to become overwhelmed when deciding which ball is best for your business, club, or event. What's the difference between the two? You say, "It's just a ball!" If you choose the wrong type of football, though, your training sessions, matches, product giveaways, and promotions may disappoint. So, which football is the best fit for you? This fast guide was created to assist you in exploring your options!

What material is used to make footballs?

What your football is composed of, starting with the outermost layer, can greatly impact its value and longevity. Foam, rubber (synthetic leather), and genuine leather are the most common football materials. Each one has unique properties that cater to different purposes, allowing everyone to have fun throwing the old pigskin around.


Foam footballs are inexpensive and lightweight. They're ideal for young children starting to toss and catch, as well as for more limited locations, such as a small yard near windows or between vehicles at a tailgate. Foam footballs are not as enduring as rubber or leather footballs, but they are nevertheless popular among fans because of their low cost and ease of replacement.

Genuine leather

Genuine leather footballs are considered to be of the greatest quality. These footballs have an inherent tackiness due to the tanning method used to treat the leather, making them extremely easy to grip when dry. Genuine leather footballs are also the most durable alternative, but their toughness comes at a premium cost. The majority of leather footballs should be kept for game or practice use only.

Rubber or Synthetic Leather

Rubber and synthetic leather choices are wonderful choices for athletes searching for a durable, effective football without breaking the bank. These materials are far more durable than foam and considerably less expensive than genuine leather. The outside texture has been designed to improve grip, making these footballs an excellent choice for practice. Rubber and synthetic leather are also more moisture-resistant than genuine leather, so footballs won't bloat if left outside in bad weather.

What are the sizes of football available in the market?

There are a few possibilities when it comes to selecting the appropriate football size. While you should consider the thrower's hand size, the simplest way to figure out which size football is optimal is to look at the average age of the players. The majority of footballs are categorized for use in one of four age groups into which leagues are often divided:

  • Pee Wee Footballs are suitable for children aged 6 to 9.
  • Junior Footballs are recommended for athletes aged 9 to 12.
  • Youth Footballs are recommended for players aged 12 to 14.
  • Footballs that are officially licensed are ideal for players aged 14 and up.
  • At the collegiate and professional levels, official footballs are also approved.

What are the types of footballs available in the market?

Match balls

A PU material will most likely be used to make these. PU, despite its high cost, offers the best level of playability and match-day performance.

Vulcanized rubber footballs

Due to their high wear qualities, they're ideal for football training or matches on concrete or other extremely tough surfaces. However, the increased durability of this football results in a loss in playability.

Training footballs

These are designed to be consistent, long-lasting, and low-maintenance. As a result, TPU and PVC footballs are commonly used. TPU is frequently backed with soft foam, which provides excellent soft-touch capabilities and helps players maintain control. On the other hand, PVC is more difficult to handle but provides greater longevity, making it a better choice for lower-quality pitches (particularly sand-based astroturf).

What is the price range of a decent football?

If you want to play with the greatest in the game and use the premium footballs that the pros use at the highest level, expect to pay between £70 and £130 for a single ball. Match balls that are less expensive range from £25 to £50. Training balls are much less expensive, and a good one should cost no more than £20. In reality, nice ones may be bought for less than £10.

Footballs can be found for a few pennies, but they tend to rupture frequently enough that spending £5 to £8 on a stronger ball is a wise investment. Specialist footballs, such as futsal, indoor, and beach balls, are pricier; anticipate paying between £20 and £30 for a ball, and possibly a bit more if you obtain an official one.

What are the different types of stitching of footballs?

Believe it or not, there are multiple ways to sew a football, and the way it's stitched has an impact on its playability and, as a result, your performance.

Hand-stitched football

Hand stitching the ball is the most traditional approach. Hand stitching has two major advantages: the seams are substantially deeper, resulting in higher aerodynamic stability, and the stitches are shielded from wear. Furthermore, these stitches provide more strain to the ball's surface than a machine stitch, providing more power. However, because this is a more expensive technique of production, balls will normally be more expensive.

Machine stitched football

Machine-stitching is used on the majority of footballs. Because this is the simplest and most cost-effective method, it's commonly found on training balls and other low-cost solutions. The stitch is firm and regular, although it is visible. It's also quite shallow, and as a result, it's not very useful in terms of performance.

Joining of footballs

Nevertheless, as technology has progressed, the third form of 'stitching' has emerged, which entails linking each football panel. Stitching footballs with this method is gradually becoming a popular choice. The new process enables the panels to be stitched together before being welded together, resulting in a more sturdy and playable football.

Best Football FAQs

Q: In football, what kind of material is used?
A: Footballs are nowadays inflated rubber balls with a prolate spheroid form. Cowhide or pebbled leather is used to cover them. The ball's distinctive shape allows for irregular bounces and makes it more difficult to catch, adding to the game's difficulty.

Q: In football, which bladder is the best?
A: Most professional players choose latex bladders because they are softer. Butyl bladders are substantially more difficult to use since they have a larger air retention capacity. This implies they don't have to be reflated as frequently as latex bladder balls.

Q: What is the weight of the football?
A: At its broadest point, a regulation football is 28–30 cm (11–12 in) long and 58–62 cm (23–24 in) wide. It is inflated to 65.7–68.8 kPa (9.5–10.0 psi) and weighs 410–460 g (14–16 oz).

bestcovery team.jpg
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
Related Content
Go to top