Spalding TF 1000 Basketball – Original Classic ZK [Review 2022]

Last Updated March 3, 2022 by Edward Pullen

The professional basketball athletes will second that the Spalding TF-1000 is one of the best basketballs ever made for indoor games. Spalding decided to stop manufacturing it for an unknown reason. Now, the legendary ball has returned with the branding of “Classic” and “Legacy” to bring back players’ childhood memories. Here, we’ll explain tested review of this iconic basketball.

It’s true that we hear mixed reviews about the TF-1000 Classic for indoor games. However, the ball outperforms the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) criteria. The basketball performs so well that it has become Official basketball in high school basketball games in different states like Idaho, North Dakota, and California.

Note: We do not recommend using Spalding TF-1000 Classic on outdoor courts – it is especially designed for indoor basketball.

spalding tf-1000 classic basketball reviews

Spalding TF-1000 Classic ZK Reviews

Here are the tested reviews of TF-1000 Classic ZK on indoor hardwood courts;



The TF-1000 Classic feels a bit harder out of the box. Although Spalding promised that the ZK microfiber composite material is soft and the cover will feel quite pleasant as to its original ancestor – but does not fulfill the expectations. The material does not feel premium quality at first.

However, we found the ball’s performance getting better as we play. This means the composite cover requires some break-in period to feel soft.

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The Spalding TF-1000 Classic offers great grip because of the wide channel that resembles the legendary original basketball. These wide channels improve the grip and enhance the visibility of the ball. The channels also help drain out the sweat of other moisture faster to offer better grip. Indeed, the basketball is easier to grip without any problem of slippage.

As I mentioned above, the ball feels hard right out of the box – so you may find it difficult to grip in the beginning. But, once the break-in period has passed and you got used to the ball, the grip becomes tacky even for wet hands.



Without a doubt, bounce is the best feature of TF-1000 basketball. We found it bouncing with consistency even after tempering the inflation. All credit goes to the rotationally balanced butyl bladder of the ball that ensures the shape and excellent bounce. We doubted the dribbling efficiency but the basketball performed quite similar to the original ball.

We also experienced a bit heavier sound of the ball as compared to other indoor basketballs such as Wilson Evolution and Baden Elite – dribbling actually feels wonderful over this ball.



The durability of a basketball depends on the cover material and here, ZK microfiber does its job. Actually, the original basketball wasn’t very durable (perhaps that was the case Spalding stopped bringing it to the market). However, in this redesigned version of TF-1000, Spalding intentionally improved its durability.

Probably that is why the ball feels a bit hard because the whole focus was on durability and the ball lacks comfort. If durability is your concern then we definitely recommend going for TF-1000 Classic. Inspite of being exceptionally durable, still you cannot use it as an outdoor basketball.





  • Consistent bounce on the  hardwood court
  • Enhanced durability
  • Feels tacky after the break-in period
  • Affordable price
  • Wide channels for a strong grip
  • Feels a bit hard out of the box


Final Verdict

Spalding was criticized at times for making either expensive leather basketballs or cheap rubber balls. Finally, the company has managed to introduce a composite leather basketball that costs less and lasts longer than most balls in the market. Indeed the ball resembles the original TF-1000 in performance and good for indoor basketball games. Keeping the price range in mind, the Spalding TF-1000 Classic is a good model available on Amazon that justifies the brand name.

See which are the most durable outdoor basketball hoops of 2022.


Spalding TF-1000 Classic vs. TF-1000 Legacy - Comparison

The Spalding introduced two designs of the TF-1000 version – Classic and Legacy. Both of the basketballs perform very similar. The only difference is in the build, Classic has wider channels to drain the moisture of sweaty hands. On the other hand, Legacy has deep channels for superior grip.

Both basketballs are designed for indoor courts and will not last long on outdoor concrete surfaces. So, it comes to your choices as the end – whether you prefer a strong grip on the ball or your hands are sweaty and you prefer less perspiration.

spalding tf-1000 classic basketball reviews                             spalding tf 1000 legacy

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