Indoor vs Outdoor Basketball – Differences | Court Advice

Are you a basketball enthusiastic and want to know what is the difference between indoor and outdoor basketball? Well, we heard a lot of debates on indoor vs outdoor basketball. Therefore, we have decided to provide in-depth honest information on both types.

Wondering if you can use an indoor basketball on outdoor courts and how long will it last? We are going to discuss realistic factors and tested reviews why you cannot use an indoor basketball outside. It is essential to use the right basketball for precise shots and optimum performance – plus longevity of the ball.

Another debate to follow between in ground vs. portable basketball hoop.

indoor vs outdoor basketball

 

Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Basketball – Features Guide

Both indoor and outdoor basketballs look the same at a distance but there are significant differences that you should consider. These features not only affect the performance, but also the lifespan of the basketball. The main differences are explained below;

 

Material

The main visible difference is the cover material of the ball. Indoor basketballs are made of full grain genuine leather. Leather balls perform better on hardwood courts and deliver good bounce while dribbling and last years on indoor courts. Moreover, the leather surface feels soft and provides a great grip for indoor challenge games.

On the other hand, outdoor basketballs are made of either rubber or composite material to withstand the harshness of the outdoor asphalt surfaces. Outdoor courts and streets are made of concrete, therefore the ball should be durable. Outside basketballs may feel a little hard to the palm that is due to the strong cover that ensures longevity.

The concrete surface can ruin a high-quality basketball, hence you cannot use and indoor basketball on outdoor courts – period. Some composite leather basketballs are good for indoor courts.

 

Durability

No one is willing to purchase a basketball every month. Durability matters the most either it is indoor or outdoor basketball. You can use an outdoor ball on hardwood courts without harming it but it will feel hard and not perform well. But an indoor basketball will not even last an hour on a concrete surface. The leather cover will split and have cracks and holes in it.

Rubber basketballs are more durable on concrete courts than composite balls.

 

Performance and Grip

Indoor games are mostly competitions and tournaments, therefore indoor basketballs are designed to deliver good performance. A good indoor basketball will have around 35,000 small pebbles on the surface for superior grip. These pebbles help with delivering ideal performance even when it is wet with sweat.

On the other hand, outdoor basketball has large pebbles and is designed to pick up less dirt. However, they can be less grippy when get dirty or wet – resulting in poor performance.

 

Price

Indoor basketballs are typically more costly than outdoor basketballs due to their material. A few good quality indoor basketballs cost more than $100, where you can find a good outdoor basketball from %30 to $50. However, the price can cause a substantial difference in the quality of the ball – the more you spend, the better the ball will be!

 

How to Choose the Right Basketball?

difference between indoor and outdoor basketballIf you are just beginning with this sport or selecting a ball for your child, you’ll likely get confused while choosing the right basketball. There are hundreds of different basketballs and most of them claim to be the right one for you – how to decide then?

I made a few mistakes while buying basketballs for my younger brother and would advise you not to follow them. I would advise you not to buy an expensive leather ball if you are a beginner (intermediate or pro-level basketball players should pick according to their needs). Save some money and purchase an outdoor basketball to practice dribbling and shooting skills first.

Remember, you or your child is new to this game and there are high chances of damaging the ball. Hence, rather spend less and learn basketball skills and tricks on the street or in the backyard. And, if you are going to play outdoor and indoor courts with your friends, go for a composite basketball. They are also budget-friendly, versatile, durable, and perform excellently on both courts.

 

 

What is the Best Basketball Brand?

Spalding is the most popular and considered to be the best basketball brand. It makes the basketball for the Official NBA Games – that’s how it gained popularity. Molten also makes FIBA Approved basketball for International Official games. Wilson is the most famous basketball brand among school tournaments in the USA. The best basketball brands are;

  1. Spalding
  2. Wilson
  3. Molten
  4. Mikasa
  5. Nike

 

What is the Best Basketball for Outdoor Courts?

Outdoor basketball is durable and feels hard on the palm due to its strong cover. Spalding NBA Street is the best basketball for outdoor courts. As the name states “Street”, this basketball is specially designed to withstand the hardness of concrete courts. The top 5 best basketballs for outdoor courts are;

  1. Spalding NBA Street
  2. Spalding NBA Zi/O
  3. Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball
  4. Spalding NBA Street Phantom
  5. Wilson Replica NCAA Game Basketball

Check detailed features and tested reviews of best outdoor basketballs along with buying guide.

 

What is the Best Basketball for Indoor Courts?

Indoor basketballs are soft and designed to deliver soft grip on hardwood courts. Spalding NBA Official Game Ball is the best basketball for indoor courts. The company has been manufacturing this basketball for the NBA official games – hence you can get the idea of its performance. The top 5 indoor basketballs are;

  1. Spalding NBA Official Game Ball
  2. Wilson Evolution Game Basketball
  3. Wilson Evo NXT
  4. Nike Elite Championship Official Basketball
  5. Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball

Read in-depth features of the best indoor basketballs along with a guide to buy the right basketball for indoor courts.

 

What are the Best Indoor Outdoor Basketballs?

Most amateur basketball players do not want to spend on both balls. There are a few basketballs that perform the best on both indoor and outdoor courts. Spalding NBA Zi/O is the best indoor outdoor basketball. We did not experience any significant difference in its performance on concrete or hardwood court. The top 5 best indoor outdoor basketballs are;

  1. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor-Outdoor Basketball
  2. Spalding NBA Replica Indoor/Outdoor Game Ball
  3. Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
  4. Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite
  5. Wilson Replica NCAA Game Basketball

 

Final Verdict

It is necessary to know the difference between indoor and outdoor basketball to choose the right ball depending on your needs. If you are not planning to play on indoor courts, it is pointless to spend a fortune on a leather basketball. And, if you are going to enjoy playing on both courts, we would recommend purchasing a composite basketball in the beginning.

 

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

What is the difference between indoor and outdoor basketball?

The significant difference between indoor and outdoor basketball is the material. Indoor basketballs are made of full grain genuine leather. On the other hand, outdoor basketballs are made of durable rubber that can withstand the hardness of concrete and ensure longevity. Composite basketballs serve on both courts – indoors and outdoors.

 

Can you use outdoor basketball shoes indoors?

It is not advised to use outdoor basketball shoes indoors due to the toughness and feel. Outdoor basketball shoes have a strong outsole for concrete courts. Although the indoor courts will not affect their durability, they might be less grippy on wood courts. Therefore, your focus will be on balancing yourself most of the time – resulting in poor performance.

Here is a link to the best outdoor basketball shoes.

 

Which basketball is best for outdoors?

Spalding NBA Street is the best basketball for outdoors. The best outdoor basketballs of 2021 are;

  1. Spalding NBA Street Outdoor Basketball
  2. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor-Outdoor Basketball
  3. Wilson Evolution Game Basketball
  4. Spalding NBA Replica Indoor/Outdoor Game Ball
  5. Wilson Replica NCAA Game Basketball
  6. Spalding NBA Varsity Multi-Color Outdoor Basketball
  7. Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor/Outdoor Composite Basketball
  8. Molten X-Series Indoor/Outdoor Basketball
  9. Mikasa BX1000 Premium Rubber Basketball
  10. Spalding NBA Street Phantom

 

Is it bad to play basketball outside?

Playing basketball outside can be dangerous for your knees and ankles. Basketball game requires a lot of jumping and outdoor courts are mostly hard concrete. Some hard landings on a tough surface can cause injuries like a “jumper’s knee”. Hence, it is advised to play less basketball on outdoor courts and avoid hard jumping.

 

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