Best Indoor Basketball [2020 Review]

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Not all balls are for indoor hardwood surfaces, and you don’t want to end up choosing the wrong one. The best indoor basketball must have the right size, material, excellent bounce, good grip, and air retention. These attributes play a role in how well you can play the game. 

These Best Indoor Basketball reviews will save you the hassle of testing out and researching each ball on the market. From the most authentic material to the most affordable model, you’ll get first dibs on the top-rated indoor basketballs in the world. 

Our Top Indoor Basketball Reviews in 2020

These indoor basketballs combine efficiency, durability, and affordability. The key is to weigh in their similarities and differences to see which one is the most appropriate to your playing style. If you plan to spend a lot of game time on the hardwood, these are the balls worth buying. 

Brand
Best Overall
Wilson Evolution Game Basketball
Best for the Money
Spalding NBA Official Game Ball
Best Cheap Pick
Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball
Product
Wilson Evolution Game Basketball, Black, Official...
Spalding NBA Official Game Ball
Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball - Size 7...
Sizes Available
Official (29.5"), Intermediate (28.5"), Youth (27.5")
Official (29.5")
Official (29.5"), Intermediate (28.5")
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Wilson Evolution Game Basketball
Product
Wilson Evolution Game Basketball, Black, Official...
Sizes Available
Official (29.5"), Intermediate (28.5"), Youth (27.5")
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Spalding NBA Official Game Ball
Product
Spalding NBA Official Game Ball
Sizes Available
Official (29.5")
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball
Product
Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball - Size 7...
Sizes Available
Official (29.5"), Intermediate (28.5")
Rating

Overall Best Indoor Basketball: Wilson Evolution Game Basketball

The Wilson Evolution Game Basketball is the best indoor ball because of its attention to detail, quality design, and affordability. No wonder it’s also one of the most widely-used balls in practice and league games. In fact, the National Federation of State High School Associations approves this ball.

Wilson Evolution Game Basketball, Black, Official...

This ball meets the highest standards for size and weight requirements, so know you are off to a pleasant start. It’s available in three different sizes: Official 29.5-inch, Intermediate 28.5-inch, and Youth 27.5-Inch. Since there are various sizes, including the official size, this ball is suitable for players aged 15 and up. 

Thanks to the patented Cushion Core Carcass technology, this ball produces a soft feel to the touch. The technology also gives a more comfortable grip around the rim. 

What makes the Wilson Evolution one of the best indoor basketballs is that it strikes a balance between soft feel and grip. This soft feel is possible because of the brand’s micro-pebble technology. The feature provides thousands of micro-touch points for an excellent grip. 

Indoor composite leather balls tend to be grippy and very soft, and this model is no exception. These features make the ball easy to palm and pleasant to catch. 

The micro-pebble technology further ensures that the ball has the optimal contact surface. Consequently, your hands get a comfortable feel when dribbling or shooting the ball. 

Although the ball uses composite leather, the deep channel design reinforces the grip. This makes sure the touchpoints give you ultimate control regardless of how you grab the ball. 

Moreover, microfiber cover composes the outer layer of the ball, creating a consistent texture across indoor surfaces to give you the best ball control. The Premium Evo Microfiber Composite Cover also guarantees durability for several seasons to come.

Instead of a foam reinforcement, Wilson uses a low-density sponge rubber on the inside. In this way, you can prolong the consistency of the ball regardless of how long you want to play. 

Furthermore, the cushioned core generates a consistent reaction, allowing you to track the ball should a rebound come off. The cushion also makes the ball softer to catch for a receiving player. In the same way, the cushioning minimizes deflation. 

Since the ball keeps the right level of air retention, you must allot a considerable amount of break-in period. As you regularly use the Wilson Evolution, the ball will feel more natural without losing its high amount of grip.  

With the addition of moisture-wicking channels, the ball can evaporate the moisture without impacting your grip. In effect, you can prevent sweat from damaging the ball and affecting your performance. 

In a nutshell, the Wilson Evolution can normally endure indoor games for up to two years. It is easy to see why coaches and trainers recommend this model for training as well. 

Product Highlights

  • Advanced microfiber and composite leather cover guarantees durability
  • Laid-in channels and micro-pebble design for superior grip
  • Cushion Core Carcass provides a softer bounce 
  • Low-density sponge rubber retains ball shape 
  • Moisture-wicking channels evaporate sweat 

Pros

  • The right amount of softness, tack, and grip 
  • Consistent bounce performance for accurate ball passing 
  • Ideal for high school, college, and professional players 
  • Comes with three different sizes

Cons 

  • The leather part may peel during prolonged use
  • Tends to pick up dirt 
Wilson Evolution Game Basketball, Black, Official...
  • THE #1 INDOOR BALL: The Evolution is the #1 indoor game basketball in America, on more courts than...
  • Signature EVO feel: the soft feel that the evolution basketball is famous for is due it’s cushion...
  • Grip & durability: the premium evo microfiber composite cover provides grip that players love and...

Best Indoor Basketball for the Money: Spalding NBA Official Game Ball

The name alone can justify the price of the Spalding NBA Official Game Ball. The National Basketball Association has been using Spalding’s balls since 1983. If you want to drive like LeBron James or shoot three-point daggers like Steph Curry, then take this ball wherever you go. 

Spalding NBA Official Game Ball

The NBA has joined forces with Spalding to create the gold standard basketball. The brand designed this model to feel like second nature in the hands of players. Since the ball is for indoor courts by design, it optimizes a full-grain leather construction that gets better once broken in. 

Following the official NBA size and weight of 7 and 1.8 pounds, respectively, you are actually using the same ball that the league is using for its playing legends. The standard size is also perfect for players aged 15 and up. 

Not only does the Horween leather cover ensure extreme durability, but it also brings out the best grip. Being the only authentic leather ball on this list, you won’t have problems with sweat. Hence, you can maintain the perfect grip even in intense games.

The wide channels offer great grip, giving you impeccable control in the fast-paced court. The grip also allows you to make several attacks toward the basket.  

On the downside, there’s a slightly slick feel to genuine leather balls. You have to spend some time dribbling it before you get the right feeling. 

High-end Butyl bladder helps the leather contain air pressure, so you won’t have to pump the ball each time you play. The nylon windings add structural integrity, keeping the ball intact despite force. 

Here’s a little trivia: the NBA tried to move away from this model and use a composite ball instead. Several players like Jason Kidd and Steve Nash complained, urging the NBA to reintroduce the ball again in 2007. As you can see, professional basketball players truly value this ball. 

As a bonus, the ball displays the official NBA logo and the signature of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Although this model is a bit expensive, you will surely get every worth of your money. 

Product Highlights

  • Full-grain Horween leather cover for durability
  • Wide channels for better grip 
  • High-end Butyl bladder for air retention
  • Nylon windings ensure structural integrity  
  • NBA’s strict size and weight requirements 

Pros

  • Used by professional players and coaches in the NBA  
  • Excellent quality material with consistent grip and control 
  • Good quality outside composite layer 

Cons

  • Most expensive ball on this list 
  • Takes a significant amount of time to break-in 
Sale
Spalding NBA Official Game Ball
  • PRO MINDED: For over three decades, Spalding has joined forces with the NBA to create the gold...
  • HORWEEN LEATHER: The full-grain leather construction turns butter-soft once broken in
  • NATURAL GRIP: Wide channels that provide a great grip that feels second nature

Best Cheap Indoor Basketball: Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball 

Even at a budget-friendly price, the Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball was designed with an athlete’s needs in mind. It uses premium materials to help unleash your full potential on the court. The ball is a must-have for those who want to spend hours practicing passes, free throws, or treys.

Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball - Size 7...

Baden has spent years improving its Elite line of products. This particular model is great for indoor players who require consistent bounce and superior grip control. 

This NFHS-approved ball weighs 1.9 pounds and comes in sizes 6 and 7. The intermediate size is ideal for girls aged 12 and above, while the standard size is preferable for boys from age 12 and up. Even the WNBA, NBA, and college basketball leagues use these sizes. 

One of the impressive aspects of this model is the grip. Thanks to Baden Elite’s proprietary composite microfiber cover, the ball provides the right amount of tack. As a result, you get excellent ball control, especially during fastbreaks and crossovers. 

The ball comes with a patented Cushion Control Technology that creates a softer feel. The cushioning also contains thousands of tiny air cells in the carcass for a natural bounce. Aside from a Butyl bladder, this technology helps retain ball structure, making sure the ball can keep its form. 

Since the ball optimizes a symmetrical design, the smooth rounded edges guarantee you won’t feel lumps. The construction spaces out the panel, so that you won’t receive inconsistent bounces. 

The combination of cushioning technology and symmetrical design creates a satisfying feel whenever you are passing or bouncing the ball. Likewise, the effect improves your accuracy and helps you land the shot where you expect it to be. 

Another special feature is the Stealth Soft-Valve System, which decreases the amount of exposed rubber from the valve stem. This system delivers a nearly undetectable valve for a consistent, sting-free feel when handling the ball. 

In addition, the Baden Elite’s advanced microfiber cover absorbs moisture. This feature enables you to maintain grip and ball control even when your hand is sweating.  

Because of the extremely durable synthetic cover, the ball won’t quickly deflate and wear out. No matter how hard or fast you throw the ball, it will still provide professional quality performance. This model is truly an ideal gift for beginners and those training for professional basketball. 

Product Highlights

  • Patented Cushion Control Technology that delivers a softer feel and more authentic bounce
  • Moisture grip that provides superior ball control 
  • Symmetrical design for a more balanced feel 
  • Composite microfiber for optimum tack 
  • Durable synthetic cover that retains air pressure 

Pros

  • Smooth rounded edges guarantee no lumps or inconsistent bounces 
  • Offers maximum consistency and playability

Cons 

  • Too sticky at first and needs a break-in period
  • Comes off glass backboards a little harder
Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball - Size 7...
  • Department Name: Mens
  • Included Components: Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball - Size 7 (29.5")

Best Indoor Basketball for Ball Rotation Tracking: Molten X-Series Composite Basketball 

Molten has cemented itself in the world of basketball equipment, even being hailed as the official ball manufacturer of the International Basketball Federation and other national competitions. With this in mind, you can expect nothing but the best from the Molten X-Series Composite Basketball.  

Molten BGG7X Composite Basketball, Orange/Tan,...

This is why the GG7X is the top choice for elite athletes because of its enhanced visibility and functionality. The best players have superb shooting, passing, and rebound skills. Using the ball’s rotation can help improve these attributes. 

What makes the ball stand out is the GIUGIARO design that enhances visibility. The special X-design on the synthetic cover lets you see how the ball is going to react in the ring. Therefore, you can anticipate where the rebound location will be. 

Giorgetto Giugiaro, one of the top industrial designers in the world, made sure that the sharp color contrast of the 12-panel design will make the balls visible to players and viewers alike. The white stripes also act as additional channels, which helps establish ball rotation. 

This one-of-a-kind feature is beneficial for players who want to train their intuition as to where the ball is going. If you can determine how the ball rotates, it will be much easier to adjust your movements and think of the best way to react. 

The FIBA-approved ball boasts new composite cover technology designed to handle any indoor surface. The cover also absorbs moisture from sweating. More than that, the composite leather generates exceptional grip and handling. 

With the inclusion of surface pebbling, the GG7X delivers exceptional grip for precise shooting and passing. Each pebble has been aligned to create a uniform surface texture. Putting these into consideration, you get consistent contact no matter where the ball is held. 

The ball also has flattened seams for consistency of touch and performance. The seams lessen the height difference and gaps between the panels. The all-round flatter construction also creates a more consistent backspin on the ball. 

The Molten X-Series contains a Butyl bladder system that produces a consistent response in every bounce. The ball comes initially deflated, but the bladders ensure air retention after you pump air. A two-year warranty is another insurance that you get one of the best indoor basketballs in the world. 

Lastly, the GG7X comes in two sizes. The first one is size 6, which is suitable for female players aged 12 and above. The other one is the standard 7, which is ideal for male players aged 15 and above. 

Product Highlights

  • GIUGIARO design for enhanced ball visibility 
  • Additional panels for tracking ball rotation 
  • Dense pebble pattern for optimum surface contact and touch 
  • Premium composite leather eliminates sweat and moisture 
  • Butyl bladder system for consistent response and air retention

Pros

  • Visually innovative multi-color design to help track the ball rotation
  • The same ball used for FIBA and other international basketball tournaments
  • Flatter construction for more precise passing and shooting

Cons

  • Has additional groove-lines 
  • The composite material may feel like rubber 
Molten BGG7X Composite Basketball, Orange/Tan,...
  • FIBA Approved
  • Premium Composite Leather Cover
  • Butyl Bladder

Best Grip and Soft Feel Indoor Basketball: The Rock Basketball 

The Rock may not be as famous as Wilson, Baden, Spalding, or Molten, yet it has proven to be better in some aspects. From the maker Anaconda Sports, this model boasts a fresh design, making it one of the quality indoor balls in the world.

The Rock- Basketball - Official Mens

The ball’s primary asset is the Core to Cover technology, wherein the composite cover is reinforced, while sponge rubber carcass acts as the core. The composite material also feels like genuine leather.  

The pebbled channels of the ball are more extensive than Wilson Evolution’s, giving this model a better grip. The channels are one piece and not glued together, unlike other balls. This gives The Rock a consistent feel and added durability. 

Aside from that, the channels come with moisture-wicking properties. The ball is quite absorbent, so you won’t have to deal with sweaty palms for a turnover. 

If you hate the feeling as if the ball has super glue, then you’re in for a treat. Fortunately, The Rock has the perfect level of tackiness. Because of its great grip, you can genuinely improve your ball-handling skills. You can even palm the ball for 90 seconds. 

Some models tend to be tacky, making the ball stick to the hands and floor longer than usual. Subsequently, too much tackiness reduces grip while picking up loads of dirt. 

For increased softness, this model has a patented sponge rubber carcass layer that also improves ball handling. When you grasp the ball, you won’t feel the need to readjust your hold. 

Similarly, the cushion also gives a spongy feeling even if there are deep channels. The ball would definitely bounce in the way you’d expect it to, and the bounce won’t feel excessive or flat. 

The ball has reinforced double-ply Butyl bladder, which results in superb air retention. The addition of a 100% nylon wound also improves shape retention. Even when you use the ball for several playing seasons, the components remain intact and sturdy. 

Finally, the ball measures size 7 and weighs 1.4 pounds, making it fitting to be the official ball of the McDonald’s All-American Game and other college divisions.   

Product Highlights

  • Patented sponge rubber carcass layer for increased softness
  • Pebble channel design for exceptional grip
  • 100% nylon wound as retention property
  • Reinforced Butyl bladder for maximum air retention

Pros

  • Pebbled channels ensure the utmost tact
  • Used for all types of American games
  • Scuff-resistant and does not need a break-in period 

Cons

  • Can feel slippery when wet
  • Tends to be bouncy
The Rock- Basketball - Official Mens
  • official rock basketball
  • CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY
  • 29.5 FULL SIZE

What Makes a Good Indoor Basketball? 

Indoor basketball uses durable yet less harsh courts, which is why the balls normally are softer with more cushioning and better grip. The balls also have fewer resistance materials since the impact is not too strong compared to outdoor courts. 

Unlike their outdoor counterparts, indoor balls don’t have to focus on durability to handle rough surfaces. This is a good thing because the ball can emphasize a soft feel for optimum bounce and grip.

Indoor basketballs on a rack

Indoor Flooring 

Indoor basketball is not suitable for rough floor surfaces. Thus, basketball played indoors utilizes the latest technology in high-performance flooring. The surface is slip-resistant and offers some cushioning to lessen the joint impact. 

Indoor balls perform well on sleek, freshly waxed courts. This is why hardwood court is the most popular type of surface for indoor games. In fact, all professional and collegiate leagues use hardwood courts for their games. 

The floor is usually hard maple, which is a dense wood with fine fibers. The tightly packed grains of the wood make indoor floors resistant to splintering. The grains also result in a smooth surface, leaving no room for dirt to hide. 

Our Indoor Basketball Buying Guide

There are a couple of factors you need to consider before you snatch the perfect basketball for your style. To discover how indoor balls work, here are the vital features you should know: 

Size and Weight

Keep in mind that the sizing may depend on age, sex, and playing level. For example, kids and women tend to have smaller hands. With the correct ball size, they can practice dribbling and shooting mechanics properly. 

The bottom line— choosing the correct basketball size helps develop muscle memory based on the size, weight, flight, and feel of the ball. Once you’ve determined the appropriate size for your condition, you’ll have better ball control and maneuverability. 

Men playing indoor basketball

To improve your grip and shooting, make sure to consider the four standard indoor basketball sizes: 

SizeCircumferenceWeightRecommended For
425.5 inches14 ouncesThis size is suitable for young beginners and children between the ages of five to eight years. 
527.5 inches18 ouncesSize 5 basketballs are for young players aged nine to 11.
628.5 inches in diameter20 ouncesBasketballs this size are for intermediate competitions. WNBA and middle school players aged 12 to 14 typically use this size. 
729.5 inches in diameter 22 ouncesSize 7 is the standard basketball for men’s collegiate and NCAA. Professional competitions like the NBA also follow this size. 

Wilson Evolution has the most number of sizes, featuring sizes 5, 6, and 7. Molten X-Series and Baden Elite both have sizes 6 and 7. Spalding and The Rock only produce size 7.

Material 

The type of material determines the strength of your grip on the ball. There are three commonly used materials for basketball, but only one works best on indoor courts.

  • Rubber: Outdoor balls are often made of rubber, which is a durable yet cheap option. Although the material is ideal for concrete surfaces, rubber balls do not deliver a lot of grip or ball control. This type is only advisable for beginners and small kids.
  • Synthetic or composite leather: This material uses a variety of materials such as microfiber composite. Most indoor balls optimize composite leather, which is softer than rubber yet provides more grip for dribbling and shooting. However, synthetic leather is less durable and tends to be slippery.
  • Genuine leather: Although much more expensive, leather basketball resists the sleek, waxed hardwood surfaces, making it the most suitable for indoor games. Because of its texture, players can easily hold on to and pass the ball. This is also why professional indoor competitions use leather balls. 

Only the Spalding NBA Official Ball boasts genuine leather. The rest have composite materials, with some adding rubber components. They all differ in feel, bounce, and grip.

Grip and Bounce

There are channels or grooves that enable you to palm and control a ball. Ask yourself, how comfortable are you when you handle and dribble the ball? Will the grip impact your shooting ability?

The best indoor basketball not only must give you a comfortable feel on your fingertips, but it should also provide a consistent, reliable bounce. The playing court impacts the bounce, which is why smoother, indoor courts help the ball produce a better bounce. 

Almost all of the models use cushioning technology and deep channels to reinforce grip and bounce. What stood out is The Rock’s sponge rubber carcass and pebbled channels.

Basketball in the middle of the court

Air Retention and Inflation 

The NBA standard for basketball air pressure ranges from 7.5 to 8.5 pounds per square inch. It’s normal for balls to fluctuate, although it can be frustrating when a ball is constantly losing air. Solid materials like leather can prevent punctures and deflation. 

Fortunately, most indoor basketballs can retain much of the air pressure inside for as long as possible. Make sure that your inflated ball is round and hard. Press your hands against the ball to test its inflation.

Wilson Evolution relies on cushioning to decrease air inflation. The Baden Elite maximizes its durable synthetic cover. The three remaining models contain bladder systems for optimum air retention. 

Moisture Resistance and Durability

Sweaty hands will build moisture, which will result in losing your grip on the ball. Some balls have moisture-reducing surfaces that can absorb sweat as you play. 

If you pick a leather ball, then the sturdy material can also absorb moisture, letting you keep a solid grip on the ball. 

Wilson Evolution and The Rock come with moisture-wicking channels. Baden Elite and Molten X-Series both use their cover technologies and bladder systems to prevent moisture buildup. Meanwhile, Spalding NBA has nylon windings for structural integrity and leather cover for moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions About Indoor Basketballs

Should I Buy a Basketball Fully Inflated or Deflated? 

This depends on your preference. Those people with air pumps can quickly inflate a ball. If you don’t have one, it would be convenient to buy an inflated ball. 

Can I Use Indoor Balls on Outdoor Courts?

The balls in this list are for indoor use. Although it’s still possible to use indoor balls on outdoor surfaces, this can speed up the wear on the cover and material. 

What is the Best Basketball Brand? 

Spalding has been manufacturing basketball equipment for over 140 years, and it continues to make innovative balls to suit the needs of the game. Wilson is another trusted name in the game, whether it’s for high school, collegiate, or professional tournaments. 

Baden is another household name since 1979. Since its inception, it has developed best-selling lines, including the Elite series. Molten is mostly known for manufacturing balls for several team sports, with a range of products that includes basketballs, American footballs, association footballs, volleyballs, dodgeballs, and handballs. 

Indoor basketball made of leather

Anaconda Sports, which makes The Rock, is one of the largest independent sporting goods and field equipment dealers in America. It may not be as popular as the other brands, but Anaconda Sports has gained international recognition for dependable goods. As you can see, several basketball brands are worth considering to be the best. 

How to Take Care of an Indoor Basketball?

A well-maintained ball can last for several playing seasons. If you want your ball to perform at its best, here are some steps you can take: 

  • Check the air pressure: You can’t play properly using under-inflated band over-inflated balls. A simple trick is to hold the ball above your head and drop it. The ball should bounce back to your chest height if it still has good pressure. 
  • Use the right playing surface: Indoor games typically use leather because outdoor surfaces like concrete or gravel can easily wear out the material. Using indoor balls on outdoor surfaces will also destroy the grip and bounce. 
  • Keep your playing surface clear: The ball can hit hard and sharp objects. Make sure to remove unwanted objects on the court that can damage the ball.
  • Clean the ball: The grooves can accumulate dirt and dust, making the ball slippery and harder to handle. Dip a rag in a mixture of mild water and leather shampoo. Make sure to dry the ball immediately after cleaning. 
  • Don’t soak the ball in water: Water might seep in through the cracks and holes. Also, the water can damage the ball’s bladder if it gets inside. 
  • Store the ball safely: When not in use, keep the basketball in a cool, dry place. Do not put something heavy on top of it, otherwise, the ball will lose its proper shape. Do not leave the ball outdoors or in direct sunlight.

Final Note 

There are tons of basketballs to choose from, but the models we’ve reviewed outranked them all. Consider all the factors we’ve explained to help you pick the best indoor basketball to level up your game. In the end, choose a ball that can meet your needs, preferences, and budget without sacrificing overall quality.