The 5 Best Indoor Basketballs: Reviews and Buying Guide

Playing basketball is all about getting the upper hand over the opponent. You want to be the best player who scores the most, runs the fastest and lasts the longest on the court. Likewise, you want only the best indoor basketball to help you get the most of each game.

Like all good consumers, you want a product that is the most efficient, lasts the longest and is sold at the most affordable price. In most cases, you’ll find a product that achieves two out of three of those objectives. Most sports manufacturers make good basketballs, but only a handful make the best indoor basketball: one that is efficient, durable and affordable.

Every ball manufacturer out there will tell you that their product is the best. Every company will say that they provide the best quality and variety of products. It’s your duty to do the research yourself and decide which indoor basketball truly is the best.

Reviews: The Top 5 Basketballs for the Money

Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball by Baden

Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball - Size 6 (28.5")
  • ELITE - Baden's Elite basketball with a moisture grip gives you superior ball control throughout your game
  • DESIGN - The Elite's proprietary composite microfiber cover provides superior grip and tack for optimum basketball control. Its patented Cushion Control Technology (CCT) creates a softer feel, truer bounce, and longer life
  • PERFECTION - The Elite's Perfection Symmetrical design was engineered to provide a perfectly balanced ball and its smooth rounded edges ensure you won't feel lumps or get inconsistent bounces
  • ADVANTAGE - This is a basketball that you can trust from the inside out. Whether you're putting in hours practicing your free throws, passes, or draining three's, this ball will help you reach your full potential on the court
  • AVAILABLE - Intermediate Size 6 (28.5") and Official Size 7 (29.5"), NFHS Approved and Ships Fully inflated

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features:

  • Perfect, round symmetry
  • Natural leather feel
  • Composite microfiber cover
  • Moisture grip
  • Cushion Control Technology
  • Specially made for indoor play
  • Standard in the NBA and WNBA
  • Trusted by the AAU, NFHS, and many high school/college associations

The ball is available in the standard size 6 or 7, also known as 28.5” or 29.5”, respectively. Both sizes are used in the NBA, WNBA and many college basketball leagues, making the ball ideal for any user who plans on becoming a professional athlete.

The Baden ball looks professional and high quality in its appearance, making it the ideal gift for a basketball beginner or an Olympic-style athlete. The ball is perfectly round with the traditional orange color dye and the brand logo on the front. The microfiber surface supports a strong grip, even on sweaty hands, and the cushioning allows the ball to rest comfortably in your hands. When you buy, you get a fully inflated ball without any dents or bumps.

Baden has spent years on perfecting its Elite line of products. The ball is specifically designed for indoor players who need superior grip control and consistency. The ball remains the same shape, size and color after decades of use. It retains the same bounce quality, no matter how fast or how hard it’s thrown.

Spalding NBA Zi O Indoor – Outdoor Basketball

Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball - Official Size 7 (29.5")
  • Official NBA size and weight: Size 7, 29.5"
  • Zi/O Tournament composite cover
  • Shipped inflated and game-ready
  • Designed for indoor and outdoor play
  • Recommended inflation is 8 PSI

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features:

  • The official size 7 of the NBA basketball
  • Composite cover with Zi/O logo
  • Soft foam lining for enhanced grip
  • Made for indoor and outdoor courts

The Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball is designed for use by professional athletes and weekend hobbyists alike. Its 29.5″ size and composite leather cover ensures that players always maintain a steady grip as they pass, dribble and throw. The professional, high-quality appearance makes people believe that the ball can be used on any court.

The Zi/O basketball is designed for playing inside of gyms or on the streets. The ball resists any damage that is caused by it constantly being rained on, snowed on, thrown hard or kicked around. For its quality and durability, it’s also one of the most affordable options for NBA approved products.

Many ball owners complain about their balls getting worn down after a few years. Owners of the Zi/O design claim that the ball lasts for 20 up to 50 years, maintaining a high level of firmness and bounce. Other than needing to be inflated now and then, the ball does not need to be replaced and requires minimal maintenance.

Wilson Evolution Indoor Game Basketball by Wilson

Sale
Wilson Evolution Indoor Game Basketball, Official (29.5") - Black
  • Buy an Evolution and receive a free 1-month subrscription trial of HomeCourt Pro. HomeCourt's proprietary Shot Science technology provides meaningful insights for every shot you take.
  • Check your email for instructions on how to redeem your free month of HomeCourt Pro. You'll receive your unique promo code via email, then head to HomeCourt.ai/Wilson to redeem your code.
  • Evo Microfiber Composite - Best combination of grip and durability
  • Laid In Composite Channels provide unparalleled control
  • Cushion Core Carcass allows a softer feel that's easier to grip and touch around the rim

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features:

  • Official NBA size: 29.5″
  • Advanced microfiber / composite leather cover
  • Micro-pebble design and laid-in channels for superior grip
  • Softer touch with Cushion Core Carcass
  • Designed for indoor use
  • Several logo colors

The Wilson Evolution Indoor Game Basketball is an online bestseller from a brand of products that are used in countless high schools and colleges across the U.S. Evolution is one of the highest selling basketballs in the country that is trusted for its superior design and enhanced functions.

Some people complain about their basketballs being easy to grip but too hard to touch. There are also concerns about the slippery touch when players’ hands get sweaty. Evolution is made with a tough leather exterior and a softer cushion lining that improves its grip and the player’s handling. On a scale of 1 to 10, most buyers rank the ball at 9 or 10 for grip, durability and feel.

The other sizes available are 28.5″, the official size of the WNBA, and 27.5″ for youths. Not all balls are made with the ideal specifications, but the Wilson Evolution meets the highest standards for size and weight requirements. The color choices make it easier to distinguish among different balls, too.

Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball by Wilson

Sale
Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball (29.5-Inch)
  • Wilson is the official basketball of the NCAA Championships and March Madness
  • Patented laid-in channels deliver unmatched gripability and ball control
  • Cushion Core Technology offers an exceptional feel and more consistent bounce
  • Designed for Indoor and Outdoor Play
  • Replica of the NCAA Official Game Basketball

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features:

  • Composite leather cover
  • Laid-in channels and moisture-resistant material for superior grip control
  • Cushion Core Technology for softer feel
  • Made for indoor/outdoor playing
  • Replica of the basketball used in NCAA games

Wilson is the official representative of basketballs that appear in the NCAA Championships and March Madness tournaments. The Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball is an exact replica of the balls that are used in national games and handled by some of the best players in the world.

It’s a favorite for players with all levels of experience who want a competitive edge. Wilson offers a full range of products for people who are interested in NCAA championships and tournaments. Additionally, the Replica is a good starter ball for beginners in junior high and high school.

The NCAA Replica is popular, so find it in a wide range of affordable new and used prices. It’s known as effective yet more affordable than many other balls in the Wilson product lines.

The ball is specified for indoor or outdoor usage, which means that its materials are tough and long lasting. Some people use the ball mostly outdoors, but find that the ball remains just as strong and productive when they step indoors.

Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball, FIBA Approved – BGMX

Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball, FIBA Approved - BGMX
  • FIBA Approved
  • Indoor/ Outdoor Synthetic Cover
  • Butyl Bladder
  • Signature 12 Panel Design
  • 1- Year Warranty

Last update on 2018-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features:

  • Synthetic leather cover
  • Indoor/outdoor design
  • Official 29.5″ size for professional-level playing
  • Junior, intermediate sizes
  • Approved by The International Basketball Federation (FIBA)

Molten is the official representative of the FIBA, which sponsors international competitors in basketball. The BGMX is part of the Molten X-Series that supports players of all ages and levels of experience. Whether they want to play indoors or outdoors, their X-Series balls are made of high-quality leather materials that provide superior grip control for passing and shooting with ease.

The material is also flexible, making it easier to inflate when needed and allowing it to bounce high on the court. The ball retains air while the cover retains moisture so that ball remains durable for many years.

The pebbling design ensures that players sweat without losing grip of the ball. In rainy or muddy conditions, they can play for hours without worrying about slippage. The extra panels make it easier to grab and hold onto. The 12-panel design by Giugiaro alternates several colors, which makes the ball visible at a far distance. The X-Series look is professional and distinctive among balls made by other brands.

Buying Guide: Product Features

Indoor vs. Outdoor Courts

If you are an avid athlete, you’ll notice that indoor playing fields are not the same as outdoor ones. The differences between an indoor and outdoor surface is why you need to focus on buying the best indoor basketball. An outdoor field is more rugged and broken down by rain, ice or other natural elements. You could find yourself bouncing a basketball on an outdoor court that is covered in large, jagged cracks. You may choose to play indoors instead where you’ll glide along on a sleek, freshly waxed indoor court.

Ball Materials

The type of material determines the strength of your grip on the ball. Indoor basketballs are made in several materials, including rubber, but the most common one is full grain leather. Leather works ideally for indoor playing because it is rough and resists the sleek, waxed floor surface. The ball also must be easy to hold on to and pass along, which is not possible if the ball is too slippery.

There are different types of leather to consider, such as synthetic, genuine and composite leather. Split grain leather is found in cheap upholstery and is not as superior as full grain. Synthetic or composite leather are close to the same quality as genuine leather; however, synthetic leather is more durable and preferred for use on outdoor courts. Balls that are used in the NBA are made of genuine leather, dyed and coated with polyurethane finishes.

Sizes

When you look at basketballs, you assume that they all come in the same sizes. Stick with the standard size of an indoor basketball. By comparison, the NBA and most men’s college basketball associations set the circumference size at 29.5 inches.

Moisture Resistance

A high-quality ball absorbs as much sweat as possible from you and all of the other players. Sweat on the palms of hands can easily rub off onto the material, making the ball slippery. A basketball is not much use to any player if no one can hold onto it. As mentioned before, leather is the ideal material that is tough and absorbs moisture, allowing the player to maintain a firm grip on the ball.

Look for other features that support moisture resistance. The surface of a good resistant ball is not entirely smooth and sleek. Look for wedges that support the grip of the players’ fingers.

Inflation

Like drivers and bicyclists who inflate their tires regularly, basketball players should provide sufficient air in their balls. They may think that this is only necessary if they play on rough outdoor surfaces where cracks and rocks could puncture the ball. They don’t also consider that, whether they play indoors or outdoors, many other people are touching the ball, pressing against it and releasing its air.

You want a properly inflated ball that is round and hard. Pressing your hands against the ball is the best way to test its inflation. Remember to maintain the ball regularly. The number of times that the ball is used is a factor that determines the amount of inflation it needs.

Durability

The material affects how long the ball lasts in all conditions. Technology has advanced significantly since the beginning days of sports. It’s not just athletic clothes and shoes that have advanced – basketballs are now made to last for decades after constant usage. Balls are made to resist moisture, resist damage and retain air for as long as possible. Ball owners don’t have to worry about their balls being deflated, cracked, etc.

Pricing

Evaluate the average pricing range for standard-sized basketballs in good condition. It’s recommended that you buy in good or new condition and include the frequency that you plan to use the ball. Consider your budget but do not go for too affordable prices. Expect to pay more for high-quality leather that lasts for decades.

Suggestions for Players

It’s important that players think about the whole package. In addition to buying the right basketball, consider other factors that affect the quality of your playing. These include having the right shoes and clothing along with the right playing skills. All of these factors affect your game, so its not just about choosing the right best indoor basketball.

Do more than just press your hands against the ball to test its firmness. Test how well the ball bounces on the court and how high it goes up. Pass the ball around to friends and see how well they maintain their grip. Every new ball needs to be broken in before it’s used.

Best Basketball Brands

When people want to buy basketballs, Spalding is the name brand that they see often. Making basketballs is their best known signature. In operation for over 140 years, they are the largest company to supply basketballs and related gear. Wilson is another name brand that is seen on several of the top-selling basketballs in the world. They make official balls for the FIBA and NCAA.

Baden has manufactured professional-level basketballs since 1979. Their company started from the owner’s dissatisfaction with low-quality balls and now Baden has become a household name alongside Wilson and Spalding. Their popular, bestselling lines include Elite, Element, Contender and SkilCoach basketballs for coaches, professional college athletes and high school players.

Molten is an FIBA sponsor that makes basketballs for the FIBA and numerous leagues, including Euroleague. After more than 50 years, they’ve become of the world’s largest suppliers of balls and sporting gear. Likewise, Nike is a well-known supplier of sporting goods that is a favorite brand for countless basketball players. For more than 50 years, they have worked as sponsors to provide basketballs for players in the NBA and WNBA. Nike also sponsors individual players, such as Michael Jordan, and makes a wide range of basketball gear.

FAQs

Does it matter if the ball is designed for indoor play?

It is important because indoor and outdoor playing fields are different. Indoor balls are made from full grain leather that supports a strong grip. Since indoor courts are less harsh than outdoor ones, these balls are usually softer with more cushioning and fewer resistance materials.

On the other hand, indoor courts are very similar to outdoor ones because a lot of basketballs are designed for both types of environments. Look for a label with “for indoor/outdoor use” to see if it’s safe to play the ball outside.

In addition, know that some companies make so-called indoor/outdoor balls when they’re really suitable only for indoor use. Playing the ball on concrete courts could damage the ball quickly.

How much do the product reviews matter?

Product reviews of basketballs matter a great deal. People are more likely to buy products that have the most reviews with the highest ratings. The most popular balls are the most reliable and durable.

However, you should not rely solely on reviews to make a buying decision. Consider other factors like the design, materials, appearance, price and warranty.

Should I buy a basketball fully inflated or deflated?

This is mainly based on the buyer’s preference. However, a ball that is not pumped upon delivery is a major inconvenience for many buyers. The ones who do pump may complain about creases that are difficult to get out. Be sure to read the product description before buying to see if it’s inflated or deflated.

What is the difference between a men’s ball and a women’s ball?

The biggest difference between a regulation ball for men and women is size. The standard circumference for a woman’s ball is 28.5 inches, while the standard circumference for a men’s ball is 29.5 inches. There are also smaller balls for children that come in various sizes, but the men and women sizes mentioned above are the two standards used in the NBA, WNBA, and NCAA.

Conclusion

Wilson Evolution Indoor Game Basketball is an ideal choice for basketball players due to its popularity, size, appearance and name value. For beginners, it’s good that they start out with a reliable ball. Experienced athletes need a professional, top-quality ball that they can use anywhere and at any time without it breaking down. The Evolution basketball is very popular with thousands of reviews online, making it one of the most trusted balls for many people.

The best indoor basketball is a combination of different features and benefits. What one buyer sees as the best is second best for another. Even so, all of the balls are similar in appearance and may vary slightly in color and design. These balls are hard but not too hard and built with channels for a strong grip. Ideally, the materials are thick to prevent punctures and deflation, making the ball good for long-term use. The price must fit the quality without being too expensive or too cheap.

Put all of these factors together as you look for the ideal indoor basketball. Make a chart of different brands, product lines and specific products, if it helps. Know what you need and want before investing in the right product.

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