Updated: December 2017

Football Reviews:

Football is one of the great sports pasttimes in America and most kids play it at some point in their lives. I got started back when I was about 8 years old and my parents bought me a nerf football for Christmas. I slowly got used to throwing the ball and then moved up to a small, leather ball. The youth footballs are perfect for youngsters that can't quite grip a larger ball. If your child is playing in a junior football league they'll have to get used to the harder, leather footballs. Eventually they move on to college footballs and finally to the Official NFL footballs. I've tried getting my 7 year old son to move on from the nerf football to a NFL logo junior football - not much bigger than the nerf ball, but significantly harder as it's made with a rubberized compound. What I have found is that kids under the age of 10 have a difficult time catching the harder balls. Get them used to bringing the ball into their bodies and they will start catching better. With small hands, kids just can't grip the larger, leather footballs and throwing can be troublesome.

Choosing a Football - Size is really the most important thing when you are starting with children. Even the Poof Foam Power Spiral Football is a reasonable way to get toddlers or primary schoolers going. Lots of children have nerf footballs and that is fine, but they have to move on to larger balls that are made of different materials eventually. Baden makes a tire tread designed football that comes in 5 sizes - great for street football since the ball doesn't get damaged as easily. The Rookie Gear Pee Wee Football is made with composite leather and considered a great recreational ball for those 10 and under. A somewhat newer concept is the Spalding Never Flat Football. Yes, even I was skeptical after growing up with footballs that somehow went flat every week or so even when you didn't use them. Spalding created these balls with the idea that you never have to pump up the ball. I own both this football and the same styled basketball. So far, after 1 years use, no air leakage is visible on the football. Anyone that wants what the pros use, go with the Wilson F1100 Official NFL Game Football which is expensive at $70+, plus these footballs are meant to last and look great. Some balls come with a tee and small pump - football sets. You can find all of these footballs in most sporting good stores like Dicks Sporting Goods or Sports Authority as well as in the sports equipment sections of Target or Walmart. You can browse the best selling youth and official footballs here.

Best Football:

RECOMMENDED - If you want the best, then this is the football for you. Definitely meant for those with adult sized hands, the Wilson F1100 Official NFL Game Football is official size and weight of those balls used in the National Football League. The texture and gripability are what set these footballs apart from the cheaper ones. You get double lacing, 3-ply VPU bladder, and a leather cover. Wilson is a reputable name in sporting equipment and this ball will not disappoint. We did read a few reviews from customers who bought it from a particular vendor and they said it came with 'scuff' marks. Other than that, the ball performs perfectly. Don't use on pavement or concrete if you are worried about scratching the surface of the ball. Best used on grass to keep it in good condition.

Never Flat Football:

RECOMMENDED - I prefer these type of footballs since they really don't lose air. The Spalding Never Flat Football is the perfect gift for the football fan in your life. Great recreational, outdoor ball made with Pressure Retention Technologies so you never need to inflate it. The NitroFlate air technology eliminates air seepage and the newly designed valve with cap stops leaks. The grip and feel on this football are incredible. My son has started throwing this ball a bit and I am able to control my throws much better than compared to the flimsy nerf balls we were using. Owner reviews are quite positive - kids liked it and adults said it was "still going strong" after nearly 3 years of use. At $25 is a good value buy and much cheaper than the official NFL footballs.