- 1 Best Choice
- 2 Comparison Table
- 3 Rollerblade Reviews
- 4 FAQ
- 4.1 What are Rollerblades?
- 4.2 Rollerblade History
- 4.3 Types of Rollerblades
- 4.4 What is ABEC Rating?
- 4.5 Parts of the Boot
- 4.6 Features of a Good Rollerblade
- 4.7 Choosing the Right Type of Rollerblade
- 4.8 Choosing the Right Material
- 4.9 Wheel Sizes
- 4.10 Sizes and Adjustability
- 4.11 Closure Type
- 4.12 Thank You for Reading
Picking the right rollerblade is not as simple as it might sound, and an apt analogy would probably be to your shoes. Most people spend a good amount of time considering which shoes they’ll buy, and for good reason: shoes can be uncomfortable, fall apart, or just look plain ugly.
Now, imagine your shoes whipped you around at a fast pace all day, and you can understand the importance of buying a good pair of skates. Take your time, read rollerblade reviews, and see what’s out there on the market so you can find the best rollerblades available.
The good news is that I’ve done the leg work and made this simple. I compiled a set of categories including durability, style, safety, and more to provide all the information you will need.
Rollerblade Men’s Zetrablade 80
If you’re looking for the all-around best solution then you can do no better than the Men’s Zetrablade 80. The Zetrablade is an incredibly balanced skate, and that makes it an excellent choice for beginners and intermediates alike.
When crafting their design, Zetrablade put heavy emphasis on stability, and the results are quite clear in the final product. For more detail check out the full review, but if you’re looking for an excellent, balanced inline skate, then look no further than the Zetrablade.
Rollerblade Women’s Zetrablade 80
For women, the best inline skate that you can get is still going to be the Women’s Zetrablade 80, which of course is the female equivalent of the men’s Zetrablade.
Zetrablade sweeps the board in the rollerblade reviews we’ve compiled for very good reason. Not unlike the men’s Zetrablade, the women’s Zetrablade 80is well crafted, and stands out as an excellent, stable inline skate for women that love rollerblading. For more, check out my full review here.
(Source of images: Amazon.com)
Included below you’ll find a fairly comprehensive list of rollerblades that have been reviewed, scrutinized, and ultimately classified according to their strengths and any weaknesses they might have.
When examining the large amount of rollerblades available out on the market, it was necessary to create specific guidelines that allow skates to be classified according to function, and graded according to overall quality.
To give readers an idea of what qualities were specifically considered in my guidelines, you can expect the following features to heavily influence the results of my inline skates reviews:
Durability – A skate won’t do you much good if it’s not going to last, and that’s why durability was an important consideration in my decision making process.
Purpose – Many great rollerblades are designed with a specific purpose in mind, and we took that into consideration when completing out rollerblade reviews. With that being said, we also took into consideration any skates that were designed to serve a range of purposes rather than being useful for one specific type of inline skating.
Comfort – Some rollerblades out on the market might be great on paper from top to bottom, but in reality they’re not going to provide the comfort necessary for extended use. We made comfort an important factor in my inline skates reviews, and for good reason.
Quality – It might seem vague, but overall quality was probably the single most important factor in making my picks. We believe that like many things, rollerblades are a sum of their parts, and the best skates out there would be crafted out of well-made parts from start to finish.
Safety – Last, but certainly not least we considered the safety in my rollerblade reviews. It was important that we could, in good faith, say that your safety in respect to the construction quality is guaranteed. We can’t say you’ll be safe if you skate recklessly, but it was important that those who practice safe skating techniques, need not worry about faulty construction.
With that out of the way, and without further ado, included below is the comprehensive collection of my rollerblade reviews. I hope you enjoy them at least a fraction as much as you’ll enjoy the time you spend on your brand-new inline skates.
Best Rollerblades for the Money
You’ve likely seen that the Rollerblade Zetrablade 80 is considered the all-around best skate, but now we’ll go into detail about why dollar-for-dollar, and pound-for-pound, the Rollerblade Zetrablade 80 is going to be your best bet when looking for the best rollerblades for the money.
It’s a common problem. You’re interested in inline skating. You’ve fallen in love with the feeling you get when you glide along a surface, and the fact that you’ve finally found a fun way to exercise. You know all this, but you’re not willing to pay an arm and a leg for inline skates when you believe you can get a perfect pair for a bargain.
Well, you’re right, and Zetrablade has proven that with the Zetrablade 80.
Down to the nitty gritty. What are you going to get out of an investment into the Zetrablade 80? Quite a lot, actually.
First, you’re getting a well-respected brand name with value that’s typically associated with off-brand products. If you don’t put a great deal of importance on brand names, you’ll still find the product speaks for itself. With that being said, the fact that a well-known force in the world of inline skating has put their reputation behind this product says a lot about its quality to many.
At its core the Zetrablade 80 is for beginners and intermediates. If you’re an expert looking to push the boundaries of an inline skate, the Zetrablade 80 simply isn’t going to be the best inline skate for you.
If, however, you’re a beginner looking for a skate to start putting mileage on, or else a relatively experienced skater looking for a work horse, then this is a perfect option for you and your needs.
The design is intuitive, and that’s important for beginners. Starters can hit the ground running (or skating) thanks to the easy to understand design.
True, the design is simple, but don’t make the mistake of thinking simple translates to poor quality, because that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Top to bottom, the Zetrablade 80 emphasizes stability, which many will appreciate especially when traveling downhill or for medium/long range trips.
To give you an idea about the specific specs, the wheels measure 80mm and are fitted with SG5 bearings. That means that wheels are well suited for any conditions, and the bearings are going to survive whatever it is that you could throw at them.
Everything, including the wheels, bearings, and the frame are well made. If you’re worried about picking up a pair of skates that look good, but fall short in terms of performance, you can rest assured that’s not the case here.
Easy to Use
If you’re looking for a skate that’s perfect for kids or beginners, the Zetrablade 80 is exactly for you. It’s got a great design that’s super easy to put on, and its stability means that new skaters won’t have to worry about being punished for rookie mistakes.
Experts looking for a skate they can abuse and use for tricks and other more extreme purposes would be better off dishing out a few more bucks for a skate that’s better suited for their needs.
Zetrablade 80 are all around the best rollerblades for the money available on the market. The amount of value that Zetrablade has provided is impressive, and you won’t regret picking up a pair today.
Best Rollerblades for Women
Rollerblading women of the world know that finding comfortable skates that fit properly, and provide general high quality can be tough. Many settle for men’s models, or else rollerblades that are advertised as unisex, but the reality is that these skates often fall short of delivering the performance and tailored fit that women deserve.
Female skaters from beginners to experts need a skate that’s going to work for them, and shouldn’t have to make do with a design that wasn’t created with them in mind. Now they don’t have to.
5th Element has released their Lynx LX Women’s Inline Skates, and its delivering a fantastic inline experience custom built for women.
The first thing you’ll notice about the 5th Element Lynx LX is their design. It’s a sleek design that not only looks great but is very functional.
Looks aside, let’s take a look at what makes it functionally a step above the competition. First let’s take close look at the chassis that will be supporting your weight because it’s an essential part of any well-made skate.
The chassis is aluminum, and just like any car, aluminum means lightweight and tough. This translates to stable ride, and a skate that you can depend on for years to come.
Next, let’s talk efficiency. The most quality rollerblades have one thing in common, and that’s an impressive ability to translate the motion of each stride into a smooth sustaining motion. Poor quality skates require more strides and effort to keep your speed up.
The Lynx LX , however, use an ABEC 7 Bearing and because of it you’ll find they are very efficient.
Lynx LX pass with flying colors in terms of moving parts, but what about the frame? Here, too, you’ll find top quality materials and design which translate to a great ride. The lining forms a soft boot, which is great for anybody that has trouble with foot pain or discomfort while skating.
There’s also a great deal of time and thought that went into stability. That’s why this particular model is equipped with both laces as well as buckles. The two pronged approach to securing feet is a critical part of preventing injuries that can arise from insufficient ankle support. It’s a great feature for beginners concerned about injury.
Bottom line, the Lynx LX are balanced, performance driven skates that are an excellent choice for both beginner and intermediate and can be easily considered the best rollerblades for women.
From looks to functionality, the Lynx LX are well thought out and executed with high quality materials. The aluminum chassis partnered with the soft boot and the Lynx’s emphasis on stability makes for an unparalleled ride in terms of value.
Lynx LX are incredibly balanced, and not just in the literal sense. They are perfect and are going to serve a wide variety of needs including general exercise, hockey, and longer distance trips for people that use their skates for commutes.
Lynx LX has a design that was very much made with women in mind. Men will find the design does not fit, and they’d be best looking for another skate better suited to their needs, which brings us to…
Women rejoice, there are finally skates out there that are custom made for your comfort. Lynx LX are perfectly balanced and can perform and do so while providing incredible value and are definitely the best rollerblades for women.Check the Current Price at Amazon.com
Best Rollerblades for Men
The K2 Skate F.I.T. 80 are simply the best skates for men you can possibly get. Not unlike women, men need a skate that is going to provide support, adequate performance, and comfort.
All three of these qualities are certainly available on the market, and could be found by checking other rollerblade reviews available here at my website. The difficulty, however, is finding skates that deliver in all the areas they need to, and do so without costing an arm and a leg.
Many men, especially beginners, are unwilling to fork over tons of cash in exchange for equipment that they may not be able to use effectively.
There is a solution in the form of the K2 F.I.T. 80. These awesome rollerblades deliver everything a beginner or intermediate needs, and best of all they do so while providing almost unparalleled value.
Many of the skates marketed towards beginners or intermediates have a hard plastic shell that forms their boot. While this design can work, the hard plastic material has two major drawbacks.
First, the hard plastic boot can look cheap. There’s no other way to put it, except to say that too much uniform plastic is bad in terms of aesthetics and that could turn many people off the skates entirely.
Second, a hard plastic boot can oftentimes be uncomfortable by virtue of the fact that hard plastic is not going to have too much flexibility.
The good news is that the frame of the K2 F.I.T. 80 are made of aluminum. The aluminum design with a mesh fabric cover has a great look. Besides aesthetics, aluminum means lightweight which translates to comfort, and more room for material that provides even more comfort.
The comfort of the F.I.T. 80 skates is immediately apparent, but more important than comfort is support. Here, too, the F.I.T. 80 delivers. K2 included a Stability Plus Cuff in their design, which provides all the ankle support you’ll need for a secure and safe ride.
The questions becomes what are the K2 F.I.T. 80 best used for? The answer is that they are perfectly balanced skates designed for exercise, travel, or sports. Specialized skates designed for any of the specific uses mentioned are going to provide a better experience, but F.I.T. 80 provide excellent value, and a dynamic experience for beginners and intermediates.
Whether you’re looking to use your skates for exercise, sports, or commutes, you’re going to be able to use your K2 F.I.T. 80 with confidence. If you’re serious about hockey or another use, it might be worth the investment into a specialized product, but for general use the F.I.T. 80 are simply the best rollerblades for men you can find.
The aluminum boot provides support and cushioning to give an incredible ride and experience. If you’re pushing to the limits or else skating over long distances you can count on doing so in comfort, and that you’ll have the support you need to prevent injuries that can happen as a result of accidents, or over prolonged use.
Some people might find that it takes a bit of time to break the skates in. Rest assured, F.I.T. 80 are simply the best in terms of comfort. Many find them comfortable right out of the box, but worst case scenario you might have to do a bit of skating before you get the most out of your pair.
Men can count on the F.I.T. 80 to deliver balanced performance for your needs, whatever they might be. Top to bottom, the Fit 80 are the best rollerblades for men looking to get into rollerblading, or intermediates looking for a well-designed skate that was executed with top quality materials.Check the Current Price at Amazon.com
Best Rollerblades for Kids
Finding the right activity for your kid can be tough. Thanks to the incredible amount of energy they have, kids will often dive into new activities in ways that adults rarely do.
With that being said, kids can also be fickle, and one week after they’ve found some new hobby they might lose interest just as quickly as they found it. For parents, it’s tough investing time and money into finding hobbies that fall to the wayside.
Not much can be done about the time parents invest in their kids’ hobbies (sorry, cost of doing business), but the good news is that parents looking to get their kids into rollerblading have an easy choice to make when looking for the best inline skates, thanks to my rollerblade reviews.
The Roller Derby Tracer are available for both boys and girls. They are an excellent all around skates for casual use in sports, or else just cruising around the neighborhood.
First, let’s talk about the biggest problem parents face with their kids, and that would be the fact that they all grow so quick that you can’t simply keep up. It’s hard to justify buying skates for some, because next year they’ll be too small anyway.
This, above all else, is probably the best feature out of the many great features incorporated into the Roller Derby Tracer’s design. With a push of a button you can adjust the size of your kids’ skates, allowing them to get the most out of them year after year.
Adjustable support is of course a great feature, but it is essential that adjustable support provides the same quality of support as the fixed support systems on other rollerblades. Like all the best rollerblades for kids, the Roller Derby Tracer provide support, but they do so comfortably thanks to their comfort fit padding and soft boot support system.
The frame itself is reinforced nylon, which means that it provides support first and foremost, but does so comfortably. The good news for parents is that nylon is also incredibly easy to clean. Kids are going to get the skates dirty, but now you can focus on fun and not have to worry about cleaning them.
Wheels are an essential part and these skates didn’t skimp out on one of the most important aspects of its design. The wheels are urethane, which is soft enough material to give a smooth ride, and strong enough to survive whatever your kid might throw at them.
The fact is that wheels don’t do much good if they aren’t connected to great bearings. The Roller Derby Tracer are fitted with Excellerator 608ZB bearings, which live up to their name. They’ll maintain momentum and provide a smooth, stable right.
Boys & Girls
The skate is available for both boys and girls, so it’s perfect for your son, daughter, or any combination of the two. The design of the boy’s and girl’s version is more or less the same, except for the color. Boys get a great blue design, and girls a white and red design that’s sure to catch the eye.
Kids grow. It’s a fact of life, a wonderful thing, and also something of a nuisance for parents. This is the best choice for parents and kids because the fact that they’re adjustable means you can enjoy the skates for years, and not just a single season like traditional, fixed rollerblades would provide.
Finding a Fit
Because the skates are adjustable, it’s necessary to take a few moments to find the right sizing for your kid. While traditional skates might allow you to skip this step, it’s worth the extra few moments of adjusting in the long run.
For kids who are just starting with rollerblading, the Roller Derby Tracer is a perfect choice. Quality materials, great price and most of all, no headache thanks to their easy to adjust size. No need to buy new pair of skates every year. Best rollerblades for kids available on the market for sure.
Best Rollerblades for Beginners
Rollerblading is making a comeback for all types of reasons. It’s a great way to exercise, to travel, and (of course) have some fun. Diving in and finding the best rollerblades for beginners can be a daunting exercise in itself.
Sure, you can check out all the rollerblade reviews out there, but there are about as many rollerblade reviews as there are rollerblades for beginners, and that’s saying something.
To save you time, and get you out the door so you can actually do a bit of inline skating, we’ve gone ahead and made things easy for you. And the Roller Derby V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skates are the answer. Here’s why.
You may have guessed from their name that the Roller Derby V-Tech 500 are, well, adjustable… When talking about features it’s hard not to be drawn to such a unique and useful bit of clever design work.
The fact that you can adjust the size is of course incredibly useful for young adults with growing feet. The uses don’t stop there, however.
Adjustable skates are also incredibly useful for adjusting the size to fit bigger socks for cool weather. It can even be used to share one pair of skates between two similarly sized people, so you can save forking over cash for two pairs.
The adjustable frame itself is made of reinforced polymer, and that’s great news for a couple different reasons. First, there’s the fact that the reinforced polymer is tough. Really tough. Year after year, in any conditions you can count on these to deliver a great experience.
The frame is of high quality, but how does the rest hold up? Very well, and that’s good because it’s very important for beginners to have the best rollerblades available. Learning a new skill is hard enough, and there’s no sense in trying to do it with shoddy equipment.
The wheels are 76mm and crafted using Speed Formula urethane, which is durable and provides a smooth ride.
Lastly there are the bearings, which are crucial to a great ride. The Roller Derby V-Tech 500 use Gold 7 race rated bearing, and if those sound serious that’s because they are. High quality bearings make high quality skates, and that’s stands true with the V-Tech 500.
It can’t be said enough, the fact that these skates are adjustable is a huge development. Whether you’re planning on sharing one pair of skates, need size flexibility to accommodate larger socks, or your feet are still growing, the Roller Derby V-Tech 500 are the best chooice for yo.
These are, after all, this rollerblade review’s pick for the beginners, so they better be accessible. The good news is that they most definitely are! The quality saves beginners from having to struggle against difficulties presented by poor quality design and materials.
Experts and even intermediates might find that these skates are not up to the task of advanced riding. Certainly tricks and more demanding actions are going to require a more specialized models.
For beginners, Roller Derby V-Tech 500 simply can’t be beat. These skates are available for both men and women, though the differences really come down only to color and size.
Man or woman, beginners can look to the V-Tech as the best rollerblades for beginners, and they’ll hold up season after season to provide you with a balanced skate well suited for many purposes.
Best Rollerblades for Street Use
A well-known and increasingly popular mode of transportation is rollerblading, and for a very good reason. It’s cheaper than a car – a lot cheaper – and also it’s a far more environmentally friendly alternative to the automobile.
Sure, many people use bicycles, but they can also be expensive and their size compared to inline skates makes them inconvenient to many.
Top quality rollerblades out there are going to get where you need to go fast, comfortably, and allow you to get your exercise in. Best of all, they fit right into your backpack, so commuters can switch from dress shoes to rollerblades in minutes.
The only problem is that there as so many of them available and picking the best rollerblades for street use can be tough. This rollerblade review has just the information you’ve been looking for, because I’ve taken a look at the Rollerblade Twister 80 Urban Skate and found that it is without a question your best bet for street use.
Rollerblades for use in the streets need to be tough. Surviving pot holes, all types of hard surfaces, and just the everyday wear and tear of daily life is far from easy. The good news is that the Rollerblade Twister 80 are up for the task.
Let’s talk about the frame, because it’s going to be the most essential part of this particular model. The Twister 80 uses aircraft grade aluminum frames. That’s right, the aluminum used in your skates is the same aluminum Boeing uses on their airplanes.
So, we’ve determined the best rollerblades for street use are tough enough to survive the street, but are they also going to be tough on your knees? In short, no.
Wheels are essential to a smooth ride, and the Twister 80 Urban Skate is equipped with 80mm/85A wheels. That means the wheels are big enough to travel over the wide variety of surfaces you’re going to encounter when riding in the city. They’re also soft enough to keep the ride smooth, and strong enough to provide proper support.
Lastly, let’s talk about bearings. You’ll find that these guys are using SG7 bearings, which are perfect for maintaining momentum, so you can glide mile after mile to wherever it is you’re going.
Easy on the Knees
Cars might be expensive and they might be hard on the environment, but one thing can be said for them and that’s the fact that they’re going to give you a comfortable ride.
That doesn’t mean you have to choose between comfort and cost, however. It just means that you have to be careful about what you buy, and you can bet that the Twister 80 are going to deliver a ride that’s comfortable mile after mile.
The best thing about cities is all the different architecture and the diverse layout. New York is a great example because one minute you can be in a crowded city block, and the next you can be on a winding path in Central Park.
It’s the great thing about cities, but it’s also what makes them tough to navigate. The large wheels and excellent bearings on the Twister 80 Urban mean that you’re equipped to meet whatever challenges the city throws your way.
Some users report that the sizing of the Urban 80 doesn’t correlate perfectly to shoe size. It might be worth buying a ½ or full size above your shoe size.
If you’re looking for a skate to hit the city streets with, look no further than the Twister 80. It’s balanced, provides a smooth ride, and best of all it’s built to last for years and years.
It’s available for both men and women, though it’s worth mentioning that the key differences in the design are only in the size and color. Both are the best rollerblades for street use available on the market, but don’t look for key differences in the male and female design outside of aesthetics.
Best Rollerblades for Street Hockey
Hockey, whether it’s on ice or asphalt, is a fast-paced, adrenaline pumping sport that is at its core incredibly demanding, and not just on the players.
The equipment used in hockey has to be every bit as tough and agile as its players, and that’s why you need to find the best rollerblades for street hockey on the market before you ever step foot into a rink.
There’s no better set of skates out there for hockey than the Bauer RH X300R Skate SR.
Not unlike players, hockey skates are going to take a beating on the rink. There’s not much you can do to avoid that, but you can be sure you’re ready to meet the challenges head on, and the RH X300R is prepared to do just that.
The actual frame is made using thermoformed X-rib pattern that provides the steady support that the sport hockey demands. The X-rib pattern also comes with an abrasion guard, which will keep your skates looking good as new hockey season after hockey season.
The outside of the RH X300R is tough and that’s great, but the inside can’t just be tough, but also has to be comfortable. The carefully considered design of the RH X300R utilizes the durability and comfort of brushed nylon to keep players comfortable so they can keep their mind on the game.
Tight turns, sudden stops, and dead sprints are an essential part of the game of hockey, and all that can be tough on ankles in the wrong conditions. To insure you get the right conditions, the RH X300R uses closed-cell foam that will keep your ankle in the position it needs to be to provide high performance and to do it safely.
Now, everybody that’s played hockey knows the inconvenience of having the tongue of your skate out of place. It will cause discomfort, and worse still a poorly made tongue can act as a dangerous distraction during hockey games.
For these reasons Bauer has elected to use an anatomical 1-piece felt tongue that guarantees comfort. All the best inline skates have one thing in common: when they work well you don’t think about them when riding, and the RH X300R delivers this in spades.
Bauer has designed the RH X300R with hockey in mind and the final product demonstrates this clearly. Yes, you can use it for exercise, but simply put these are the best rollerblades for street hockey out there, so, hockey fans, your long search for the right skate is over.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: hockey isn’t a sport for the weak of heart. It also isn’t a sport for a weak hockey skate and that’s where the RH X300R comes into play. Everything from the frame to the liner is built of tough material that promises to last.
Sizing on the RH X300R tends to run a little big. Generally a size down from US shoe size seems to work for most people. The good news is that you can always return and change them for a different size.
The RH X300R is an excellent hockey skate, and one of the best rollerblades for street hockey available on the market, period. All serious hockey players owe it to themselves to get a pair to get a leg up on the competition.Check the Current Price at Amazon.com
Best Rollerblades for Exercise
Getting in shape and staying in shape can be tough. Sure, there’s a physical toll that getting up and exercising each day takes, but for many the trouble is more mental than physical. Hopping on a treadmill each and every day can, above all else, be mind-numbingly dull.
The struggle for many is finding a form of exercise that is both physically and mentally rewarding. It’s finding an activity that will not only shed pounds and build muscle, but prove to be something you’re willing to do day after day and month after month.
That’s the strength of inline skating. There is, perhaps, no better way to see a city and exercise at the same time than rollerblading through the streets and parks. It’s rewarding in both the physical sense and in the sense that it can engage individuals with the city and even with other people if you decide to skate with others.
The fact that bad rollerblades can prove uncomfortable might be the only thing standing in somebody’s way of getting in shape, or staying in shape. Luckily the Rollerblade 2015 Macroblade 90 High Performance Fitness Skates are just the skates for getting out on the streets and staying out there year after year.
Pretty much by definition, exercise is exhaustive and requires endurance on both sides, whether it’s a person or the equipment. This is true for a pair of sneakers as it is for a pair of rollerblades, and it always has been.
When designing the Macroblade 90 High Performance Fitness Skates, it’s clear that they had durability in mind and for a good reason. The frame is made of high quality, lightweight aluminum, which is tough enough to survive the street and doesn’t put an undue burden on your feet that might cost you some of your hard earned endurance.
For obvious reasons the wheels on your skates are going to be an essential part, and here, too, the Macroblade delivers. Each and every wheel measures 90mm. Those familiar with inline skating know that larger wheels like the 90mm provide a smooth ride capable of taking on all types of terrain.
Wheels aren’t going to do you much good if they’re not attached to a quality bearing. The Macroblade 90 uses SG9 bearings and they’re more than up to the task. They’ll provide a clean ride mile after mile and that means more satisfying, longer workouts for you.
Besides the frame itself, the most important quality in inline skates used for exercise is the lining, because everybody that has suffered through blisters knows that comfort is everything. The inside of the skate uses Form 5 Star Fit liner, and the fact that they didn’t cheap out shows.
All in all, these skates are going to provide you with a supportive, comfortable ride, so there are no more excuses not to get out there and get in shape.
The best inline skates out there for exercise are all going to provide you with the freedom to pursue fitness wherever you see fit. That means tackling busy streets, alleys, and paths alike and doing it all with impunity.
The 90mm wheels fitted on the Macroblade 90 High Performance Fitness skates gives you just that – freedom. Exercise wherever you want with a peace of mind because your skates are designed to go where you go.
One of the biggest reasons to turn your back to healthier living is the discomfort of dieting and exercise. It doesn’t have to be that way, however, and the Macroblade 90 Fitness Skates prove that. Like all the best rollerblades for exercise, Macroblade 90 provide support with the frame and comfort with the lining so you can focus on self-improvement as it should be.
You might be asking yourself how the wheel size could be both a “pro” and “con” for this skate, and the reason is that a wheel with a wide diameter is great for easy gliding and surfaces, but it does have its drawbacks.
Mainly a larger wheels means less maneuverability, so if you’re looking to do some skating in tight corners, or else anything that requires more dexterity you’d probably be better served looking elsewhere.
If you’re in shape and looking for the best rollerblades for exercise, you’ve found what you’ve been looking for. Even if you’re a beginner, these skates will get you in shape and provide you with incentive to stay in shape thanks to their smooth ride and great performance.
What are Rollerblades?
For the uninitiated, put in the simplest terms possible, rollerblades are boots fitted with wheels that are used for exercise, in certain sports, or as a means of transport. As you might have guessed from the wide range of purposes that rollerblades serve, there are many types of inline skates and they’re designed to do all sorts of useful things.
To help make sense of it all this is a quick and dirty breakdown of what parts come together to make a rollerblade. With that being said, those looking for a more detailed breakdown of each component, check out the other articles included in my website.
First, there’s the boot. Anybody familiar with shoes knows what a boot does at its most basic, and that’s housing the foot. What many might not know, however, is that boots vary skate to skate to serve different purposes. More details later, but it’s important to understand that boots can be hard, soft, or somewhere in between depending on the purpose the inline skate is going to serve.
The function of frame on a skate is pretty simple. They essentially hold the wheels of the skate, and they are not unlike the suspension of a car. They can be stiff, which is ideal for efficient transfer of power.
Frames can also be flexible which can be useful for a few different disciplines and can provide a smoother ride. With that being said, a more flexible frame is going to have less efficient transfer of power with an easy stride.
Bearings are what allow the wheels on a skate to spin. There are typically two bearings to each wheel, and the quality of a bearing can be an essential component of the best inline skates available out there.
How to do you know which bearings are the best available? You can use what’s called the ABEC scale, but I will tell you more about that later.
Wheels on a rollerblade are going to have a lot of power over what the skate is ideally suited for, and ultimately which pair of skates you should buy. Almost all wheel sizes are going to fall between 44mm and 125mm. For more detail, check out the wheel section of my buyer’s guide here.
Brakes are the tough bit of rubber typically fitted onto the heel of a rollerblade to aid in sudden stops in the event of an emergency, but they can also be used to control speed when traveling downhill.
There are also toe stops, which are similar to heel brakes in that they’re hard rubber pieces used for control, but the toe stops are typically reserved for inline skates used in more stylized forms of rollerblading.
Making Sense of It All
They say that most things are more than simply the sum of their parts, and this is true even for rollerblades. It is important to check the quality of individual parts, but also the design of each inline skate come together to fulfill whatever purpose you might need them for.
Basic knowledge is an essential part of making an informed decisions and this rollerblade review is all you need to become informed. Now that you know the basics of what a rollerblade is, you can set you sights on more specific components and qualities of rollerblades to find the holy grail of skates.
The history of the rollerblade is far from linear. To trace the lineage of the modern rollerblade to its roots, it is necessary to look back centuries and across all sorts of geographical boundaries.
The first documented use of what could be considered a rollerblade is the early 18th century in the Netherlands. A Dutchman fitted wooden spool onto a block of wood, which he then fastened to his shoe. It was a crude invention that sparked the long and rich history of inline skates.
The development stagnated for some time after the Dutchman’s initial discovery, but it picks up some time later in the United States of America. The year was 1863, and it was the height of the Civil War. During the chaos of war somebody thought to position the wheels alongside each other, and in doing so they created the rollerskate.
The rollerskate became the favored skate in The United States and it stayed a favorite for many decades to come.
Next we jump into the 20th century to 1980 where the history and details of the inline skates’ development become far clearer and more detailed for obvious reasons.
It was two brothers, Scott and Brennan Olsen, who are credited for the modern inline skates. The two siblings, both avid hockey players, found an old ice skate and decided to bring the design into the modern era. The hope was that the two boys could create a skate that would be ideal for skating in the off-season when they couldn’t get out onto the ice to practice.
The Olsen Brother’s skate had humble beginnings, and the first pair took shape in their parent’s basement. It wasn’t long, however, before inline skates began to catch on, and soon they could be observed all over the streets of Minnesota.
The rollerblades were a huge idea, and developing a big idea oftentimes takes big money to implement. That’s why, in 1983, the Olsen Brothers sold their idea to Rollerblade, Inc., a company which had the money to manufacture and distribute rollerblades outside of Minnesota.
The Olsen Brother’s initial design had problems, as one might expect coming from a basement. Over the years Rollerblades, Inc. improved on the design the Olsen Brothers had laid out, and the modern inline skate of today began to take shape.
By 1983 the rollerblades we know today began to take shape. Improvements were made top to bottom, from the wheels to the frames.
The Lightning TRS was the first true success that Rollerblades Inc. had and it catapulted the inline skates into public consciousness. In fact, the company name Rollerblades became synonymous with inline skates, and they two terms are still used interchangeably today.
With success comes competition and Rollerblades, Inc. was not immune to this fact of life. More companies rose to prominence, and with other companies came further improvements to the design.
Brake technology was improved exponentially in 1993 thanks to the development of “ABT” or “Active Brake Technology”. Improvements to brake systems improved both safety and performance.
The 90’s also brought an increase in popularity of skateboarding, BMX bike riding, and other similar sports, and inline skating transitioned to the new popular wave of extreme sports, too. No longer was inline skating used for exercise and more traditional sports like hockey, but it was more and more used for impressive high flying feats.
The world of inline skating is more popular today than it ever has been before. From its humble beginnings in a Minnesota basement, the inline skates have become a ubiquitous part of everyday life inside and outside the continental United States. Inline skates are still used for exercise, sport, and travel, and still – to this day – they’re referred to as “rollerblades”, which is a small reminder of their humble beginnings.
Types of Rollerblades
To the uninitiated, it might seem like every skate is the same. This is to say that it might seem as though all rollerblades, from the cheapest to the most expensive ones, are more or less all the same.
Not only are there huge differences between rollerblades when considering cost, but there are also several different categories of skates, all of which are specialized for different uses. When purchasing a skate, it’s imperative that you find the right price range for you, and also consider what you would like to do with your skates. From there you can find the rollerblades suited perfectly for you.
Here’s a quick guide to the different types of skates available on the market to help you with your search. Be sure to check out my inline skate reviews to see which skates are best within each of the categories listed below.
If you’re a beginner, or else just looking for skates for general use, then it is likely that the skates that you were looking for are the recreational inline skates. They are in essence and all-purpose skates that allow individuals to use the rollerblades for a wide variety of purposes.
Mostly, you’ll see people use rollerblades for things like basic fitness, or else shorter trips down trails and other similar activities. In terms of versatility, they can simply not be beat.
So what sets recreational rollerblade apart from other more specialized rollerblades available on the market? Well, it all comes down to design.
The recreational rollerblades that you will see today are fairly uniform in their design. Typically you will see a soft boot, which is ideal for comfort. Many designs will also incorporate hard plastic because it is a cheap method of providing support for inline skaters.
If you do not have a specialized purpose for which you are planning to use your skates, then it is extremely likely that the recreational rollerblades are the best call for your needs.
That being said, you still have a great many options even within the category of recreational inline skates. Before making a purchase, decide what your price range is, and check out my inline skate reviews to find the rollerblades that are going to be the best fit for you. Both literally and figuratively.
The next type escape that is worth discussing are the fitness rollerblades. When describing the form of fitness rollerblades, it can be difficult to discern the differences on paper. In essence, a fitness rollerblade is more or less similar in design to a recreational skate.
If the designs are similar, then why wouldn’t you spend more to purchase fitness skates when recreational ones are likely to incorporate the same features into its design?
The answer is that it essentially comes down to quality. Recreational rollerblades, almost by definition, are not going to be pushed to the limits of what is possible with the fitness ones, nor should they.
The fitness rollerblades, however, are equipped to meet any challenges that you throw their way. If you are serious about fitness, you are serious about mileage, and you are serious about tackling physical challenges, then fitness rollerblades are going to be the option that allows you to do just that.
As discussed, you’ll find that in terms of features the fitness inline skates are similar to the recreational rollerblades. To those familiar with inline skates, however, the differences will be quite clear. Bearings will generally be of a higher quality, wheels may be larger than those seen on recreational rollerblades, and there will be an added emphasis on comfort to insure that blisters don’t get in the way of your health and overall fitness.
There is perhaps no more thrilling experience in the world then whipping around corners on inline skates. The wind rushing through your hair, and the sense that you could not be more in control is exhilarating to many, and for a very good reason.
If you’re a speed demon then deciding which rollerblades are the best for you is simple. You are looking for racing inline skates.
Unlike fitness skates, racing skates are designed with high-quality materials, so that you can get the most out of your inline experience in terms of sheer speed.
The difference between the fitness and racing inline skates is simple: it comes down to speed. Top to bottom the true racing rollerblades are constructed with speed in mind and only with speed in mind.
What does the design look like? Well as you might expect the rollerblades are designed to be as light weight as possible. That means you can expect lightweight materials to be incorporated into the boot, frame, and wherever else high-quality, durable materials can be used.
You’ll also notice that unlike recreational or fitness inline skates, racing rollerblades are a little shorter. You might have less ankle support, but the less material there is on your skate the faster you will go and for many this is the bottom line.
The other major differences between the recreational and racing skates is in the actual moving parts. The wheels of racing inline skates are far bigger than those included on the recreational or even fitness skates. That is because the larger wheels are more efficient in terms of maintaining the speed. Larger wheels also make maneuver ring more difficult, but they are well-suited for the kind of gradual turns seen in the competitive racing.
As you might expect, bearings are much improved as well from those in the recreational inline skating. Almost without exception, the top rollerblades for racing will have bearings high on the ABEC scale.
Roller Hockey Skates
Roller hockey is a demanding sport that requires speed, agility, and endurance. For people that are serious about roller hockey, there is a skate that is designed in every respect to be every bit as tough and agile as you are.
The hockey rollerblades, as you might expect, are designed to at least feel similar to the ice skates used in ice hockey. This is not surprising when you consider that the creation of the modern inline skate can be attributed to the hockey loving brothers from Minnesota.
The design, however, has come a long way since the Olsen brothers first crafted their pair of skates in their basement.
The modern roller hockey rollerblades are crafted using leather, which is done to elicit the feel of the ice hockey skates. The bearings and wheels are fine-tuned to deliver the perfect balance of the speed and maneuverability. That is why you will see that wheels on a roller hockey inline skates are typically smaller than on the racing skates. Any hockey player worth his or her salt knows that speed isn’t everything, and you need to be able to outmaneuver your opponent in order to outskate your opponent.
There are similarities between the racing and the hockey skates, however. One major similarity that you will see is that there is an emphasis on the skate being a lightweight. Roller hockey inline skates will use aluminum and other similarly lightweight materials that are sure to improve the endurance of roller hockey players.
Generally speaking, you will also see that roller hockey rollerblades are of a higher quality than recreational skate alternatives. Well you can use a recreational rollerblade for roller hockey, but if you are serious about your league or your roller hockey game, it is worth investing in a pair of true roller hockey inline skates.
Anybody that lives in the city and relies on rollerblades for commutes or alternatively as a form of exercise, knows that it is not a venture for the faint of heart. Skating in the city or any urban environment requires awareness, dexterity, and speed.
Dodging traffic, pedestrians, and doing it all safely is not at all an easy task. That is why it is so important that individuals looking to take the challenge head-on, have the equipment to do so effectively. Recreational skates might be suited for this purpose, but they may also fall short in delivering the performance you need to navigate city streets.
Urban skates combine the performance of more specialized skates, with some of the hallmark features of the more common recreational skates to create a perfect balance ideal for city landscapes. Typically, the street skates will have larger wheels, which as we know from racing skates are ideal for speed.
The brilliance of the urban skates lies in the frame, however. Unlike the racing rollerblades, the street skates have larger wheels placed on a shorter frame. Unlike racing skates where you do not have a great deal maneuverability, the street skates provide dexterity while also giving you all the speed you would ever need when traveling from block to block.
It’s best to think of the urban inline skates as an improved design recreational skates. If you’re looking for some general purpose skates with higher performance than recreational skates, then the urban skates are the best bet.
Those are the basic inline skate types available out on the market. Once you settle on the right type of rollerblades for you, you can set your sights on price, check out my rollerblade reviews, and find the skates out there, that are going to be the best for your needs.
What is ABEC Rating?
With so many rollerblade reviews available online it can be hard to determine with any accuracy exactly which inline skates are the best ones available on the market. It pays, then, to have an objective scale that you can reference to make factual insights into the quality of the product.
While no such scale exists for the quality of an inline skate overall, there are skills that can help you determine the quality of the individual parts that make up a rollerblade.
The ABEC scale is one method of determining the quality of one specific part of the skate. Put simply, the ABEC scale is used to determine the quality of bearings used in the manufacture of all sorts of machines and devices, including, of course, the rollerblades.
The ABEC scale was developed by the annular bearing engineering committee. The idea was to create a scale in which individuals could discern the tolerance of a given ball bearing to determine how well it works within a given system.
The scale rated bearing either 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9, with 1 being the widest tolerance and 9 being the tightest tolerance bearing.
You might be asking yourself what exactly that means, and how it could be helpful when shopping for rollerblades. The short answer is that the best inline skates are typically going to use bearings that are higher on the ABEC scale.
The most quality rollerblades use bearings high on the ABEC scale for a good reason. A higher rated bearing means that it is going to be more efficient, precise, and most importantly for use in the inline skating, the fastest. By using a high-quality bearing, the manufacturers can ensure they’re going to get the best out of their design, and the most efficient ride for their customers.
The ABEC scale is an excellent way to determine the speed of any given bearing. With that being said, it is worth noting that there are a few things that the ABEC scale does not do.
For one, the ABEC scale does not take into consideration the quality of materials of the bearing, or the actual ball precision. While precision is not essential to the proper function of an inline skate, it is important that you have faith in the materials used.
Bottom line, do be sure to check where do the bearings used in your inline skates fall on the scale. It is very important to know how quick are the bearings going to be. Just be sure that you also trust the manufacturer to use high-quality materials. You don’t need just the bearings that are fast, but also bearings that will last
It is also important to remember that the ABEC scale does not provide any insight at all to the overall quality of the skate. The best inline skates could have a bearing with a low ABEC scale rating (though it’s unlikely), and the worst skates on the market could have a bearing with a high rating on ABEC scale, but be of poor quality in every other respect.
Parts of the Boot
The boot of an inline skate is the most visible part, and also the part that is most easily identified as being of high or poor quality.
The reason that the boot of the skate is so central to the overall quality is obvious. It comes down to the fact that the boot is going to be housing your foot, and it is how you interact with your inline skate.
For that reason, it is absolutely essential for the boot not only to be well-made, but also that you as an individual, know the different parts of the boot, and what they will mean for your overall experience.
Here is a quick breakdown of the parts of the boot of an inline skate, and also what each part can contribute to its design and purpose.
The material of a rollerblade is important when considering every part from the wheel, even the laces. With that being said, it is essential above all else that the boot of the skate is made with high-quality materials that are well-suited for the rollerblading purposes.
At its most basic, there are only three types of boots: soft, firm, and a semi flexible variation that lies somewhere in between the two extremes.
First, let’s take a look at the soft boot and its weaknesses as well as its drawbacks. The obvious advantage of a soft boot is going to be comfort. A softer boot means flexibility for you and your foot, and that often translates to a more forgiving and pleasant ride. It is for the added comfort that many manufacturers use the soft boot for the recreational skates.
For all its comfort, a softer boot also has its drawbacks. Mainly, you’ll find that performance skates opt for a harder boot and for good reason.
A harder boot is far more useful at providing increased control, stability, and support for the ankle. It is for that reason that many skates designed for racing, and other more demanding jobs, opt for harder boots in their designs. This is not to say that an inline skate with a hard boot is superior, but it is a matter of deciding what you want, and picking the right rollerblades suited for your needs.
High vs. Low
Materials aside, it is important to understand not only what goes into the boot of an inline skate but also its form. This is to say that the shape of a boot is going to determine just as much of the overall performance as the material used in its construction.
There are of course many different subtle variations in the designs of boots. All the same, in the very core, there are only two major different styles in terms of shape and picking the right one for you is fairly simple.
The first and the most common by far is the high boot. The high boot provides a great deal of ankle support, and generally speaking, is easier to use. For obvious reasons, the high boot is ideal for beginners, intermediate, or even experienced skaters that are not using their inline skates for particularly demanding purposes.
So, if a high boot is both easier to use and provides ankle support, why have an alternative at all? The answer is performance.
The alternative to a high boot, is a short boot that does not look too different from a regular old sneaker. The advantage of a short boot is that it provides flexibility to your ankle, which can help with maneuverability. For high performance and demanding activities like racing, added ankle flexibility can give you a leg up on the competition. While a short boot is not practical for recreational skates, it is an important part of boot design seen in a high performance skates.
Straps Vs. Laces
One other feature of a boot is of course the means of securing your foot in ankle. The main choices you have available on the market are straps and laces.
Both, when operated correctly, can provide adequate support and comfort. It is important, however, that you take into consideration how easy it is to put on and take off the skate. If you plan on removing your skate frequently, it might be best to up for a strap design that allows for quick removal. On the other hand laces can provide excellent means of support, and if you have the time they are a great alternative to straps.
Like with most things, think about what you are looking for and choose the ones with either leases, straps, or a combination of the two to find the best inline skates out there for you.
The last thing to consider when looking at the boot is comfort. If you’re looking for a casual experience that will let you take rides in the park, comfort is probably one of the most important considerations when purchasing the rollerblades.
A soft boot is probably going to be ideal, but you can also look into models that provide shock absorbent padding. You may pay more for a shock absorbent padding, but it might be worth the investment especially if you are prone to joint pain and similar potentially debilitating chronic pain.
With that being said, higher performance skates are usually lightweight at all costs. Extra padding and material is a luxury not meant for a high-performance. While you can find high-performance racing skates that have added features for comfort, generally speaking a recreational skate is going to provide the most pleasant experience out there, while performing skates provide performance even at the general cost of overall comfort.
That’s it! Now you know all the basic components of an inline skate boot. You have all the information you need to determine which kind of boot is the best for you. Be sure to read my rollerblade reviews to get an idea about what material the boot in a given skate is constructed of, and also how the design will affect its performance.
Features of a Good Rollerblade
There is perhaps no more important question when buying inline skates than the question of what makes a good skate. It’s an essential question you must ask yourself before you make a purchase, but it is also not a simple question to answer.
Finding the best inline skates available in the market is not a simple task, because there is not necessarily one overriding quality that is going to make one rollerblade objectively better than another. Instead, the reality is that the best inline skates are going to be the ones that best suit your needs.
There might not be a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are a certain steps you can take to ensure that you are buying yourself some good skates. Here’s how.
What You Need
Before anything else, it is essential that you first sum up what you are looking for. There are plenty of different types, and they were all designed to meet the different needs. If you’re curious about what types of skates are out there, you can check out my informative article about various inline skate types also included in this buyer guide.
If you are looking for a well-rounded, and balanced rollerblades that you will be using for cruising and casual exercise, then the recreational skates are probably the best solution for you.
If, however, you were looking for a more specialized experience than you should check out the corresponding rollerblades. For example, if you are interested in playing roller hockey then you should obviously look into purchasing skates designed specifically for that, which are going to be far better for your performance and safety then a generalized recreational inline skates.
Take stock of what you would like to do with your skates, and then decide what you have in terms of a budget, and from there you can start looking at the specific qualities of rollerblades that you were looking for.
There are plenty of small manufacturers out there that are making high-quality skates that are well-suited for a variety of purposes. With that being said, often times taking a gamble on an unknown company can be a dangerous prospect. More often than not an unknown company will turn out to be a company in China that is manufacturing skates for the lowest possible cost without any consideration of quality.
Especially if you’re new to inline skating, you would be well served to look at well-known manufacturers and purchasing products from them. True, they might come at a slightly higher cost, but the peace of mind that comes with a trusted brand is often times worth the minimal added cost associated with your purchase.
So, what can you look for to ensure, beyond any reasonable doubt, that you are buying a great inline skates? One thing you can do is to find out more information about the materials used in the design to determine their quality.
For a general purpose recreational skates, for instance, it might pay off to look for an aluminum frame, which will reduce overall weight while providing a durable skeleton. You can also use what is commonly referred to as the ABEC scale to determine the quality of the bearings.
By taking a close look at the individual parts, you can get an idea of the overall quality of the rollerblade. And from there you can decide whether it is going to suit your needs.
One last thing every individual should consider before making a final step is, that there are many online resources available for finding the right inline skates. Check out my rollerblades reviews to find the best ones for every specific use.
Even if you don’t have a ton of experience with inline skating, today you can rely on the knowledge of those that do, to ensure that you’re making an informed decision you will be happy with for years to come.
There might not be a simple solution to finding a good pair of skates, but there are certain steps you can take to protect yourself against a regrettable purchase.
Do just a little bit of research before you buy. Examine the materials involved, the rollerblades reviews available here at my site, and the purpose that the given skates will serve.
If you take these simple steps, you can be sure that you can make a purchase with a peace of mind, and before long you’ll be out on the street enjoying all the benefits that inline skates have to offer.
Choosing the Right Type of Rollerblade
One of the most difficult parts of finding the best inline skates available on the market is deciding which type of skate is going to be tailored the best for your individual needs.
Buying the wrong type of skate can be disastrous. You may find out that you’ve spent more money on a higher quality skate than you really need. Alternatively, you might try to save a buck and find your brand new rollerblades are not up to the challenges you’re throwing its way.
Here to help you avoid potentially picking up the wrong kind of skate, I have compiled a guide to help you pick out the best inline skates out there.
For most people out there, the recreational skates are going to be the correct option. Especially if you’re new to the world of inline skating, the recreational skates are going to be an excellent means of getting your feet wet.
Why are the recreational skates such a popular option? They are designed to give people a comfortable and balanced skating experience. They are an ideal choice for anybody looking to casually break out the skates for exercises, rides through the park, or short commutes.
The bottom line is that the recreational skates are perfect for you, if both of the following is true:
- You are a casual skater looking for a general purpose skates
- Comfort and safety are more important than high performance
If that sounds like you then look no further. The recreational skates are the best skates out there for you. But how about people that aren’t looking for a simple casual experience? Let’s take a look at what other options are available.
You’ve found a method of exercise that gets your heart pounding and adrenaline pumping. You’ve discovered the exhilarating experience of inline skating, and it’s exciting enough to keep you coming back day after day.
The problem is that it can be tough finding skates that can keep up with you. You need skates that can eat up mile after mile just as efficiently as you do, and you need a model that’s going to last.
If this sounds like you, the fitness inline skates are a perfect match for you. The fitness skates have large wheels, bearings that rate higher on the ABEC scale, and lightweight materials that make the design fine-tuned to improve your endurance.
If you’re serious about exercise, then pick yourself up a pair of fitness skates. The investment will pay off manifold, and that will be clear the moment you hit the pavement.
Racing inline skates move quick as you might expect. Even more than fitness skates, the racing skates are lightweight and designed with speed in mind and only speed in mind.
Wheels are larger than those of recreational or fitness skates, and that means you can count on having a little less maneuverability. Their designs also do not typically include brake systems that you would see on other types.
Unless you’re racing competitively or are otherwise an experienced skater that desires speed for a specialized purpose, the racing skates are probably not what you’re looking for. If, however, you’re looking for speed then they are undoubtedly going to fulfill your need for speed.
Roller hockey is an increasingly popular sport not just for the ice hockey players on the off season, but for all types of people looking for a quick, difficult, and above all else fun sport they can get into.
Roller hockey requires really only two things. First, that you’re tough and can keep up with a fast moving sport. Second, that you have the equipment to do your job right. The roller hockey inline skates are the perfect skates for giving you all the tools you need to succeed.
What sets roller hockey skates apart is the perfect balance between speed and maneuverability. Each and every feature was executed with hockey in mind and the final result proves that.
If you’re looking to play hockey, or even looking for performance skates, then the roller hockey inline skates might be the best fit for you.
Navigating urban environment is tough. You have to travel over all types of surfaces, and moreover you have to find your way through all sorts of obstacles.
If you rely on inline skates to get you from point A to point B in a city, then you know this more than anybody else. The reality is that you need rollerblades that can move quick when you need them to, that can take a bit of abuse, and can stop and turn on a dime.
That’s what you’ll get with street skates. You get the freedom to explore your concrete jungle, and if that’s what you love, then you know that it will be well worth the added cost that comes with the larger wheels and shorter frame, that provides speed and dexterity.
Those are the basic rollerblades types and the experiences they can provide for you. Take a look at each one, decide what it is that you need, and pick the most suitable for your needs. The good news is that as long as you buy a quality product you can count on experiencing an adventure that comes with inline skating for many seasons to come.
Choosing the Right Material
Taking a close look at the materials that go into inline skates can be a great way of getting an idea about their overall quality. Depending on what you’re looking for, materials can tell you if the product you’re about to buy is cheap, or alternatively more expensive then you might need.
This is a useful tip in general terms, but how does it work in practice? How do you know what to look for, so you know what to avoid and what to look for when making a final purchase?
To help you make sense of all the parts and materials that go into each skate, here is a breakdown that can help you determine what’s what so you can make an informed decision about your inline skates.
Boots come in a few different types sizes and shapes. In terms of material, there are really only two things that you need to know: is the material hard or soft?
A hard boot is often used in high performance skates. You will see hard plastic frames and other similar materials because they provide more control for your skating, which makes them ideal for things like racing and other sports that require high maneuverability.
There are, however, also soft boots out there. Soft boots will typically be made out of materials like reinforced mash nylon etc. A soft boot, generally speaking, is going to be far more comfortable than the hard boot alternative. Pick a soft material if you are looking for a comfortable ride and are not overly concerned about the performance.
It’s really as simple as that. For people who need a high degree of performance look into hard plastic and other harder materials. If, however, you’re looking for a comfortable ride, then look into softer materials that will do just that.
Bearings can be a little tricky. Typically speaking, you can look at what is referred to as the ABEC scale to determine if a bearing is of high quality or not.
The difficulty is that the ABEC scale does not take into consideration the quality of materials used in a bearing. Instead, all the scale does is provide you with an idea about a bearing’s efficiency and potential for speed.
That is why it is essential to check what material the bearing is made from when purchasing your rollerblades. Look for a high-quality steel bearing or something similar, so you know that your bearings will hold up season after season.
Almost all inline skating wheels are made from polyurethane. Polyurethane is both durable enough to last, but also soft enough to provide a comfortable ride.
If you see that wheels are not made of polyurethane, check to see what they are made of. Simple rubber wheels for instance are likely going to be extremely low quality and not deliver the performance that you need.
A reputable inline skating manufacturers may use a material other than polyurethane, but always be wary of other materials being used. Do your due diligence to determine whether or not a material is fit for use in an inline skating wheel.
The frame of the inline skates is going to vary widely. Even the shape of a frame will change from skate to skate. For example, a shorter frame can be used for more maneuverability while you will typically see a longer frame on recreational skates.
Shape is not the only difference between frames of various inline skates, however. You can also see a big difference in terms of materials used in frames.
Generally speaking, if you’re looking for a high-performance, look for lightweight and durable materials like aluminum. Other metals such as titanium can even be used for extremely specialized and high-performance skates.
Be wary of hard plastic frames and other lesser materials because they might not be up to the task of providing support and surviving season after season.
Often times, manufacturers will list the materials used in manufacturing and for good reason. If high-quality materials are used, it is a way for manufacturers to convey to potential buyers that they are purchasing a high-quality inline skates.
If, however, you’re having difficulty determining what materials were used for a rollerblade, you should maybe take this as a sign that the manufacturer is not using the best materials available.
Either way, exercise some caution and determine the quality of materials before you make a final purchase.
One of the most important considerations when purchasing inline skates is the size of the wheels. Most of the time during design process, the manufacturers will pick the wheel size in accordance with the type of a skate that is being produced.
For example, recreational skate is likely to have a standard wheel size that is applicable across the board to all brands.
To help you get an idea of how wheel size relates to a style of skating, we’ve compiled a quick breakdown of wheel size. Here you can find their advantages, and their drawbacks.
Aggressive skating typically requires rollerblades with a smaller wheel size. You can expect wheel sizes here to fall between 44 and 59 mm.
The reason for the smaller wheels is simple: the smaller the skate the easier it is to maneuver. A smaller wheel allows an individual to corner faster and perform otherwise impossible tasks.
Roller Hockey Skating
Roller hockey is tricky because it can at times require great spurts of speed, and at other times require tight cornering. For that reason you’ll see a wider range of wheels used in roller hockey skating.
Generally speaking, you can expect wheel size to be between 47 and 80 mm.
Depending on the position that you play, it might be better to buy skates with smaller wheels, or ones with larger wheels. Simply decide which is more important, going quick and having burst of speed at your disposal, or being able to maneuver quickly.
Artistic inline skates are typically reserved for sports like figure skating. These skates tend to use a much smaller range of wheel sizes. 99% of the time the wheels will fall between 68 and 72 mm.
The range is so small because there tends to be a uniform set of maneuvers required in artistic inline skating. A wheel size that is fairly average allows for quick maneuvering and speed as needed.
Downhill skating will use wheels between 72 and 80 mm. Again, this is a fairly average wheel size and is ideal for generating speed without sacrificing maneuverability.
Most individuals will use their inline skates for general purposes. Finding the best ones for general purpose is fairly simple because of their popularity.
They may be popular, however, there is a wide range of wheel size used in the recreational skating. Do a little bit of research to find out which wheel size is the best for you.
You can expect that they will range from 72 to 100 mm, so choose a smaller wheel if you prefer cornering, a larger wheel if you prefer speed, and something in between if you want a balanced experience.
The larger diameter means bigger speeds, less strain, and more momentum with each stride. It does not, however, allow for the quick maneuvering that you would see with aggressive skates.
Generally speaking wheel size will be incorporated into a design according to function of the particular rollerblades. With that being said, wide ranges in real size do exist. Just remember, smaller wheel size means more maneuverability and larger wheel size means more speed. Keep this in mind, and find the best inline skates for your needs.
Sizes and Adjustability
It goes without saying, but one of the most important decisions is what size to choose. Picking the right size skates can prevent a great deal of discomfort, as well as blisters and other issues associated with heavy use of an ill-fitting inline skates.
There are essentially two types of skates relevant to the issue of sizing. The first is a fixed or standard size skate. As the name suggests, a standard size skate is just a one size, and that makes it a essential that you pick the right size for you when making a purchase.
The second type of skate is an adjustable skate. Again, as the name suggests, adjustable skates can be adjusted to accommodate different sizes of feet. This type of skates is ideal for kids because they can accommodate growing feet and save you the trouble of purchasing a new skate for every season.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know about each type of skate. Before you read, remember that quality is important above all else. And depending on what you’re looking for, there may well be a fixed and adjustable skate out there that will fit your needs.
Fixed Size Skates
A fixed size boots typically have a more durable design and are usually used for adults because there is no need to accommodate a change in the foot size. With that being said, it is important that you make the right decisions on sizing before you purchase.
Read my inline skates reviews to see how the size of the rollerblades corresponds to shoe size. If people recommend that you purchase skates two sizes bigger than your shoe size, for example, then adjust accordingly. You’ll thank yourself when you can put on the skate and hit the streets without having to fuss about returns and exchanges.
As mentioned above, adjustable skates are an excellent choice for kids. When buying skates for a kid it is best to buy adjustable skates closest to their size, so you can be sure the skates can be adjusted to accommodate growth as needed.
Most adjustable skates provide a range of sizes that they can accommodate. It’s a simple matter of finding the best range of size available for your kid and making the right purchase.
Adjustable skates might typically be reserved for kids, but that doesn’t mean all adjustable skates are for children. Adults, too, can use adjustable rollerblades. In fact, they can be useful when adjusting skates size to accommodate different socks of varying thickness. And adjustable skate can also be shared by two adults with differently sized feet.
Decide whether you are looking for an adjustable or fixed sized skates. No matter what you choose, be sure to know how the sizing works. Not only will you save yourself time on exchanges, but you will also spare yourself the discomfort of purchasing skates that do not fit you.
Either way, do not make the mistake of using an ill-fitting skate. Not only is it uncomfortable, but you expose yourself to both discomfort and potentially chronic pain on a long run.
Closure type is a fancy phrase that refers to how an inline skate secures your foot in the boot. It is important to know about closure types because each method of securing your foot is a little different.
In essence, there are three closure types or methods of securing your foot. However, it is important to recognize that closure types are not all mutually exclusive. Manufacturers will oftentimes
combine closure types to provide you with the best possible combination of support and comfort for your ride.
Here is a quick breakdown of each closure type, their drawbacks as well as benefits.
BOA skates have the simplest design by far. It is a method of securing your foot that only requires the turn of a knob.
To secure your foot simply put your foot in the boot, turn the knob, and wait until your foot is secure without cutting off circulation.
Many designs allow you to remove the skate even easier than it is to put it on. All you have to do is pull on the knob to release it, and from there the skate will loosen and you can remove your foot from the boot. It really is that simple.
The simplicity of the BOA design makes it an ideal choice for kids. Kids can skate around the neighborhood, put on their skates with ease, and remove them even easier. Best of all, it doesn’t require the help of mom or dad so your kid has the freedom of the BOA design, while maintaining the safety and security that comes with a secure closure type.
Speedlace systems are exactly what their name suggests. It is a method of securing a foot in a skate boot that uses laces. The one trick is that the laces are designed to have an easy-to-use tab, which can be used to pull the skates tighter.
To secure a foot, all you have to do is grab the lace, pull, secure, and you will have yourself a tight and secure fit that provides all the support you will need while not sacrificing comfort.
Not unlike the BOA system, the speedlace system has a means of quick release. However, not all designs will allow you to release the secure laces with the push of a button. Speedlace systems are a great choice for kids and a wonderful alternative to the BOA system.
Traditional laces are just as they sound. They are basically laces that you would see on any other boot.
The difference is that the laces on inline skates are a little thicker and more durable than those of a shoe. For obvious reasons the laces on the skates need to provide more support than a run of the mill sneaker.
From top to bottom, pull each lace until the foot is secure and then knot the laces at the top like you would with any other shoe. Many designs also include a buckle that is used for additional support.
Traditional laces might be a little harder to manage for very young children. They are a great choice for adults, however, as they provide a great deal of support, comfort, and also control over how tight you would prefer your inline skates to be.
Like most things, the quality of each closure type will differ from model to model. It is important before you purchase that you decide whether you have a preference in terms of a closure type.
If you have a preference, be sure to read my rollerblade reviews to get an idea whether or not the closure type is well designed and implemented. If you don’t have a preference, decide whether the comfort or support is more important to you.
Very often there are rollerblades that incorporate multiple closure types into their design. If you’re indecisive by nature, then one of these hybrid designs may be the perfect option for you. Oftentimes, two different means of support provide more than just one kind of closure type ever could.
At the end of the day, as long as you do your due diligence, you can rest assured that your closure type will work well for you and your needs.
Thank You for Reading
After reading my buyer’s guide you’re now ready to get out there, hit the streets, and find out what the world of inline skating is really all about. Whether you’re interested in sports, exercise, or simply exploring what a city has to offer, there’s a skate out there for you.
Remember to read my individual inline skate reviews before you make any purchase. If you’re a beginner looking for a way to start, I hope that this buyer’s guide has been a help in kick starting your new passion in life.
As you improve and your love of everything rollerblades grows, feel free to check in so you can upgrade your gear accordingly. You’re not going to be the best skater you can be without the best inline skates on your feet.
If you’re an experienced skater, I hope I have done a little bit to improve your experience. There are so many different type of inline skating out there, and so many avenues to explore, we hope we’ve inspired you to expand your inline skating horizons. Get involved in the community, discover new hobbies within the world of inline skating, and above all else remember to have fun.
Either way, I will see you out on the streets and in rink!