Best Outdoor Basketball

Top 10 Best Outdoor Basketball Reviews in 2021

­To most of the boys, basketball competition was the best part of their high school and college life. But not everyone plays basketball like a pro.

One of the reasons why people don't perform well on an indoor basketball court is because during their practice sessions, they play with one kind of basketball on local indoor and outdoor courts and are exposed to another type of basketball of professional level in indoor tournaments.

So, if you are passionate about basketball, then you must practice with good quality outdoor basketball first.

Now, which one is the best outdoor basketball?

That’s the reason why I’m here for.  Before you make a purchase, go through this review article to make your spending worth.

Why We Need a Good Quality Outdoor Basketball?

It's okay to play with normal quality basketball if you occasionally play for fun or spending time with your friends. But if your target is NBA or NCAA, don't waste time playing with a toy.

If you had a chance to have your hands on a professional basketball and a typical outdoor basketball, you would feel the difference. Apparently they are same. But when it's time for playing, you will notice the difference.

1. Better Bounce, Better Flight

A good quality basketball bounces pretty well. If you are only familiar with normal quality basketball, then on the court you will not be able to cope up with the bounce and professional performance of a good quality basketball.

Weight varies a lot between normal and good quality basketballs. Your muscles need to be familiar with a professional basketball. You cannot judge the flight of a ball unless you know how it feels and what speed it approaches.

2. Quality Build, Good Playtime

The quality of the materials matters a lot when it’s about outdoor playing. Typical leather easily damages as soon as it hits surfaces like concrete and asphalt. Outdoor basketballs must have such solid material that can endure such rough surfaces.

If your basketball isn’t made of good quality materials, then it will not have enough bounce to make your game-time enjoyable.

3. Ideal for Practices

Want to be a NBA player? Then you need to make sure you play with good gears. Tournaments like NBA and NCAA use the highest quality professional basketballs. So, it’s important for you to get used to with a well-made ball.

With great balls, come great shooting percentage. You will not be able to score much in professional matches if you stick to your typically made basketball.

Top 10 Best Outdoor Basketball Reviews in 2021

As there are many basketballs in the market. It would take a lot of time to dig deep for each one of them. To make things easy, here’s some of the best indoor and outdoor basketball you can buy.

1. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball – Official Size

Spalding is a well-known brand in manufacturing basketball gears. They made this ball according to the official basketball size of NBA tournament which is 29.5 inches.

Generally, hybrid basketballs don’t feel and perform the same in indoors. But if you play with Spalding NBA Zi/O, you will not find any noticeable differences.

When it comes to the grip, its tight pebbling pattern does a decent job. Nonetheless, it struggles when the ball gets dirty.

This basketball suits in both indoor and outdoor condition. The hard outdoor courts do tear and wear to the ball due to its surface. While on the other hand, indoor courts require softness. Spalding balanced these factors quite well and came up with this hybrid ball for both indoor and outdoor courts.

Indoor basketballs don’t bounce good enough in outdoor courts. But not with this one. The ball is consistent when it comes to the bounce in indoor condition. Also, the bounce it makes in outdoor, is quite reliable.

Due to the deep narrow channels, the ball stays steady even in windy outdoor condition. The NBA size and weight help when it's about shots from short distance.

This is one of the best outdoor basketballs you can get within this price range.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made of Zi/O durable composite leather
  • Full pebbling with foam backed design provides a solid grip
  • Deep channels ensure a steady flight path
  • Consistent bounce
  • More water resistant than other balls
  • Official NBA size and weight
  • Playable in both indoor and outdoor courts

2.Spalding NBA Street Basketball

If you are looking for a budget-friendly solid outdoor basketball, this Spalding NBA Street Basketball is for you. It’s considered as the best street basketball. Likewise, the previously reviewed one, it also comes with professional NBA size and weight.

The ball is made of an ultra-durable cover which can resist extreme weather conditions like a boss. Therefore, you don’t need to have a second thought regarding whether you will hit an outdoor court with this ball or not.

When it's about playing in outdoor condition, you must ensure that you are playing with a ball durable enough for rough surfaces. The cover is extremely durable and easily survives the harshness of outdoor courts.

The grip it provides is good enough to catch regardless of the weather condition. It will not feel too soft to slip from your hands.

Most of the cheap outdoor basketballs don’t have good bouncing ability to make the game enjoyable. But luckily, this wasn’t the case with this one. The ball bounces way better than other outdoor balls in the market.

How is its balancing capability? Well, you can rely on its reliable flight path and impressive spin for passing and shooting.

If you don't want to further invest in a basketball for months, this might be the one you need. Its tough synthetic rubber is quite durable for outdoor courts.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable synthetic rubber
  • Above average bouncing capability
  • Well balanced in flight path and spinning
  • Official NBA size and weight
  • Deep channels provide enhanced grip

3. Spalding NBA Varsity Outdoor Rubber Basketball

Another basketball from Spalding, not because I’m being biased of this brand, but it’s what I found from my research. They make verities of outdoor basketballs considering almost every outdoor conditions.

The ball comes with a cheap price tag, but that doesn’t compromise the quality it’s made of. This ball is made of durable rubber cover. You will love how it stays in your hand due to its enhanced grip, thanks to its round pebbling shape.

Rubbery balls easily get wear and tear after exposing to rough surfaces. Its rubbery cover is durable enough to stand against the roughness of outdoor courts.

Usually, a softball doesn't last for a long time. Spalding did an excellent job by making this ball enough soft and grippy while ensuring its durability.

The deep channels provide a well-balanced control over the ball and help to rotate during the release properly. Also the ball is stable enough when it’s on its flight path.

You will be totally satisfied to see how well it bounces in outdoor courts. The ball consistently bounces even where there are some hard pounding situations.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable rubber cover
  • Resists on rough outdoor courts
  • Deep channels give proper balance
  • Best grip for the money
  • Consistent bounces

4. Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball

You will hardly find anyone who loves sports but hasn't heard of the brand Wilson.

This basketball is one of the best-selling balls from the brand. The ball got a composite leather cover that feels very soft on the hands. But when it's about outdoor game, you might avoid purchasing a soft ball. However, this is not the case with this ball.

The ball stands pretty well on all playing surfaces including rough ones. Due to its dense pebble pattern, the ball sticks to the hands pretty well, even when you don’t get a perfect pass. You can play with this one in both indoor and outdoor courts.

Wilson implemented the Cushion core technology in this ball that makes easier to catch it and soft bounces on the rim provides a better shot percentage. Cushion core also makes the ball enough reliable and predictable on the court.

Both the handling and grip of this ball feel natural. You will face no issue when it comes to dribble it as much as you want. Its patented laid in channels help a lot to get a proper spinning control and makes handling easy for small hands.  

Highlighted Features:

  • Ultra-durable composite leather cover
  • Dense pattern make it stick to the hands
  • Cushion core technology provides soft bounces
  • Wide and deep channels for small hands

5. Spalding NBA Indoor/Outdoor Replica Game Ball

Spalding made this replica basketball with great care and it stands very close to the real official one. The ball is made of premium composite leather and large pebbling that give it slick and glossy grip which is better than ordinary indoor and outdoor balls.

Although it's a replica ball, it feels softer than the Spalding NBA street ball. You cannot expect it to perform like an original one, but still it manages to deliver good performance compared to ordinary basketballs.

This replica edition stands pretty well when it comes to bounce in outdoors. But it struggles to deliver the same bouncing performance in indoors due to the lack of elasticity in this condition.

But you can try to adjust the bounce through inflating or deflating. The recommended inflation is 8 PSI for this replica.

When it’s about how the ball balances, you will be able to dribble and pass the ball off quickly at ease.

The soft composite leather doesn't have any durability issue in indoors. However, the cover tends to smooth out in heavy outdoor usage, but the grip still stands quite well.

You can reduce the damage by giving the ball a cleaning after each outdoor game and be sure to keep it in a dark and dry place.

Highlighted Features:

  • Premium composite leather cover
  • Well-balanced in both indoor and outdoor courts
  • Durable enough for outdoor play

6. Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball Review

Armour is a well reputable brand for producing sport-wear. But they did a decent job making this ball. The ball got UA Gripskin composite material as a cover. The material provides extra grip on the ball. So, the players will have proper control over this ball.

The ball feels natural when you touch it for the very first time. The pebble pattern on its surface is extremely dense and ensures optimum contact surface when it gets dirty.

In addition, the pebble pattern it got is quite deep which helps the player to get improved accuracy regarding their shooting. It also makes the ball extremely durable in outdoor courts.

Under Armour implemented 80-percent nylon windings to make sure that the ball doesn’t lose its shape when it is exposed to heavy outdoor plays.

Wipe channels ensure that you will get a better hold over the ball. It feels a bit heavier than other balls of this type.

As it comes with the official NBA size, it is recommended from the experts to practice with the ball in both indoor and outdoor conditions.

Highlighted Features:

  • UA grip skin composite material
  • 80-percent nylon windings
  • Extremely dense pebble pattern
  • Provides solid grip

7. Spalding NBA Street Phantom Outdoor Basketball

Outdoor basketballs don't usually come with a soft touch for preventing it from wear and tear. But Spalding seems to make a good balance between the softness and grip on their balls. As it is an outdoor basketball, the ball is soft, but not like an indoor basketball.

Its soft grip technology allows the ball to stick to your palms. Therefore, you will get better handling as well as good control over it. Players with both small and large sized hands will be able to get a proper grip on it.

The pebbles are dense enough for dribbling and shooting with ease. Channels are wide, but that doesn’t do any harm to the grip, rather it further provides good control during the release. The rotation is steady during its flight path.

This ball performs like a lower tier basketball if it is played with wet hands. It manages to bounce quite well but there some inconsistency when the ball is inflated to high pressure. But this issue isn’t something unusual as it is an outdoor rubberize ball.

The ball will perform great if it is played in outdoor courts. But the performance isn't up to the mark on hardwood floors, as it wasn't designed for indoors.

Highlighted Features:

  • Soft grip makes it easy for hands of any size
  • Premium outdoor cover for extended durability
  • Neon texture for easy visual
  • Sponge rubbery design

8. Wilson NCAA Tournament Game Basketball

Now it’s official show time. Are you a fan of NCAA tournament? Have you ever noticed the official ball of that tournament? You are about to get introduced with a Wilson made official NCAA tournament game basketball.

As it is played in the tournament, so it's an indoor game ball, and that's what the title suggests. Wilson did their best to make this ball perfect for indoor courts.

The ball is designed with some unparalleled innovations. It is the only basketball that can absorb moisture.

As basketball requires lots of jumping and running, it’s quite obvious for the players to get sweat, and that’s where this ball strikes. Its cover will absorb the sweat, and there will be no slipperiness on the ball. So, the players will not lose control over the ball due to the sweat.

Due to the laid-in channels, you will get the utmost grip-ability and proper control over the ball. Also, the cover got thousands of micro-pebble touchpoints delivering superior grip regardless of the size of hands.

Furthermore, the ball also features Cushion Core Technology that ensures more consistent bounce. Due to this Cushion, the ball feels exceptionally exceptional. Consider all those matter we think this is one of the best Best Outdoor Basketball for professional players.

Highlighted Features:

  • Moisture absorbable composite cover
  • Laid-in channels for superior grip-ability
  • Cushion Core Technology ensures consistent bounce

9. Spalding NBA Zi/O Excel Basketball

Say hello to another NBA official basketball from the brand Spalding. This ball is suitable for both indoor and outdoor courts. The cover of this ball is made of Zi/O composite leather that looks stunning and feels genuine.

Its composite leather cover got a foam backing under its entire pebbling makes handling the ball even precisely. The channels are wide enough and design 30 percent deeper for enhanced grip-ability and excellent dribbling control.

If you are serious about making it to the NBA tournament, you need to make sure that your playing gears are of official size and weight. As it's an official ball, it got your back with these regards as well.

The leather cover feels soft and ensures durability to face challenges in both indoor and outdoor courts. Although it feels soft, it performs like a pro in outdoor playing conditions as well.

When it comes to the bouncing part, you will find it reliable as the professionals do. Due to the foam backed design bounces are consistent and make no obstacle to your prediction. You will be able to pass and shoot the ball accurately.

Highlighted Features:

  • Zi/O durable double composite leather cover
  • Foam backed design for enhanced bounces
  • Full pebbling provides better control and grip

10. Spalding Varsity Rubber Outdoor Basketball

Last but not the least a Varsity Rubber Outdoor basketball from Spalding. This is one of the cheapest basketball you can find in the market.

The ball is made of rubber cover with a round pebble that leaves no question for its durability. A rubber ball is usually grippy, and when an ordinary rubbery ball hits a rough outdoor surface, it starts to wear and tear to some extent.

With this rubbery one, there is no need to worry about how long it will last in outdoor playing courts. Spalding has made this ball soft enough to survive the rough surfaces.

It’s a rubber ball with enough pores, and I think there is no need to explain how well the ball will grip. Those pores also absorb the moisture of the surface and sweat from your palms. So, there will be no slippery touch during the game.

The channels are deep enough to provide good control over the ball and its rotation. In addition, its flight stability is quite decent.

The ball is capable of delivering consistent and professional ball like bounces even in some hard pounding conditions. Also, the ball is able to retain its proper shape without much effort.

But still, as it's a rubber ball, the performance will vary depending on the factors of surface and air pressure. Even though there might be some flows which are obvious at such a low price point, but overall it's a very durable basketball with decent performance.

Highlighted Features:

  • High quality extremely durable rubber
  • Pores absorb moisture ensuring a non-slippery game
  • Deep channels provide better control, rotation and flight path

Best Outdoor Basketball Buying Guide for Beginners:

You must ensure you are investing in a basketball which will last longer and you can practice like a professional player with it. Now, let's have a look at some of the key factors of basketball you need to consider before buying.

1. Material

How a basketball will perform in real game-time largely depends on what it is made of. If the materials are good enough, then the basketball will last longer and perform great as well.

Basketballs made of genuine composite leather are more enduring and durable. In addition, this kind of leather also positively impacts on its grip.

A composite leather made ball may seem slightly hard to control for the newbies. But by the time it will be the best option for doing some rapid action in the court.

The second option is the rubbery ones. A rubber-made basketball costs less and provides superior grip over a leather made one. These type of basketball is ideal for outdoor courts. Make sure you choose a basketball made from a quality rubber material, or it will start wearing and tearing due to the rough surfaces.

2. Size

Depending on age and sex, basketballs primarily come with three different sizes of 5, 6 and 7.

Size 5, which is more or less 27.5-inches is for younger ones. This junior size ball is perfect for children of 8 to early teens.

Size 6, which is more or less 28.5-inches is mainly for women. But both middle and high school goers can use a ball of this size as well.

Size 7 is about 29.5-inches which is an official size for tournaments like NBA. The professionals have to deal a ball of this size. So, if your eyes are on NBA or being a professional basketball player, this is the size you need to go for.

2. Grip

How well you will perform with a basketball depends on its grip. Features like pebbling and channels determine how well a ball can grip. Deep and wide channels help to have better control over the ball. While on the other hand, pebble grip dots help to have a good grip on the ball.

But not all balls come with pebble dots. You need to go for the one that has densely pebble dots. Don’t forget to check how well the dots are organized around its surface.

In outdoor basketball reviews, the balls I have chosen have variations on their grip-ability. One differs from others. So, make sure you properly know about the features that influence grip on a ball.

4. Bounce

Perfect passing and shooting depend on how a ball bounces in the court. In outdoor courts, the bounce is an essential factor for a well playable ball. Rubber balls bounce consistently in outdoor courts. While on the other hand, a cheap composite material made ball is quite inconsistent while delivering bounces.

But again, inflation is a factor affecting bounces. A composite leather ball can be adjusted to get consistent bounces by reducing or increasing the inflation.

In a nutshell, rubber delivers more consistent bounces in outdoors. But if you go for leather one, make sure the leather is of good quality that can maintain consistent bounces.

5. Feel

If a basketball feels right, you will be able to confidently handle the ball, cross over, break ankles, and shoot in a game. An indoor basketball feels good to touch. However, there are some premium outdoor basketball gives you the superior feel as well. Overall performance improves if the ball feels good.

6. Deflategate

Cheap outdoor basketball deflates when the temperature drops. It negatively affects the bouncing capability of a ball. All outdoor basketballs deflate to some extent when it gets cold. But this scenario is less in high quality basketball. 

7.Moisture Grip

As the game requires running and jumping, the players tend to get sweat, especially in outdoors easily. Wet hands reduce grip-ability of a ball. Some basketball comes with moisture grip feature that absorbs the moist from the palms of the players and ensures the ball has proper grip on it.

But this feature comes with premium quality basketballs. With this feature, there will be no break in play.

8. Retainability

Every time a ball bounces on an outdoor court wears and tears down a bit. It will continue over time, and the ball may end up feeling light like a balloon. Cheap quality outdoor basketballs tend to wear quickly. Make sure you buy a good quality ball that can retain the air pressure.

9. Durability

As outdoor courts consist of dirt, rocks, metal nets, metal backboards, and moisture, the environment is less forgiving to a basketball. Therefore, you need to ensure that your one is made of good quality material that can survive the roughness longer than others.

Rubber balls usually last longer in outdoors. However, if your preference is a composite leather made basketball, make sure the leather is of good quality that doesn’t get wear and tear easily.

How to Take Care and Maintain Your Outdoor Basketball for Longevity?

After buying a good quality basketball, the next thing you need to do for its longevity is to make sure you take good care of the ball after every game. These are the top suggestions for you in this regard.

1. Pick the Right Ball for the Right Court

Always make sure you are playing with a ball which is suitable for your court. Most of the indoor basketballs aren’t suitable for taking in outdoors. Due to the rough surfaces, the ball easily gets wear and tear in the middle of a game.

For outdoor courts, you need good quality rubber or synthetic ball to stand up against the roughness. If you choose the right ball for the right court, your ball will last longer.

2. Be Careful About the Dust

If you leave your basketball untouched, then dust and dirt will make way into its crevices and make the ball slippery over time. If that happens, dribbling, passing, and shooting will be much harder than before. To prevent this from happening, make sure you give the ball a quick once-over using a towel after finishing each game.

It would be a lot easier to keep clean the ball free from dust if you start cleaning after the very first game played with the ball.

Be lenient when it's about cleaning a rubber or synthetic basketball. And be sure not to leave a composite leather made basketball for long in damp conditions.

3. Avoid Over Exposing the Ball to Weather Elements

No matter whether you have an indoor or outdoor basketball, you should never leave the ball for a long period in extreme weather conditions. Weather elements can expose basketballs. Wetness is the number 1 enemy of your basketball as it ruins the grip badly.

Basketballs tent to lose their shapes if they are left in severe temperatures affecting the playing performance. Also if you leave the ball in direct sunlight for too long, it will fade the color of the ball.

4. Proper Inflation

If the ball doesn't have enough air in it, your play-time is not going to be enjoyable. On the other hand, if the ball is over-inflated, it will start forming lumps. Whenever the ball hits the ground or wall, it will increase the chance of tearing.

So, make sure the basketball you use it properly inflated. The general rule of thumb for determining whether the ball has the necessary air or not is to hold the ball above the head and drop it. If the ball makes its way bouncing back to the chest height (two-thirds jumping), it's ready to roll out.

5. Keep the Ground Free of Rocks

Be aware of the areas you play and store your basketball. Hard objects will cause damage and alter the original shape of the ball. Keep the court free of rocks and make sure there is a barrier around the court so that the ball doesn’t ricochet into sharp objects and get punctured. It would be best if you play in a smooth court.

Always keep your basketball in a bag and keep the place dry. There shouldn't be any object pushing the ball in from any direction. Otherwise, the ball will lose its shape. Don't leave the ball on a rack for a long time, or it will become ovular.

6. A Second Ball

It would be better if the ball doesn't have to stand against the roughness of outdoor courts alone. If you have a secondary ball, the first one will get enough time to recover and it will prolong both of their lifespan.

7. Pump Before Hitting the Ground

Make sure the ball is well pumped before you start the game. Not only it will make the game more enjoyable, but also the cover will be less affected by the outdoor surfaces.

Inflating Tips to Follow for Taking Care of Your Outdoor Basketball

Inflation is also a part of taking care of your basketball. Some factors influence the durability of a basketball. Follow the tips given below to inflate the ball safely.

1. Take Care of Its Needle

Always lubricate or moisture the needle before you are about to pump the ball. Insert the needle in the valve and make sure the needle isn’t broken or damaged. If the needle isn’t moist enough or it’s broken, it will ruin your basketball before you know.

2. Proper Pressure

You are not pumping a tire; it's a ball, so don't put high pressure and make the ball hard like a rock. The pressure shouldn't be too less also, or it will cause the ball to wear and tear easily.

3. Consider the Temperature

If it’s extremely cold, don’t pump the ball. Inflating in such condition can burst the ball.

4. Read the Manual

Inside the package, you will find a manual explaining how much pressure you need to insert into the ball. Don't over-do or under-do it.

5. When Deflating

If you need to deflate the ball, just insert the needle in the valve and let the air come out. Don't squeeze the ball during the process. Leave the ball with 2 or 3 pounds to keep the cover safe from damage.

3 Important Tips to Cleaning the Outdoor Basketball Safely

There are some dos and don’ts when it’s time to clean a basketball. Follow the tips below for not ruining the ball while cleaning it.

Tips 1. Cleaning Rubber Basketballs

Rubbery basketball traps more dirt and other surface elements. These elements hide securely in between the pebbles as it is played in outdoors. Therefore, this kind of ball requires further cleaning.

First, clean it with soap and water. Use warm soapy water for best results. Now, take a sponge or scrubber and scrub the ball well. It will remove nearly most of the dirt. You can also use a brush to clean dirt and elements from its finest areas.

After giving the ball a good cleaning, allow it to dry in a ventilated area. Don’t put the ball under direct sunlight.

Tips 2. Cleaning Synthetic Leather Basketballs

Synthetic and composite leather basketballs are played in indoor courts, and that's why they don't get dirty as the rubber balls. Using soapy water will do the trick here. Don’t dare to submerge the ball in liquid and leave as it is. Use a cloth and wipe the cover of the ball. If can use elbow grease to rub off dirt is necessary.

If the ball is too dirty, in that case, use specialized synthetic leather cleaner. Use plenty of soapy water as well.

Now leave the ball in a dry and well-ventilated area. Don't expose it to direct sunlight.

Tips 3. Things to Consider While Cleaning

Below are some quick check facts to keep in mind while you plan on cleaning your basketball. Following these simple tips will help your ball last a long lifetime.

  • Don’t submerge your leather of rubbery type of basketball in water or detergent.
  • When it’s time to dry it, don’t leave it under direct sunlight.
  • Don’t use strong detergents that may fade the colors.
  • Never use heating appliances like hairdryers to dry the ball.

Top Rated Outdoor Basketball Brands on The Market

To most of the people, a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying something is, the more reputable brand, the more their products will last. However, some brands make good quality basketball, and their customers are satisfied with the product.

Here are the top 5 brands for best outdoor basketball to choose from;

1. Spalding

People who watch NBA matches are familiar with this brand. Spalding is the official basketball brand for NBA. They make premium quality basketball with lots of features. Some of their basketballs feature innovative ideas as well.

Outdoor basketballs usually don't last long due to the rough surfaces. As most of the outdoor basketballs are made of rubber material, it tends to wear and tear sooner than composite leather made basketballs.

But Spalding-made rubbery basketballs are quite different. Due to the high-quality rubber, the balls of this well-known brand stands up against the roughness of outdoor courts quite impressively.

Their official NBA basketball is able to absorb moisture. And it’s a type of feature that you are not going to get in basketballs of other brands.

2. Wilson

Wilson manufactures top quality sports gear, and they are a well-known brand in the world of sports. They are the official basketball brand for NCAA tournaments. Their basketballs are made of quality materials.

The official NCAA basketball is the only ball in the world comes with moisture absorption features. They use the Cushion Core Technology that provides a consistent bounce.

Wilson offers some replica basketballs that performs really well in outdoors. They use high-quality rubber material in their basketballs. Also, they have high-quality composite leather made basketball as well.

3. Under Armour

Under Armour has a good reputation in the world of sports wear. They make really good quality sports-wear. Also, their basketballs are made of top quality. Under Armour made basketballs are the primary game ball for numbers of popular leagues.

They use UA grip skin composite material for providing extra grip on the ball. Also, their balls come with extremely dense pebble pattern feature for ensuring better control.

Armour basketballs are of the official NBA size. Most of the experts recommend using their basketball for practice sessions.

4. Molten

Molten is the official basketball of FIBA, and due to this factor, they have gained international recognition among athletes. This brand marched their innovation with integrated tradition and ended up producing top quality basketballs. Many of their balls have approval from NFHS and FIBA.

Their X-series basketballs feature numbers of innovations that take the playtime to the next level. Molten has implemented a uniform pebble surface which delivers superior control over the ball and accurate shooting and passing.

For tracking the rotation of the ball, GIUGIARO design comes really helpful for the players.

5. Nike

Last but not least, the most popular sport-wear brand to the athletes around the world, the Nike. This list would have been incomplete without Nike. Their basketballs are quite popular among many recreational players.

Nike basketballs are mostly made of rubber and synthetic leather and durable enough for both indoor and outdoor courts.

The most interesting fact about their balls is, the balls are engineered in such a way that allows enhancing shape retention. Their balls also feature concave channels providing better control.

Different Types of Outdoor Basketball

There are some variations in outdoor basketballs. Not all the balls are made of same material, and so their performance varies depending on the construction.

Mainly there are three types of outdoor basketball which I’m about to discuss in this section.

1. Rubber Basketball

Outdoor concrete surfaces are rough; therefore, it requires a more durable ball. As the rubber balls are more durable than balls made of materials like leather and synthetic leather, rubber balls suit best with the roughness of outdoor courts.

Concrete surfaces do a lot of harm to basketballs. Even most cheap rubbery basketballs easily wear and tear off after few games or even less.

There are some brands like Spalding, Wilson who make outdoor basketball with a very high-quality rubber material. These balls can cope up with the rough surface.

When it comes to the grip, rubber balls stand first. Rubbers usually sticks to the hands. Therefore, a rubbery basketball delivers proper and solid grip to the hands.

No other ball bounces as good as a rubber ball. You cannot enjoy a basketball game if the ball isn't consistent on its bounces. Players misjudge the ball due to the inconsistency and results in poor gaming performance.

Rubber basketballs are highly recommended for the beginners to start their career with. They are the cheapest type of basketball than other types.

2. Composite / Synthetic Leather Basketball

Leather balls don’t perform that well and easily wear and tear off after exposing to asphalt courts. Therefore, many manufacturers came up with the idea of making outdoor basketball with composite or synthetic leather materials which resemble the leathery premium feel and also very durable for outdoor courts.

Basketballs made of composite and synthetic leather almost feels like an indoor premium balls. Usually, a leather ball feels hard when it's brand new. But after few games when it gets few wears and tears, the ball feels softer than before.

However, this is not the case with a synthetic basketball. Due to its uniform feel, it feels soft even when it’s brand new.

You can use a synthetic leather basketball both in indoors and outdoors. It's a kind of leather so, it will obviously suit an indoor court. On the other hand, as the leather is artificial and had to go through the process to be able to survive on concrete and asphalt, you can take the ball in an outdoor court too.

Although the ball feels premium, they are very cheap to produce.

3. Leather Basketball

This type of balls is made of 100% genuine leather which is used in big indoor tournaments like NBA, NCAA, FIBA, and NFHS. They are only for indoor courts. The ball is very expensive due to the genuine leather construction.

4. Types According to Sizes

According to the different size, outdoor basketballs can be categorized primarily into three types.

- 29.5-inches (circumference) 7 size balls are used in official tournaments like NBA, NCAA. These are professional size basketballs.

- 28.5-inches (circumference) 6 size balls are relatively smaller, and this size is recommended for the women. But men can also play with a ball of this size; there are no restrictions. 

- 27.5-inches (circumference) 5 size balls are for children of 8 and early teens.

There is another size which is 22 and known as a mini ball. This ball is used to train young children.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between indoor and outdoor basketball?

The main difference is the material used in these two types of basketball. An indoor basketball is made of genuine leather and optimized for having proper bounces for a smooth surfaced indoor court.

On the other hand, outdoor basketballs are made of more durable materials like rubber and synthetic leather which are optimized to have proper bounces on rough surfaces in outdoor courts.

2. Can I use an outdoor basketball indoors?

You can use an outdoor basketball in indoors. Indoor courts are smooth, and there will be no problem if a rubbery ball is exposed to such an environment. But the ball might bounce differently than how it used to do in outdoors.

3. How much air should be in my basketball?

As basketballs tend to lose air over time, they need to pump so that they bounce well in the courts. The amount of pressure varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. It also depends on the material used in the ball. So, there is no fixed amount for that, but mostly it varies between 7.5 to 8.5 PSI.

Follow the manufacturer instructions for inflating.

4. How will I know that the ball has proper air pressure?

Hold the ball above your chest and drop it. If the ball bounces back about two-thirds of the way, it's properly inflated. But if it bounces more, it's over-inflated, if you see it bounces less, the ball is under-inflated.

6. Where should I store my basketball?

Always put the ball inside a bag and put it in indoor room temperature. Don’t keep it under direct sunlight or near any heat source.

7. What are crossover basketballs?

Crossover basketballs are made for both indoor and outdoor courts. The ball combines the durability of an outdoor playing ball, and performance of an indoor playing ball.

8. Can I use detergent to clean a basketball?

You shouldn't use strong detergent. It would be better if you clean the ball using a mild soap or a basketball cleaner solution. And make sure not to use hot water or shoe cleaning solutions to clean the basketball.

9. What is the good-quality outdoor basketball material?

It depends. If you prefer durability, the answer would be a rubber ball. But if you prefer comfort over durability, go for a composite leather made a basketball. If you want both, get a high-quality rubber basketball for great feel and durability.

10. What is a composite leather cover?

A composite leather is an artificial leather which is used as an alternative to the genuine leather. Composite leather is more durable than genuine leather.

Final Words

Even though the professionals play in indoor courts, but the basic and the foundation is built on an outdoor court. Therefore, if an individual performs well in outdoors, most likely he will perform well in indoors too.

Great performance requires great balls. If you go with the best outdoor basketball, you have already started the journey to play in tournaments like NBA, NCAA.