The Difference Between a Latex, Butyl and Synthetic Rubber (SR) Bladder

Bladder is one of the most important elements of a football (soccer), which can affect the football in all different ways from air pressure, bounce of the ball, flight, shape and weight of the ball. There are mainly 3 types of bladder that a football can possess – a latex bladder, a butyl bladder and a synthetic rubber bladder. This plays an important role in what use the ball is recommended for.

Latex Bladder Ball – Professional Match / Tournament

Latex bladders are soft, lively and bouncy that is more commonly used in top-quality balls. You can get great touch and responsiveness on the ball with a latex bladder. However, there’s a problem of latex bladders that they don’t hold air for a long period of time and need to be refilled with air more frequently than butyl. Some manufacturers are looking for a solution to this problem, and they currently add a butyl valve on latex bladder to help retain air, but the effect is still not obvious.

Butyl Bladder Ball – Regular Match / Club Training

Butyl bladders have much higher air retention but slightly heavier and harder than the latex bladders. It doesn’t feel as good as latex bladder but it’ll keep its shape better and retain air a couple of weeks. Build for regular match or club training balls that are need to be used continuously because of their excellent air retention and durability. Butyl bladders are manufactured using a combination of butyl and rubber. It is mainly divided into 30% butyl bladder, 50% butyl bladder and 80% butyl bladder according to the proportion of butyl. The more butyl, the better the performance of the bladders.

Synthetic Rubber (SR) Bladder Ball – Training / Recreation

Rubber bladders are the most common bladder that is widely used in low-end football due to their faster and less costly production. It provides better air retention than the latex bladder but not as good as butyl bladder. Rubber bladder is often combined with wrapped carcass to offers durable shape and air retention ensuring longevity.