Best Soccer Balls Under $50

Soccer, or “football”, as it is known around the world, is by far the most popular sport in the world. The “beautiful game”, as some may call it, offers players the ability to exercise, be part of a team, and demonstrate their athletic abilities. The game however would not be the same without the soccer ball. We have developed a list of the best soccer balls under $50 to help you navigate the world of imposters and marketing, and get the best soccer ball money can buy!

Quality

The quality of the soccer ball does have an impact on the soccer game and ultimately the soccer players performance. There are plenty of good quality soccer balls under $50. The quality may also impact the final outcome of the score of the game. Many novice players may not even consider the quality, but depending on the quality, some players may be able to shoot with power, while others may struggle. The quality of the ball will also impact the passing and receiving. A soccer ball with too much air may be too bouncy and impact the first touch of the player. A soccer ball that is under inflated may impact the ability of players to get a good feel and make correct passes to other teammates.

True Bounce, Responsiveness

A good quality soccer ball will have a good “true” bounce. This means that the ball will bounce in an angle directly in proportion to where it came from. If the ball hits the ground in a 90 degree angle from the air, then a good quality soccer ball will bounce right back up, in the 90 degree angle. Soccer balls are inspected by FIFA for their “bounce” quality and will only pass certain FIFA inspections if the ball’s bounce meets their criteria. The reason a soccer ball’s bounce is so critical is that players learn to dribble, pass, and shoot with a ball that resembles a true bounce. The lower the “true bounce” on a ball, the more likely a player will make a mistake when receiving, passing, or shooting the soccer ball.

Brine Soccer Ball in High School Game

You can just imagine that professional soccer balls are the most expensive, the highest quality, and therefore have the “truest bounce”. But don’t worry, you can still find a nice premium match ball under $50.

Keep in mind that a soccer ball’s quality or cost will not make or break your young soccer player, the kids still have to put their time into training and development. Materials, stitching, design, and diameter won’t matter as much as the “true bounce” of a soccer ball. Although the materials used, the hand stitching, and diameter will impact the soccer ball’s “true bounce”.

A soccer ball that is inflated properly, made of good materials, and has a true bounce, will glide correctly through the air. A ball that is not inflated properly will not “fly” correctly due to the imbalance of the air inside the ball. Many advanced soccer players like to make the ball curve by kicking one side of the ball and making it spin rapidly to create a curve in the air. Some like to “knuckle” the ball, by kicking the ball exactly in the center and eliminating the spin completely as the soccer ball travels in the air. This can only be done when a soccer ball is inflated correctly and has a “true bounce” as the ball will need to “bounce” off the foot of the player.

To get closer to a good premium soccer ball, you must know where to find them and not fall into the marketing trap of some of these companies. To help you, I’ve developed the list of balls under $50 that will provide some guidance. 

Material

Soccer balls today, as of 2017, are made mostly of synthetic materials. The advances in technology have allowed soccer ball manufacturers to offer great quality soccer balls at lower prices since these materials can be made much easier. Just a few decades ago balls were still covered with naturally occurring materials, including leather. These advances have improved the performance, including the “true bounce” of a soccer ball, and added to the life of a soccer ball. The synthetic material also allows the ball to stay dry during wet rainy soccer games.

Size

Soccer balls come in a few different sizes and weights. The most common soccer ball is a size 5, which is used by children 13 years old and up to professional soccer leagues. The next smaller ball is a size 4, which are used by children ages 9 years old to 12 years old. This ball is a bit smaller than the size 5. The other “match ball” size is a size 3, which are used by children under 9 years old. Although these are lower priced balls under $50, the ball may be smaller in size, but the same still applies to the quality and their “true bounce”.

Design

Don’t be fooled by designs on a soccer ball. The majority of the people we speak to say they buy a soccer ball based on the design. Don’t fall into this category. While soccer balls come in all types of designs, you want to analyze the quality of the ball if you are going to use it as a “match ball”. For fun around the house, the design can be whatever you choose. But for practice and/or a game ball, make sure you select your soccer ball based on quality and feel, and less on design.

Select Sport America

Select Sport America actually make really good soccer balls, but since they are not the large companies like Nike and Adidas, they don’t have a large marketing budget. What you must know is that Select manufacture some quality match balls.

Let’s start with my first pick of the best soccer balls under $50, the Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball. We’ve used this ball for years now. The popular numero 10 Soccer ball comes with a high visability Orange color. I mentioned earlier not to be fooled by colors, but this orange color will help to avoid losing your ball at the soccer field. The Numero 10 also features textured casing for maximum durability and to assist with the “true bounce”.

The ball is made of US 1500 synthetic leather and is hand-sewn PU cover with zero-wing bladder for optimal “true” bounce. This ball has a 2-Year Warranty and is approved by the NSCAA and NFHS. Although not FIFA approved, I can say that this ball is of good quality, has a good “true bounce” and maintains that true bounce throughout its life. If you want a good quality soccer ball for training and official games, this is definitely a soccer ball you can get for under $50.  Select also offers numerous colors and sizes to select your favorite ball.

Select Sport America Royale Soccer Ball

Other Select soccer balls under $50 include the America Royale. This ball is IMS(International Match Standard) and NFHS/NCAA Approved; Made with FPUS 1800 synthetic leather. The ball has fantastic control and feel in all weather and pitch conditions, especially those wet rainy days when other balls underperform. The Royale is hand stitched with 1.8 mm PU cover and with zero wing latex bladder for optimal “true” bounce. This one also comes with a 2 year warranty, like most Select balls, and several different color options.

Brine Soccer Balls - 

The Phantom X ​

Brine is another soccer ball manufacturer that doesn’t get the love and respect it deserves due to marketing budgets. They do not pay Messi or Ronaldo $1 billion to promote their brand, so instead they focus on providing their customers with good quality soccer balls.

In my experience coaching High School soccer, the majority of the high schools use Brine Soccer balls for training and games. Let’s discuss a few Brine soccer balls that fall under $50.

The Brine Phantom X is a ball that can be used for training and soccer games. Some colleges even use the Phantom ball for training and games. The Phantom is a little higher premium than the Select in my opinion and experience. The Phantom offers a High performance non-woven textured PU cover which is extremely durable and helps to maintain the shape and integrity of the ball. There is now a newly designed and improved ball for 2017/18, with a new HA Bladder. The Phantom is NFHS approved and hand stitched as most premium balls. Brine also offers the 2year manufacturer guarantee. 

​Brine Voracity Soccer Ball

Brine also offers the Voracity Soccer ball with not quite the same appeal as the Phantom, but still a good training ball with great quality. The Voracity offers an Abrasion-resistant, soft Polyurethane cover for responsiveness on the pitch. The High Retention Latex bladder system and hand stitching help to maintain that responsive “true bounce” from strong shots and passes.

Nike Strike Ball

The Nike Strike Ball is not Nike’s best ball, but it offers a good quality soccer ball under $50. This ball is best suited for training and some amateur soccer games. The ball is still fairly new but it has kept the size, air pressure, and responsiveness pretty well. I think that the “true bounce” of the ball could be improved. It appears as if it’s low on air from the responsiveness during training. I am a little picky as I am used to training with other higher quality soccer balls, but this ball is definitely made of good quality. I have bought this ball in the past and will continue buying Nike soccer balls as long as they are made of good quality like this one. This ball will range between $35 - $45.

Adidas Top Glider 

The Adidas Top Glider soccer ball is another great ball for the price. Adidas came out with this ball for the 2017-18 season. Adidas historically has had some of the best soccer balls ever. The World Cup has always used Adidas. They have also made tremendous inventions and advancements to the soccer ball. 

The reason I like this ball is due to the responsiveness and feel for the ball. Although it is machine stitched construction, the internal nylon wound carcass makes for maximum durability and long-lasting performance. I usually like hand stitched, but this ball is the exception. The special TPU exterior material is designed to resist abrasion and last longer that’s why I love to use them for games as well as practice. The butyl bladder for best air retention to keep the ball’s shape and stay inflated longer and ensure the “true bounce”. This ball also comes in several different designs which allow you to be part of the MLS Soccer collection, the design is inspired by the three MLS pillars of club, country, and community. The Adidas Top Glider definitely has the quality and responsiveness to make it a great investment.  

CONCLUSION...

The best soccer ball under $50 at this time is the Phantom X. I have used these balls for several years for training and games. The fact that Brine continues to manufacture the same quality ball year after year says alot about the quality of the ball. HS soccer teams across the country also continue to depend on the Phantom soccer ball year after year. For these reasons and many more, the Phantom X wins the best soccer ball under $50 competition. ​

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