The Best Footballs

Football is one of the most popular sports in the US, and a game that’s enjoyed by millions. If you’re a football player, it’s worth investing in a high-quality football that will last you for years to come. Whether you’re a pro, an amateur, a casual player, or just someone who loves tossing a ball around the yard, a good football will bring you countless hours of fun.

We researched dozens of footballs to identify the best of the best, based on factors including craftsmanship, durability, affordability, and Amazon reviews. We then narrowed down our search to 5 of the top-rated footballs available to buy today.

Best Football Overall
Wilson NFL Super Grip Football
This easy-to-grip ball is the best choice for most football players.

The Wilson NFL Super Grip Football is our top pick among the footballs we looked at. It stood out from the rest thanks to its winning blend of durability, grip, performance, and affordability.

The 5 Top-Rated Footballs

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Football OverallWilson NFL Super Grip Football4.8
Best Youth FootballNFL Downfield Youth Football4.8
Best Budget FootballWilson NFL MVP Junior Football4.7
Best Composite FootballWilson NFL The Duke Replica Official Size Composite Football4.6
Best Leather FootballWilson "The Duke" Official NFL Game Football4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Football Overall: Wilson NFL Super Grip Football

The Wilson NFL Super Grip Football is a durable football constructed from high-performance composite material. The football features a multi-layered lining for consistent shape and durability. It also offers superior grip thanks to its tacky, textured surface.

This football is available in official and junior sizes and is perfect for players of all ages. Overall, it offers the ideal blend of durability, grip, and performance. Reviewers say this football is tough and well made. Some also comment that it’s excellent value for money.

Wilson NFL Super Grip Football Key Features

  • Multi-layered lining
  • Tacky surface for superior grip
  • High-performance composite material
  • Available in official and junior sizes

Best Youth Football: NFL Downfield Youth Football

Best Youth Football
NFL Downfield Youth Football
This grippy youth football is available in all NFL team options.

The NFL Downfield Youth Football is our top choice for young football players. The youth football features Rawlings patented HD grip, with 5 times more pebbles for gripping compared to standard rubber patterns. It’s also available in all NFL team options, with bold branding and team logos.

The football is small enough to fit in a child’s hand. It’s also perfect for adults who want to throw long distances. The officially licensed NFL product comes pumped up and ready to play. Reviewers of this youth football say it’s well made, functional, and attractive.

NFL Downfield Youth Football Key Features: 

  • Youth size football
  • Official NFL product
  • Available in all team options
  • Rawlings patented HD grip

Best Budget Football: Wilson NFL MVP Junior Football

Best Budget Football
Wilson NFL MVP Junior Football
This well-priced football comes complete with a pump, inflation needle, and tee.

Looking for a budget-friendly football from a leading sports brand? Check out the Wilson NFL MVP Junior Football. The youth-size football is made from composite leather with soft waterproof sponge rubber. It comes complete with a pump, inflation needle, and football tee.

The football is designed for ages 9 and up, and offers all-weather durability and long-lasting play. Reviewers of this football say it’s durable and great value for money.

Wilson NFL MVP Junior Football Key Features: 

  • Youth size football
  • All composite leather
  • Soft sponge rubber cover
  • Includes pump, inflation needle, and tee

Best Composite Football: Wilson NFL The Duke Replica Official Size Composite Football

Best Composite Football
Wilson NFL The Duke Replica Official Size Composite Football
This high-quality composite football is a fun recreation of the on-field NFL ball.

The Wilson NFL The Duke Replica Official Size Composite Football is a composite leather recreation of the official Wilson NFL football. It’s sized to match the on-field ball, making it ideal for anyone who wants to feel like an NFL star. The ball is also perfect for collectors who want to commemorate the NFL’s 100th season.

This football is available in a brown or metallic finish. Reviewers of the product say that it’s sturdy and well constructed. Others comment that it’s perfect for collecting autographs.

Wilson NFL The Duke Replica Official Size Composite Football Key Features: 

  • Soft feel
  • Official size
  • Composite leather
  • Ideal for collectors

Best Leather Football: Wilson “The Duke” Official NFL Game Football

Best Leather Football
Wilson "The Duke" Official NFL Game Football - New 2020 Version
The official ball of the NFL, handcrafted from 100% exclusive Horween leather.

Looking for the most authentic NFL football on the market? Check out the Wilson “The Duke” Official NFL Game Football. This premium football is handcrafted in the US from 100% exclusive Horween leather by Wilson’s skilled craftsmen and women in Ada, Ohio. It’s the official ball of the NFL, featuring the world-famous blue, red, and silver shield.

This football is the obvious choice for any keen player who wants to own a genuine NFL football. It’s the closest to what is used by the pros every season, and a fantastic piece of memorabilia. Most reviewers of this football say they are pleased with the quality and craftsmanship of the product.

Wilson “The Duke” Official NFL Game Football Key Features: 

  • Official ball of the NFL
  • Made from 100% exclusive Horween leather
  • Handcrafted in the USA
  • Wilson live enabled

Who Should Buy a Football

A football is a must-have item for any football player or fan. Whether you plan to use it on the football field, toss it around your yard, or display it in your home, a good football can bring you countless hours of fun.

If you’re looking to purchase a football, there are several different options to choose from. Some of the most popular include youth footballs, composite footballs, and leather footballs. If you’re a collector, footballs designed for autographs are also available.

Best Football Overall
Wilson NFL Super Grip Football
This easy-to-grip ball is the best choice for most football players.

Important Features to Consider

Footballs should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when choosing a high-quality football.

  • Material. Choose a football made from high-quality, durable material that will stand the test of time. Footballs made from composite or leather are excellent options.
  • Size. Footballs are available in a range of sizes to suit players of different ages. Choosing the right size football will make it easier to catch and throw.
  • Grip. Look for a football with a tacky surface that’s easy to grip during play. Many footballs feature textured surfaces that allow you to get a good grip.
  • Accessories. Some footballs come complete with handy extras such as a pump and kicking tee. Consider purchasing a football that comes as part of a set if you don’t already own these items.
  • Team branding. Have a favorite football team? Consider buying a football that branded with your team’s colors and logo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best football size?

The most common football sizes are Pee-Wee (size 5), Junior (size 6), Youth (size 7), and Official (size 9). Pee-Wee footballs are recommended for players aged 9 and under. Junior footballs are best for players aged 10-12, while youth footballs are designed to be used by players in the 12-14 age group. Official size footballs are the best choice for any player aged 14 or older.

What is the weight of football?

The weight of a football will vary, depending on its size and the materials used. Official NFL footballs weigh around 16 ounces.

Why do footballs have laces?

Footballs have laces to improve grip when throwing. The laces also allow football players to place a tight spiral on the ball. Need a little more grip on the ball during play? We recommend investing in a good pair of football gloves (we reviewed the best football gloves in a separate post).

What football does the NFL use?

The NFL uses the official game ball known as “The Duke”. It’s our top pick among the leather footballs we looked at (check out our review above).

Other Footballs We Reviewed

Best Football Overall
Wilson NFL Super Grip Football
This easy-to-grip ball is the best choice for most football players.

We looked at 20 other footballs. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best footballs list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for the keen football enthusiast. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Youth Footballs

Franklin Sports Grip-Rite 100 Rubber Junior Football

Franklin Sports Grip-Rite 100 Rubber Junior Football

This youth football features a super tacky rubber molded construction and pro-style raised rubber laces. Reviewers say the football is well sized and affordable.

Key Features: 

  • Official junior size
  • Waterproof rubber cover
  • Rubber molded construction
  • Raised rubber laces
  • 5 colors to choose from

Cost: $10

Franklin Sports Junior Size Football

Franklin Sports Junior Size Football

A durable kid’s football with deep-pebble surface material and pro-style hand sewn laces. This football also features a weather-resistant cover.

Key Features: 

  • Made from synthetic leather
  • Easy-grip surface
  • Youth sized
  • Weather-resistant cover

Cost: $9

Hasbro NERF: Sports Football Pro Series

Hasbro NERF: Sports Football Pro Series

This durable foam football is perfect for indoor or outdoor use. It features a performance-grip surface so players can toss and pass the ball.

Key Features: 

  • Durable foam construction
  • Performance-grip surface
  • Ideal for indoor or outdoor use
  • Suitable for ages 6 and up

Cost: $20

Passback Junior Composite Football

Passback Junior Composite Football

This passback youth football features a flat end that allows it to bounce right back to you. It’s ideal for training and football practice.

Key Features: 

  • Designed for training
  • Innovative flat-ended design
  • Durable and weather-resistant
  • Great for kids

Cost: $30

Wilson NCAA Supreme Junior Football with Pump & Tee

Wilson NCAA Supreme Junior Football with Pump & Tee

This junior size football is recommended for players 9 years and older. It comes complete with a pump and tee, and features a butyl rubber bladder for advanced air retention.

Key Features: 

  • Durable PVC cover
  • Includes pump and tee
  • Butyl rubber bladder
  • For ages 9 and up

Cost: $20

Wilson NFL Enforcer Football with Pump and Tee

Wilson NFL Enforcer Football with Pump and Tee

This well-made youth football combines a raised pebble composite cover with double laces for increased grip and durability. It comes as part of a set, with a pump and tee.

Key Features: 

  • Youth size football
  • Raised pebble composite cover
  • Double laces for better grip
  • Includes pump and tee

Cost: $13

Composite Footballs

Baden Autograph Football (Official Size 9)

Baden Autograph Football (Official Size 9)

This football features a high-quality composite cover with white and brown panels. It’s specially designed for autographs and display.

Key Features: 

  • Official size 9 football
  • Durable composite cover
  • Large panels for autographs
  • Makes a great gift

Cost: $25

Chance Football Pro Quality Composite Leather

Chance Football Pro Quality Composite Leather

This premium quality composite football features textured laces that provide exceptional grip and control. It’s available in 3 stylish colors.

Key Features:

  • Composite leather cover
  • Butyl bladder for optimal air pressure
  • 3 colors to choose from

Cost: $20

GlowCity Light Up Football

GlowCity Light Up Football

This fun light-up football features an impact activated LED that’s located in the center of the ball. The ball is well made, and perfect for nighttime play.

Key Features:

  • Impact activated LED
  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor use
  • Perfect for nighttime play
  • Batteries included

Cost: $23

NCAA Game Time Full Size Football (All Team Options)

NCAA Game Time Full Size Football (All Team Options)

This full-size composite football features synthetic pebbled material for enhanced grip. It’s available in all NFL team options, making it a great gift for football fans.

Key Features:

  • Easy to catch and throw
  • Includes display stand
  • Available in all team options
  • Officially licensed product of the NCAA

Cost: $17

NFL Game Time Football (ALL TEAM OPTIONS)

NFL Game Time Football (ALL TEAM OPTIONS)

This composite football is an officially licensed product of the NFL. It’s easy to display and is available in all NFL team options.

Key Features:

  • Textured surface for grip
  • All team options available
  • Officially licensed product of the NFL
  • Includes display stand/kicking tee

Cost: $18

Wave Runner Grip It Waterproof Football

Wave Runner Grip It Waterproof Football

This brightly colored football is perfect for the beach, pool, lake, or park. It features a special gripped patten for optimized throw and catch.

Key Features:

  • Heavy-duty all-weather football
  • Special grip pattern
  • Double-laced for a spiral throw
  • Ideal for indoor or outdoor play

Cost: $15

Wilson Composite Football

Wilson Composite Football

This high-quality football features an ACL lacing system and composite cover construction for enhanced grip. Reviewers say the ball is solidly made.

Key Features:

  • Tough composite cover
  • ACL lacing system
  • Several sizes available

Cost: $40

Wilson GST Composite Football

Wilson GST Composite Football

This football features a butyl rubber bladder that retains air longer, ensuring optimal inflation through hot and cold weather.

Key Features:

  • High-grade microfiber composite leather cover
  • Butyl rubber bladder
  • Accurate control lacing
  • Multi-layered lining

Cost: $37

Wilson NCAA Composite Football

Wilson NCAA Composite Football

This football is recommended for players aged 14+. It features an NCAA branded composite cover. Reviewers say the ball is good value for money.

Key Features:

  • Soft feel
  • Durable composite cover
  • NCAA branded
  • Several sizes available

Cost: $25

Wilson NFL Force Football

Wilson NFL Force Football

A well-designed football with a high-quality composite leather construction that provides superior grip. This football is branded with the Wilson graphic and official NFL logo.

Key Features:

  • High-quality composite leather
  • Cushioned cover
  • Aerodynamic design
  • Wilson graphic and official NFL logo

Cost: $22

Wilson NFL MVP Football

Wilson NFL MVP Football

This stylish football is ready for play. It features a synthetic composite cover made from tacky material for enhanced grip.

Key Features:

  • Excellent grip
  • Composite cover
  • Several sizes to choose from

Cost: $15

Wilson NFL Ultimate Composite Game Football (Official Size)

If you’re looking for a well-made, official size composite football, check out this offering from Wilson. Reviewers say the football is easy to catch and grip.

Key Features:

  • Soft composite leather
  • Official size football
  • Wilson graphic and NFL logo
  • Designed for play in all conditions

Cost: $18

Leather Footballs

Spalding Alpha Leather Football

Spalding Alpha Leather Football

A high-quality leather football with an exclusive Horween “S” tack leather cover for improved grip. This football also features a boxed sewn strip for easy point of reference.

Key Features:

  • Horween “S” tack leather cover
  • Boxed sewn strip
  • Raised diamond lace
  • Thick 2 ply TPU bladder

Cost: $58

Wilson GST Leather Game Football Series

Wilson GST Leather Game Football Series

This premium leather football features a pebbled surface and patented sewn-on composite stripe that provides 82% more grip for better control.

Key Features:

  • Accurate control lacing
  • Pebbled surface
  • Patented sewn-on composite stripe
  • Double-stitched lace reinforcer

Cost: $120

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