Top 20 Best Outdoor Basketballs Reviewed

spaldingIf you’re like me, you like to shoot some hoops every once in a while. But even when playing casually, it’s good to get a little competitive. You’ve always gotta be upping dem skillz, you know what I’m saying?

Taking your skillz to NBA level is going to take some time. But without proper equipment, you’ll never get there. So make sure to get your hands on some good gear. The whole game basically starts with a ball. So that’s what you need to be looking at first

Even for the casual b-baller, it can help to have a really good basketball. A high quality ball can help you increase your shooting percentage. And who knows… one day, you might get spotted by Air Jordan.

But not before you learn what a shooting percentage is. So let’s dive into that for a little bit, shall we?

What is The Shooting Percentage In Basketball?

Basketball field goal can cover different scoring aspects of the game including dunks and three pointers. Shooting percentage is an important statistic used to determine good players in the game of basketball. However, if you are new to the game, you might have problems trying to grasp these concepts. Most novices would assume that a field goal is similar to a jump shot. However, the answer is not as straight forward as most people would love to think, since there are numerous types of field goals in basketball. A field goal refers to any shot attempted by the player. However, this excludes free throws. It is one of the main statistics used when teams are making their selection of players, during off-season. A player with a high shooting or field goal percentage normally averages double points per game.

Usually, this percentage is arrived at by taking the number of successful field goals, versus the attempted number. The result is then multiplied by 100 to obtain a percentage. For example, if you attempted 10 field shots and only 4 were successful, then your filed goal percentage is 40%. This is an important percentage to consider during playoffs. Therefore, any attempted shot from the field is usually calculated as a field goal, thus contributing to the overall percentage. These include layoffs, jump shots or three pointers. You should also note that three pointers are usually calculated separately, although they are added to determine the overall field goal percentage.

When you hear announcers and coaches talking about field goal percentage, they normally refer to dunks and layups. These are the two field goals with the biggest success probability. Coaches prefer to see their players with high percentage shots. A player with better overall technical skills has a higher field goal percentage, as compared to a novice. However, field goal percentage is not the only parameter used to judge a player’s skills. For example, point guards normally have a lower field goal percentage, as compared to centers and forwards. On the other hand, a lower field goal percentage for an offensive player is normally indication poor skills.

As highlighted earlier, three pointers are normally calculated differently. For example, a player with a field goal or shooting percentage of 42%, and the majority of those shots are three point shots, would be considered more skillful than a player whose shooting percentage is 46% whose most shots are layups. Therefore, allowance is usually created for players whose field goal percentage is depressed as a result of taking their shots further from the ring.

How a Good Basketball Can Help Improve Shooting Percentage

Basketball is one of the few games that can be played indoors and outdoors. This means that it is important to choose a ball that is specific for certain playing conditions or surfaces. Choosing the right ball can have a direct impact on your shooting percentage, as well as your overall performance. Most outdoor basketballs are usually made of synthetic leather or composite leather. You can also come across some made of genuine leather, although it is not the best material for outdoor basketball. Composite leather is good quality and feels like genuine leather.

Avoid Leather Balls

Leather balls used to be very popular in the NBA. However, they were done away with, and they adopted composite leather. The main issue with leather is that, it requires a certain period to get used to. If you are new to the ball, controlling it might be an issue. This means that releasing the ball will become an issue. This eventually translates to a lower field goal percentage.

Composite Leather

This is one of the most common materials used to make professional basketballs. It is cheaper and more versatile. Apart from that, they don’t require any break in period. They are also perfectly suited for outdoor conditions. They will withstand the wear and tear of outdoor courts. Therefore, you will be able to retain its handling and control, and your shooting percentage will not be affected over time. If you are looking for a ball that will enhance or increase your overall shooting percentage, composite leather is highly recommended.

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Rubber

Rubber is another material used for making outdoor basket balls. It is cheap and durable. Their main setback is that they tend be rougher when it comes to handling. Moreover, they don’t give you that nice feeling on the hands. If you have issues handling the ball, this might translate to your shot success, thus affecting your overall shooting percentage.

Design

Design plays a very crucial role, when it comes to shooting percentage. A properly designed ball can increase your shooting percentage, while a poorly designed one can lower your field goal percentage. Majority of basketballs bear the same design of pebbling, threading, bladder and the channel. The black lines that are usually visible on the surface of the ball are channels where the panels have been sealed together.

Pebbles give the ball texture and grip. The arrangement of the channel has a great impact, towards your overall performance. Widely spaced channels will give the ball better handling, thus enhancing your shooting accuracy. The pebbles on the surface determine the grip of the ball. A ball with a nice grip will provide better handling and control. Therefore, a properly designed ball with nice grip, and proper channeling can increase your shooting percentage.

Weight and Performance

Most professional basketballs come with standard weight and sizes. Therefore, you should always consider those specifications, whenever you are buying a ball. Anything heavier or lighter than the standard sizes, will always affect the flight of the ball. For example a very light ball can be affected by windy conditions, which are common outside. This lowers accuracy and precision, while lowering your shooting percentage. Therefore, always adhere to the standards, and you will notice a consistent increase in your shooting percentage. Always remember that a even a slight improvement in your shooting percentage can win you more games.

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Best Outdoor Basketball Reviews

1. Spalding NBA Street Basketball

For an outdoor basketball, durability, balance and grip are very vital considerations. This Spalding high quality outdoor basketball delivers on all those fronts. One of the main features of this b-ball is its durability. This ball is able to retain its effectiveness and strength for many years. However, this should not come as a surprise, since Spalding’s b-balls are designed for last and longevity, whether for indoor or outdoor use. That is why they are the official suppliers of basketballs used in the NBA. This street basketball comes with performance rubber covers which are highly durable on outdoor concrete or asphalt courts. Just like other balls with rubber covers, the one used on this ball gives it a soft feeling, a quality desired by many players. You will immediately notice how different it feels on your hands, as compared to others in the market. Another key feature of this b-ball is its superior grip. The longitudinal, black and deep channels on its surface provide the excellent grip. Therefore, you have total ball control as well as excellent ball handling when on the court. Once you get used to this ball, you will enjoy its bounce, dribble and overall performance.

2. Spalding NBA Zi/O Excel Basketball

Every basketball player wants a ball that can handle the grueling conditions of a hardcore game and training for long hours. The Spalding NBA Zi/O Excel Basketball is the one suited for those conditions. One of its main benefits is that it can be comfortably used on outdoor and indoor courts. However, its superior design and workmanship are perfectly suited for outdoor conditions. Being an official NBA and WNBA ball, it meets all the standard dimensions and other specifications. Whether you are in the gym or at the driveway, this ball allows you to train or shoot like a professional. It features leather composite covers. Moreover, it is very strong and sturdy, thus able to handle the tough conditions on outdoor courts. The feel on the hand is priceless, holding it is effortless, giving you improving basketball holding balance. Designed with foam coating, it produces superior grip and fantastic bounce. It is cost-effective, comfortable and easy to handle.

3. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor/Outdoor Basketball – Official Size 7 (29.5″)

If you are looking for one of the best basketball for outdoor play, this should be high on your considerations. The ball is a good example of how an outdoor basketball should look and feel. Its official status at the NBA, tells a lot about its qualities and features. First, it meets the strict standards and specifications set by the NBA. Featuring composite leather construction plus the addition of foam backing combined with the full ball pebbling, you get a ball that produces precise handling. With a deep channel design, the ball produces better grip as well as dribble control. Weight, feel and material composition are all key features when it comes to outdoor competitive play. This ball has been crafted using a touch composite leather cover so as to maintain durability together with a soft touch in outdoor court conditions. However, the material used does not compromise on its bounce or weight.

4. Spalding NBA Street Basketball – Pink & Purple – Intermediate Size 6 (28.5″)

This pink and purple Spalding intermediate basketball comes with a cover designed for outdoor performance. A wide channel design offers an incredible feel and grip while its coloring makes it very popular among female players. Due it size, it suits players who are between 9 and 12 years. With the age considerations, the ball is incredibly light, durable and hard for outdoor court surfaces. The construction is solid and the quality is just great. It is perfectly functional, giving your younger ones great basketball training, dribbling and shooting foundation. Although it is mostly used on outdoor courts, it is able to retain its shape over a long time. However, during fall, you might need to inflate it often. It is easy to use and a nice ball for practicing.

5. Spalding NBA Varsity Outdoor Rubber Basketball

The Spalding NBA Varsity Outdoor Rubber Basketball comes with everything you would need from an outdoor basketball. With its wide channel distribution, it is extremely easy to handle and control this ball. It produces an ultra-fine grip and that terrific bounce that you are looking for in a professional basketball. The ball’s grip is what gives you that excellent performance. The pores present on the ball’s surface are the main reason why it has such an excellent grip. These pores absorb all moisture on the surface, including perspiration from your palms. The result is a non-slippery touch and a nice feel on your hands. You might have come across a rubber ball with reckless tearing, wearing and cracking, and though all are same. However, you will realize that this ball is much different from other rubber balls. You will use it for months or even years, and you will not encounter such flaws. The rubber used is high quality. Therefore, feel free to step out on the concrete outdoor surface and enjoy your game with no worries.

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

Specifically designed for children below 8 years, this b-ball weighs much less than standard-sized balls used by youths. It is engineered to help young players shoot and rebound more successfully and easily. Practicing with a lighter ball helps to build your confidence, as well as establishing a strong foundation when it comes to skills. Crafted using performance composite leather, this high quality outdoor basketball is able to produce high outdoor durability as well as a soft feel on your hands. It is much lighter than the standard basketball used by young people. It also produces a nice bounce and effortless handling. The surface is designed for smaller palms, thus giving those young players a nice grip and enhanced performance. It is well made and the colors just appeal to the young players. It is a great starting point for children who are just getting into basketball.

7. Spalding Never Flat Outdoor Official Size Basketball

Most b-balls bear the same features and characteristics. However, some are have unique technology and design, and this ball is one of them. It has been designed to retain air ten times longer than conventional basketballs. With this air retention, it is able to produce a ball bounce height according to NBA standards, for up to a whole year. Their redesigned valves together with the cap are able to keep dirt out while eliminating leaks. Featuring NitroFlate air technology combined with its advanced membrane are virtually able to eliminate the ability of air to escape from the ball. Spalding are so sure of this product that they even offer a one year warranty and the warranty can become void, if you attempt to inflate the ball. The covers are made using high performance composite leather for a grippy and soft feel. It is specifically designed for outdoor use. The durable external material is able to withstand outside conditions such as extreme sunshine for a long-lasting ball.

8. Spalding Varsity Rubber Outdoor Basketball

This is the ideal ball for beginners who want to learn the tricks and different moves of basketball. It prepares you fully while giving you that professional basketball experience, considering its official NBA weight and size. It has ultimate ability and durability to withstand tough outdoor conditions and environments. This gives you more time to master the game, before you hit those indoor courts. Spalding is renowned for producing durable and sturdy basketball and the Spalding Varsity Rubber Outdoor Basketball is just another good example. Superior workmanship and quality materials come together to produce one of the best outdoor basketballs. The rubber cover is durable and you will immediately feel it once you touch the ball. Expert handling is another benefit of playing with this ball. It gives you easy and full control as well as easy ball handling. It is ready for use the minute it arrives, long lasting and a nice grip guaranteed.

9. Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball

This is a b-ball designed for both indoor and outdoor use. It is highly suitable for younger players, due to its materials, flight dynamics and handling. It adheres to all NCAA requirements, which translates to serious playtime for all users. Is moisture-absorption ability is one feature that has given it a wider appeal, among many basketball players. Your hands are highly likely to become wet from sweat when playing basketball. The good news is that this Wilson ball comes with materials that can wick moisture away. This means that it will remain dry throughout the entire play time. Additionally, you will not have issues of the ball slipping from your hands or even losing control. With its composite leather construction, you get value for money. This type of leather is used in professional basketballs, due to its high durability and most importantly excellent performance. Looking at its construction, you can easily tell the ball is meant for outdoor playing surfaces. It has a tacky feel and a nice grip giving you better handling and control.

10. Spalding NBA Indoor/Outdoor Replica Game Ball

Crafted using high quality composite leather, this basketball is able to maximize three vital things, control, feel and grip. It has been designed with NBA standards and regulations while providing durability which is very important in outdoor play. Its consistent bounce as well as overall better feel makes it one of the best outdoor basketballs that you can buy. It resembles the features and qualities of a professional NBA basketball. Its feel and grip are above average. If you are a classic basketball player and you prefer traditional channel designs, then this ball will suit your preferences. The ball is great and its external appearance is just perfect for outdoor play. It has a soft feel and good flight, giving you that all-round performance that you desire from an outdoor basketball. It is fully aired by the time it arrives, ready to hit your asphalt or concrete court and enjoy your basketball.

11. Spalding NBA Tack Soft Basketball

This is a high-end basketball crafted using durable cover material. Maximum durability is what you get when you purchase this ball. It is designed to hold out for long. This can be attributed to the material used to make the cover of the ball. Featuring composite leather, you play with it for two hours every day for the entire week, and still maintain its bounce and feel for several months. The exclusive leather used on the cover makes it durable and strong. Apart from durability, the material gives it a nice grip thus making the ball ideal for shooters and handlers. It is designed for outdoor competitive play. The excellent grip is mostly due to the coating on the surface of the ball. Just like its name, Tack Soft, you get a comfortable and smooth feel on your hands. It comes fully inflated, thus ready for use right away.

12. Spalding NBA Street Phantom Outdoor Basketball (Size 7/29.5″)

Most balls in the market have not been designed with official weights and sizes specifications. However, the NBA Street Phantom is different. Its weight and size matches those used during professional NBA games. Employing the Soft Grip Technology, this ball is able to stick on your palms, giving you better control and handling. Regardless of the size of your palms, you will easily get a nice grip with this ball. It appears slightly different from other Spalding balls due to its color, but the quality for materials and workmanship meet the same superior standards. The durable rubber material used on the makes it suitable for outdoor playing while giving it durability. It is fully inflated by the time it arrives and you can use it right away. It is available in multiple colors, giving you the flexibility of choosing the ball that suits your personality.

13. Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball

Outdoor courts normally have rough surfaces, which might affect the durability of the ball. Such factors were taken into consideration, during the design of the Mikasa BX1000. It features premium rubber covers, which are extremely durable. As much as it is offered with a 1 year warranty, the ball will definitely last several years, without needing a replacement. Gracing the rubber surface is a dense pebble design, giving the ball a nice grip. Players with smaller palms will have no problems enjoying their game, thanks to the nice grip. This is especially a nice feature for passing control, especially for street basketball. Even when the ball becomes dirty, it does not lose much grip, which is something rare in many outdoor basketballs. It has slightly deeper channels which come in handy during release. The deeper channels also add to the overall durability of this ball. The bounce is consistent and the ball is available in a wide range of sizes.

14. Under Armour 495 Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

As much as Under Armour is known for producing athletic clothing, they did a pretty nice job, when making this b-ball. The ball is reasonably priced and the quality matches the price tag. Designed using the UA GRIPSKING technology, it simply gives you that natural feel when you touch it for the first time. This technology also gives the ball better control. The surface features an extremely dense pebble pattern ensuring that you have optimum contact surface, even when the ball gets dirty. The pebbles on the ball are particularly deeper, thus contributing to its overall durability. Outdoor courts have rough surfaces, which can wear out these pebbles quite easily. However, they are deeply designed to last longer and give you a better feel. Its channels are much wider than you would expect on a b-ball. This makes sure that regardless of how you hold the ball, there will always be enough channels for your fingers to hold on to.

15. Spalding NBA Neverflat Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

If you are looking for one of the best outdoor basketballs that does not need pumping or maintenance, this is the right one for you. It is designed to retain air and last ten times longer than other balls. It features NitroFlate technology which combines small air molecules with large air molecules. With this technology, large air molecules cannot leak out. At the same time, they block the smaller ones from escaping, thus ensuring the ball retains air to the maximum. Despite this advanced technology, this basketball still retains professional durability, weight and balance. The valve cap prevents dirt and other materials from entering the ball while maintaining stability. Overall, the ball is well made to give you a nice grip and feel, thanks to the composite leather on the outer skin.

16. Wilson NCAA Wave Microfiber Composite Basketball, Orange

The Wilson NCAA Wave comes with Wave Triple Threat Technology making it one of the best outdoor basketballs you can buy. This technology incorporates 24 extra T3 grooves giving better ball control, especially on hard outdoor courts. The grooves also prevent buildup of dirt on the ball, which might compromise grip and handling. Its bounce is consistent and the overall feel is nice, whether you are on outdoor or indoor courts. Its grip is excellent and it is generally easier to handle especially when using your weaker hand to dribble. The weight is perfect for jump shots and layoffs. This ball has managed to combine durability and quality, to give you a nice multi-surface ball. Ensure that you add air to the ball especially after major weather changes, to continue enjoying its top performance.

17. Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball

Wilson Killer is features an Optima rubber cover to produce consistent performance for the recreational basketball player. This outdoor basketball comes with wide channels to increase your control and grip. A pressure lock bladder helps in maintaining optimal ball pressure while the sponge rubber used on the covers is ideal for different surfaces. Whether it is snowing, raining or shining, you will still enjoy your basketball to the maximum. Although the covers are rubber, the ball is still able to produce the same consistent bounce like a composite leather ball. Its exceptional grip makes it a nice ball for practicing dunks and free throws. The colors are vibrant and the ball retains air well, without the need for regular pumping. It is a nice ball for younger players. Wilson is the official NCAA ball, and you are guaranteed of quality with the Wilson Killer Crossover.

18. Wilson NCAA Illuminator, Glow in the Dark Basketball, 28.5″

Sometimes you might want to enjoy your game outdoors, but unfortunately the lights are not enough. However, all that is now possible thanks to the Wilson NCAA Illuminator, Glow in the Dark Basketball. The ball glows in the dark, increasing its visibility especially in low light areas. This feature makes it very popular with kids. To ensure that it recharges, leave it indoors for the whole day. By the time you go outside with it to play, it will produce a nice glow. There is a nice contrast between the light blue lines and the white background, making it easy to spot. Despite its nice appearance and aesthetics, its overall feel has not been compromised. It is easy to handle and control. Dribbling and shooting with this ball is easy. It is also a nice ball for kids that love shooting hoops.

19. Spalding NBA Varsity Neon Outdoor Basketball

This is a great basketball for beginners. The ball comes with durable rubber cover, designed to handle rough outdoor play. It features deep channels that give you superior ball handling as well as all-ball pebbling for that enhanced grip. The colors are easy to identify. Therefore, it is easy to identify it among a group of other balls. It is true to size and arrives already pumped. This is to ensure that you can head straight to the park and enjoy your game with a group of friends. Handling is easy and overall ball control is perfect. As much as it offers a nice grip, this has not compromised on softness. Therefore, your children will not be left nursing blisters, regardless of how long they play. It works well in outdoor surfaces with a consistent bounce and good flight. It is not heavy, thus suitable practicing shots and dribbles.

20. Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball, FIBA Approved – BGMX

As the official FIBA ball, this Molten X ball has gained international acclaim and recognition as the top choice among elite athletes globally. The X-Series comes with enhanced visibility and functionality, for precision shooting and dribbling. The ball has been designed with a uniform pebble surface, providing consistent and exceptional grip. This gives you superior control as well as precise passing. Molten has also used GIUGIARO design for enhancing visibility. This allows the players to track the rotation of the ball easily. Regardless of where the ball is held, you will always have consistent contact. By combining superior craftsmanship and innovative technology, Molten has produced one of the best basketballs for outdoor use.