In the world of basketball, there are a variety of balls to choose from. The options can be overwhelming but when it comes to indoor use, nothing can beat the performance and feel of leather basketball.
Indoor leather basketballs are different from outdoor ones because they wear down quickly if played outdoors. From texture to bounce, every ball has a uniqueness that makes it special and worth talking about!
It delivers the perfect bounce and performs better than any other ball. With small pebbles on the surface, players get an excellent grip and control of the ball.
It’s so hard to find the perfect basketball. The ball has to bounce just right, and it can’t be too light or too heavy. And there are so many different textures! But what is the best?
That’s why we’re here! We will help find the perfect ball for your needs with our blog post. So keep on reading as we break down important aspects of choosing a leather basketball.
Improve Your Skills with Indoor Leather Basketball
Why is leather basketball suitable for indoors?
Real leather is considered to be the most comfortable and softest material that’s why it is ideal for comfort while playing indoors. For this reason, leather basketballs are one of the most expensive and should only be used for indoor games.
Leather basketball offers a better grip
A leather basketball brings a better grip due to the 35,000 small pebbles on its surface.
Who should get indoor leather basketball?
Leather basketballs are available in two versions: full leather and composite leather. Generally, most indoor basketballs are made with composite leather because they are softer and provide great grip, and control while dribbling or shooting.
Unfortunately, composite leather basketballs are not durable enough and feel slippery out of the box. However, such basketballs are the perfect option for beginners as well as for people who are low on budget.
On the other hand, full leather basketballs are used by pros in the NBA. They are the most expensive types, but when it comes to comfort while playing, real leather stands out. Such basketballs first need to be a break-in to get the optimal feel and control of the ball.
How to Choose the Best Indoor Leather Basketball?
1. All leather is the best choice for indoor use
Compared to composite leather, all-leather basketballs are a much better option for indoor games due to their texture. All-leather basketball resits sleek, waxed hardwood surfaces and offers an excellent grip to players. This allows players to dribble or pass the ball without losing their grip on the ball.
Full leather basketball is ideal for indoor use because you get a significantly better playing experience. You will not get a better level of control than all-leather basketball. For this reason, you will see all professional, high-school, and college teams use all leather basketballs for indoor use.
Check the full leather basketball for your professional games or league to use:
In terms of full leather basketballs, this one lasts the longest even than NBA balls. It is used frequently in international competitions with its better fly and more consistent bounce. Even when shooting, it keeps a great shooting, thus can be a good choice for pro players.
Composite leather basketball is a great choice for those who want to play indoor and outdoor. It has an affordable price, offers a high level of grip and bounces control. If you are a beginner, you should start your basketball journey with composite leather basketball.
Get a cost-effective composite leather basketball for gyms to use:
It has deep channels and a good grip that deserves a good buy for daily practice indoors. When holding it in hand, you will feel its durability and professional feel. Just use the official size ball for your causal practice.
2. Choose the one with better grip and feel
Leather basketball with extremely detailed pebbling offers an amazing grip and overall feel.
Getting a better grip and feel on the basketball is extremely important because, without it, your whole game will be affected. It offers optimal control on the ball when you dribble and shoot.
Besides, you need to avoid basketballs with minimal pebbling. They don’t offer a better grip and are more slippery.
Here is a selected leather basketball with excellent grip to help improve your skills:
Designed for hoopers and gym rats, this one beats its other edition – Evolution with its balance between cushioning and firmess. After proper breaking in, you will feel its tacky grip and right bounce.
3. Weight and size determines your play situations
If you are looking for a basketball for casual play, then you should opt for a Size 6 basketball. It measures 28.5″ and weighs 20 oz. This size ball is usually used for intermediate competitions and is perfect when you are playing basketball with your friends.
Check the Wilson NCAA Jet Pro Basketball designed for causal play:
If you are into competitive play and a pro basketball player, then a Size 7 basketball is perfect for your skillset. It is the official size basketball that is used by the pros in the NBA. It measures 29.5” and weighs 22 oz.
Check the Baden Elite Indoor Leather Basketball for your daily training and game:
4. Mind your budget
You can find a good all-leather basketball for indoor use in the price range of $40 – $90. However, some can also cost you up to $150.
Besides, if you only want basketball for casual play, then you should opt for composite leather ones. You can get a decent composite leather basketball in the price range of $15 – $30.
5. Choose a suitable design for youth or adult use
Choosing the right size and design according to your age and skill set is very important. For young kids, a 27.5-inch size basketball is ideal to cater to youth’s strength and ability. playing with a bigger size or heavy ball can potentially predispose them to injuries and they won’t be able to train properly.
This Chance Premium Indoor Leather Size 5 Basketball is designed suitable for youth to play:
Conversely, a 29.5-inch size basketball is suitable for adult men. At this level, they have developed the required strength, skills, and have the hand size to handle it.
This is a good choice for adult men with Official Size:
However, if you are a woman, you should go with a 28.5 size basketball. E.C. and Michael Schindler, founders of Baden, identified the need for smaller size basketball for women as 29.5-inch was not ideal for them. Compared to their hands, such size basketballs were bigger and they could not get the control of the ball that they should.
Check the suitable woman basketball made with leather material here:
Spalding vs. Wilson, How to Choose the Suitable Brand?
Spalding Indoor Leather Basketball
Full grain leather is used for the construction of Spalding basketball. It gives basketball a butter-soft feel once broken in. The more you play with Spalding indoor leather basketball, the more grip turns butter-soft and gives you full control of the ball.
Spalding basketball is built for elite performance. The Rotationally balanced butyl bladder provides ultimate air retention and nylon windings provide excellent structural integrity.
Spalding leather basketball is suitable for adults who play basketball in their high school, college, or at the professional level.
A Spalding replica leather basketball can cost you around $60. However, an official Spalding game ball will cost you $150, as per Spalding’s official website.
Here is the most recommended Spalding indoor leather basketball:
Wilson Indoor Leather Basketball
On the other hand, premium quality microfiber composite leather is used for the construction of Wilson basketball. It has a superior grip and creates a consistent feel and texture over the entire surface that offers players maximum control of the ball.
Wilson leather basketball is available in Intermediate (28.5”) and Official (29.5″) sizes, which makes it suitable for both adult men and women.
Compared to Spalding game balls, Wilson Leather basketball is much more affordable. According to Wilson’s Official store, it will cost you $70.
Get this Wilson indoor leather basketball if you want a composite leather ball:
What Kind of Leather is an Indoor Basketball Made of?
Indoor basketballs are usually made of two types of leather: full-grain leather and composite leather.
Full-grain leather is perfect for indoor use because it prevents expensive wooden floors from being damaged. Not just that, such basketballs are soft, tacky, and help maintain sound grip. Full-grain leather basketballs are the best type and are used in professional leagues like NBA and WNBA. After repeated use, they develop a broken-in feel. However, you must avoid using such balls on outdoor courts as they are prone to wear and tear.
For outdoor courts, you can use composite leather basketball. composite leather is an artificial material that feels like leather but is much more affordable than full-grain leather. Basketballs made from composite leather are versatile as you can use them on both outdoor and indoor courts. These types of basketballs are soft so they do not need to be broken in.
People who are more into casual play should go with composite leather basketball as it allows them to play on both indoor and outdoor courts. Plus, it is budget-friendly.
How Can You Tell if a Basketball is Leather?
Basketballs made from either genuine leather or composite leather are of high quality. But genuine leather basketballs are considered to be the best ones and are used at the competitive level.
While composite leather is a synthetic material that feels like leather but is cheaper to produce and more robust. Therefore, such material is used to make more versatile basketballs that are durable enough to perform well on indoor courts as well as outdoor courts.
It is easy to distinguish between genuine leather basketball and composite leather basketball because they have a completely different feel. Genuine leather basketballs are prepared meticulously through a process of 90 days to become fully match-ready.
After hours of bouncing and passing on, the leather eventually breaks-in. At this point, the ball becomes softer and ready to be used for indoor games. While a composite leather basketball feels a bit slippery out of the box.
Are Leather Basketballs Good for the Outdoors?
Leather basketballs are good for the outdoors only if they are made with composite leather. They are made to withstand vigorous outdoor conditions. However, you should never play with genuine leather basketball on outdoor courts, you will only be wasting your money.
For outdoor use, you can choose from a selection of two materials: rubber and composite leather. While rubber basketballs are much cheaper than composite leather, they won’t last long.
Comparatively, composite leather basketball is a better option due to its versatility and high durability. if you ensure proper maintenance, it might as well grow with you.
Check the outdoor basketball here:
How Do You Break in Indoor Leather Basketball?
You must break into a leather basketball before you use it in a game because it significantly improves the control of the ball while handling and shooting.
Though not all leather basketballs need to be broken in. Basketball made from composite leather comes out of the box ready to use. It does not need to be broken in. However, all leather basketball must be broken before you can play with it. It will be difficult for you to control the leather basketball if it is not broken in.
The easiest way to break in leather basketball is by playing with it on the court. You can also utilize sweat and natural oils from your hand as well as dirt on the court to break in leather basketball.
Steps to Break in Indoor Leather Basketball
Here are the steps you can follow to soften or break in leather basketball:
● The first thing you need to do is wipe off all the dirt or debris from your ball using a dry, dust-free cloth.
● Apply a leather conditioner and rub it into the entire ball using a separate cloth designed particularly for leather conditioning. Most leather conditioners include this cloth.
● Wait for 15-20 minutes as the condition soaks into the leather. Then, use a fresh cloth to remove any extra conditioner.
● Repeat this process 3-5 times until the basketball’s leather begins to soften.
● Once done, you can begin playing with your ball on smooth even surfaces. You may practice shooting baskets or try other tricks. This will allow the leather to loosen up even more.
How to Care Your Leather Basketball For Indoor Use?
Taking good care of your leather basketball is critical if you want it to last long and perform better. Many people overlooked the fact that a significant amount of dust and grime settle into the tiny cracks of leather basketball. If you do not ensure proper maintenance, these substances then become embedded in the surface of the basketball. This then affects the overall feel of basketball and also ruins your play.
For proper maintenance, all you need is a rag dipped in the soapy water mixture to properly clean your leather basketball from dirt, debris, and grime. Here are a few things you need to do to maintain your leather basketball in top-notch condition.
● Don’t let the dust settle on your basketball. For proper cleaning, use a rag dipped in a mixture of warm water and leather shampoo or dish detergent.
● Make sure you dry it immediately as leaving a leather ball wet can alter its surface.
In addition, remember to avoid playing on outdoor courts if you have a genuine leather basketball. Always clean your basketball once you are done playing. Also, never submerge or soak your ball in the water. If water seeps into your basketball, it can severely damage the bladder.
1. Can I use a leather basketball outside?
There are two types of leather used for making Basketballs. One of them is composite leather. You can use a basketball made from composite leather outside.
2. Are NBA basketballs rubber or leather?
NBA basketballs are made of full-grain leather.
3. Are Spalding balls leather?
Yes, Spalding balls are made with the finest full-grain leather.