best football to buy

7 Best Footballs 2023: Complete Buying Guide

Are you looking for the best football to buy? Getting the right football is the first step towards enjoying your game. If you get it wrong when choosing a football, you’ll always be inflating yours. 

In a Hurry? Check Out Our Top Recommendations
Franklin Sports Junior Football – Grip-Rite 100
Wilson NFL Super Grip

The right football needs to be durable and of the right size. If you’re in the market for a football, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this comprehensive review and buying guide, I’ll review the best 7 footballs 2023 and what to consider when buying one.

Keep reading below to make the right purchase decision.

Best Football To Buy: Top 3 Picks Compared

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Best Football Of All Time


The Wilson NFL MVP Football is the all-time best football. This is an amazing football to bring the game to your backyard.

It comes ready to use and fully inflated. What’s more, it features a tacky material to ensure a superior grip.

Overall, you can be sure you’re getting good football. The ball is recommended for youth from the age of 14 years. Additionally, it’s an official size ball and thus meets NFL standards.

Key Features

Tacky material: It features a tacky material that provides a superior grip. Players can hold the ball firmly without it slipping.

Fully inflated: The footballs come fully inflated for immediate use. You can start kicking the ball out of the box.

Includes pump: You additionally get a quality pump. This allows you to inflate it whenever they lose air.


  • Comes ready to play with a synthetic cover
  • Offers a superior grip due to a tacky material
  • Comes with a quality hand pump
  • Comes fully inflated


  • Slick around the Wilson logo, but the effect is minimal

Best Composite Ball

Wilson Composite Football

The Wilson ball is one of the best composite footballs on the market right now. It’s a youth-size football with outstanding features.

The ball is a perfect choice for middle school kids from the age of 12-14 years. Young players can enjoy a superior grip due to the white grip stripes.

It also features a unique patented accurate control lacing (ACL). The lacing is a pebble to ensure more grip on most surfaces of the ball. In addition, it features a durable synthetic cover material for added durability.

Key Features

Transfer Stripes: Transfer white stripes to provide fingers with extra grips. This ensures seamless throws without the ball slipping.

Patented ACL: A further patented lacing system with pebbling provides an additional grip. Players can enjoy superior gripping on all ball surfaces.

Composite leather cover: Lastly, the football features a composite leather cover for added durability. The composite covering adds longevity and provides buyers with good value for money.


  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Affordable
  • Superior grip due to striping and patented lacing
  • Approved for use across all youth leagues


  • Does feel a little small, but then it’s for youths

Best NFL Football

Wilson 2020 NFL “The Duke” 

The Wilson 2020 NFL – The Duke is one of the best leather footballs in the market right now. It is a suitable football for collectors and training competitions.

It boasts the highest quality leather made in the USA to the highest standards.

It is a sleek and attractive ball with a pressed Wilson W trademark on every panel. You can be sure you’re getting the best quality football. In addition, the football features an NFL shield with red, blue, and silvers. The shields are nicely stamped and leave the ball looking outstanding.

Key Features

Quality Horween leather: Wilson The Duke boasts one of the highest quality leathers. It’s a premium football that will serve you for ages. What’s more, football is made in the USA to the highest quality standards.

NFL official specifications: This is a standard NFL and NCAA football. The ball specifications meet those of the NFL making it a great choice for practice and match days.

Pressed trademark and stamped colors: Lastly, the ball boasts some attractive finishes. It’s a stylish football with pressed Wilson trademark and further stamped silver, blue, and red colors.


  • Attractive finishes
  • Meets NFL and NCAA ball specifications
  • Durable due to the highest quality leather
  • Perfect for all ages


  • Expensive, but worth the price

Best Affordable Football

Wilson NFL Super Grip

The NFL Super Grip is one of the best NFL footballs to consider buying. It’s an extremely superior football to bring the game to your backyard.

This is an affordable football choice if you’re on a budget. 

The football features a high-quality composite material that looks just like genuine leather. It is a lovely football that I recommend.

What’s more, a tacky material provides players with a superior grip. It is a ball with a synthetic cover and one that comes ready for use. 

In addition, the ball features a multi-layered lining to ensure the shape is consistent. Overall, this is a durable yet affordable football to consider.

Key Features

Tacky material: It features a tacky synthetic material that provides a superior grip. Players will enjoy catching and throwing the ball.

Synthetic leather: In addition, the leather material is durable yet affordable. It looks just like genuine leather and will offer great playability.

Multi-layered linings: Lastly, the ball features multi-layered linings to ensure durability. The linings also ensure the ball maintains a consistent shape.


  • Tacky material to provide a superior grip
  • Affordable due to synthetic leather
  • Consistent shape and durability
  • Sleek and attractive finishes


  • Tends to wear faster on the ends for indoor use

Best Team Ball

Rawlings NFL Game Time Football

Rawlings’ NFL game time is the best football of all time, meeting the demands of most teams. It’s an exciting ball coming in full size to meet the needs of most players. 

This is football for the Chicago Bears. It is by far the easiest to throw and catch due to its superior grip.

The football features a synthetic pebbled material to ensure superior gripping. Players can catch and hold the ball without slips. In addition, the ball features the bold bear team logo. 

There are further team wordmark and conference division logos on the other side. Overall, this is an exciting football that comes fully inflated for ready use.

Key Features

Synthetic pebbled material: It is a durable ball with a pebbled synthetic material. The material offers a superior grip and supports good throws.

Bold Bears team Logo: This is an attractive football with bold team logos. It also features team woodmarks with division and conference on the sides.

Full size and fully inflated: It is a standard full-size ball that meets most association standards. In addition, the ball comes fully inflated for immediate use and display.


  • Fully inflated hence ready to use
  • Attractive team logos
  • Tacky synthetic material for durability and gripping
  • Standard size


  • A bit average but then affordable

Best Leather Football

Wilson Traditional Leather Football

The Wilson Traditional leather football is another outstanding choice and one to consider right away. It’s a premium quality football approved for playing in major youth leagues. 

This is a standard football made using genuine leather. It’s a pee wee size football for kids from the age of 6-9 years.

This is an exclusive full-grain leather pebbled football to order. It provides a superior grip and allows for easy ball throwing. 

What’s more, the football features patented ACL laces providing 174% more grip than most traditional laces. There are also white stripes with improved grippings. 

Overall, this is a standout football to ensure maximum grip and durability.

Key Features

Patented ACL laces: The football features ACL laces that offer the best grippings. They provide 174% more gripping than traditional laces.

Grip Stripes: There are also grip stripes that provide extra grip. The white stripe grips offer a far much better grip than traditional painted stripes.

Full-grain leather: It’s a durable full grain leather with deep pebbles to ensure superior grip. The pebbles create a firm texture that provides a better grip.


  • Better gripping due to textured pebbles
  • Approved for all major youth leagues
  • Patented ACL for extra gripping
  • Small perfect size for kids


  • Stitch frays with time, but it does last

Best Football for Youth

Franklin Sports Junior Football – Grip-Rite 100

The Franklin Sports Junior is the best youth football to consider buying. It is a durable kids’ ball that will see your kids play on concrete and grass.

This is a deep-pebbled rubber ball that withstands wear and tear. 

It is an easy-grip football with pro-style raised laces. Apart from the pebbles, the laces offer extra grip for kids. You can be sure kids will enjoy holding and throwing the ball.

Overall, this is a youth-size football measuring 10 inches long and 6 inches wide. The rubber material makes it weather resistant for versatile use. The ball also comes in packs making it a valuable purchase.

Key Feature

Deep-pebble surface: It features a deep pebble surface that provides kids with superior gripping. A pebble texture surface helps reduce slips.

Pro-style raised laces: Additionally, the ball features pro-style laces that ensure maximum grip. The laces make it easier for kids to throw and catch the ball.

Durable rubber: Lastly, this is a durable football with quality rubber. The rubber can withstand heavy use on grass and concrete surfaces. It’s a long-lasting ball with minimal wear and tears.


  • Minimal wear and tear due to durable rubber
  • Pebble texture surface for better grips
  • Easy to throw and catch
  • Holds up well against dirt


  • Laces break easily but great football

Best Football Buying Guide

When looking to buy a standard football that meets the NFL rules, there are various factors to consider. You need to narrow down your choices to avoid being overwhelmed with choices. 

Whether buying balls for an event, a club, or home practice, knowing what to consider is crucial.

Footballs come in different sizes to suit different uses. You can choose a full-size football for adults and a smaller size for youths. Read our guide below to easily choose a football that suits you.

What Materials Are Used To Make Footballs?

Wondering how footballs are made and the materials used? The balls are pretty durable leaving you to wonder what materials are used.

football player about to kick the ball on a tee

Most footballs are made of pebble-grained leather with four panels. There are also two white straps and eight white lacings on the ball. The balls do look simple but are also complex.

They are at the center of America’s favorite game. Most footballs will either feature natural leather, synthetic leather, or foam. Let’s discuss the different materials.


These are the cheapest footballs on the market. They are extremely lightweight and soft. The footballs are ideal for young children that are starting to learn football.

The footballs are not as enduring as leather but work well for kids in yards and near windows. Most people love them because they are readily available and affordable.

Genuine leather

Genuine leather footballs are of the best quality on the market. They feature a unique tackiness since the leather material undergoes a tanning treatment. When dry, they are extremely easy to grip.

Genuine leather footballs are the real deal and the most durable. However, the premium features come at a premium cost. You’ll find the majority of leather footballs used only for game and practice.

Synthetic leather or rubber

Synthetic rubber is a favorite choice of football for persons that need durability without spending too much. The footballs are extremely durable. What’s more, they look and feel just like real leather.

The material is more durable than foam and less expensive than real leather footballs. They also tend to resist moisture better than genuine leather. You can be sure they will not bloat if forgotten outside.

What Are the Differences Between Pure Leather and Composite Leather Football?

Composite vs leather football

Leather footballs

  • Leather footballs are of the highest quality
  • Balls are used in practice and games
  • They are the only football allowed in NCAA and NFL
  • Tacky and easy to grip since they have undergone tanning processes
  • Designed for turf and grass
  • Some footballs are water-resistant, hence ideal for all weather
two footballs on the field

Composite football

  • Manufactured of synthetic leather
  • Ideal for practice and recreational use
  • They look and feel just like real leather
  • Becomes a little slick when wet
  • They resist moisture better than leather balls
  • They are cheaper but not the highest quality
  • Are more durable than leather
  • Easy to grip due to texture composite material

What Is the Official Football Size?

Official size footballs are those that meet the weight and size standards of the NFL and NCAA. The NFL and NCAA use the same football standards. Below are the required standards for all official adult footballs:

  1. Weight: a range of 14oz to 15oz
  2. Short circumference: 20 ¾” to 21 ¼” 
  3. Long circumference: 27 ¾” to 28 ½”

The standard balls need to feature a 4-grain pebble leather and 8 evenly spaced lacings. Lacings are usually leather. There are also two white strips of 1-inch and another of 3 to 3 ¼” away from the ball ends.

What Are the Types of Footballs in the Market?

There are different types of footballs in the market. These include:

Vulcanized rubber footballs

These are the most durable footballs on the market. They rarely wear out and are ideal for training or playing on hard surfaces. You can use them on concrete or other hard surfaces without worrying. 

However, footballs tend to lose their playability due to their increased durability.

Match balls

Match balls are the footballs used on match days. They are standard balls made of PU material. The footballs are of the best quality but tend to cost more. They offer excellent match-day performances with good playability levels.

Training footballs

Training footballs feature PVC and TPU material construction. They are among the most durable balls designed to be long-lasting, consistent, and easy to maintain.

The TPU material features a soft material backing to ensure softball touches. While PVC is a little hard to touch, it adds longevity to the balls.

Football Brands in The Market

There are several football brands making various football equipment and apparel. However, when it comes to American football, Wilson is the main brand.

football on green grass

Wilson makes all the NFL footballs and has been doing so since 1941. Each football from the Wilson’s comes with a 1-year warranty and the balls are perfectly made.

Other top football brands include Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Cutters, Xenith, Riddel, etc. However, most of these brands tend to focus more on other football apparels like gloves, cleats, helmets and much more.

Related Article: Also, if you’re looking for other football apparel, you should read our buyer’s guide for the best football helmet available and find out which one is best for you.

However, you can check other small brands like the Zoombie Foam Football and Spalding Advance Pro that also make footballs.

Best Football FAQ

Why Are Some Footballs So Expensive?

Some footballs are so expensive because they use the highest quality materials to meet NCAA and NFL standards. Such balls feature PU materials to ensure the highest level of playability.

How Do I Inflate Football?

You can inflate a football by simply using a pump that comes with the ball to give it some air. Make sure you keep the ball pressure within the 12.5 to 13.5 PSI range.

What Is the Weight of the Football?

The average weight of a standard football when inflated at 9.5 to 10 PSI (65.7–68.8 kPa) is 14oz to 16 oz (410-460 grams). This is the weight for standard balls measuring 11 to 12 inches long.


There you go! These are the best footballs in 2023 to consider buying. They are tested and proven footballs with good reviews and recommendations. Hopefully, you found the best football for you. 

Whether playing professionally or with friends in your backyard, choosing the best football to buy is highly recommended.

Go ahead and choose one of these amazing football 2023 and get to enjoy playing. Analyze the different ball matches above and choose a suitable one for you.

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