The Best Umbro Soccer Balls [2023 Buying Guide]

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Umbro has been around for a very long time.

The company was established in the early 1920s and since then, they’ve gone on to become one of the most recognised sports brands within the United Kingdom.

In addition to that, the firm has a solid global presence as they’re able to distribute their merchandise across 90 countries worldwide.

Now, Umbro do appear to fly under the radar when it comes to soccer ball production.

You rarely come across their goods in a “best soccer balls” list, but that doesn’t mean they’re not up to standard.

In fact, Umbro’s soccer balls are quite impressive, which is why I’m taking this opportunity to provide you with a roundup of recommended options.

So, take a look at the comparison table below:

Image

Product

Features

 Rating


Our #1 Rated

Umbro Neo Swerve Soccer Ball

Polyurethane composite cover

Butyl bladder

82%

Best Premium

Umbro Neo Pro Soccer Ball

FIFA Quality Pro approved

Hand-stitched seams

76%

Umbro Youth Sala Pro Soccer Ball

Dual pressure system technology

ECO-PET outer casing

74%

The Umbro Neo Swerve Soccer Ball is my top pick here, especially because the company chose butyl over latex for the internal bladder. The former material offers much better air retention so players don’t have to re-inflate the ball with annoying regularity.

 

1. Umbro Neo Pro Soccer Ball

Umbro Neo Pro Soccer Ball
  • PREMIUM GAME BALL: FIFA Approved for match ready play
  • DURABLE: Hand stitched sealed seams ensure zero water absorption to maintain perfect balance and shape
  • PREMIUM OUTER COVER: Five layer lining ensures a lively consistent bounce, guarantees shape retention and improves ball flight

The Umbro Neo Pro Soccer Ball is the first point of reference when talking about the best Umbro soccer balls.

It comes in a sleek white, black and red colour combination that gives off a premium feel, as the shades all blend together quite nicely.

Umbro’s “double-diamond” logo also appears quite prominently on the centre panel, which is great because prospective buyers get to know exactly which brand they’re looking at when presented with this soccer ball.

And there’s more to like!

Here are a few attributes of this ball that make it stand out:

 

FIFA Quality Pro approved

Soccer balls are put through a series of performance evaluations by the game’s governing body – FIFA – who try to determine which ones are fit for use at the highest levels of the sport.

Well, this soccer ball gets top marks as its been awarded with the FIFA Quality Pro badge.

A quick translation of what this means is in order.

You see, for a soccer ball to be handed a FIFA Quality Pro label it has to score highly when it comes to things like:

  • Rebound ability;
  • Water absorption; and
  • Shape and size retention

So, it’s quite reasonable to expect this ball to behave in the way players want it to, which is great because it keeps matches fair.


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5-layer outer cover

To back up the previous point, this soccer ball comes fitted with a 5-layer lining.

What this essentially does is guarantee that the ball bounces in a manner that is really lively.

If you kick it in the air, you’ll notice how it sort of “pops off of the surface”, right after making contact with the ground.

Another benefit of such a multi-layered lining is that the soccer ball is able to maintain its spherical shape throughout periods of intense play.

It’s so critical that soccer balls preserve optimal roundness, because this has a knock-on effect on the uniformity of its bounce, as well as how it moves when in flight.

 

Hand-stitched seams

Finally, this soccer ball has been put together by hand.

Hand-stitched soccer balls have their seams buried deeper within the outer structure, which leaves the stitches less exposed to external impacts that can cause tears and other sorts of damage.

Just take a quick glance at this ball for a moment.

Notice how you can’t even see the threading on each panel border?

That’s because the stitches are embedded at a deeper level.

You don’t have to worry about playing soccer in the rain with this one either, as the hand-stitching ensures zero water uptake that would make the ball heavier and distort the uniformity of its bounce and movement.

Ultimately, players should get much more use out of this soccer ball because the hand-stitching gives it a boost when it comes to overall longevity.

 

Other specifications

  • Internal bladder – latex
  • Ball Size – 5
  • Weight – 422 grams

 

Benefits
  • The latex bladder allows for cushioned touches and easy close control
  • Hand-stitching ensures zero water absorption that would make the ball heavier
  • FIFA Quality Pro approval ensures high performance in all aspects of play
Drawbacks
  • High price point may place it out the budget range for most prospective buyers

 

2. Umbro Neo Swerve Soccer Ball

Umbro Neo Swerve Soccer Ball
  • QUALITY SOCCER BALL AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE: Great premium camp and recreational soccer ball for grass
  • DURABLE PU COMPOSITE COVER: PU composite with improved softness, bounce, and durability
  • MAXIMUM AIR RETENTION: Butyl bladder for better air retention

The Umbro Neo Swerve Soccer Ball differs quite greatly in its construction when compared against the previously reviewed Neo Pro.

Just by taking a look at it, you can see the panel arrangement is dissimilar as the centre panel is shaped like a triangle.

But the colours do crossover a little, as the white and black hues are quite memorable.

With pink used as one of the shades, you get the sense that Umbro have tried to appeal to the female playing contingent here.

Anyway, here are the main features you can take away from this one:

 

Polyurethane composite cover

The outer covering is made up of polyurethane, a material that is said to provide a greater feel and response for players that use soccer balls of such composition.

You won’t feel like you’re kicking a rock with this ball, because the polyurethane covering makes the ball much softer to touch.

That makes this ball a particularly great option for the younger players who have feet that are still firmly within the development cycle.

Play becomes easier for them as they’re unlikely to experience blisters or general soreness brought about by kicking this soft soccer ball.

 

Butyl-backed air retention

Butyl bladders are much better for air retention than their latex counterparts.

You won’t have to pump up this soccer ball frequently, as bladders made of butyl can hold air for much longer periods of time.

This actually allows you to focus on enjoying your purchase instead of having to get it inflated every now and again.

 

Other specifications

  • Construction detail – machine stitched
  • Ball size – 5
  • Weight – 422 grams

 

Benefits
  • Reasonable price point
  • Great air retention
  • The stitching holds up exceptionally well, along with the outer body and skin
  • It plays well on turf, together with damp and dry grass fields
Drawbacks
  • Has a little more bounce than expected on a dry grass field

 

3. Umbro Youth Sala Pro Soccer Ball

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Finally, we have the No products found..

Because there aren’t too many options for Umbro soccer balls available on Amazon, I’ve had to include a ball that’s used for futsal.

First off, you’ve got two distinct colourways to choose from:

Now, there are two areas where this soccer ball really stands out, and I’m going to take the opportunity to address this.

 

Dual pressure system technology

This Umbro ball is made using a dual pressure system (DPS) construction technique that brings about massive performance benefits.

Ligue 1 – France’s highest professional league level – provided a great explanation of what it means in their press release for the unveiling of the 2019 Coupe de la Ligue ball:

“The ball is made using DPS Construction (Dual Pressure System), a manufacturing technique comprising foam layers of different densities under the surface. This hybrid method, which incorporates glue as well as stitching, creates a more uniform and aerodynamic ball.”

Source – official Ligue 1 Uber Eats website

The main takeaways are that you get a soccer ball that offers great aerodynamism when in flight, and a ball that retains its roundness very well throughout play.

 

ECO-PET outer casing

Umbro deserves a lot of plaudits for its eco-responsible manufacturing of this soccer ball.

This is because the company chose to use recycled plastic bottles to build the outer coat, which shows they wanted to minimize the environmental impact of this particular soccer ball’s production.

 

Other specifications

  • Construction detail – machine stitched
  • Ball Size – 4
  • Weight – 408 grams

 

Benefits
  • DPS technology enhances its flight and shape
  • Environmentally friendly outer casing
  • 10-panel construction offers greater points of contact and a more consistent rebound for players
Drawbacks
  • Fairly expensive

 

Factors to consider when buying an Umbro soccer ball

There are two areas that I need to highlight about Umbro soccer balls before I wrap things up.

 

Stitching

best umbro soccer balls - hand stitched

Hand-stitched Umbro soccer balls will beat machine-stitched ones for performance almost every time.

Because the seams of hand-stitched balls are well hidden, the stitches don’t get exposed.

What this means is that soccer balls of such construction detail are less prone to deflating and they’re also likely to last a lot longer.

 

Shipping

The Umbro soccer balls that I’ve reviewed in this article are all shipped in a deflated state.

So, you’ll need a good pump to inflate your purchase up to the correct pressure level before you can even begin to use it.

 

Are Umbro soccer balls good?

When you compare the offering that Umbro presents with what other brands bring to the table, you can’t really make a compelling case to pick Umbro.

The alternatives are more widely reviewed and come with features that are a lot more innovative.

But if you didn’t have the luxury of choice and simply had to pick an Umbro soccer ball, then I would recommend the Umbro Neo Swerve due to its budget friendly price point and the fact that it contains a butyl bladder which maximises air retention.

Finally, before you go, you should check out our eBook on Soccer Ball Care.

Within this monster of a resource, we tackle all there is to know about looking after a soccer ball and maximising its useful life right from when you purchase this type of product.

This eBook covers a plethora of different topics, such as:

  • soccer ball construction;
  • inflation and pressure management;
  • cleaning and maintenance;
  • soccer ball storage; and
  • how to extend the useful life of your ball

In just a couple of hours, you’ll have more knowledge on what is good and bad for your soccer ball than you could ever fathom!

You’ll learn how to inflate your soccer ball to the correct level of air pressure based on the size of ball you have, as well as know how to clean and store your soccer ball properly after games.

But I don’t think there’s anything better than being able to effectively troubleshoot problems with your soccer ball and fix them yourself!

So, you can finally take care of your soccer ball for many months to come, which without a doubt will save you time and money as won’t be searching for and buying a replacement any time soon.

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Grab yourself a copy right now for only $29!

Samuel Waihenya
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