Molten are a Japanese sports equipment company who often supply basketballs, handballs and volleyballs used at the highest level of competition. In basketball, they are the official supplier of balls used in FIBA competition, including the Olympic games. Their unique ball design is unmissable, and the GM7X is the indoor/outdoor composite leather version that balances softness with durability.
Molten basketballs are quite unique. Maybe it’s a Japanese thing, but they pay meticulous attention to detail. First of all is the 12-panel Giugario design. This design is not just for aesthetic purposes.
First of all, it means there are more channels running across the ball, something a lot of players prefer. Secondly, thanks to the clearly visible contrast between the white ‘X’ and standard orange panelling, it helps players clearly see the backspin on the ball. For training purposes, this is actually quite a nice touch.
‘Consistent Touch’ Pebbling
One of the interesting things about Molten basketballs (including the GM7X in review) is that the pebbling isn’t completely random unlike your typical basketball. Instead, they are perfectly aligned, meaning technically speaking, the touch is not be susceptible to the small variations in pebbling that ordinary basketballs have. Of course this is a minor touch, but it definitely has sense behind it.
- FIBA Approved
- Indoor/ Outdoor Synthetic Cover
- Butyl Bladder
- Signature 12 Panel Design
- 1- Year Warranty
Molten balls typically have a rubbery and spongy grip. They are usually also very grippy in general. The GM7X has these features, although it isn’t (expectedly) quite as spongy as the indoor-only GG7X I’ve played with.
The GM7X is definitely one of the grippiest indoor/outdoor basketballs out there, which made me question whether it is really up to the task of being a true outdoor basketball.
A small issue I found with the Molten ball is that it loses a lot of grip when moist or dirty. Playing on slightly damp or unclean surfaces can therefore end up impacting the ball’s grip quite heavily.
I am a huge fan of the grip on Molten balls, but some people find them a little odd. Try and get a chance to try one out for yourself before you buy.
One might expect the Molten GM7X’s 12-panel design to cause it to have a slightly inconsistent bounce. After all, there are more grooves which could potentially ever slowly alter the bounce. However, because the channels are relatively shallow, the bounce is actually incredibly consistent overall.
As an indoor/outdoor basketball, buyer’s should expect to be able to play it outdoors as well as indoors. Some basketball manufacturers (especially Nike) like to tack on the outdoor part, when in reality they don’t hold up too well against rougher surfaces.
The GM7X doesn’t appear to be quite as durable as some of my favorite indoor/outdoor balls like the Spalding Zi/O or NBA Replica Game Basketball. It is a bit softer, and the constant touch pebbling seems to wear down faster than your normal pebbling.
Air retention wise, I encountered no issues with the ball I purchased.
Overall, the Molten GM7X is a basketball better suited for indoor purposes, as it can wear down quickly on rough surfaces and its grip is sensitive to moisture and dirt.
Nonetheless, the basketball features an iconic design that helps you analyse the ball’s backspin and the ‘constant touch’ pebbling is a nice touch (pun intended). If you like trying things a little different, the GM7X is an interesting choice.
The Molten GM7X ranks 5th on our list of the best outdoor basketballs.