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Let’s face it; not all soccer balls are created equal. As soccer players and enthusiasts, we tend to regard certain brands as more reliable, while disregarding others. By doing so, we miss out on so much that these other brands have to offer.
In some cases, however, our prejudice can be justified. Brands such as Select, Brine, Nike, and Adidas have produced some of the best soccer balls available, and most of us have grown an immense sense of trust and loyalty towards at least one of these brands.
In this article, we will focus on Adidas. This German manufacturer has been making some of our favorite soccer gear for almost a century. During that time, they’ve developed numerous technologies that they’ve incorporated into the soccer balls we all lust after. However, not all of their products are unobtainable for the majority of soccer players; some are built for the masses. One of those will be explained in detail in this text. Enjoy the reading!
What is a Glider Soccer Ball?
The Glider soccer ball is the most popular ball that Adidas makes. This line of soccer balls has multiple models in it, and you can read more about their differences in our previous article. In this article, however, we will focus on the original Adidas Glider soccer ball.
The name Glider probably comes from this ball’s ability to sail smoothly on any surface, even in the harshest weather conditions, but we’ll get to that later.
This soccer ball is known for its quality, reasonable price, and no compromises when it comes to performance. Favored by thousands of soccer players around the world, Adidas Glider has managed to remain one of the best-selling soccer balls on the market for years. Let’s learn why this is the case:
Adidas Glider Soccer Ball Description
Defined by its dynamic graphic pattern and durability, Adidas Glider was a game-changer when it first came out, forcing other manufacturers to adapt and bring out new, quality products at a lower price. Now on the market for more than three years, the original Adidas Glider model still manages to outsell top of the range new arrivals from competitor brands. Here’s a shortlist of the key specifications of Adidas Glider Soccer Ball:
- 100% TPU
- Rubber bladder
- Machine-stitched surface
- Adidas logo
- Multiple color options
The 100% TPU cover is there to ensure that the soccer ball remains unscraped after hours of kicking. The machine-stitched surface further improves the durability, while also reducing the price of the final product, as hand-stitched balls tend to be much more expensive. The rubber bladder takes care of air retention, as well as the feedback that the ball sends to the player. Let’s move on to our first thoughts about Adidas Glider:
The first out of the box impression with this soccer ball is that its surface seems too slippery. Even though the TPU cover does seem to provide protection, it fades in comparison to real leather covers, both in terms of feel and quality. Without inflating it first, Adidas Glider can be described as an average soccer ball at this price range. However, the appeal and popularity of this ball were much clearer to us once we pumped some air into it. Read more about that in the Review section of this article.
Now that the general description of the technical part of the ball is done, we can move on to its looks:
All of the color options available are made with visibility in mind, making the Adidas Glider stand out in the sea of white and black soccer balls. The Glider also seems to be an excellent choice for kids who are just picking up soccer: Whether you go for the pink and white model, or the more traditional options, this ball is guaranteed to pique an interest among the youngest soccer players.
Adidas Glider Soccer Ball Review
After going through the basics and the general description of the Adidas Glider model, the time has arrived to write down our impressions of this soccer ball:
We’ve already mentioned that this model looked like it’s too slippery at first. However, once inflated and tested, Adidas Glider changed our first impression of slipperiness quickly. With the first kick, this soccer ball feels light, grippy, and easy to control. Still, it wasn’t as grippy as soccer balls with the rougher, traditional surface. The fun, however, started when we hit the field with it.
Even after hours of dribbling, passing, shooting, and overall excessive use, Adidas Glider managed to remain fun and solid, with no signs of air leakage. While dribbling with Adidas Glider, the ball felt controllable at all times and as an extension of the foot; something that not many soccer balls at this price range can offer. The ball remains true to its name when passed across the grass, gliding to the place you want it to be, but maybe a bit quicker than we’re used to with more advanced and more expensive soccer balls. When it bounces off the field, Adidas Glider remains predictable – not too jumpy and not too flat on the jump.
When it comes to shots towards the goal, Adidas Glider is a dream. The rubber bladder seems to be doing more than just holding air, just like the manufacturer claims; it offers a soft touch and lightness that resemble match quality soccer balls. Due to the soft touch, the ball is not too harsh on the foot, it provides excellent feedback to the player and ensures that the player can judge the power and direction of their kick without any hindrance from the ball. Catching harsh and powerful crosses with your head is not something to worry about with Adidas Glider, as the ball remains light regardless of its speed of movement.
When tested on wet grass, Adidas Glider kept all of the qualities we found to be its upside. The ball still remained easy to control, it slid across the field with ease and flew right where we wanted it to. Moving indoors, however, showed us that this ball is made for grass-like surfaces. When put through its paces on a hardwood floor, the ball was too fast, too bouncy, and just overall unpredictable.
Pros of Adidas Glider soccer ball
Here is the list of all of Adidas Glider’s positive sides we discovered through rigorous testing:
- Adidas Glider is one of the most durable soccer balls we’ve tried at this price point:
When used on soft surfaces, such as real and artificial grass, Adidas Glider can be the ball that stays with you for years. The quality TPU cover ensures that the ball remains resistant to punctures, scratches, and all other signs of wear and tear we’re used to with soccer balls at this price range.
- Adidas Glider offers excellent performance in all conditions:
For its price, Adidas Glider performs brilliantly. We’ve discussed its excellent bounce, traction, and overall game presence, which are all qualities that account as major positives for this ball. The soft-touch and the lightweight of the ball will be appreciated by those who are used to much more expensive match soccer balls.
- Adidas Glider is made for everyone:
This ball is available in all sizes; size 3 is for soccer players under the age of 8, size 4 for those between the ages of 8 and 12, and size 5 accommodates older players. Color and design diversity is another thing that contributes to this positive aspect of Adidas Glider.
Cons of Adidas Glider soccer ball
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows with this soccer ball. There’s also a shortlist of negatives that might convince buyers to look elsewhere for their new soccer ball:
- Adidas Glider is not a match-quality ball:
While it is highly durable, Glider is simply not built to standards that match quality soccer balls must follow. Cheaper construction, machine stitching, and synthetic cover are just some of the aspects of this ball that make it unsuitable for official soccer matches.
- Adidas Glider comes in strange sizes:
Even though it’s officially available in all sizes, Adidas Glider’s sizing is a bit of an issue for this soccer ball. One of the most commonly brought up issues with this ball is the fact that the size 5 ball is closer to the size 4 we’re used to in regular soccer balls. This also applies to all other sizes of the Glider model offered.
When it’s all said and done, Adidas Glider is an excellent ball that we can recommend without a shadow of a doubt. Soccer skill-building is possible, if not encouraged, with smaller sized balls, so the last negative point we made might not be an issue for most buyers.
To make things as simple as possible: Buy this model if you’re after a well-performing, long-lasting practice ball. Skip it if you’re looking for a premium match ball. You can check different Adidas Glider models on Amazon.