Kids learning how to play soccer need their own balls in order to play the game correctly. This is especially true for youngsters who are on the smaller side and might be a bit overwhelmed by what an adult ball can do.
Instead of letting them learn with a ball that is close to the size of their head, a smaller option makes sense. These seven soccer balls come in a few sizes, so kids can get the setup that works for them.
1. Nike Skills Mini Ball
- Age: 0-3
- Size: 1
Cheap, reliable, and from one of the biggest sports companies in the world. The Nike Skills ball might not look like much at first glance, but it is a perfect size for players who want to get their feet wet with the sport.
The smaller size is something kids can really enjoy. A Size 1 soccer ball might seem way too small at first, but kids at a very young age will be able to control it. Developing some skills when younger will start to translate well when they age.
In fact, a smaller ball like this can still be used by more advanced players to work on a few other skills here and there. If someone can control a ball this size, there is no telling what they can do with a smaller ball. Every kid starts somewhere, and there are Size 1 soccer balls for a reason.
- Perfect size for the smallest of soccer fans
- Stays inflated and in good shape after heavy use
- Looks like a real soccer ball
- Kids grow out of this size fast
- Hard to practice certain drills with
2. Champion Sports Extreme
- Age: 5-8
- Size: 3
Champion has a good amount of soccer balls that are affordably priced, and the Sports Extreme is perfect for kids. It’s nothing too fancy, as the ball is meant to be one of those first practice balls that athletes start to use. It performs well enough on a lot of different surfaces, which is perfect for kids who might not always have a nice grass court to utilize.
While the ball is a pretty standard color without much of a design, it is available in several colors. It has a soft outer shell made of TPU, which kids can learn with instead of being overwhelmed by harder balls. Having a few of these around for kids to play with can really help out with the entire training process.
- Many different colors
- Soft outer TPU shell
- Butyl bladder is solid for air retention
- Fairly basic ball design
- Feels a little too light compared to alternatives
3. Adidas Glider 2
- Age: 12+
- Size: 5
The beauty of this soccer ball is a combination of price and durability. It’s very hard to describe a $10 ball that is also high-quality, and it just so happens to come from a great company as well. Although it’s not always in stock, it’s hard to beat this low price when shopping around.
The size 5 ball, which is for those aged 12 and up, is usually the most available. However, there are other sizes so that any type of player can start to train and play the way they want to. It is such a dependable ball that adult players taking soccer seriously will actually continue using these balls occasionally with training.
- Many different variations
- Durable outer cover
- Stays together well
- Feels a little harder than a normal soccer ball
- Some color choices are constantly out of stock
4. Wilson Traditional
- Age: 8-12
- Size: 4
This is arguably the most traditional-looking soccer ball out there right now. It has those white and black panels that so many are used to seeing, but it is durable enough that it’s going to last a pretty long time.
With many different sizes available for all ages, players can grow up using the same ball for the most part while just making upgrades once in a while.
Wilson has always put out some high-quality balls, so this is not settling for a cheap version from a company that’s completely unknown.
Could it be a little flasher? Maybe, but it’s all about practicality with a ball like this. Parents and younger players can beat this ball up on a few different surfaces, and it will still look nice.
- Classic design
- Trusted company
- Durable build
- Doesn’t do very well away from the grass
- Gets dirty easily
5. Under Armour DESAFIO 395
- Age: 8-11
- Size: 4
At first glance, there’s nothing too special about this ball from Under Armour. However, it’s one of the best performing training balls for younger players, and can even be used for matches.
Under Armour is trying to find its footing in the soccer world, and this is one way to do it. It performs very well, comes in sizes for different age ranges, and is one of the most affordable right now.
The TPU cover alone is worth the price, as it provides comfort and just the right touch so people can take their game to the next level. It’s a great learning soccer ball simulating real match options as well. Durability is not a concern, which is pretty crazy considering the price.
Not everyone’s a huge fan of Under Armour, and the logo is a little big so everyone knows it’s coming from the company. However, those who really don’t care about that will be very satisfied with this ball.
Perhaps this will start to grow Under Armour as a company. By putting out more quality products like this, they can carve out their own part of this niche.
- Very durable
- Performs well enough on harder surfaces
- Keeps a soft feel even after heavy use
- The logo is pretty big
- Air retention isn’t the greatest
6. Nike Mercurial Fade
- Age: 12+
- Size: 5
Another ball from Nike, the Mercurial Fade is great for players of all ages to get to the next level as a player. It is meant to be a very speedy ball in general, which means it is a little light and soft for players to control when they need to.
Don’t think that it is not durable though, as the outer cover still finds a way to get things done on different surfaces.
The modern look to the ball is certainly another selling point that many people are happy about. Kids seem to feel like this is a very nice, official-looking ball, which is great considering the price. Use it for practice or games at this level, and chances are the average kid will start to really get into the sport as a whole.
- Very fast in performance
- Casing is durable
- Stays together well, even on hard surfaces
- A little harder than other balls for kids
- Performance is a bit sporadic when kicked around hard
7. Select Numero 10 Soccer Ball
- Age: 12+
Think of this as the graduation-level soccer ball for kids who are starting to really get into the sport. This is a great first full-size ball that actually looks and feels like what the pros use. It is still affordable enough that parents do not have to break the bank, and when treated properly, it will last a long time.
Everything a kid could ask for out of this ball is available. It is still soft, which is great for touch and feel development. It performs in the air well, as kids start to work on shots and passes they haven’t had in their arsenal in the past.
Parents should not shy away from the slightly higher price tag, as it is a sound investment overall. Just having one or two of these soccer balls can be a small price to pay for a kid transitioning into a new level of play. Competitive players rely on these soccer balls every single day for training, so why not kids as well?
- Approved for NCAA, NFHS, and other official leagues
- Soft feel
- A little expensive for kids
- Only for more advanced kids players
Why Buying Balls For Kids Specifically Matters
A child learning the game of soccer needs to have a ball that fits their current level. Not being able to control a soccer ball or really learn to do anything with it makes it pretty pointless to play with a full-size ball. You can read more about soccer ball sizes in this post.
If they enjoy the sport, there is plenty of time to use a regulation ball down the road. For now, they should stick with what works for them best.
Also Read: 7 Best Soccer Cleats For Kids