Inline skating is a fun, recreational activity that can provide great fitness benefits. Selecting the right skates for your skill level and the type of inline skating you want to do will make skating safer, more enjoyable, and an overall better experience for you. To help you select the best inline skates for yourself or your child, we have included a buyers guide and reviews of 12 pairs of inline skates. The skate reviews are sorted by women’s, men’s, girls’ and boys’.
Best Roller Skates for Kids 2017
- For ALL
- High Bounce Rollerblades Adjustable Inline Skate
- Rollerblade Zetrablade Women’s 2017
- Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate
- Roller Derby AERIO Q-60 Women’s Inline Skates
- Rollerblade Men’s Zetrablade 80 Skate
- K2 Skate Men’s Vo2 90 Boa Inline Skates
- Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT W Recreational Skate
- Roller Derby Girl’s Stinger 5.2 Adjustable Inline Skate
- Tuko Children Adjustable Inline Skate Roller Shoes
- Bladerunner PHOENIX- 4 Size Adjustable Junior Skate- Girls 2016
- Roller Derby Boy’s Stinger 5.2 Adjustable Inline Skate
- Xino Sports Adjustable Inline Skates for Kids
- Bladerunner PHOENIX- 4 Size Adjustable Junior Skate 2016
Best Inline Skates 2017 Comparison
|Best Inline Skates||Material||Lacing||Wheels, mm||Bearings||Size|
|High Bounce Rollerblades||Reinforced Nylon||Cam-lever buckle closure||S-64/ M-70/ L-72||S,M-ABEC 5/ L,XL-ABEC 7||Adjustable (S 12-1; M 2-5; L 6-9; XL 9-12)|
|Rollerblade Zetrablade Women's 2017||Monocoque composite||Cuff Buckle, Strap, laces||80||SG5||6-9|
|Roller Derby Women's V-Tech 500||Reinforced Polymer||Cam-lever buckle closure||76||Gold 7||Adjustable 6-9|
|Roller Derby AERIO Q-60 Women's||Reinforced Polymer||Cam-lever buckle closure||80||Gold 7||5-10|
|Rollerblade Men's Zetrablade 80||Monocoque composite||Cuff Buckle, Strap, laces||80||SG5||6-13|
|K2 Skate Men's Vo2 90 Boa||Composite||Boa reg Closure System||90||ILQ 9||5-13|
|Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT W||Composite||Cuff Buckle, Strap, laces||80||ABEC 7||5-10|
|Roller Derby Girl's Stinger 5.2||Polymer||EZ Push Button adjustment system||72||Silver 5||Adjustable (S 12-2; M 2-5)|
|Tuko Children Adjustable Inline Skate||Composite||Cuff Buckle, Strap, laces||65 with illuminating||ABEC 7||Adjustable (S 12-1; M 2-4)|
|Bladerunner PHOENIX Girls 2016||Composite||Cuff Buckle, Strap, laces||72||ABEC 3||Adjustable ( S J11-1; M 1-4; L 5-8)|
|Roller Derby Boy's Stinger 5.2||Polymer||EZ Push Button adjustment system||72||Silver 5||Adjustable (S 12-2; M 2-5)|
|Xino Sports for Kids||Composite||Cuff Buckle, Strap, laces||70 with illuminating||ABEC 7||Adjustable (M 1-4; L 5-8)|
|Bladerunner PHOENIX Junior Skate 2016||Composite||Cuff Buckle, Strap, laces||72||ABEC 3||Adjustable ( S J11-1; M 1-4; L 5-8)|
High Bounce Rollerblades Adjustable Inline Skate – Best Cheap Inline Skates for kids and adults for the money
These Adjustable High Bounce Rollerblade Inline Skates come in four sizes from small for children to x-large for men, They adjust with the touch of a button and have a soft comfort boot with buckle fasteners. The frame is made of reinforced nylon. They have gel wheels for a smooth ride, ABEC 5 and 7 bearings, an EZ Carry Loop, and are available in pink and blue.
Rollerblade Zetrablade Women’s 2017 – Best Rollerblades for women beginners who are just starting to inline skate
These Rollerblade Zetrablade Women’s Inline Skates have a Zetrablade shell, Performance Liner, training footbed, Monocoque composite frame, four 80 millimeter 82A rubber wheels and a lace and cuff buckle closure with a 45° strap. The brake can be switched to the dominant side. The Performance Liner has density foam for great fit, comfort, and support. The training footbed holds you foot in place for support and leverage.
Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate – Best Inline Skates adjustable skates for women
The adjustable Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Inline Skates offer a soft boot support system, comfort fit padding, reinforced Polymer frame, triple cam-lever buckles, push button adjustment system, 76 millimeter speed Formula wheels, and Gold 7 ABEC 7 race-rated bearings. The skates are adjustable between women’s sizes 6 to 9, and are available in three colors. The triple cam-lever buckles offers quicker fastening and more secure fit.
Roller Derby AERIO Q-60 Women’s Inline Skates – Best Inline Skates for Women’s Recreational Skating
The Roller Derby AERIO Q-60 Women’s Inline Skates have a soft boot, comfort memory foam padding, locking cam lever buckles, aluminum tri-coil frame, 80 milliliter Elite Speed wheels, and Bevo Gold 7 Race-rated bearings. The brake can be removed.
Rollerblade Men’s Zetrablade 80 Skate – Best Inline Skates for beginners adult men who are learning to inline skate
K2 Skate Men’s Vo2 90 Boa Inline Skates – Best Men’s Inline Skate for adults
The K2 Men’s Vo2 90 Boa Inline Skates have a Vortech Ventilation system for a cool, comfortable skate and a closure system that tightens the boot with the turn of a dial. The Custom Fit Foam provides supportive fit, and the Flex Notch prevents shell distortion. They have a soft boot; a VO2 cuff; a hook and loop ankle strap to keep your foot secure; a longer and stiffer aluminium VO2 2 frame for control and stability; 90 millimeter, 83A wheels; and ILQ 9 bearings. The brake is removable.
Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT W Recreational Skate with Abec 7 Skate Bearings – Best Recreational Inline Skate in the world
The Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT W Men’s Recreational Inline Skates are a great recreational skate, especially for beginners. They have a three part combination fastening system. The lacing system creates a snug fit while the Velcro strap holds the heel in place. The buckle supports the ankle. These Bladerunner Advantage Pro skates provide a smooth ride with a composite frame, 80 millimeter wheels, and ABEC 7 bearings.
Roller Derby Girl’s Stinger 5.2 Adjustable Inline Skate – Best Inline Skates for girls’ adjustable skates
The Roller Derby Girl’s Stinger 5.2 Adjustable Inline Skates have a molded cuff for ankle support; an EZ Push Button adjustment system; a machine washable, comfort-fit liner; a lace-tighten system; a Polymer frame; 72 millimeter Polyurethane wheels; and Silver five speed-rated bearings.
Tuko Children Adjustable Inline Skate Roller Shoes – Best Inline Skates for girls just starting to skate
The Tuko Children Adjustable Inline Skates feature an illuminated front wheel with red, blue, and green lights and no batteries are required. They have a sturdy aluminum vibration-dampening frame, double secure lock, 65 millimeter PVC wheels, and ABEC 7 bearings for a smooth comfortable ride.
Bladerunner PHOENIX_4 Size Adjustable Junior Skate_Girls 2016 – Best Inline Skates for girls’ for city and outdoors
The Bladerunner PHOENIX Adjustable Junior Inline Skates have a removable, soft, padded liner; a combination buckle, power strap and lace closure system; a composite frame; 72 millimeter 80A urethane wheels; and ABEC 3 bearings.
Roller Derby Boy’s Stinger 5.2 Adjustable Inline Skate – Best Inline Skates for boys’ adjustable skates for wide feet
The Roller Derby Boy’s Stinger 5.2 Adjustable Inline Skates have a molded cuff; EZ push button adjustment system; a comfort-fit, washable liner; a pull and tighten lacing system; a Polymer frame; 72 millimeter Polyurethane wheels; and Silver 5 speed-rated bearings
Adjustable Inline Skates for Kids, Featuring Illuminating Front Wheels, Awesome-looking, Safe and Durable Rollerblades, Latest Stylish Design, Perfect for Boys and Girls, 60-day Guarantee – Best Inline Skates for Boys’ illuminated skates for speed
The Xino Sports Adjustable Inline Skates feature illuminated front wheels with no batteries needed. They have soft, comfortable padding, a durable aluminum fram, 70 millimeter 82A Polyurethane wheels, and ABEC7 bearings. The brake can be switched.
Bladerunner PHOENIX – 4 Size Adjustable Junior Skate 2016 – Best Inline Skates for boys’ inline skates for tricks
The Bladerunner Phoenix Adjustable Junior Inline Skates have a high cuff; removable, soft padded liners; a combination buckle, powerstrap, and lace closure system; a composition frame; 72 millimeter 80A wheels; and ABEC 3 bearings.
Best Inline Skates – Buyer’s Guide
This buyers guide discusses the factors you should consider in selecting the best pair of inline skates for you or your child.
What is Your Skill Level?
- Are You Just Trying Inline Skating for the First Time? – If you are just starting to try inline skating, you should consider recreational inline skates with 72 to 80 millimeter wheels. Smaller wheels allow you to go slower and have more control while you are learning. It will make learning to inline skate faster and easier, and make your first inline skating experiences safer, less frustrating, and more fun. With a high cut boot, recreational inline skates provide stability and confidence.
- Have You Developed Some Control? – If you have gained control and want more speed and performance, then you can continue using the recreational inline skates and just change to 80 or 84 millimeter wheels. Just changing the wheels gives you more speed without buying new boots. However, you can also buy a pair of urban inline skates with 80 to 84 millimeter wheels. You probably have enough skill to be able to use either molded plastic or soft boots. With a molded plastic shell, urban skates are easier to control and more responsive.
- Are You at the Intermediate Skill Level? – When you reach the intermediate level you can select recreational, urban, or performance inline skates with 80 to 100 millimeter wheels. At this level, the type of skating you intend to pursue becomes a factor in your choice of skates. You could choose recreational, urban, freestyle, marathon, slalom, or hockey inline skating. You can also use inline skating as cross-training for other sports. However, speed boots are not recommended for intermediate level skaters.
- For tight urban areas where you need control and the ability to maneuver easily, recreational skates with 80 to 84 millimeter wheels are still recommended. For those interested in fitness, training, long distance skating, or skating for long periods, performance skates with 90 to 100 millimeter wheels are recommended.
- Are You an Advanced Skater? – As an advanced skater you can safely choose recreational, urban, performance or speed inline skates with 80 to 110 millimeter wheels. The biggest factor for advanced skaters is choosing a wheel size that is suitable for the type of skating you will be doing and the location where you will be skating. Although 84 millimeter wheels are more maneuverable, advanced skaters should be able to maneuver well with 90 millimeter wheels, even in urban areas, and advanced skaters will probably be happier with the performance and speed of that size wheel. While you might be tempted to choose speed skates, performance skates with 90 to 100 millimeter wheels could be more comfortable, allowing you to skate longer.
- Speed skates are great for long distance training, marathons, and for those wanting maximum performance. To increase energy transfer, speed skate boots are cut lower and fit snugger than performance boots. They are generally made of leather and have five wheels and a longer wheelbase.
What Are the Characteristics of the Different Types of Inline Skates?
- Recreational Skates – As mentioned above, these are the basic skates that are recommended for beginners. The recreational style inline skate is the original design for inline skates and can be used for more specialized inline activities. However, the specialized skates have been adapted to provide optimal performance for specific activities. Recreational skates usually have a plastic boot that provides firm support around the ankle and smaller wheels for better control.
- Urban Skates – Urban skates are created with a short frame to maneuver on crowded city streets.
- Fitness Skates – Fitness skates are usually lighter weight than recreational skates. They also have larger wheels and a lower cut boot than recreational skates. Besides fitness skating, these skates can be used for cross-training for other sports.
- Freestyle Skates – Think figure skating on wheels instead of ice. The boots for both sports are similar, allowing similar moves. However, the pick stop for freestyle inline skating is located on the frame.
- Aggressive Skates – Designed for doing stunts on rails and ramps, aggressive skates have grind plates, smaller wheels, and durable construction for extreme use.
- Hockey Skates – Similar to ice hockey skates, hockey skates are made of sewn leather and lace tight for a snug fit. The wheels are designed for quick moves.
- Speed Skates – As mentioned above, speed skates are for advanced skaters. They feature low-cut leather boots, a long wheel base, five wheels, and no brake. A long wheel base is faster and more stable but not as maneuverable.
How Can You Choose the Best Wheels and Bearings for Your Skill Level and Type of Skating?
- Wheel Size – Wheels are categorized by the diameter of the wheel in millimeters. The size should be marked on the side of the wheel. As mentioned above, larger wheels are faster, and smaller wheels allow for more maneuverable and controlled skating. Racing skates have large wheels while recreational and aggressive skates have small wheels. The width of the wheels also affects your speed. Thinner wheels are faster but, understandably, less stable.
- Hardness – Inline skates use urethane wheels with varying degrees of hardness. The hardness scale runs from soft 0 to the hardest 100. Softer wheels absorb shocks and provide a smooth ride but wear out quickly. Hard wheels are faster. Recreational skates have soft 78A or 82A wheels. Harder 85A wheels are best for indoor use. Softer 74A wheels are for outdoor use and rough terrain. For shock absorption and durability, you can mix harder and softer wheels.
- Bearings – The quality of the ball bearings inside the wheel hubs can make it easier to skate. Bearings are rated by the manufacturing precision that created them. While precision ratings may not be as important to beginning skaters, ABEC-1, ABEC-3, and ABEC-5 are higher ratings. Bearings in less expensive skates are generally unrated. Bearings may need to be lubricated. Check your owners’ manual.
- Last Word on Wheels – To avoid uneven wear, you should rotate the wheels on your skates. Check the owners’ manual to learn how to do this.
Do Inline Skates Have Brakes?
Most inline skates have brakes. Speed skates do not have brakes, and the brakes on hockey and aggressive skates can be removed when needed.
Two key points with brakes are that:
- Brakes should never be on the front of the boot.
- You should be able to switch the brakes to the boot on your dominant side. The owners’ manual should instruct you how to do this.
Four different types of brakes are used on inline skates.
- The traditional brake is a rubber pad on the heel that drags when the toe is lifted.
- The Rollerblade Advanced Braking Technology (ABT) activates when skaters bend their knees, slide the braking foot forward, and apply pressure to a rod on the cuff that pushes down on the brake pad. This keeps the wheels on the ground while applying the brake.
- A third method uses a spring to apply the brake to the two rear wheels.
- Another method uses a round rubber disk with adjustable tension that rotates against the pavement to slow and stop the skates.
What Are the Important Features of the Boot?
The boot supports the foot and the ankle, and many boots are ventilated. The boot consists of four parts: the shell, the cuff, the liner, and the foot bed. The cuff and the shell are usually made of flexible, supportive plastic. The shell is the part around your foot, and the cuff is around your ankle. The shell can be hard or soft. Soft shell boots are more comfortable, but hard shell boots offer better support, are quicker to fasten, and are more durable.
The liner and the foot bed are removable and machine washable using a pillow case. The cloth liner fits the contours of your foot. Many liners are made of breathable, moisture-absorbing material and memory foam. When trying on boots, remove and try on the liner. Then, put the liner back in the boot and try on the boot. The foot bed can be replaced with custom orthotics.
Boot closures include laces, buckles, and a combination of the two. If the boot uses buckles, there should be three adjustable buckles, and they should not cause the boot to feel uncomfortable. Buckles are quicker and easier to fasten than laces. Laces are used on racing, hockey, and aggressive skates. Laces provide a custom fit but may not provide enough support for beginners. Lace and buckle combinations provide laces over the foot and a buckle around the ankle.
Inline skate sizes vary between brands and even within brands. It is recommended that you try boots on later in the day, and be sure to try them on with the socks that you will actually be wearing with them.
How Important is the Frame?
Frames are made of metal or plastic, and they connect the boot and the wheels. Racing and hockey skates usually have metal frames. To conserve your energy and track well, a good frame is rigid, securely attached, and aligned properly. Skaters with some orthopedic issues may want to select frames that can be aligned in a different direction. You also may want to choose a frame that allows you to change to larger or smaller wheels. For quick turns and pivots, you need a frame that allows “rockering”, which is setting the two middle wheels lower than the other wheels creating a curved edge.
What Safety Precautions Are Recommended for Inline Skaters?
When you buy your first pair of inline skates, you should also buy a properly fitted helmet, and always wear it no matter how experienced you become. In addition you should wear wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads.
Taking lessons also helps you to learn proper technique faster, more safely, and with less frustration.