The Best Indoor Basketball 2021: Reviews, Buying Tip & Editor’s Picks

Basketball is an indispensable item if you want to play indoor basketball. Of course, for the best playing experience, you need the best indoor basketball

In this article, Scott Fujita will introduce you to the most expensive and quality basketballs available today. Plus, we’ll also assist you in choosing the right indoor basketball. 

Come on, let’s get started!

The Best Indoor Basketball Reviews On The Market

1. Wilson Evolution Game Basketball

Product highlights

Wilson is the childhood trademark of many basketball players. It is so famous that it becomes an unforgettable image engraved in everyone’s subconscious.

However, Wilson basketballs also come with very remarkable features. The Wilson Evolution is the brand’s most iconic indoor basketball. Although softness and toughness are common characteristics of composite basketballs, the Wilson Evolution is more than that.

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The core-cushioned body gives this professional basketball plenty of additional grip. Wilson replaced the lining from regular foam to rubber sponge.

Another unique feature is Wilson Evolution’s cobblestone channels. The channel design is ingenious. It’s not as smooth as other products to offer a good grip.

In terms of bounce, Wilson Evolution offers outstanding bounce. It’s an NFHS-certified basketball that’s consistent in bounce. Therefore, this Wilson Evolution is one of the best indoor basketballs. 

The Wilson Evolution is highly durable. However, we still do not recommend using it outdoors as the roughness of the pitch will tear the cover. After a long time playing, this ball still does not lose its natural ball feeling.

Wilson Evolution Indoor Game Basketball, Intermediate - Size 6
$64.99
7 new from $64.95
5 used from $30.00
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as of September 17, 2021 4:25 am

Pros

  • Consistent texture.
  • Soft feel.
  • Excellent grip.
  • Composite cover.
  • Rubber sponge cushion core.

Cons

  • The price is relatively high.

Bottom line

Although not comparable to the high-end leather basketballs, Wilson Evolution gives us the most similar feeling. This ball provides a better grip than most other balls on the market. The air retention is also a prominent part with good air retention and bounce.

2. Spalding Legacy TF-1000 Indoor Game Basketball

Product highlights

The Spalding TF 1000 Classic is a household name on the list of best indoor basketballs, it would be a big mistake if we didn’t add it to the list.

This cover is the result of the first overhaul after the ZK composite cover. Although it has a cross between rubber and composite, we lean more towards the rubber.

The channel section of this indoor basketball ball is pretty excellent. It is clear and quite deep, creating better adhesion to the hand when used. You will no longer have to worry about your hands slipping.

The bounce of the Spalding TF 1000 Classic is undisputed. This basketball has a highly stable bounce and is capable of sustaining for a long time.

Although the cover gives us a slightly rubbery feel, this basketball does a great job absorbing sweat. Unlike the Evo, you won’t feel slippery hands even if you sweat a lot. This shell provides better grip for a better performance on the court.

The case is very durable and it is even scratch-resistant. What’s better than a basketball that always looks like new no matter how long you’ve been using it?

Spalding TF-1000 Legacy Indoor Game Basketball , Orange, Official Size 7, 29.5"
$64.99
$55.99
3 new from $55.99
3 used from $51.51
Free shipping
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as of September 17, 2021 4:25 am

Pros

  • Excellent grip.
  • Good sweat absorption.
  • Wide channels.
  • Durable and reliable.
  • Good air retention.

Cons

  • The cover is too rubbery compared with Wilson basketball.

Bottom line

Spalding has produced the best basketball indoor balls and everyone recognizes its quality. The Spalding TF 1000 Classic showcases the unique features and technology it is proud of. We think you should at least once in your life use this type of basketball if you want to play seriously.

3. Wilson NCAA Composite Basketball

Product highlights

If you do not have too much budget, choose Wilson NCAA composite basketball. With a very affordable price tag, the value this basketball brings to you is sure to make you satisfied.

The synthetic leather covering the Wilson NCAA makes the overall ball very soft and comfortable. However, that shouldn’t stop you from playing it outdoors if you want.

The Wilson NCAA proves it deserves to be on both indoor and outdoor basketballs lists if you want to. There have been generations growing up with this ball. It is suitable for any playing surface.

The dense pattern on the cover increases the stickiness of the ball, even if the pass you get isn’t perfect.

Much of the success of the Wilson NCAA is due to its cushioning technology. It makes it easier to catch the ball and the rim bounce is softer to increase the rate of fire.

This ball is very reliable and predictable. With each pass, it ends exactly the way you expect it to.

Wilson NCAA Indoor/Outdoor Basketball , Orange, Official - 29.5"
$29.95
$24.99
3 new from $24.99
2 used from $22.99
Free shipping
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as of September 17, 2021 4:25 am

Pros

  • Reasonable price.
  • Brilliant durability.
  • All-terrain basketball.
  • Excellent grip.
  • Soft feel.

Cons

  • The bounce doesn’t seem entirely consistent.

Bottom line

Overall, the Wilson NCAA is an impressive indoor basketball 2021. It is so durable that you can use it outdoors without any problems. With a price that is only for high-end products, this is an impressive choice.

4. Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball

Product highlights

Baden is a company that is very good at listening to customers. Together with the Baden Elite, the company took that trait to the next level. It is also a familiar face in high school competitions.

The Baden Elite is an actual indoor basketball ball. It is not suitable for outdoor playing because its shell will degrade quickly when exposed to rough surfaces.

The ultra-soft microfiber composite shell will give you a more exciting feeling than other balls. Many people will find it too soft for their needs, but there will still be lovers.

Baden Elite’s cobblestone cover is not impressive. However, they made up for it with the stealth valve feature. They have cleverly hidden the valve layer under the lid to reduce the potential inconsistencies that a standard valve can create.

The channel section of the Baden Elite is pretty broader and shallower than other models. This issue is again a personal preference. However, this design will create a more seamless feeling between the panels together.

As an NFHS approved basketball, the Baden Elite has a consistent bounce when inflated to around 8 psi. That means whenever you return it, it will bounce the way you expect it to do.

Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball - Size 6 (28.5")
$79.99
$64.99
2 new from $64.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 17, 2021 4:25 am

Pros

  • Good value for the money.
  • Outstanding bouncing performance.
  • Hidden valve.
  • Seamless design.
  • Good grip.

Cons

  • The cover is too soft.

Bottom line

At a slightly lower price point than the Wilson Evolution, the Baden Elite is a very good alternative to high school tournaments. The design of this indoor basketball with good bounce and eye-catching channel system will surely satisfy your needs.

5. Wilson Evo NXT Indoor Game Basketball

Product highlights

The Wilson Evo NXT is one of the most expensive basketballs currently. So we have a right to have high expectations for this indoor basketball ball.

And really, it won’t let you down. NXT is a smooth combination of Wilson Evolution and Solution. This ball gradually proved its popularity in Europe and the US.

This ball is particular for long-range shooting because its super soft construction helps maintain balance and weight. 

This ball is much lighter in the hand with the weight evenly distributed. In addition, it can increase or decrease the revolution by ½ revolution per minute.

The cobblestone shell comes with an extra layer of texture so it aids in locking in moisture with a double layer of handles. Although this layer is super thin, it still enhances the feel of the ball a lot.

The super soft core gives you a better ball feel as it provides hugely soft cushioning. Whether the surface is rough, wet or smooth, the core of the Wilson Evo will handle it all. This feature makes the Wilson Evo NXT more unique than the competition.

Wilson Evo NXT Indoor Game Basketball - Official 29.5"
$99.99
4 new from $99.99
1 used from $79.07
Amazon.com
as of September 17, 2021 4:25 am

Pros

  • Exceptional moisture-wicking system.
  • Super soft cushion core.
  • Good feel.
  • Excellent performance.
  • All-terrain basketball.

Cons

  • Expensive price tag.

Bottom line

There are many reasons for the Wilson Evo NXT to be among the best indoor basketballs of 2021. Its most incredible value, however, is its excellent performance. Although its price is quite high compared to the market, you get what you pay!

6. Spalding Zi/O Indoor-Outdoor Basketball

Product highlights

The Spalding NBA Zi/O is a proud contender from a well-known brand in the basketball world. This ball is so quality that you can use it both indoors or outdoors.

The cover of Spalding NBA Zi/O has a soft foam cover and is very comfortable in the hand. Its price falls in the high range, i.e. on par with the Wilson Evo NXT. Of course, we will expect its performance to be on par with the price range.

Grip is the brightest point of this good indoor basketball. Tight cobblestone pattern with clever design helps it grip the player’s hand tightly. Although there is a comment that it feels too sticky on their hands, this is a matter of personal preference.

When you pumped Spalding NBA Zi/O to 7psi, it was almost at standard bounce. It means you won’t need to inflate the ball for best performance. Overinflating will cause the ball to become much stiffer.

The bounce is also extremely consistent and predictable. It is a necessary feature for intense competitions because we need control.

Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor-Outdoor Baskeball 29.5"
$46.49
4 new from $46.49
Amazon.com
as of September 17, 2021 4:25 am

Pros

  • Consistent grip.
  • Even bouncing.
  • Soft foam cover.
  • Suitable for both indoors and outdoors.
  • Easy to control.

Cons

  • Some ballers don’t like the tacky feeling.

Bottom line

The Spalding NBA Zi/O will give you the most secure feeling when using it. You will appreciate this feature especially during tough matches when your hands are sweaty. It deserves to be one of the best basketball indoor balls in 2021.

7. Spalding Precision Indoor Game Basketball

Product highlights

Last but not least in this best indoor basketball ball review, we have the Spalding Precision.

This ball has an Eco-Grip cover made of recycled materials. This feature is very attractive to those who love the environment.

With its smooth surface, the Spalding Precision is a worthy competitor to the Wilson Evolution. What’s more, you won’t need to go through the break-in period. Right out of the box, this ball is ready to use.

Along with an exceptionally soft feel, this ball is very solid in the hand. Deep groove design for easy ball grip and superior ball handling.

Furthermore, with Spalding’s traditional asymmetrical cobblestone design, this ball is perfect for precise scoring.

Due to cushioned carcasses, the Spalding Precision has an incredibly realistic bounce. The super foam padding at the back makes it comfortable for the hand to dribble.

Spalding Precision Indoor Game Basketball , Orange, 29.5"
$54.99
$43.51
18 new from $37.50
1 used from $39.06
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 17, 2021 4:25 am

Pros

  • Environmental friendly.
  • Smooth surface.
  • Supreme performance.
  • Easy ball grip.
  • Good for precise shooting.

Cons

  • Do not use this ball outdoors.

Bottom line

The Spalding Precision là một quả bóng hoàn hảo để luyện các bài tập và bắn bóng ở cấp độ chuyên nghiệp. Along with excellent performance and an exceptionally comfortable feel, the ball is durable. And, it’s sure to last you years on indoor patios.

Buying Guides

1. Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Court

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Indoor and outdoor court are different from each other

If you are a regular player of all-terrain basketball, you will find that indoor and outdoor basketball courts are not the same. The difference in the surface is what greatly affects the design of a basketball.

We encourage you to play indoor basketball if possible. The main reason is that outdoor basketball courts often have uneven surfaces. The main cause of that event is the influence of rain, ice, or other natural factors.

Jagged rocks will shorten the life of your basketball game. Therefore, playing indoors seems to be a safer option.

When participating in indoor basketball, you will have the opportunity to glide quickly on the glossy floor. Usually, it will be much smoother, but external factors will not be able to affect you.

2. Material

Rubber indoor basketballs

Rubber basketballs are the cheapest balls on the market, so they are popular with people who play outdoors.

But if you have a limited budget, it is also good to consider using rubber indoor basketball. This ball is a bit “grippy” to be suitable for children or people with small hands.

Of course, if you buy rubber indoor basketball from famous brands, its quality will not be bad. All of the above characteristics make it a suitable choice for those who play all-terrain basketball.

Composite leather indoor basketballs

Usually, most of the indoor basketballs that appear on the market have composite leather as the main material. Compared to rubber, synthetic leather is much softer.

A composite leather basketball gives you a more professional feel when throwing or handling. However, the clear coat on each basketball will make it slippery the first time you use it.

This type of ball is only suitable for playing basketball indoors. If you take it outside, the roughness will damage the surface of the ball very quickly.

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Wilson basketball will be the NBA official game ball from 2021-22 season

Genuine leather indoor basketballs

Genuine leather is the material that appears in the NBA official game ball.

A few years ago, the NBA tried to change the material from genuine leather to composite leather. But legendary player Shaq commented that those balls look cheap.

In 2007, genuine leather balls returned to the unanimous support of all players for the season.

These leather balls are the most expensive basketball balls. You should only use it for indoor play. It will be suitable for professional players, as a great investment for their future.

The feel and durability that genuine leather offers are unmatched. Those reasons make it irreplaceable.

3. Grip

If you use poor quality basketballs, it will easily become slippery when your hands sweat. The worst thing is that you can slip your hand off it during the game.

In fact, real leather is the material with the best moisturizing surface. That’s why it appeared in the NBA official game.

However, high-quality basketballs always come with a break in period. Usually, you will feel it a bit slippery at first use.

Over time that surface will wear away and gradually absorb the natural oils secreted by your hands. It will take a few months for your basketball to fully break-in, but the results are very satisfying.

You should also pay attention to the “stickiness” of the best indoor basketballs you choose. Let’s define it by the width of the slide.

The channel consists of the tracks that run through the basketball. When applying a backspin to your jump or trying to hit the ball, the depth of these grooves can make a big difference.

Most top composite indoor basketballs will also come with cobblestones all over the ball’s surface for better stickiness.

4. Bounce

Bounce is a factor that we cannot ignore when talking about basketball. It greatly affects the performance and form of players.

Often, poor quality basketballs will not meet the standard bounce. It may be too thick to bounce properly, or too thin and will bounce too high.

The higher the surface quality of the basketball, the better the bounce. Groove depth is also something worth noting.

People produce basketballs with too great groove depth. That way, they traded bounce for grip. It is not a good thing because it has no balance.

One tip to test the bounce of a basketball is to drop it from 6 feet. If the ball is of good quality and is in air tension, it can bounce back to a height of at least 49 inches.

5. Air Retention

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You will need to top up your best indoor basketball ball every 3 months

For the air pressure in a basketball, the NBA standards would be 7½ and 8½ PSI.

Cheap balls will deflate very quickly. It is annoying and inconvenient, especially at a time when you don’t have a ball pump ready.

The best indoor basketballs allow very little penetration as they contain a quality inner membrane. You only need to recharge them every 3 months.

6. Size

Any advice on sizing indoor basketballs? We think you should be consistent between the basketball you use for practice and the game. At least they should be the same size.

You should be familiar with the size because it will train your reflexes and score a lot. Moreover, you will not be surprised in the game if you are not familiar with the size of the ball.

For children, consider their height, weight, and age. If they use the wrong type of basketball, it will be harmful to development and performance.

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Basketball sizing chart

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is better, Spalding or Wilson basketball?

If you are looking for a durable and affordable basketball, the Wilson Basketball is the way to go. If you are looking for a basketball with a better feel, then the Spalding basketball is better.

Spalding has been the producer responsible for the NBA official game ball for a long time. However, from the 2021-22 season, the NBA has chosen a new producer, Wilson.

2. How high should the NBA ball bounce when dropped?

According to international basketball rules, you need to inflate a basketball properly. When you drop it onto the playing surface from a height of approximately 1.80 m from the underside of the ball, it needs to bounce back.

The height is up to the top of the ball, not less than 1.2 m and not more than 1.4 m.

3. Can a basketball be too bouncing?

Hold the ball over your face and slowly drop it down. If the bottom of the ball bounces up past your waist or a little higher, it’s fully inflated. If the basketball bounces close to the chest, it means it has too much air. If it doesn’t bounce up to the waist, there isn’t enough air.

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The best surface for playing basketball is maple hardwood

4. On what surface does basketball bounce best?

The harder the court surface, the more energy the dropped ball holds and the higher the bounce. The basketball bounces pretty well on hardwood, but even better on concrete. But, if the floor is too hard, it can lead to serious injury to players.

5. Is it okay for me to wash a basketball?

Just like washing your hands, you can use dish soap and water to wash your balls. With this method, it is important that you thoroughly rinse all soap residue, and the drying time on each ball can vary.

Final Words

Basketball is the most important element in a game because no one can play without it. However, to have professional matches, you should play indoor basketball.

Therefore, choosing the best indoor basketball is extremely important. Depending on your needs and budget, make the right choice. It is a long-lasting item so we recommend opting for quality options.

If you already have the answer, please share it with us. Scott Fujita is looking forward to hearing from you!

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