Composite Leather Basketballs vs. Original Leather Basketballs: Which is Better?

Basketballs are made of different materials. Do you want to buy a basketball that will last for a long time? If so, then you should consider composite leather basketballs. Composite leather is a synthetic material that feels like original leather – but it’s even better because it doesn’t wear down as quickly. There are many more advantages for composite basketballs (and also some disadvantages) that we are discussing in this article.

What is a composite leather basketball and what are its benefits over an original leather basketball?

A composite leather basketball is a synthetic material that feels like the real thing. It’s made of different materials than original leather, which can give you better control and grip in your games. Composite leather doesn’t need to be broken in like regular leather – so you can start playing with it right away skipping the break-in period!

Composite leather is also great for both indoor and outdoor surfaces. Being more durable, it achieves consistency in both shape and size.

Synthetic or composite leather can also be cheaper than regular leather, making composite balls a great option for those that are shopping on a budget. This is because synthetic materials usually come at a lower price and also are more versatile and easy to shape.

One bid advantage for vegan people is that no genuine leather is required to build basketballs, so no animals are harmed.

How does the composite leather material affect the feel and performance of the ball when playing with it?

On the downside, composite leather can be slippery when it’s wet and doesn’t have that classic leathery feel that you get from indoor balls. Some people might also say that composite basketballs don’t have the “authenticity” of an original leather ball – but we think that’s a matter of personal preference. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which type of basketball is right for you.

Which type of basketball do professional athletes prefer to play with – composite or original leather balls?

In the NBA league, genuine leather balls have been used since the beginning- so it’s safe to say that most professionals prefer leather balls.

Lakers player taking technical freethrow

Are there any other factors you need to take into consideration when choosing between a composite and an original leather basketball (e.g., climate, personal preference)?

When choosing between composite and original leather basketballs, you should also consider the climate. If you live in a hot climate, synthetic materials might be better because they don’t absorb heat as quickly as leather balls do.

Also outdoor courts can be hard on delicate leather balls, so if you are going to mostly play your games outdoors, opt for an artificial type of ball, even rubber.

Personal preference is another big factor to take into account – some people just prefer the feel of original leather basketballs over composite balls. Do some research and think about what’s important to you before making your decision.

The best leather basketball

wilson leather basketball

The best leather basketball is the world’s most famous basketball: the Wilson NBA Authentic Series Game Basketball. They are the official balls of the NBA starting in 2021, after 37 years with Spalding. It’s used all over the world, and it’s made right here at home in the USA from Horween leather. It isn’t cheap, as you would expect from the ball that NBA players use in official matches, but it will level up your game in indoor courts with its superior grip and accurate shooting performance.

How to clean a leather basketball

To clean an original leather basketball, use a soft cloth dampened with warm water and mild soap. Wipe the ball clean, then dry it off with another soft cloth. If you have a tough time getting the ball clean before your game, you can use a commercial cleaner made specifically for leather. Do not soak the ball in water – this will cause the leather to deteriorate.

Leather conditioner for basketballs

leather conditioner for basketballs

A leather conditioner can be used to keep the material soft, pliable, and looking new. Apply a small amount of conditioner to a clean cloth and rub it into the ball in a circular motion. Let the conditioner soak in for at least 15 minutes before wiping off any excess.


What is a composite leather basketball?

A composite leather basketball is a basketball made of synthetic material that feels like original leather.

What are the benefits of using composite leather?

Composite leather doesn’t wear down as quickly, it’s great for both indoor and outdoor surfaces, and it can be cheaper than regular leather which is the most expensive type. It is also vegan.

Does the NBA use composite leather?

No, the NBA league uses original Horween leather made of cowhide.

Is composite leather basketball for outdoor?

Yes, composite leather is great for both indoors and outdoors. It is also more durable, achieving consistency in both shape and size. If you are playing in a hot climate, you might want to opt for synthetic materials for your ball that will maintain its grip longer.

Are composite basketballs good?

Composite basketballs are really good, especially if they are made from top basketball brands. They imitate original leather perfectly, so only really experienced ballers will be able to tell the difference.

How do you break in a composite leather basketball?

Composite leather basketballs don’t require any break-in time. They are ready to play with right out of the box.

Is synthetic leather the same as composite?

Yes, composite leather is a type of synthetic leather. It is made to feel and perform like original leather.

Do composite basketballs need to be conditioned?

No, composite basketballs don’t require any conditioning. The material is already broken-in and doesn’t need extra treatment to improve its grip.

How long do composite basketballs last?

Composite basketballs can last for several years, as long as they are properly taken care of. Store them in a cool, dry place and avoid leaving them in direct sunlight for extended periods. This way they will last almost as long as rubber balls do.

What is the best composite leather basketball?

The best composite leather basketball is the one that fits your needs and preferences. Consider the material, the size, the weight, and the price before making your decision. There are many great composite leather basketballs on the market, so take your time to find the perfect one for you.

Which one is better genuine leather or synthetic leather?

It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a ball that feels and performs best in indoor games, then go for authentic leather. If you’re looking for something with a cheaper price or more durable, then artificial leather might be a better option. If you care about animal rights, synthetic is your only way to go


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