7 Best Indoor Basketballs In 2020 [ Reviews & Guide ]

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In order to play, whether for recreational purposes or at competitive levels, one must look at picking the best equipment to not only do better at the game but also to maximize enjoyment. Basketballs come in different materials, sizes, and price ranges. Hence it’s safe to say that there’s something in store for everybody! If you’re planning to buy one for yourself, this is just the place for you! You don’t need to know everything about the best indoor basketballs, because we do. This article will provide you with reviews of “7 Best Indoor Basketballs in 2020” and their pros and cons. By the end you’ll be able to choose the one that suits you the best, or if not that, you’ll at least know what you have to look for in your basketball after you read the buying guide at the end of this article.

So, what is indoor basketball? How are they different from outdoor basketballs?

Indoor basketballs are basically the ones made out of pure leather that is usually used by professional players in their game. Indoor basketballs are known to have the most responsive covers and bladders.

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They differ from outdoor basketballs in terms of their material. Unlike their outdoor counterparts, indoor basketballs don’t have to worry about being durable “enough”, since they don’t have to handle rough surfaces.  They are uniquely made to optimize the game, as mentioned earlier, in competitive environments. Indoor basketball is the best alternative for people who want to play on hardwood or get most out of their playing experience, these balls, however, shouldn’t be taken out to play in rough surfaces as that can damage the ball considerably. 

Before we go on to the reviews of the best indoor basketballs, let’s have a look at the difference between outdoor basketballs and indoor basketballs and also look at an alternative known as “ HYBRID” basketball which is basically an indoor/outdoor basketball.

INDOOR BASKETBALL v. OUTDOOR BASKETBALL

From a distance, indoor and outdoor basketballs can appear very much the same. However, you might be surprised to know that each type of ball has a particular design that is specifically suited to the environment they will be used in. 

Indoor basketballs are designed for a wooden indoor basketball court, while outdoor basketballs, as evident from the name, are made for outdoor basketball surfaces, like an asphalt court or concrete driveway. Some basketballs are even intended to be played on both. These are called indoor/outdoor basketballs or hybrids.

As mentioned earlier, other than the difference between their places of use, the materials with which they are made are also different. 

Indoor basketballs are made out of full-grain leather. One of the most important things to know about indoor basketball is they should NEVER be played outdoors on asphalt or concrete surfaces. Since these balls are made from high-quality leather, they will not withstand the hard surfaces, dust, and rain of outdoor basketball courts and will consequently deteriorate quickly, resulting in a peeling and reduced grip. Since they are made out of genuine leather, they often are firm in the beginning and break-in gradually.

Outdoor basketballs, on the other hand, are made of rubber or composite leather which is a synthetic material and is durable even in harsh environments. Out of composite leather, leather, and rubber; rubber is the most durable. The playing experience is certainly superior in a pure leather ball, which is usually meant for professional players. We have also reviewed best outdoor basketballs for you. So do check them out too. But since we’re here to look at the best indoor basketballs, let’s stick to the plan and talk about indoor basketballs.

Best Indoor Basketballs Reviews

1. Wilson Evolution Game Basketball

The Wilson Evolution Game Ball is one of the most preferred basketball in high schools across the country.  The primary reason for this is the technology used by Wilson. Wilson uses the EVO feels technology which ensures that the ball is smooth to touch and easier to hold. Additionally, Wilson basketball is made up of Evo microfiber composition. This composition provides a stronger and durable grip on the basketball that lasts in every season. 

Wilson provides a consistent texture that is spread over the surface of the basketball. This gives you exceptional control over the basketball. The moisture-wicking composite cover to the laid-in channels provides exceptional performance for those who aren’t satisfied with being satisfied. Suited for indoor use, the Evolution is approved for play by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Key Features:

  • Signature EVO feels
  • Grip & durability
  • NFHS Approved

Specification:

  • DIMENSIONS - 9.8 x 9.8 x 9.8 inches; 1.2 pounds
  • INFLATION LEVEL - 79 psi
  • COVER CONSTRUCTION - Microfiber composite leather
  • SIZE - Intermediate-size basketball (28.5”)
  • What We Like
  • 100% genuine leather
  • Durable
  • Affordable price
  • What We Don't Like
  • Bad finish

Check the latest price on Amazon!

2. Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball

The Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball is a Top-Of-The-Line composite leather basketball, specifically designed for the Elite player looking for a premium indoor basketball that provides maximum consistency and playability. The difference can be felt the very first time you pick up this basketball. The Elite’s proprietary, advanced microfiber cover creates the perfect tack that won’t absorb moisture, gain weight or discolor like many other basketballs on the market. 

To ensure you’ll never get a bad bounce, the basketball is engineered with the patented Cushion Control Technology (CCT), which embeds thousands of tiny air cells in the carcass, as well as Stealth Soft-Valve System (SSS), which reduces the amount of exposed rubber from the valve stem and softens the entire valve panel. The Elite Indoor Basketball is also the only basketball on the market with a true symmetrical design giving the ball perfect balance and consistency.

Key Features:

  • NFHS Approved
  • Cushion Control Technology
  • Moisture Grip

Specification:

  • SHIPPING - Ships Fully inflated
  • DIMENSIONS - 10 x 10 x 10 inches; 1.15 pounds
  • SIZE - Intermediate Size 6 (28.5”), Official Size 7 (29.5”)
  • COVER CONSTRUCTION - Advance Micro-fiber
  • What We Like
  • Optimum basketball control
  • Symmetrical design and durability
  • Value for money
  • Accuracy up to mark
  • What We Don't Like
  • Costly (however worth every penny)

Check the latest price on Amazon!

3. Spalding NBA Tack-Soft Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

The Spalding NBA Tack-Soft Indoor/Outdoor Basketball as the name suggests is a hybrid ball that is a mix of leather and composite leather. This ball is soft to touch and easy to hold. This composition is best suited for anyone who wants to play basketball. This is a more durable indoor basketball as compared to others. Spalding provides deeper grips and channels that ensure a smooth play. 

Apart from working perfectly fine on hardwood, this basketball performs really well on asphalt and concrete. This is your go-to basketball if you and your friends are practicing your behind the back passes and slam dunks.  This basketball comes in the vintage brown color with premium composite cover, goes without saying that the company speaks for itself. 

Key Features:

  • Backed by Spalding's Warranty
  • Leather mix
  • Hybrid (indoor/outdoor ball)

Specification:

  • INFLATION LEVEL - 8 psi
  • SHIPPING - Inflated
  • DIMENSIONS - 12 x 12 x 12 inches ; 1.32 pounds
  • SIZE - Intermediate-size basketball (28.5”)
  • COVER CONSTRUCTION - Premium Composite Cover
  • What We Like
  • Hybrid hence versatile
  • More durable
  • What We Don't Like
  • Brown color reduces visibility
  • Slightly costly

Check the latest price on Amazon!

4. WILSON NCAA Replica Game Basketball

The Wilson NCAA replica is nothing but the best, whether you’re playing in The Final Four or lunchtime pick-up, the ball matters. There is no other ball that can offer the Final Four quality and craftsmanship at a price no fan would argue with. The technology used in this basketball ensures a flawless playing experience. The grips and channels of this basketball are designed to make your throws and receive smoother. 

This ball features the same patented technologies that you find on the NCAA Official Game Ball. A moisture absorbing cover is specially designed for indoor/outdoor play combined with Laid In Channels and our Cushion Core, make this ball a favorite of competitive players everywhere. Wilson has always been associated with quality and research and that’s what is packed in this ball. 

Key Features:

  • Built for indoor as well as outdoor
  • Lasts for seasons

Specification:

  • INFLATION LEVEL - 7-9 psi
  • SHIPPING - Inflated
  • DIMENSIONS - 8 x 8 x 4.8 inches; 1.4 pounds
  • SIZE - Intermediate-size basketball (28.5”)
  • COVER CONSTRUCTION - Composite
  • What We Like
  • Hybrid
  • Moisture absorbing material
  • Replica of NCAA game ball
  • Affordable
  • What We Don't Like
  • Meant for starters

Check the latest price on Amazon!

5. Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite 27.5 Youth Basketball

Help your young athlete sharpen up their skills with nothing but the best, the Spalding NBA Rookie Gear Youth Basketball. It is the same size as standard youth balls, but with a lighter weight. This ball is specially designed for kids. The grips and channels are perfectly designed to be handled by kids. The ball is soft to touch and hold. Since the ball has a hybrid design, it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor playing. 

The lighter weight allows young players to practice all their moves perfectly. While other balls make it hard for rookies and kids to score, this ball is perfect for landing shots. This ball is easy to spot and never gets lost because of the vibrant colors. 

Key Features:

  • 15% lighter in weight
  • Hybrid
  • Available in vibrant colors

Specification:

  • SHIPPING - Inflated
  • DIMENSIONS - 9.6 x 9.5 x 9.4 inches ; 1.25 pounds
  • SIZE - Intermediate-size basketball (28.5”)
  • COVER CONSTRUCTION - Composite
  • What We Like
  • Lightweight despite the size
  • Apt for indoor as well as outdoor usage
  • Multicolored hence attractive and distinctive
  • What We Don't Like
  • Costly
  • Does not come with packing
  • Some pieces peel off after falling in water

Check the latest price on Amazon!

6. Spalding TF-500 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

This Spalding is made for school practices and recreational gameplay. The ball is designed with deep channels. Deep channels allow young players to hold the ball easily and practice their shots. The butyl rubber bladder that comes within this ball is perfectly made for air retention. The air escapes less. This ball is perfect for indoor use.  

The basketball comes with a warranty and has an amazing game performance. This basketball is perfect for people who are trying their hands at basketball. Spalding TF-500 is soft to hold and easy to play with. The best part about this basketball is that it is delivered play ready. All you have to do is start playing whenever it gets delivered. 

Key Features:

  • Excellent design
  • Indoor play
  • Butyl rubber bladder

Specification:

  • COVER CONSTRUCTION - Composite
  • SHIPPING - Inflated
  • SIZE - Intermediate-size basketball (28.5”)
  • DIMENSIONS -9.4 x 9.75 x 9.8 inches, 1.5 pounds
  • What We Like
  • Break-in time not required
  • Butyl rubber bladder to aid in air retention
  • Deep design channel
  • Not heavy
  • What We Don't Like
  • The grip isn’t very impressive

Check the latest price on Amazon!

7. Molten Gm7 Indoor/Outdoor Playing Basketball Match Ball Official Size 7

This is a unique basketball with a unique two-tone color. This makes it easier to locate the ball. It is a FIBA approved design that has deep channels and grips. The deep channels and grips allow you to handle the ball better.  This basketball is perfect for any environment and weather condition. It has wider channels as compared to the traditional ones. This also gives you a handy grip. This ball is ready to play wherever and whenever you choose. 

It is a great choice for athletes everywhere. Now with new technological improvements like a butyl bladder and durable composite cover with a 12-pane exterior in 2-tone color pattern, it’s sure to take your game to the next level. The cherry on top, the ball comes with a durable composite cover with butyl bladder, and has a good grip and is scuff resistant. Hence, in all, the ball is a complete one for rookies as well as experienced players. 

Key Features:

  • Deep pebble surface
  • FIBA approved
  • Scuff resistant cover

Specification:

  • SHIPPING - Deflated
  • DIMENSIONS - 1.1 pounds
  • SIZE - Official Size 7
  • COVER CONSTRUCTION - Composite
  • What We Like
  • Good grip
  • Scuff resistance
  • Versatile
  • FIBA approved
  • What We Don't Like
  • Better models available in the same brand at lower prices

Check the latest price on Amazon!

BEST INDOOR BASKETBALL – BUYING GUIDE

best indoor/outdoor basketball

Before you head to the court, it is important to know what makes one basketball different from another so as to choose from a wide range of products in the market, the ball that fits your needs the best. Here’s a buying guide on how to choose the best indoor basketball:

  • Size

The seven-inch mini basketball is a good option for small children who are just starting out and learning to play around with a basketball. Mini basketballs can also be used for skill training for older athletes too. But what if you want to get serious?  Depending on your league, age, and gender, there are three commonly used sizes from which to choose. Most adult men’s leagues — which range from ages 13 and up — use a size 7 basketball, which is 29.5″ in circumference. 

By comparison, most women’s leagues and youth leagues that cater to children ages 9 – 12 use a size 6 ball, which comes in at 28.5″. Finally, a size 5 basketball is a full two inches smaller than the men’s size, settling at 27.5″. This ball is intended for children under 9 years of age.

  • Material

The material usually depends on the league requirements, however, indoor basketballs traditionally are made out of pure leather, there however are balls in the market made out of the mixture, suitable for indoor as well as outdoor usage, these are popularly known as indoor/outdoor basketballs or hybrid basketball. They are preferred for their versatile nature.

Leather is expensive, heavy and requires a break-in period before using it competitively however it is preferred by the pro- players since they are soft and supple.  Its biggest advantage is a boost in control — even when your palms are sweaty, leather balls are made to maintain a high level of grip. It also helps avoid damage to the wooden flooring of indoor courts. It’s also important to note that leather basketballs should only be used on indoor courts because concrete will rapidly degrade their finish. 

Synthetic balls offer a fairly successful middle ground in terms of performance. First, there’s no need to break in this material before using it. Second, it can be used both indoors and outdoors. Third, it’s also very durable. You may find that synthetic scuffs up the court a little, but it should buff out with some elbow grease.

Rubber basketballs are generally made for outdoor courts. They can offer extra bounce and durability. They can also be a good option for beginners who are just learning or for recreational play. Though secondary, the material affects the sound of dribble also.

  • Colour

Most basketballs are burnt orange, orange –tan in color. Colour largely affects the visibility of the ball during matches; hence most leagues and teams require standard orange color balls. Rookies, however, can opt for other options such as multi-colored, black, blue, yellow, brown balls, etc. as well.

FAQ’s about Indoor Basketballs

Yes, outdoor basketball can be used indoors without a problem. You, however, can’t use an indoor leather basketball outside, as the hard textured pavements/asphalt/black-top court surfaces will scruff/scratch/wear or damage the leather surface immediately.

That’s because traditionally, indoor balls are made from full-grain leather. The leather gives them a better grip and feel. Outdoor basketballs focus less on the feel and grip than on durability. Very few leagues and no professional games are played in the elements, and outdoor balls are made for recreational players.

It usually takes three to five treatments before this happens. Begin using your ball. Dribble it on a gym floor or other smooth, even surface, and practice shooting baskets. Using your ball helps to loosen up the leather, giving the ball more bounce and making the leather less rigid.

The only way to do this is to clean the dirty ball:

  1. Keep the ball on a flat surface.
  2. Press the ball keeping your one hand on the ball.
  3. Now, take a clean rag and wipe the ball down on its entire surface.

When forces collide, friction naturally slows things down over time and the more points of contact an object has with another surface the more friction comes into play. So the bumps on the basketball basically increase the surface area of the ball and the amount of friction acting on it.

To figure out the amount of air in a basketball, you have to measure the air pressure. NBA rules dictate that basketballs should be inflated to between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch. If the basketball is inflated below this level, it won’t bounce correctly.

NBA rules dictate that basketballs should be inflated to between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch. If the basketball is inflated below this level, it won’t bounce correctly. If it is inflated above this level, the basketball could be damaged or burst.

Final Verdict

Most people, used as a teenager, a basketball that was terrible, probably some lopsided, fading orange grapefruit that deflated about every 20 minutes. This is how it’s supposed to be. You’re terrible at basketball when you’re eight, and you shouldn’t be wasting your parents’ money on fancy balls.

But when you’re a  grown-up, you can’t roll up to the court bouncing some glorified kickball with your last name written on it in magic marker. So, for everyone out there motivated by this year’s amazing NBA Finals to actually get out there and buy a little ball for yourself, it’s important to know what you need out of your ball. It is very important to keep the budget in mind because basketballs even though they are an investment, it is still important for one to use some research about the basics of it before they go into the market to buy for themselves a basketball. 

Like any other product, basketballs also come with a huge variety of choices. As you must’ve read in this article, there are a few things that you must consider before you buy a basketball for yourself such as its material, your level of skill, your age, your color preference, brand, and most importantly the cost of the ball you’re buying. It is recommended that you buy a cheaper one at rookie-level without compromising on the quality and pave your way up to better ones as you excel in the sport.  

Make sure to keep in mind your requirements as you do so. These are the seven indoor basketballs we’d recommend, feel free to explore your options before you finalize and buy one for yourself keeping in mind the things mentioned in the buying guide.

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