Whether it is a casual practice or an official match, a soccer ball is essential for any player. Nike is one of the biggest manufacturers in soccer balls out there, and they have options for virtually any type of use out there.
With so many different options to choose from, which soccer balls are the best? Here is a look at nine that stand out, and why people should invest in them if possible.
1. Nike Flight
Nike spent a long time perfecting this premium ball option, and early reviews show that it is a huge hit. Known for offering a very consistent flight thanks in part to some tweaks to previous versions makes this a regular option for players who take the game seriously.
The ball has a little bit of everything. From 3D-printed ink to help with the flight to Aerowsculpt technology, these are more than just buzzwords. Nike designed this ball from the ground up to provide a truly remarkable, and dependable, ball.
Not only is the flight consistent, but it holds up in any conditions very easily. Everything has been fine-tuned to give players a bit more control when trying to put the ball where they want it.
- Improved true flight
- Performs well in wet or dry conditions
- 3-D printing used for fine-tuning
- Very expensive
- Shows dirt somewhat easily
2. Nike Premier League Merlin
The official ball of the Premier League is another premium option for players to consider. It is a bit different than the Flight, as it does not have quite the same true flight and bounce to it. All the other technology is there, and it is slightly easier to develop spin as well.
Another advantage is that the ball seems to have the best overall durability. Not only does it still look great after consistent use, but it does not need to be filled with air quite as often.
- Large striking surface
- Works in any condition
- Stays looking good after heavy use
- Does not quite match the overall performance of the Flight
- Expensive in part due to branding
3. Nike Strike X
After the high-end options, there are a few balls out there made by Nike that still perform well. The Nike Strike X is a bit of a watered-down version of the flight, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
They have improved the flight of the ball thanks to better texture casing, and players noticed that they get better control when dribbling and shooting as well. Instead of the ball being as unpredictable as much as others in the past, it pretty much goes where a person wanted to.
Priced more than 50% less than the Flight model, this is a perfectly fine ball for many different levels of player. It is not always necessary to go out and get the best of the best as far as ball technology is concerned.
- Durability may not be the best
4. Nike NFHS Magia 2
A very modern, consistent soccer ball that is a great mid-tier option is the NFHS Magia 2. It has a total of 12 panels, and the ball responds well for players looking to get that extra bit of touch.
Instead of going with a pretty laid-back design graphically, Nike put a little bit of color and splash on the ball so that it stands out. This means that the ball does well in some adverse conditions, giving players better tracking overall. Both the NFHS Magia 2 and the Club Elite are pretty similar, so looking at design might make a person pick one over the other.
- Much more consistent flight compared to the previous model
- Vibrant colors help the ball stand out in tough conditions
- Does not stand out too much from modern mid-tier options
- Feels slightly hard
5. Nike Strike
Nike produces the Strike soccer ball in several different variations, and it continues to be one of their best sellers. A very affordable option that still performs well, it is a great investment for practice or starting on the pitch.
The added texture to the casing provide players with better overall touch and feel. Instead of not feeling like there is any control with a more affordable ball option, this fits in nicely with any style.
People love having the opportunity to pick the color and look of the ball they want, and it can help with tracking in some ways as well. The Strike is a great value for all, and they were the ball to have around four different situations.
- Great overall value
- Added texture to the casing
- Ball flight is much more stabilized
- Not quite capable of holding up in tough conditions
- Needs to be inflated often
6. Nike Strike CR7
As the main face of Nike soccer, Cristiano Ronaldo has many branded items. One of his best sellers is this specific Strike ball. It is a bit out there as far as color and design are concerned, but it performs at pretty much the same level.
The good news for shoppers is that they will not have to pay any type of premium with this ball. It costs the same as any other Strike out there, so it just comes down to whether or not a person likes to look (and the player).
- Same price as the standard strike
- Unique color and look
- Shows off Ronaldo’s brand
- Pretty average ball all-around
- Hard to see in certain conditions
7. Nike Prestige
The Nike Prestige soccer ball is another inexpensive option for training. It has a more classic look with the panels, but it still performs like a modern ball. Available in a few different colors and designs, it is a ball that some people will benefit using right away.
Despite being such an inexpensive option, it is pretty impressive as far as texture is concerned on the casing. Players will find that they will have a lot more control with this ball compared to ones in the past. It seems like the brand is very adamant about making sure that they have a viable option for everyone.
- Classic panel design
- Dependable stitching for a true flight
- Textured casing works well
- Material is not particularly durable
- Does not stand out even amongst other training options
8. Nike Mercurial Fade
The Nike Mercurial Fade soccer ball has been a classic for years. There is nothing too special about the ball, other than the fact that it is inexpensive, comes in numerous colors, and has a classic feel to it overall.
The hexagon all shapes of the casing is very reminiscent of a classic soccer ball. While a person can find something that is pretty basic and color, the majority of people are going to take the time to try something a little more unique with color and style.
Shoppers have the option of buying this ball in multiple sizes, which makes it perfect for those learning the game early on. All in all, it is a great training option, but do not expect it to last that long since it is a budget ball option.
- Tons of color choices
- Casing is classically shaped
- Very affordable
- Tends to feel a little too soft and lacks bounce
- Stitching is more prone to fail compared to other balls
9. Nike Airlock Street X
As the name implies, this is a unique option that caters more to the street type of soccer player more than anything. This means that the casing is very durable, it has an aggressive design, and it is meant to be just a little bit different overall.
Players will see that they get great performance out of the ball in general, but some slight tweaks make this such a durable option. For example, the casing is slightly thicker, but it still has texture to provide touch and feel. Nike uses a special material so that it retains its pressure even under heavy use.
Even though it is designed for the streets, it is still not the most durable out there. The good news is that it is priced affordably so people can go out there and abuse it, then go back to the fields when needed.
- Built for the streets
- Unique, stand out design
- Stitching is well hidden to prevent any complications
- Not intended for heavy use on turf
- Feels a little on the heavy side
Making The Final Decision
It is a simple name, and it might look relatively simple at first glance, but the Nike Premier League Merlin is the best of the best right now. It is not only the best ball produced by Nike, but it might be the best overall soccer ball out right now. If you are interested, you can check the current price on Amazon here.
It is expensive and not entirely necessary for players just starting, but the match ball is worthy of the price point. It is going to last a very long time, even if it is used every single day.
Here is the full list of the best Nike soccer balls