Premium Soccer 2022: Are Expensive Soccer Balls Worth It?

If you’re looking at buying a new soccer ball, you have probably noticed the wide range of prices available. The best soccer balls out there are expensive! If you will pay top dollar for a ball, you must be sure it is worth it. In this article, I want to help you determine if paying more for an expensive soccer ball is worth it.

Expensive soccer balls are worth it because they are made using higher quality materials and designed using more advanced techniques than cheaper balls. This extra quality enables the soccer player who uses the ball to perform at a higher level than is possible with other soccer balls.

I’ll share 9 reasons expensive soccer balls are worth it in this article. Ultimately, I’ll recommend the best soccer balls you can buy in two categories: mid-range and most expensive.

Why Some Soccer Balls Are So Expensive

Although there are 6 essential items needed for every soccer game, I would argue that a soccer ball is the most important piece of equipment. Without a ball, there would be no game, just a group of people running around on a field, and that would look pretty odd!

Soccer balls are the key element of any soccer game, and the quality of the ball can make a significant difference to the quality of the game. I’m sure you’ve seen how different the price of soccer balls can be. You can pay anything from $1 to almost $2.6 million. That’s right! Someone once made a soccer ball that was worth almost $2.6 million. [source]

South African jewelry company Shimansky Jewellers produced the most expensive soccer ball ever in 2010 for the South Africa World Cup. The ball contained 6,620 white and 2,640 black round brilliant cut diamonds and was estimated to be worth $2.58 million.

I don’t imagine you considering spending that much on a soccer ball! Most people want to know if buying a more expensive soccer ball has any advantage or if you will regret it. The truth is that some soccer balls cost more money for a good reason.

Players want to be able to predict the ball’s behavior in bounce, roll, flight, speed off the foot, and grip, wrote. Players are incredibly skillful and when they kick the ball differently, they expect it to behave accordingly.

Sport designer Andy Harland, director of the Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute in the UK, in an email to Inside Science
Cutting Edge Tech and Meticulous Craftsmanship

Premium soccer balls often come with a higher price tag due to their exceptional quality materials, superior construction techniques, and cutting-edge technology. The investment in an expensive ball is a reflection of the meticulous craftsmanship and expertise that goes into its production process. From the finest materials to skilled craftsmanship, every aspect of an expensive ball is designed to enhance performance and durability.

For example, the Nike Flight ball was created with “1700 lab hours, 800 soccer players, 68 iterations and 1 robotic leg”. They have scientifically proven that the ball has 30% more accurate flight than the previous version. (source)

My advice would be to take the time to figure out your budget and then purchase the best soccer ball you can for within your budget. The truth is that most good soccer balls are within a similar price bracket.

A good soccer ball will cost between $50 and $100. At this price, you will receive a high-quality ball that is durable, responsive, accurate when kicked, and enjoyable.

Offcial Match Balls vs Replica Balls

It’s also true that official match balls are usually more expensive than replica balls. Official match balls are designed to be the best quality option available. They are used by professionals and often at an international level. But this doesn’t mean replica balls can’t be good. Although they are not of the same quality as an official match ball, replica balls are an excellent option for players of non-professional games as they perform well in most soccer settings.

For example the Puma Orbita 6 price typically costs $20-30. But the Carabo Cup EFL edition retails for $60-70.

Puma Orbita 6 Ball – Carabao Cup EFL

Price range: $60-70
  • High frequency moulded ball
  • 12 panel design
  • 3D texture for added durability and aerodynamics
  • POE foam for firm touch
  • Rubber bladder for extended air retention
Buy Now on Amazon
Premium Soccer 2022: Are Expensive Soccer Balls Worth It?

Here are my 9 reasons why you should consider purchasing a more expensive soccer ball.

9 Reasons Expensive Soccer Balls Are Worth It

expensive soccer balls

1. They are more responsive when kicked

The first reason expensive soccer balls are worth it is that they are far more responsive. What I mean by being ‘responsive’ is how the ball responds when force is applied. This most often happens when a player kicks the ball.

Anytime a soccer player kicks the ball, whether for a pass or a shot at a goal, the player expects the ball to ‘respond’ in a certain way. They want the ball to go where they intended for it to go!

Expensive soccer balls are more likely to perform better than cheaper ones. The companies that create high-quality balls put a lot of effort and resources into perfecting even the smallest details of the ball to ensure that it performs exactly as intended. These techniques have been developed over several decades of soccer ball design. If you invest in a pricier soccer ball, you will be able to appreciate its increased ability to travel in the direction you intended it to go. Of course, this also depends on how well you strike the ball.

2. They are more stable in the air

The second reason follows on from the first. A more expensive soccer ball is noticeably more stable in the air than a cheaper option.

You may have experienced times when you kick an old ball, it wobbles through the air. Although there are occasions where this is precisely what a player wants to happen (such as when attempting a knuckleball), most of the time, a player wants the ball to fly straight through the air.

Higher-quality soccer balls give far more stability to a ball as it travels through the air. The wind or other atmospheric factors during a game affect these balls much less.

soccer ball travelling through the air

3. They are more spherical than cheaper balls

One of the key reasons that better quality balls are more stable through the air and more responsive is that expensive soccer balls tend to be more round, or spherical, than less expensive versions.

In my opinion, this is the most interesting difference between expensive and cheap soccer balls.

If you are anything like me, you would have probably just assumed that all soccer balls were spherical, right?! Well, that’s not the case. Look at them side-by-side the next time you have a cheap, high-quality ball together. It doesn’t take long to notice that many cheap balls almost reach a point at the corners of each panel that makes up the ball’s surface.

This is almost entirely down to how the ball is designed and manufactured. It’s quicker, cheaper, and easier to assemble a ball that is ‘mostly spherical’ rather than create a ball close to perfectly spherical. This extra care taken in manufacturing the ball is reflected in the price you pay for the pleasure of using the ball. However, that extra cost is worth it when you use a better, more responsive, more stable, and more aerodynamic soccer ball.

4. They are more aerodynamic through the air

Aerodynamics has to do with the way the air moves around an object. The more aerodynamic an object is, the less that object will be negatively affected by the air around it. In the case of a soccer ball, a more aerodynamic ball will encounter less drag as it moves through the air, and because of this, it will move more quickly. This is important for soccer balls because you have more control over it.

Aerodynamics is especially important in dead ball situations – or when you’re trying to bend the ball in the air. According to Inside Science, once the ball is in the air, three forces are acting on it – gravity, drag and lift. These can be influenced by “roughness or seams of the ball”.

5. They offer better grip when dribbling

Another feature of more expensive soccer balls is their superior grip compared to their cheaper counterparts. What I mean by ‘grip’ is the sensation of the ball being easier to control when you touch it. A higher-quality grip on a soccer ball is better for two reasons.

Soccer players dribbling ball
  1. The goalie on a team is less likely to drop the ball and lose possession or concede a goal.
  2. The ball will ‘stick’ to a player’s feet as they dribble it.

Playing and watching soccer is improved by the advantages of a top-of-the-range ball. It improves ball control and reduces errors, especially for dribbling and goalkeeping. A better grip can be a game-changer for players.

6. They are more durable than cheaper balls

So far, we’ve talked about how the ball feels to use and how it moves and responds to impact, but if you spend a large amount of money on a soccer ball, then you want to know it will last you a long time. I don’t know about you, but over the years, I have used so many soccer balls that start falling apart within a few months of use.

The ball’s outer layer starts degrading and falling off, it develops a puncture, or it becomes misshapen. This can be frustrating when you’ve not purchased a ball. Thankfully this is the case with more expensive soccer balls. They are far more durable than cheaper balls.

More expensive soccer balls can last for years!

This higher level of durability comes down to the fact that they are manufactured with higher quality materials and technically superior methods. You’ll no doubt notice I keep coming back to this fact, but you can’t get away from the truth that more expensive soccer balls are worth it simply because they are superior products that will last a long time.

7. The panels are thermal-bonded together rather than stitched

The way the panels on a soccer ball are connected indicates the quality of the ball. You’ll have noticed that most soccer balls are constructed using panels. A classic soccer ball is made up of 32 panels, but more modern balls use a variety of different numbers of panels.

Soccer balls use panels rather than one piece of material to do with how the ball moves through the air.

A piece of material wrapped around the outside of a ball would hurt the ball. It would become unstable through the air and travel more slowly than a ball made of panels. But if a ball is made of multiple panels, those panels need to be connected securely.

Traditionally this was done by stitching them together. Although you will still see this in cheaper balls, most expensive balls are now thermal-bonded together. Thermal bonding means the panels are sealed together using heat. This is a much more robust way of connecting the panels and has multiple benefits, including making the ball far more water-resistant than a ball with stitching would be.

Different construction of thermal bonded balls and hand stitched balls

8. They don’t soak up as much water

Higher quality, more expensive soccer balls are worth it because the thermal-bonding techniques to connect the ball’s outer panels prevent it from soaking up excessive water.

When I was younger and still using cheap soccer balls, I often noticed the ball I was using would get heavier during a game if it was raining or the ground was wet.

soccer ball in rain

I used to think this was just how it was when it was wet, and I didn’t know it had anything to do with the quality of the ball. But that all changed when I started using better soccer balls.

Instead of the ball getting heavier throughout the game as it soaked up the water on the soccer field, it stayed light and easy to play with. This was almost entirely down to the fact that it was no longer soaking up water. Balls stitched together have gaps where the water can get in; even the stitching soaks up the water. A thermal-bonded soccer ball is noticeably better and worth the extra cost.

9. They feel lighter than cheaper soccer balls

This last reason is interesting because it is more about a player’s perception of the ball than the hard facts. Most soccer balls, whether cheap or expensive, have a similar weight.

The rules of soccer require a ball to be: between 410 g (14 oz) and 450 g (16 oz) in weight at the start of the match – IFAB Laws of the Game

A better quality or more expensive ball differs because it makes it seem lighter than a lower quality ball. You can test this out yourself. Grab a cheap and expensive ball next time you’re in a soccer store. If you hold one in each hand, you’ll probably notice they feel a similar weight.

But if you place them on the floor and start dribbling them around the store, you’ll quickly notice that one ‘feels’ lighter than the other. I would comfortably predict that this would be the more expensive one. The way the manufacturers have created the higher quality balls gives them a lighter, more comfortable feel as you kick them. They are more enjoyable, easier to handle, and lighter to the touch.

Soccer Ball Recommendations

Now we’ve looked at the 9 reasons why it’s worth the extra cost of buying an expensive soccer ball. I want to give you my top 2 recommendations for the soccer ball you should consider owning. As I mentioned, you don’t have to purchase the most expensive ball on the market to own a great soccer ball, but as the price drops, so does the ball’s quality.

My recommendation is to buy the best soccer ball you can afford.

Let’s look at two different soccer balls now, starting with the highest quality one with the highest price tag. Then we’ll look at a great mid-range soccer ball if that is where your budget stands.

Best Soccer Ball: Most Expensivest

Firstly, If you buy a top-of-the-range soccer ball, you should purchase it from a top-of-the-range soccer retailer, and is the one I always recommend. They are a family-owned business reliably served the soccer community for many years.

Premium Soccer 2022: Are Expensive Soccer Balls Worth It?

There is no doubt in my mind that the Nike Flight soccer ball is the best soccer ball on the market today. This ball is a beautiful ball to use and to look at.

When you kick it, it flies straight and true through the air and more often hits the exact spot you’re aiming at, almost as if it’s laser-guided! Nike says that the new Aerowsculpt technology they used in designing the ball keeps it stable in flight, and it seems to work.

It feels incredibly comfortable to kick or head and moves faster through the air than any other ball I’ve used. Here’s the link to the ball on if you want to check it out. You will not regret owning this ball!

Best Soccer Ball: Mid-range

If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the Nike Flight ball, that’s OK. There are still several high-quality balls available at a lower price point.

My recommendation for a mid-range price soccer ball would be the adidas MLS Competiton NFHS Soccer Ball. This is a fantastic alternative to the Nike Flight soccer ball, and it’s half the price! Adidas has years of experience crafting sports products to be the best they can be, and it shows with this ball.

adidas MLS League Nativo Ball – Match Ball Replica

Price range: $40-50
  • Match ball replica
  • Fifa certified
  • TSBE technology for a seamless surface
  • Requires pump for first use
  • Available in size 4, 5 and two colors
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Premium Soccer 2022: Are Expensive Soccer Balls Worth It?

It feels incredible and light and looks great on the soccer field. While it isn’t the best soccer ball available from adidas (you’ll have to check out this one to see the best adidas products), it is the best one I’ve found at this price, between $40 and $80.

I know you won’t be disappointed with it.


Are expensive soccer balls worth it?

Yes, expensive soccer balls are worth it, to a point. A majority of expensive soccer balls with last longer and provide much more consistent play than a ‘trainer’ priced soccer ball.

Why are soccer balls so expensive?

Most soccer balls are expensive because of the construction and materials. They last longer and provide more consistent play. However, some of the time, you are simply paying for the brand and paying the player who endorses them to promote their expensive soccer balls.

What are the most expensive footballs?

The most expensive footballs are typically those used in professional matches and tournaments. While prices can vary, some of the top brands known for their high-quality and expensive footballs include Adidas, Nike, and Puma. These brands offer premium match balls for durability, accuracy, and performance. Prices for these footballs can range from $100 to $200 or more. It’s worth noting that the price of a football can also depend on factors such as limited edition designs, special features, and endorsements by famous players or teams.

Why do soccer balls deflate?

Soccer balls deflate primarily due to air leakage over time. The rubber bladder inside the ball gradually loses air, leading to a decrease in pressure. Factors such as temperature changes, physical damage, and the quality of the ball’s construction can also contribute to deflation.