The Best Indoor Basketball to Buy in 2021 -

The Best Indoor Basketball to Buy in 2021

best indoor basketballTime to upgrade your ball and so need to know what is the best indoor basketball on the market?

We got you.

So you already know the best outdoor basketball (maybe to play with on your in ground basketball hoop), but nothing compares to a perfectly worn in indoor basketball.

The issue is – if you dare use it outside, it will quickly get scuffed and damaged.

An indoor basketball means exactly what it says – indoor use only! Don’t disrespect the game!

We surveyed our 20,000 hoopers on Instagram on what is their favourite indoor basketball, and had a whole host of answers, what follows are the best indoor balls by brand and the best indoor basketball overall.

Best Indoor Basketballs

Best indoor basketball overall: Wilson Evolution
Best Spalding indoor basketball: Spalding TF-1000
Best Wilson indoor basketball: Wilson Evolution
Best Molten indoor basketball: Molten BG4500
Best Baden indoor basketball: Baden Lexum Comp
Best Nike indoor basketball: Nike Elite Tournament

Favourite Indoor Basketball Brands

Breaking it down by overall brands instead of individual balls, here were people’s favourite indoor basketball brands:

1) Wilson
2) Molten
3) Spalding
4) Baden
5) Nike

And what follows, is their favourite indoor basketball of each brand, based on votes.

Best Indoor Basketballs By Brand

Wilson Evolution

Wilson Evolution Indoor BasketballThe Wilson Evolution indoor basketball was by far our most popular ball.

It also claims to be the #1 indoor game basketball in America, seen on more courts than any other ball (no idea where they get that data from but I would expect it to be accurate if it’s included in their marketing material.

The Evolution basketball has a real nice soft feel – a ‘cushion core carcass’ – giving you good grip; it’s easy to palm, and a nice touch around the rim. It’s also approved for play by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in the US.

Buy now.

Also voted for was the Wilson EVO.

Spalding TF-1000

Spalding TF1000 Indoor BasketballThe Spalding TF-1000 was our second most popular ball amongst votes.

The TF-1000 Legacy indoor game basketball has a game-ready feel straight out of the box so it doesn’t need breaking in like a lot of other indoor balls.

Used by some of the best high school and college athletes on the planet, the ball has a microfiber composite cover that gives your hands good grip, even when sweaty, and has a responsive cushioned skin for control and good bounce.

Buy now.

Also check out: Spalding official NBA game-ball – some people swear by it when it’s broken in, but is of course more expensive.

Molten BG4500

Molten BG4500 Indoor BasketballMolten is the official game ball of FIBA – the world governing body for basketball – and so it is the BG4500 that is used in all international competitions.

Molten has patented technology – that delivers twice the surface area in contact with your hand – giving you super grip. It is a 12-panel ‘Giugiaro’ design (unlike most balls which are 8), which also gives nice visuals on the rotation when you are shooting.

The BG45000 is made from a premium composite leather, benefiting from all the grip properties of real leather but with no need for breaking in – Molten also reduced the logo size on this ball for better grip surface area.

In the UK in Europe, this ball is the official game ball of the BBL, WBBL, Basketball Scotland and Basketball Ireland competitions, having made its debut in the 2020/21 season. with the ball making its debut in the 2020/21 season.

Buy now.

Baden Lexum Comp

Baden Lexum Indoor BasketballThis one is a throwback, especially for UK peeps, as it used to be the official game ball of the pro league and national league in England.

The tan and white Baden Lexum Comp Leather ball feels nice – it has Cushion Control Technology for the best possible grip and control in a genuine leather ball – it has a 2 ply butyl bladder two tone microfiber cover.

Like with Molten, the two-tone cover gives clearer vision of the ball for players and spectators alike and a nice a aesthetic if you get a lot of rotation on your shot.

Buy now.

Nike Elite Tournament

Nike Elite Tournament Indoor BasketballThe Nike Elite Tournament Basketball is the most often pointed to option from Nike’s limited basketball range.

It has extra-deep channels and a composite exterior – though is 84% rubber and 16% synthetic leather – but the grip is decent.

It does have a durable design and because of the high rubber percentage may last longer than some of the other options on this list. I would actually say it is more in the mould of an indoor-outdoor ball than purely indoor.

Buy now.

Things to Consider When Buying Your Indoor Basketball

When looking for the best indoor basketball for you, it is worth considering a number of different things about the ball, including the material it is made from, price, durability, grip, weight and size.

Let’s look at a few of those things in more detail:

Material – Composite leather, leather or rubber?

When it comes to the material your indoor basketball is made out of, you generally have a choice between cheaper rubber balls – which are more for outdoor use, more premium composite leather or the most expensive genuine leather.

Composite leather balls are the best mid-tier choice, whilst genuine leather will set you back a fair bit but is the ultimate NBA-like experience.

You’ll see that none of the balls we recommend above are made primarily of rubber, as that’s the least desirable material for an indoor basketball and is really only ideal for outdoor environments.

Who is the indoor ball for?

There’s a few things to consider here – first the age and gender of the player – see the indoor basketball size and weight guide below – but also what competitions they play in.

You want your practise to mimic as close to a real game situation as possible so if you can get the official game-ball of the competition you play in, it makes sense.

Basketball size & weight guide

Perhaps contrary to popular belief, all basketballs are not the same size and weight

Whether you are male, female, old or young, different basketball sizes are appropriate.

Not just that, but when it comes to using a ball, every time you bounce it, it will get a little bit worn down – over time, this will have an impact on its weight, as ‘layers’ of the ball get peeled off.

The quality of your ball will determine how quickly this happens, and altering weight of the ball can mess with your shot – try going from a super light ball to a new regulation weight one and see how it differs.

Below you can see our basketball size chart which breaks down the appropriate size for each playing group:

Size 7
22 oz Men and boys ages 15 and up. This is official size for high school, college, and the pros.
Size 6
20 oz Boys ages 12-14. Girls and women ages 12 and up. This is the official size for women’s high school, college, and pro basketball.
Size 5
17 oz Boys and girls ages 9-11 years old. This is the standard youth basketball you find in most stores.
Size 4
14 oz Boys and girls ages 5-8 years old.
Size 3
10 oz Boys and girls ages 4-8 years old. Also known as "mini" basketball.
Size 1
8 oz Boys and girls ages 2-4 year olds. Also known as "micro-mini" basketball.
Toy ball
1-5 oz Great for toddlers 0-4 years old. And fun for young hearted adults too!

Bounce & Does the basketball stay pumped up?

There is nothing more frustrating than having to be constantly pumping up your basketball or a ball without good bounce.

One of the clearest tells that a ball is made cheaply is when it doesn’t have a crisp bounce or loses air.

You do not want a ball that is slowly losing air the moment you pump it up and it is worth keeping an eye on that.

Cheap basketballs tend to deflate a bit when the temperature drops – though it is worth nothing all balls will deflate a bit with use, but a good outdoor ball will hold its air for a lot longer.

Also note that the heat could make your ball inflate – if you leave it in a sunny conservatory, don’t be surprised if you go back to it and it being a lot more bouncy than you remember!

How does the ball work with moisture?

There are two different things that happen with playing with an indoor basketball in sweaty/humid conditions:

1) They usually lose a bit of their grip and become more slippery
2) They can absorb some of the water and become heavier (happens more with composite leather choices, than rubber choices).

It’s important to know how your ball fares with both – if you dry it off with a towel, does it dry quick, or is the moisture still there? How long does it take to dry out after absorbing moisture?

So, What is the Best Indoor Basketball?

Questions like these always come down to individual preferences, but above we have outlined our picks by each brand and best overall choice.

To recap:

Best indoor basketball overall: Wilson Evolution (UK link)
Best Spalding indoor basketball: Spalding TF-1000
Best Wilson indoor basketball: Wilson Evolution
Best Molten indoor basketball: Molten BG4500
Best Baden indoor basketball: Baden Lexum Comp
Best Nike indoor basketball: Nike Elite Tournament

Let us know what you end up purchasing and how your own review of the ball in the comments below!