The Best 4 Training Footballs
, 9 min reading time
, 9 min reading time
Unlike other training footballs guides, we shall only focus our attention to 4 of the best training balls. Some other guides throw in a selection of match balls too. But, these won’t last as long as a specific training ball, as the construction is different. A training football is more durable than a match ball and the bladder tends to be a butyl bladder. This type of bladder retains it’s ball pressure for longer. A match ball will invariably be constructed with a latex bladder which is designed to lose air over a period. Of course these aren't ideal as a training football.
As mentioned the bladder should be a butyl bladder to give the very best performance. They are slightly heavier than the latex bladders which are used on match footballs. Correspondingly the best 4 training footballs reviewed all have Butyl bladders . These bladders are great in training balls as they retain the air for longer periods. Furthermore the benefit of a butyl bladder means you do not need to inflate the ball as often. The outer layer of the ball can be manufactured with a range of materials. In general most brands prefer a textured finish over the traditional smooth finish. Most training footballs are constructed with a high quality, long lasting TPU material. Under this will be a softer foam layer to give the ball a softer touch, giving the player more control.
What Sizes Of Footballs Are There?
There are 5 sizes of training footballs available to use across all age groups. However, the most common in use are size 3, size 4 and size 5. In 2020 the size of footballs used by under 10’s changed as The FA introduced new heading guidance. This was specifically for youth team players but has an impact across the whole of football. As such, Size 3 training footballs are now used by ages – U6 to u10. Size 4 footballs are used by - u11 to u14 and size 5 balls are used by – u15 and above.
To select the best training football for you, depends on the type of pitch it will be used on. It also depends on your preference of brand and your budget. Brands that spend huge sums of money on sponsorship and marketing have to recoup this outlay. This can be by inflating the rrp of the training balls and getting the consumer to pay more. So, it goes without saying that sometimes the best value option, might not be the market leading brand. You could look at a brand whose balls aren't used in the most popular football leagues around the world.
Almost all of the training balls available today are machine stitched. As a result the labour costs are kept to a minimum. This ensures the footballs remain affordable, so clubs can stock up on larger quantities giving players more footballs per head. Most quality training footballs are manufactured in Sialkot, Pakistan or Jalandhar, India. They are mass produced and shipped in 40’ shipping containers to keep the shipping costs to a minimum too. Given these fixed costs it is amazing that you can pay as little as £6 for the best selling football. The price range for training footballs is currently between £6 and £12. Beyond this level the balls tend to be classified as match footballs.
There are a number of brands to consider when buying a training football. The most common include – Nike, Mitre, Adidas, Precision Training, Molten and Uhlsport. There are a large number of other brands that can be considered as viable options for training footballs. Sometimes they offer better value and you can find many affordable footballs amongst them. Most clubs tend to stick with their preferred brand for a number of years. They subsequently stay loyal to that brand, as models get upgraded. Other clubs focus more on the best deals they can get. They may only switch brand on a deal or if a pack of balls also includes a bag.
If a ball is sub standard, it's quickly found out by clubs and that model will lose all goodwill. This can seriously harm a brands image so quality control is very important. As such, most balls available today go through extensive testing to ensure the balls are fit for purpose.
These footballs are probably the best selling football in the UK and is priced around £6 to £8. The Impel balls have a textured TPU surface, with a built in 3.5, EVA soft foam layer and a 30 panel construction. They are available in size 2, 3, 4 and 5, although it is harder to find the size 2 balls. Many retailers choose not to stock this size 2 ball as the market is currently limited. The Mitre Impel footballs are also available in a range of 4 colours. Therefore giving plenty of colour options for clubs to choose from. Ideal for most pitch surfaces. If the Mitre Impel is unavailable then the Mitre Calcio ball is the same ball under a different name. The Impels footballs can also be found on Amazon https://amzn.to/2UseRt2
The Pitch footballs are a massive selling training football. The Nike ball rivals the Mitre Impel as the best selling football in the UK. The big difference between the 2 is the Nike Pitch football has a smooth outer surface. However popular this is, it does give a more traditional feel to the ball. The Nike training balls are constructed with a TPU casing and are manufactured with a 12 panel design. The balls are available in a range of 5 colours and 3 sizes – Size 3, 4 and 5. The Pitch balls can be found online in a price range of £7 to £9 per ball. Ideal for most pitch surfaces. The Nike Pitch Footballs can be found on Amazon https://amzn.to/3d1Ivvr
The Fusion training footballs are the only training football that has the IMS stamp of approval. IMS balls meet International Match Standard and most training footballs do not go for testing. The ball is retailed as a training football though so qualifies for this guide. The Fusion ball is constructed with a textured TPU outer surface and also has a 3.5mm EVA foam backing for a soft touch feel. The balls are available in a choice of 6 colourways and 3 sizes – size 3, 4 and 5. Similarly to the Nike ball they are priced in a range from £7 to £9 per ball. Overall they are ideal for most pitch surfaces and all weather conditions. Of course they can be purchased from the Sportsballshop website https://bit.ly/3cmONG6. Moreover the Precision Training Fusion Footballs can also be found on Amazon https://amzn.to/3gWhqei
The Mitre Impel Max is their highest spec training football and is priced around £9 to £11 per ball. Like the Impel ball it has a 30 panel design and also has a textured TPU surface. The inner foam backing is thicker though at 4.5mm. There's a choice of only 2 colours in this model but they are available in sizes 3, 4 and 5. If you can afford to spend more on training footballs then this would be the best of the premium range. The Impel Max footballs can also be found on Amazon https://amzn.to/2SVZ6tZ
These Mitre and Precision Training footballs mentioned can be purchased from the Sportsballshop website. By following the links provided you can purchase through our Amazon Affiliate at no extra cost to you. However all balls except the Nike are also available to purchase on our website.