Best Footballs Reviewed & Rated for Quality

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Wilson NFL MVP
Test Winner: Wilson NFL MVP
Amazon Link
Every weekend in the fall, millions of viewers tune in to watch professionals, colleges and high schools play the most popular sport in America, football. It’s not only fun to watch, but it’s also a great sport to play by men and women of all ages. In order to play the game, you will need one critically item, that is none other than the football itself!

Footballs are sold in different sizes and can be made with different materials. Because not everyone is playing at a professional level, it’s important that you get the right type of ball so that you can enjoy the game. Younger players may need smaller and softer balls, while more experienced players are looking for official sized equipment. Our list includes a little of everything, allowing you to find the perfect match for your needs!

Standout Picks

Wilson NFL MVP
If you want to play like an MVP, then you need a ball that's made for MVPs. This is why Wilson offers a ball that is perfect for players of all ages. You can get this ball in any size depending on the age of the player so that it fits great in your hands. The tacky surface also makes it easy to grip.
Amazon Link
$10.99
Wilson Super Grip
Wilson is a great brand for anyone who is looking for a well-made ball. This one is made of a composite leather that has a true NFL like feel to it so that you can play the game just the way the professionals do. It's an official sized ball but you can also purchase it in a junior option as well.
Amazon Link
$17.99
Rawlings Gridiron
There isn't anything that says that the ball has to be brown. Rawlings offers a junior sized ball for youth players that can be customized with your favorite NFL team's colors and logo. This allows you to pick out a ball that best reflects your team preference so that you can show others how big of a fan that you are.
Amazon Link
$14.99
Wilson The Duke
This ball is a tribute to the "The Duke" Mara. It's a premium ball that conforms to the exact specifications of an official game ball for the National Football League. This makes it a great collector's item or a great item to play ball with. You will love the true leather cover that gives you a professional grip on the ball and the look it.
Amazon Link
$199.99
GlowCity LED
Sometimes it's fun to play football when it's dark out. The problem is that you will have trouble seeing the ball which is why this ball from GlowCity is a great choice for such situations. This ball lights up so that you can see it in the dark. You will love the quality of the ball since it's durable and long-lasting.
Amazon Link
$24.95
K2 Game Time
Tossing the old pig skin around has become the norm across the country as football becomes the most popular sport in the United States. If you are a real fan, then having an official size ball with your favorite team logo on it may be something that you desire. K2 makes a number of high-quality sports equipment, and this model is no exception.
Amazon Link
$22.85
Wilson GST NCAA
Wilson is a great brand for anyone who is looking for a well-made ball. This one is made of a composite leather that has a true NFL like feel to it so that you can play the game just the way the professionals do. It's an official sized ball but you can also purchase it in a junior option as well.
Amazon Link
$84.70
COOP Hydro
Football isn't only played on the field. Sometimes it's fun to have a ball that you can take to the lake, pool or the beach. This ball is completely waterproof so it's the perfect thing to bring along for such situations. It's suitable for all ages so that the entire family can join into a game of catch or similar pool games.
Amazon Link
$12.99
Franklin Sports Grip
Anyone who plays football knows how important it is for you to be able to maintain a firm grip on the ball. That's why this grip rite ball has been designed so that you can hold the ball without it slipping. You will love how easy it fits into your hand so that you can catch and throw it with ease.
Amazon Link
$13.49
Nerf Pro Grip
This is a great ball for young people as well as adults. It fits in your hand perfectly and it has excellent laces so that you can get the perfect spiral when you throw it. The ball is strong and durable which makes it well suited for when you are playing hard and in tough conditions. This is a great ball for a great game.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Footballs are generally made of four different materials. Those four materials are leather, rubber, foam, and composite. All of the different materials have their pluses and minuses so you will want to know about them prior to purchasing a ball so that you get a ball that makes sense for your situations. Out of all the materials, only leather is used by the NFL so these should be considered to be the best footballs. Leather footballs require a special process where the hide is tanned so that it’s easy to grip rather than being smooth. You are going to need to condition the leather on a regular basis and let them air out if they get wet. This kind of ball should never be used in the pool.

A composite ball is one that is made with fake leather. They cost less and are more durable than a football that is made of leather so they do not require as much maintenance as a leather football. Composite is one of the most popular materials used to make footballs and is what most people are familiar with. Rubber is the other option that many people see. Typically, rubber is used in lower cost footballs as it costs less than leather. Rubber is a great choice for the water and rainy weather but it can be slippery and hard to grip.

The final material is foam. Foam is perfect for playing the backyard but it’s almost never used in league play. It’s great because it’s forgiving and soft so it’s perfect for children and to use in the pool. If you need something that is inexpensive and fun to have, then foam is a great choice.

Size

When you are picking out a football, you are going to have three different size and weight options. The first size is the official size that is used by the NFL and other similar football leagues. There is also a junior size and finally the PeeWee size. You may also see other sizes when you are looking at foam footballs or football-shaped toys but these are the common sizes that are available.

The largest size is usually sold as an “official” size but this can be misleading as the word “official” generally leads people to believe that the ball is made to NFL specifications. This is not the case however so you need to look at the construction, size, and weight of the ball in order to determine if it’s truly official or not. When you see a ball that is labeled as an “official” sized ball, you can figure that it’s intended to be used by people who are over the age of fourteen.

Junior is the next smaller sized football and is more properly named. This is a ball that is smaller than the official sized football but is larger than the PeeWee sized ball. A junior sized ball is suitable for children who are between the ages of 9 and 14 years old. It’s slightly smaller size makes it easier for people in this age group to grip and throw it. The smallest size is PeeWee size. Its small size makes it great for children under the age of 9. Whenever you are picking out a ball, you will want to look at the size and make sure it’s proper for the intended user of the football.

Value

Quality is important because it’s going to determine how long the ball will last and how well you can play with it. There are three common complaints that people tend to have when it comes to low quality in a football. The first complaint is that the ball leaks air. Many poorly constructed balls develop an air leak after they have been played with for a while and the ball will continue to go flat. You can attempt to eliminate this problem by looking for foam balls that do not have air, or by getting a premium leather or composite ball. A better-constructed ball will have a stronger air bladder that is less likely to develop leaks.

Another common complaint about footballs is that they can be hard to grip. It’s important to be able to grip the ball since this is going to affect how likely you are to fumble or how well you can catch or throw the ball. A well-made ball has a tacky surface and you can easily feel the ball with your hands to see how well you can hold onto it. When you are shopping for a ball, you will want to test it out to make sure that you can grip it properly.

The final complaint comes from the ball falling apart prematurely. This is usually an issue of low-quality rubber or foam and poor stitching in composite or leather. In the case of rubber and foam, the material dries out and starts to develop cracks and will break. Leather and composite see the stitches start to come undone which causes the ball to fall apart. Once again, proper care and a premium product will normally address these quality issues.

BEST FOOTBALLS REVIEWED & RATED FOR QUALITY

1. Wilson NFL MVP

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$10.99
Wilson NFL MVP
Amazon Link

If you want to play like an MVP, then you need a ball that's made for MVPs. This is why Wilson offers a ball that is perfect for players of all ages. You can get this ball in any size depending on the age of the player so that it fits great in your hands. The tacky surface also makes it easy to grip.

Butyl Bladder

The air bladder is made of Butyl rubber. This will help the ball retain air even when you are playing your hardest so that you won't have to worry about any leaks.

Size Options

The ball is sold in three different size options. The official sized ball is for adults, then there are also junior and PeeWee size options as well so that players of all ages can use this ball.

Cost and Value

You can get this item at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price turns it into a great value since it's a well-made ball.

Amazon Link
$10.99

2. Wilson Super Grip

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$17.99
Wilson Super Grip
Amazon Link

Wilson is a great brand for anyone who is looking for a well-made ball. This one is made of a composite leather that has a true NFL like feel to it so that you can play the game just the way the professionals do. It's an official sized ball but you can also purchase it in a junior option as well.

Leather

The ball is made of a composite leather that will give you a great grip so that you can hold onto it. The cover is synthetic so that the ball lasts longer.

Size Options

You can purchase this item in the official NFL size or it can also be purchased in the junior size. The official size is perfect for anyone over the age of 14.

Cost and Value

You can get this ball for an average price which makes it into an excellent value. It's a well-made ball that won't require you to pay a premium to get it.

Amazon Link
$17.99

3. Rawlings Gridiron

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$14.99
Rawlings Gridiron
Amazon Link

There isn't anything that says that the ball has to be brown. Rawlings offers a junior sized ball for youth players that can be customized with your favorite NFL team's colors and logo. This allows you to pick out a ball that best reflects your team preference so that you can show others how big of a fan that you are.

Rubber

The ball is made of rubber which will help it hold air, bounce better, and makes it lighter weight as well. This allows younger players to get more enjoyment out of the game.

Team Logos

The ball can be customized with any NFL team franchise colors and logos. This lets you show other which team is your favorite and allows you to personalize the ball.

Cost and Value

You can purchase this item at a price that is slightly lower than the average price. The lower price is due to it being a junior sized ball which costs less to make.

Amazon Link
$14.99

4. Wilson The Duke

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$199.99
Wilson The Duke
Amazon Link

This ball is a tribute to the "The Duke" Mara. It's a premium ball that conforms to the exact specifications of an official game ball for the National Football League. This makes it a great collector's item or a great item to play ball with. You will love the true leather cover that gives you a professional grip on the ball and the look it.

Game Ball

The ball is an official National Football League game ball. It conforms to the size and the weight specifications that the NFL requires so you will have a truly professional feel with it.

Leather Cover

Most balls are made with rubber or synthetic material that is used to cover the ball. This one is made with real leather so that it has the same feel as an NFL ball.

Cost and Value

You will need to plan on spending a price that is well above the average for this ball. It's an authentic National Football League ball so it's well made and crafted for professional use.

Amazon Link
$199.99

5. GlowCity LED

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$24.95
GlowCity LED
Amazon Link

Sometimes it's fun to play football when it's dark out. The problem is that you will have trouble seeing the ball which is why this ball from GlowCity is a great choice for such situations. This ball lights up so that you can see it in the dark. You will love the quality of the ball since it's durable and long-lasting.

LED Lights

Rather than using glow in the dark paint, this ball has LED lights that illuminate on impact and turn off automatically. This will make it easy to see the ball at night.

Durable

The product has the same durability as any other ball so that you can play hard with it. All of the electrical components are sealed to protect them from the water.

Cost and Value

This item is sold at a price that is slightly higher than the average price. The elevated price comes from the LED lights which add significant value to this ball.

Amazon Link
$24.95

6. K2 Game Time

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$22.85
K2 Game Time
Amazon Link

Tossing the old pig skin around has become the norm across the country as football becomes the most popular sport in the United States. If you are a real fan, then having an official size ball with your favorite team logo on it may be something that you desire. K2 makes a number of high-quality sports equipment, and this model is no exception.

Playing Size

If you are more than just a fan, then you know how important the right equipment is. This ball is the exact size the professionals use, allowing you to experience some of the same challenges they may face during a game.

Pebbled Material

This odd shaped ball may take some getting used to when you first start tossing it around. Thanks to the pebbled material used, this model is easy to grip, catch, and throw.

Cost and Value

This is not the cheapest ball, but not the most expensive either. It’s a great choice for those who like to play and even comes with a kicking tee.

Amazon Link
$22.85

7. Wilson GST NCAA

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$84.70
Wilson GST NCAA
Amazon Link

Wilson is a great brand for anyone who is looking for a well-made ball. This one is made of a composite leather that has a true NFL like feel to it so that you can play the game just the way the professionals do. It's an official sized ball but you can also purchase it in a junior option as well.

Leather

The ball is made of a composite leather that will give you a great grip so that you can hold onto it. The cover is synthetic so that the ball lasts longer.

Size Options

You can purchase this item in the official NFL size or it can also be purchased in the junior size. The official size is perfect for anyone over the age of 14.

Cost and Value

You can get this ball for an average price which makes it into an excellent value. It's a well-made ball that won't require you to pay a premium to get it.

Amazon Link
$84.70

8. COOP Hydro

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$12.99
COOP Hydro
Amazon Link

Football isn't only played on the field. Sometimes it's fun to have a ball that you can take to the lake, pool or the beach. This ball is completely waterproof so it's the perfect thing to bring along for such situations. It's suitable for all ages so that the entire family can join into a game of catch or similar pool games.

Waterproof

The ball is fully waterproof which makes it perfect for playing with when you are in the water. It will help improve fun when you are spending time in the water.

Double Tuck Laces

The laces have a double tuck design which helps to improve the durability of the ball. It also helps increase your ability to get a firm grip when the ball is wet.

Cost and Value

You can purchase this item at a price that is slightly lower than the average price. The lower price turns it into a great option for a water football toy.

Amazon Link
$12.99

9. Franklin Sports Grip

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$13.49
Franklin Sports Grip
Amazon Link

Anyone who plays football knows how important it is for you to be able to maintain a firm grip on the ball. That's why this grip rite ball has been designed so that you can hold the ball without it slipping. You will love how easy it fits into your hand so that you can catch and throw it with ease.

Tacky Surface

The ball has a tacky surface and lots of pebbles on it. This will help you get a great grip on the ball when you are playing with it making you less likely to fumble.

Synthetic Laces

All of the laces are made of synthetic materials and are double tucked for durability. This will help you grip the laces and throw the perfect spiral every time you play ball.

Cost and Value

You can purchase this item at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price is due to its smaller size which costs less to make and is ideal for younger players.

Amazon Link
$13.49

10. Nerf Pro Grip

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Nerf Pro Grip
Amazon Link

This is a great ball for young people as well as adults. It fits in your hand perfectly and it has excellent laces so that you can get the perfect spiral when you throw it. The ball is strong and durable which makes it well suited for when you are playing hard and in tough conditions. This is a great ball for a great game.

Bright Orange

Rather than the traditional brown color, this ball is bright orange. The color makes it easier for you to see and find the ball especially in dark conditions where there isn't as much light.

Grips

You won't have any issues with gripping this ball either. The laces are designed to give you a great spiral

Cost and Value

You can purchase this item at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price is due to it being intended for younger children so that you can save.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Unknown, American Football, Information Website
  2. Unknown, What Are The Best Kicking Balls?, Football Blog
  3. www.sportsballshop.co.uk, American Football Buying Guide,