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The Best Footballs - 2022

Last updated on August 2, 2022

We looked at the top 10 Footballs and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Footballs.

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Our Picks For The Top Footballs

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Top Pick

Franklin Sports Weather Resistant Rubber Junior Football

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Franklin Sports

Weather Resistant Rubber Junior Football

Overall Take

Highly DurableThis youth-sized football can stand plenty of wear and tear.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Find This Best. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" This football is both durable and an easy grip for any youth. It is water and weather resistant rubber."
  Runner Up

Wilson NFL Authentic The Duke Football

Wilson

NFL Authentic The Duke Football

Overall Take

Unique LookThis pro-style composite football comes in a metallic finish.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  We Also Like

Nerf Pro Grip Foam Football

Nerf

Pro Grip Football

Overall Take

Versatile OptionThis Nerf foam football can be used for outdoor and indoor play.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Find This Best, Conch House. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" This durable foam football is made for outdoor and indoor use. It's easy to throw and catch."
  Strong Contender

GoSports Combine Football, 6-Pack

GoSports

Combine Football, 6-Pack

Overall Take

Value SetThis pack comes with six composite balls, a pump and a bag.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the footballs available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

9

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Find This Best, LifeSavvy, BestReviews, Chicago Tribune, Sportz Bits.

34,517

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Footballs and also dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Footballs.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Franklin Sports Weather Resistant Rubber Junior Football


Our Expert Score

0.0
1 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.4
2,973 user reviews

Our Take

This highly durable blue-and-white football can stand plenty of wear and tear from any surface from grass to concrete. It has a deep-pebble grip so it’s easy to throw and catch. The ball is weather resistant and sized for young players.

What other experts liked

This football is both durable and an easy grip for any youth. It is water and weather resistant rubber.
- Find This Best

Overall Product Rankings

1. Franklin Sports Weather Resistant Rubber Junior Football

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 3

2. Wilson NFL Authentic The Duke Football

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 3

3. Nerf Pro Grip Foam Football

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 4

4. GoSports Combine Football, 6-Pack

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 2

5. Gulf Coast Officially Licensed Football

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 2

6. Wave Runner Waterproof Football

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 4

7. GlowCity Glow-In-The-Dark Youth Football

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 3

8. Rawlings NCAA Gridiron Junior Football

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

9. XEDGE Composite Leather Football

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 3

10. Nike Vapor Faux Leather Football

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 4

Our Football Findings


Franklin Sports Weather Resistant Rubber Junior Football

What We Liked: This highly durable blue-and-white football can stand plenty of wear and tear from any surface from grass to concrete. It has a deep-pebble grip so it’s easy to throw and catch. The ball is weather resistant and sized for young players.

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Wilson NFL Authentic The Duke Football

What We Liked: This unique composite Wilson football comes in a regular brown or metallic finish that gives it its tacky feel and natural shine. The high-quality ball is great for collectors — it’s an official size and features an NFL-inspired inscription.

Simplemost Media


Nerf Pro Grip Foam Football

What We Liked: This versatile foam football toy can be used for outdoor and indoor play. It is made from foam and is easy to catch and throw, so it’s perfect for casual games with kids or adults. Use it to practice catches and spiral passes.

Simplemost Media


GoSports Combine Football, 6-Pack

What We Liked: This football value set includes six regulation-size composite balls as well as a ball pump and a mesh carrying bag. The heavy-duty standard-size balls have an all-weather design and are perfect for high-school students and college players.


Gulf Coast Officially Licensed Football

What We Liked: This officially-licensed football features colored NFL team logos. It has a durable design that holds its shape well. The composite leather ball measures 9 inches in length, making it a great collectors’ item or a nice practice ball for the kids.

Our Football Buying Guide

Football, arguably America’s favorite pastime, is a popular sport across the country whether you’re watching or playing. And for adults and children who play, the game (as with any open-air sport) is a great way to get active, work on your athletic skills and get some fresh air.

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Tackle football does require some specialized equipment, though. The most basic item, of course, is the elongated prolate spheroid ball.

First, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what the construction of the ball looks like. An outer layer is typically made from four panels of leather or synthetic leather, sewn together. Underneath that there is a middle layer (or sometimes layers) made from a lining material. At the core, a final layer is made from a synthetic, often butyl rubber air bladder.

Simplemost Media

Now that you know what a ball is, you can look at different options. Should you go with a real leather or synthetic leather surface? Leather is the popular, high-quality choice when it comes to professional game balls or high school and collegiate game balls. This material is highly durable and offers a strong grip in different playing conditions, but can get heavier when wet.

However, synthetic leather balls (high-quality ones are sometimes called composite) are also a good option, because synthetic footballs are moisture resistant and designed for good grip. While this type of material has good friction when it is dry, it can be slicker when wet, making it harder to hold or catch. Some high-end synthetic leather balls are approved for high school-level gameplay, though leather is still the preferred option there.

Simplemost Media

Other options, usually just for recreational play or practice games, include rubber footballs. Rubber balls often have a lining layer that consists of nylon or polyester strings wrapped around the bladder. These balls are incredibly durable and less costly than leather or synthetic leather options.

You might also wish to consider size if you’re buying for children rather than adults. After all, if the player’s hands are too small for the ball, they will have difficulty catching and throwing it. For those who are between ages 6 to 9, it’s best to choose a pee-wee size ball. Ages 9 to 12 should go with a junior size and ages 12 to 14 should opt for a youth size. If the players are 14 or older, they can play with an official-size football.

DWYM Fun Fact

While American footballs are often called “pigskins,” they aren’t made of actual pig skin — the real leather versions are cowhide. In fact, footballs were never made out of pig skin.

However, they were once made out of animal bladders. including (occasionally) pig bladders. Animal bladders were easier to obtain than other materials for many teams, and when inflated, made good round balls. The bladders were sometimes stuffed instead of inflated, and later may have been encased in leather.

Of course, inflating these bladders was not necessarily a pleasant task, which is why many players probably breathed a sigh of relief when this type of ball fell out of favor in the 1860s. Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber in 1844, and eventually a switch was made.

The Football Tips and Advice

  • If you’re playing football with young kids, you may want to go with a foam football instead. These balls are basically just foam cast into the shape of a standard football. You can find them in different sizes as well. Foam footballs are soft and malleable, so they are easier for kids to grab, throw, grip and catch.
  • While it’s important to consider the outer material of the football, the lining and bladder of the football should also be considered — especially if you’re looking for something durable and long-lasting.  The lining and bladder help form the shape and structure of the football. If those parts are not well made, then the football will begin to lose shape quickly. Keep in mind that foam footballs do not have any lining or bladder at all, so they will tend to lose their shape over time.
  • What kind of stitching should you go with for your footballs? Machine-stitched balls are cost-effective, so this is a good option for training balls. Hand-stitched balls have deeper seams, which makes the ball more stable and aerodynamic. These balls can be costly, though they do have more power and performance benefits. Another option is footballs that have been joined, meaning that each of the four panels has been stitched and welded together. These balls are highly stable and often preferred over hand-stitched balls by some players.

About The Author

Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. She values finding the best products to make people's lives easier. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.