Updated: December 2017
Basketball Reviews:I grew up playing with any basketball I could find. My friends and I would play for hours some days and we would literally wear out a basketball every summer on the playgrounds. When I started playing more indoors for high school sports I realized how nice some of the basketballs were. The indoor basketballs are often made with materials that should not be used on outdoor surfaces like concrete or cement. Even the blacktop you find at elementary schools can be very harsh on basketballs and shoes. I currently play in a men's basketball league and we meet once a week for games. Usually there are about a dozen balls to choose from - I see all makes and brands on the courts. Having shot baskets with all types, I do prefer the Wilson Evolution Game Ball Basketball. The bounce is natural and the grip is perfect for dribbing, passing or shooting. At $50 it's on the expensive side, but considering if you only use it indoors, it should last for years.
Choosing a Basketball - The first consideration will be whether you are using the indoors or outdoors. There are some balls that are ok to use in either spot as well. Spalding makes a nice variety of street basketballs and outdoor rubber basketballs that should hold up better than leather on harder surfaces. I bought the Spalding NBA Neverflat Indoor/Outdoor Composite Basketball for about $35 at Sports Authority and it has held up quite well. For the most part I have used it indoors, but recently I have taken it up to the park to shoot around with my kids and play a few games. The idea that it will never go flat is another bonus. After 2 years of use, I have yet to add any air to it. For indoor play, the Wilson Evolution ball is probably the one I prefer the most and it seems to be very popular amongst the guys I play hoops with. The Wilson basketball is durable and doesn't get slick even with lots of sweaty bodies touching it. Another option for outdoor play is the Baden X-Tread Official 29.5-Inch Tire Tread Rubber Basketball. Lately I've seen some commercials for these types of basketballs but I have yet to play with one. The tire tread design makes sense for those playing street basketball. The rough roads could easily damage the leather balls, but from reviews the Baden basketball holds up well. Sizing - Another important feature to consider when buying a basketball is size. A 29 1/2 inch basketball is an official size 7 ball and meant for men 15+. The size 6 balls are meant for women or boys/girls from the ages of 12-14. My son plays in a junior league and the official size is a junior ball 5 (27 1/2 inches). The smaller basketball allows the youth players to still dribble and handle the ball just fine. As they get older, they will get used to the larger basketball sizes. I can remember trying to shoot a regulation size basketball when I was about 12 years old and it seemed so heavy. Basketball Reviews - Want feedback on which basketballs are the best. We suggest going to Amazon.com where you can read owner reviews on almost all brands. Read what actual basketball players appreciate or hate about the current balls on the market. I also suggest asking anyone playing at your local gym what they think. Guys that play basketball regularly are likely to have an opinion on which ball they prefer. You can browse the best selling basketballs online here.