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Best Grip Basketballs for Indoor and Outdoor Play

Best Grip Basketballs for Indoor and Outdoor Play

Best Grip Basketballs for Indoor and Outdoor Play

Basketball is a game of inches and a game where a split-second decision can dramatically affect the outcome of the game.  Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to the grip of the basketball. 

We’ve received a multitude of reader questions, all asking, which basketball has the best grip for either indoor or outdoor play.   Below, we are going to discuss the best grip basketballs for indoor and outdoor play respectively and provide you with the definitive list of basketballs that provide you with the grip you need to close out the game strong.

Why is Basketball Grip so Important?

When it comes to the game of basketball, the grip of the ball on your hand is of utmost importance.  Why?  Simple, the grip of the ball not only provides you with better ball handling abilities but also ensures that the ball doesn’t slip out of your hand while dribbling, potentially costing you a crucial play.

The grip of the ball is primarily determined based on the texture of the ball and the number of grooves on the outer surface.  These grooves, slightly raised, are typically made of the same material as the ball and vary from rubber to leather, to synthetic, also referred to as composite. 

Within the professional leagues, the material on the basketball is typically leather.  Dependent on the league, formality of play, and outdoor or indoor considerations, all three different material types may be used.  It is often why so many professional basketball players opt to practice with all three different material types.

Best Grip Basketballs for Indoor and Outdoor Play

Basketball Colors and Grip

Typically, a standard basketball is colored a lightly burnt orange.  However, some basketballs may have a black, blue, yellow, or multi-colored look to them.  Although basketballs can come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors, these differences generally won’t affect the grip on the ball.

As the grip on the ball is solely determined by the material of the ball itself, there is little worry that the ball color or size will affect the overall basketball grip.  Rather, when it comes to the best grip on a basketball, you will want to opt for a well-known, reputable company that takes the time and engineering to ensure the grip is up to par for both indoor and outdoor play.

Different Types of Basketballs

As previously mentioned, there are three dominant types of basketballs.  These are leather, rubber, and synthetic, often called composite.  The professional leagues typically utilize basketballs made of genuine leather and are often the basketballs that are found used at most indoor gyms and basketball leagues.

In addition to being the most widely used, leather basketballs are generally the softest and most comfortable material on a ball.  That is also why genuine leather basketballs tend to great grip and are widely chosen for most leagues.

However, synthetic or composite basketballs are by-far the best basketballs for overall grip.  Synthetic basketballs are made of material that look and feel like leather and can be used for both indoor and outdoor play.  Due to the synthetic material of the ball, composite basketballs need little “breakage” and can be used practically out of the box.

Lastly, rubber basketballs are generally the most affordable and are a great option for beginners and for outdoor play.  Rubber basketballs generally perform well on asphalt and provide a great bounce on outdoor surfaces.  However, rubber basketballs tend to have less grip, as compared to the alternatives.

Best Grip Basketballs for Indoor and Outdoor Play

Best Grip Basketball for Indoor and Outdoor Play

Wilson Evolution Game Basketball – the Wilson Evolution Game Basketball, in our own testing, is by far the best indoor basketball for overall grip and durability.  It is the number one indoor basketball in America and on courts around the world.  The. Wilson Evolution basketball offers a soft, natural touch due to its cushioned core, making the ball soft to the touch.  In addition, the premium microfiber composite cover provides a grip that basketball players have come to love and depend on, making it our overall top choice.

Spalding All Conference Indoor-Outdoor Basketball – the Spalding All Conference Indoor-Outdoor Basketball is our top pick for the overall best hybrid basketball on the market.  Featuring a composite material finish, this basketball is perfect for indoor and outdoor play and provides the grip and durability players are looking for.  with a brownish finish, this basketball maintains its natural shape and performance, time and time again.

Spalding Zi/O Excel Basketball the Spalding Zi/O Excel Basketball is another great option from Spalding, a reputable basketball brand that is often used in professional play.  This basketball is shipped inflated and ready to use.  With a tacky outer feel, the Spalding Zi/O Excel Basketball provides superior grip on both asphalt and hardwood flooring.

Senston Rubber Men’s Basketball the Senston Rubber Men’s Basketball is definitely the “new kid on the block” but punches above its weight class.  Although the Senston brand is a newer one, they have quickly made a name for themselves.  Featuring eye-catching design and colors, this basketball is great for new players looking to learn the basics of the game.  However, for a rubber basketball, its overall grip was quite good and provided the comfortability that basketball players across the globe look for.

How to Clean a Basketball

Although the brands listed above offer superior grip straight out of the box, over time, these basketballs can begin to lose their grip and overall effectiveness.  However, dependent on the material of the basketball, you will want to thoroughly clean the basketball through differing mechanisms.

It should be noted that you should never soak your basketball in water or detergent.  Similarly, when cleaning a basketball, always be sure that the basketball is fully inflated and never deflated when cleaning.  Lastly, you should avoid using any strong detergents when cleaning a basketball.

Cleaning a Leather Basketball

Cleaning a leather basketball is generally the easiest due to the plethora of leather cleaners on the market.  When it comes to cleaning a leather basketball, simply place a copious amount of leather cleaner in a container.  Use a clean cloth to apply some of it on the surface of the basketball.  Rub the surface gently for a nice polish and gently dry the surface with another cloth.

Cleaning a Rubber Basketball

Although rubber basketballs get dirty quickly, they are just as easy to clean.  Simply fill a bucket with warm water and detergent.  Mix the solution and dipping a soft cloth into the bucket, rub gently on the surface of the basketball until the dirt and grime comes off.  Repeat the process until the ball is back in its natural color.

Cleaning a Synthetic or Composite Basketball

Cleaning a synthetic or composite basketball takes a bit more work.  First, fill a bucket with warm water and detergent.  Then, rinse the basketball for about half an hour.  Lastly, using a clean cloth, apply soap on the surface of the basketball and polish throughout.