The best footballs to buy in 2023
These aren't just bags of wind. Discover the best footballs to buy this year with our complete guide.
There’s only one thing you need to play the beautiful game: a football.
You may regularly fork out for a new pair of shin pads, the latest boots or even goalposts, but all of that is useless unless you have quality footballs available to you.
Whether you’re playing higher up in the footballing pyramid or just enjoy a casual kickabout at the park, you deserve the perfect football.
Some of us will make do with just about anything for a game, but modern footballs are now built for specific purposes, skill levels and playing surfaces.
If you want to get the most out of your game, you need to make sure you’re playing with the right one.
From premium match balls to cheap footballs perfect for training, this is our ultimate guide to the best footballs this season.
Get hold of one today and stick it firmly in the top bin…
Jump to the best:
Match Ball | Training Ball | Budget Ball | Indoor Ball | Ball For Kids | Ball For Toddlers
How to choose the perfect football
There are thousands of footballs out there to choose from. And yes, they’re all the same shape.
But footballs come from lots of different brands, in many different sizes and include various levels of quality.
It can all leave you scratching your head, wondering which of these options is best and what’s actually worth your hard-earned cash.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer here. There’s no such thing as the “best” football, as your choice completely depends on when, where and how you play.
There are four main things you need to consider though. That’s size, durability, material and, of course, style.
These factors will differ between each football, depending on whether they’ve been built for official matches, training, five-a-side or for children.
This is a good time to check out our guide on football sizes, if you’re buying for children or the kids’ team.
Basically, it all comes down to what you need this ball for. You can then match the ball to the purpose.
Fortunately, we can help you to understand that as we go on.
Why are some footballs so expensive?
The most expensive footballs are the official match balls used by the professionals, often approved by FIFA.
They’re made from the finest premium materials on the market, whilst also boasting cutting-edge tech from the manufacturer.
The premium balls are highly researched and developed. In terms of overall quality, these are the best footballs money can buy.
Fortunately, the vast majority of us don’t really need to fork out for these elite level footballs, and we can easily make do with one of the various takedown models.
Cheaper alternatives may look identical to the pricier premium versions, but there are clear differences in materials, construction, durability and overall performance.
Match footballs (£50-£130+)
Often made from synthetic leather, match balls offer the best flight, feel and performance. They’re reserved for official match play, rather than practice.
Training footballs (£5-£50)
More durable than a match ball, training balls typically have a PU exterior and are built to withstand 100s of hours of play. The best value option for everyday use.
Indoor / futsal footballs (£5-£25)
Indoor and futsal balls aren’t as bouncy, which makes them perfect for indoor sports halls and other hard surfaces where walls are in play.
There are footballs which you can easily pick up for under a tenner, so think carefully about how much you want to spend.
The fact that each brand names their footballs differently doesn’t help matters, but you can usually tell the level of the ball from the price range.
The best footballs you can buy this year
For true lovers of the game, there’s no such thing as a “bad” football, and we’d quite happily play a bit of keepy-ups with anything that’s vaguely spherical.
However, if you’re keen on upgrading your game, it doesn’t get much better than the footballs below.
There are takedown versions available for most of these models, so you can bag your favourite design at a price that suits your pocket.
Best football for matches: Nike Premier League Flight
You won’t be surprised to hear that using the official ball of the Premier League makes a difference to match play.
Aerowsculpt tech means moulded grooves sit across the surface of the Nike Flight, creating a 30% truer flight than the earlier Merlin model. Four fused panels result in a larger sweet spot for strikes.
All Conditions Control (ACC) coating delivers more consistent touch in wet or dry conditions and 3D-printed ink helps to improve the true ball flight.
It’s pricey, but it’s the best for clubs and players looking to perform consistently at the top level.
Best football for training: Mitre Impel
These Mitre footballs are the go-to for training sessions in any conditions, on any outdoor surface. It’s incredibly durable.
Soft EVA foam and Vimini TPU outer combine to create a cushioned touch that feels premium, for less than £15.
Available in sizes for kids (3/4) and adults (5), its 30-panel construction will take a battering and keep coming back for more.
There’s a good chance that you even match one of the colourways to your club’s colours too, lovely.
Best budget football: adidas Tango Rosario
This could’ve easily been the Mitre Impel. But instead, we’re scratching our nostalgic itch with the legendary adidas Tango.
Available in sizes 3, 4 and 5, this ‘78 World Cup icon remains a bestseller, and you only need to glance at it to see why. Beautiful.
It’s not just about looks for adidas footballs though, this hand-stitched design is FIFA approved and delivers quality performance too.
Coming in at less than £20, it’s a ball which will never cease to turn heads.
Best indoor football: Mitre Ultimatch Futsal
Mitre will always be involved in the conversation when we’re discussing the best footballs in the world.
That doesn’t change when we move indoors on to the futsal court. This 20-panel Mitre Ultimatch design looks amazing and performs consistently.
Using Mitre’s Hyperseam technology, it delivers a cushioned feel from 4.5mm foam around its inner.
It looks expensive, but it’s affordable at less than £20.
Best football for kids (ages 5-14): adidas UCL Club Istanbul
Which kid doesn’t want to play with Champions League footballs? Exactly. That’s why the best ball for them is adidas’ official UCL ball.
This Club version is a takedown of the more expensive Pro, Competition and League UCL balls. But it’s got enough durability to keep children entertained for months.
Available in multiple sizes including Mini for the toddlers, the stars are also an iconic feature of the Champions League (*screams* “the chaaaampions!”).
You’ll often find deals that give you change from £20. And to keep the kids quiet, that’s a bargain.
Best football for toddlers: Nike Premier League Academy Mini
Little legs need little footballs. And it’s best to get them to aim for stardom with the official (mini) Premier League ball.
Durability is not an issue, as toddlers won’t be hammering the ball as hard as adults will. That’s why this Academy takedown has more than enough.
As a size 1 football, it’s an ideal option for toddlers who are looking to learn basic ball control and strike. Whilst pretending to be a PL player, of course.
For less than £15, you’ll have them regularly hitting the back of the net.
If you want to get hold of any of the footballs above, then make sure to compare prices at FOOTY.COM to find the best deal possible.
We collect prices from all your favourite retailers and brands, so it’s never been easier to save extra cash on getting out on the pitch!