I love skating! Whether you’re an absolute beginner, a kid or a veteran, selecting the best inline skate for your needs is crucial.
The market is flooded with a mind-numbing number of offerings, and choosing the best rollerblades can be overwhelming.
I’ve been skating for years now and in the process, have made the best and the worst possible purchases.
I want to save you from the huge ordeal, or making any bad choices as I did in the past. Thus, I have written this extensive guide on selecting the best inline skates as of 2024.
Best Inline Skates of 2024
Below, I’ll have everything neatly curated to help you choose precisely which pair of skates is right for you and how much you’ll be spending for it and why. So without any further ado, let us roll into it (pun intended).
Best Inline Skates For Men
Personally, as a man, this is a category in which I’d be most excited to write about. Whether it is for you yourself, your husband who is into fitness or your boyfriend who is looking for a new hobby – there are tons of options on Amazon to choose from.
More options is always a good thing; until the task of choosing one of them is at hand. Fear not, as I have pre-selected the three best just for you. Feel free to carefully read the description to understand why each one was included in this article.
Maybe you’re on a budget, maybe you’re not a pro who is willing to shell out a fortune on some blades for recreational purpose. That is where Advantage Pro XT from Bladerunner comes in. The only misleading thing about this product is the ‘pro’ in the name, it is not made for Pros but for those people who are getting into the world of inline skating.
The 80mm mid-sized wheels aid greatly in maneuverability while the reliable closure system with the ratchet buckles ensures the feet stays perfectly tucked in the boot.
Pros: Extremely affordable (only $71.96),
good padding and high cuff for support,
soft wheels with excellent grip
Cons: Slightly poor ventilation inside the boot,
flimsy top ratchet buckle,
soft wheels prone to wear
If you’re willing to pay more than the Advantage Pro XT, or if you’re more experienced than just a beginner skater, let’s say a casual or a one aspiring to do performance skating, then the Zetrablade from Rollerblade is the right pick for you.
A random pair of shiny inline skates can never claim it’s spot on our best value segment, it has to earn it. And the Advantage Pro XT rightfully did so. Many of my buddies own this particular pair and they’ve never regretted even once.
From its sturdy frame to its unmatched comfort, this product is a dream for a skater! Plus its 82A hard wheels provide excellent speed while being resistant to wears and tears! How cool is that?!
Pros: Most comfortable high-cuffs on the market
Durable wheels which provide great speed
Perfect fit for all sizes
Cons: Hard wheels provide less grip
More aimed at experienced skaters
The fit can feel a little tight at times
At $240, you’re not making a very affordable purchase. But you’re NOT making a mediocre purchase either. For the money you spend, you get all the bells and whistles you’d need and want.
Now let us get one thing very clear – this is not a beginners skates. This is not made with a newbie in mind. We are talking 90mm huge wheels, here. I’ve taken these bad boys for a spin once and man, was it an experience! I personally own 80mm medium sized ones and I play it safe. But if you want to high some real fun, this is what you want to get.
Everything from the speed lacing system, the x-training aluminum frame to the 83A hard humongous wheel, it screams Speed. If you have the skills, experience, and the money – take my word for it and get the K2 VO2 90.
Pros: Extreme high-speed maneuverability
Vortech ventilation system
Speed lacing system for convenience
Smooth rides on uneven pavement & bumps
Cons: Not built for low speeds
Only great for experienced skaters
Best Inline Skates For Women
This is where I believe helping out my female peers down at the rink really paid off. See, there aren’t as many Women’s Inline skates as there are for men, and that drastically cuts down our options. But just as before, I’ve selected the best three for you, one in each segment.
The undisputed champion in the budget segment of women’s inline skates is the AERIO Q-60 from Roller Derby, which is a well renowned American sports company. They always make great products and this is no exception.
This could be for your daughter, your mother, your wife or for yourself – it comes in all sizes! Especially keeping the ladies in mind, the boot is made up of extra soft fabric with great breathability. It comes in three different color schemes to match your preferences.
Pros: Race rated chrome bearings
Tri-coil frame for added stability and control
Exceptional ankle support
Cons: Not fit for urban use
Mediocre build quality
I’ve selected the Zetrablade for the men’s Best Value segment as well. Turns out they also make the same, but fine-tuned for women, too! It was a pleasant surprise for me as well, knowing I unintentionally picked two products from the same brand ‘Rollerblade’ for the Best Value.
Here you get everything the previous Zetrablade we talked about offered: the amazing 80mm wheels which are the perfect size for casual/experienced users and they also come in 82A hardness which is the absolute sweet spot for recreational activities.
The boot is redesigned to fit the narrower feet of women, and the aesthetic is elegant as well as sleek. Everything a young lady would require
Pros: Durable wheels built with speed in mind
High cuffs for ankle support
Amazing fit for all sizes
Less grip due to hard wheels
The closure system takes a little time.
Built for experienced skaters.
Though the Zetrablade from the previous segment was a minor surprise for me; K2 winning the premium segment once again should not shock anyone… not even one bit.
This is priced at $170, which is $70 dollars shy from the men’s variant. But it is in no way budget oriented. With the hefty price tag comes everything you’d desire. This is a beautifully crafted sports gear extremely fine-tuned for women.
These are 80a wheels, softer than the ZetraBlade, which provides the smoothest experience whilst giving you the most superior control due to the immense grip the wheels provide.
Pros: Ilq 5 bearings for best performance
84mm wheels for high-speed versatility
Extremely comfortable padding & closure
Cons: Not very affordable.
Not made for street use.
Best Inline Skates For Kids & Toddlers
Roller Derby presents us with yet another awesome pair of Inline skates, but this time it is for your young fellow. Priced at just $39 this is the perfect blades for your little boy to start out on.
It features multiple strapping for safety and comfort but also houses Gold-7 bearings if some high-speed performance is required. And as with all kid’s skates, this features an adjustable sizing boot – a press of a button and you can extend the length of the boot to compensate for their growing feet. A crucial must-have feature for sure.
Pros: Extremely affordable
Smooth long-lasting bearing
Adjustable sizing options
Cons: Made primarily for indoor use.
Small wheels — suitable for only low speeds.
Provides too much grip at times.
The Spitfire XT from Rollerblade is an excellent choice for your son’s second pair of blades. These are priced a little more on the premium side but for very good reasons.
Built with durability in mind, Spitfire XT presents the skater with overall great performance thanks to the SG3 bearing, which is the highlight of this pair of skates.
Although I recommend the Roller Derby one for most young boys starting out at our rink, the Spitfire is what I suggest the experienced kids who are looking to upgrade their first pair.
Pros: Adjustable up to 4 sizes
Built for the long run
Very well constructed, sturdy.
Cons: Costs more than the competition
Large brakes that may hinder some movement.
I didn’t have to think a lot as to which one I should recommend for the little girls. 2PM sports is back at it again, this time with Amazon’s best seller in the kid’s inline skates category. It comes in a very vibrant shade of pink which appeals to most young ladies, coupled with a 4 size adjustment system in the boot, it becomes obvious what you should buy for your little daughter this time around!
Pros: 82A wheels, ideal softness for kids
Lights on wheels charge up by itself
SIzes fit perfectly
Cons: Hassle to turn the lights off
Mediocre ventilation inside the boot
Amazon’s choice for Inline skates for girls: Roller derby presents us with the Girl’s Stinger 5.2 with all the bells and whistles your little girl would need. This comes in with more of a subtle shade of pink along with a muted white combo. The absence of those fancy lights in wheels implies it is for a for your older daughter who finished her 6th-grade last summer!
Pros: Higher cuff for more support
Silver 5 rated bearing
Pull-and-tighten lacing system
Cons: May not appeal
Here, High Bounce presents to you with a very affordable iteration of their generic inline skates lineup. It features the simplest closure system on the market with only two buckles for secure fastening. No laces, no hassles.
Plus the product comes in two variants, a blue one appealing for the little boys and a bright pink one for your little girl. Interchangeable among the genders, this pair of adjustable skates is versatile and worth the money!
Pros: Soft gel wheels for grip.
Convenient closure system
Sizes fit perfectly
Cons: Strictly for indoor purposes
Not intended for high speeds
The Ultimate Inline Skates Buying Guide
Confused by the overwhelming choices and varieties available?
Invest a couple of minutes reading this extensive guide and to avoid painful blisters, a broken arm and many more problems that occur due to wrong skate choices.
Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran who has been skating for years, there’s something for everyone.
Inline Skates By Use Cases
(proposed alternative title: “Different skates for different purposes”)
A wide range of inline skates are manufactured today for the sole purpose of Fitness skating. It has become a trend, for the right reasons, to invest in a pair of blades to get in shape and become healthy.
As an activity that burns a whopping 570 calories, 10 more than running, inline skating seems to be the perfect option. Plus it put less pressure on our joints than running which is just great.
Fitness boots are often equipped with liners that provide excellent ventilation and are made it long distance skating in mind. They have better bearings and slightly larger & harder wheels for outdoor purposes.
They are the most popular kind of inline skates in the market as it can be for anyone. A beginner who is just entering the world of roller blades to an experienced casual skater looking for short effortless commute.
They are very similar to fitness skates design wise but usually have softer boot construction. They are also intended to use inside a rink so are fitted with moderately soft wheels. They also have high cuff to support the ankle as well as rubber brake for novices to practising stopping.
Inlines skates intended for sport purposes are generally made for either roller hockey or racing. So let us divide this section into two sub-categories
Roller hockey: Skates that are made for hockey are designed with durability in mind. They are fitted with airplane grade aluminum frame that can take a serious beating.Their wheels are often not very large to account for the maneuverability increase.
Racing: These are the Ferraris of the inline skating industry. They look super fancy (and intimidating) with their no-cuff design and long frame. Everything you’ll see will be either for increasing the speed or decreasing the weight.
They have light weight carbon fiber frame and humongous wheels. The bearings tend to have the highest ABEC rating for the most precision and smoothest roll. I could go on and on, but you get the general idea.
Urban skating or street skating is, as the name implies, use of roller blades to commute through the urban environment. Getting from point A to point B can be fun if you have the right pair of skates.
For urban use, you should look for a smaller wheel base with shorter frame. That provides the skater with great agility. The wheels will be on the smaller side to perform well at slower speed and for quick acceleration. Hardness of the wheels is essential for this kind of skating to prevent quick wear and tear.
We could say that aggressive skating is a distant cousin of urban skating, as to both being used outdoors, on the street, among people. These are made for doing stunts and tricks as well so the whole designed is centered on exactly that. We get really small wheels fixed to reinforced frames that are by far the most durable among all.
Most of these include shock absorbers as well for obvious reasons. Special grinds are inserted to increase performance while doing stunts and tricks.
How To Choose The Best Inline Skates
Everything you’d want to know regarding Inlines Skates or as some of you like to call it, Roller Blades! So, shall we?
Things you would want
These are the essentials that you would want to look for when buying a pair of fresh new skates. You don’t need to be an expert to choose the right product, you just need to know what you are looking for.
Comfortable boots (Comfort)
Forget the speed, the control, and the grip for a moment here. What do you experience when you put your feet into the skates for the first time? It is not the smoothness of the roll, nor the hardness of the wheels. It is the comfort of the boot itself.
Now I might stir up a little controversy here but I’m gonna tell you this anyway: Comfort is the first and foremost thing you need to look for. I’ve learned this from my own past, involving a lot of ill-thought-out purchases
There are two stages of the level of comfort the boot provides. Firstly, the initial feeling when you insert your foot inside. That immediate sensation is what we need to assess (The padding inside and the closure system outside are what gives you this sensation, which we will talk about further down this guide). Are you happy with it? Does it bring a smile to your face? My current roller blades do. So should yours.
Okay, you’re smiling. All good. Let us assess the second stage of comfort. How your feet and ankles feel after being inside the boot for quite a while. Now, this is where the ventilation and the breathability of the material come into play.
You can easily look at the padding and the liners in the boot. If they are too thick with little to no ventilation, then you’re gonna feel the heat after a while. Sweaty feet are not fun.
Also, the cuffs, (which we will also talk about in detail later) should be high enough to maintain your ankles if you’re a beginner. But if they restrict your ankles a lot, then you should look for other roller blades with better cuffs.
Convenient Closure System (Convenience)
What do you do, immediately after inserting your feet into the boots? Of course, you’d tie all of the laces and buckles, and that’s exactly what you need to evaluate next.
An important factor that lets skate effortlessly, at your best, is your feet being firmly tucked inside the blades, with little to no movement within the boot. Your feet and the boot should feel as if they are one, while you’re doing your thing on the rink.
See if the laces, buckles and velcro straps (and whatever else fancy systems your skates might have) ensure your foot is tucked snug and tight all the time. It results in optimum safety and performance.
And also, see how hard and time consuming the skates are to get into and fully fasten. And pick the one which is the most convenient among all.
Speed And Smoothness (Performance)
Okay, you have had your feet in the boot, all strapped up ready to actually skate now. At this point, you need to gauge the blade’s actual performance. Most of you looking at this guide will be beginners trying to decide which one to buy or casual skaters trying to learn more. Either way, performance should not matter to you as much as it would matter to a professional who uses racing blades.
But, good performance is always appreciated. And Excellent control is the icing on the cake. So there are two things which decide how well you move forward on your skates.
The wheels themselves and the bearings inside them which aid them in their rotation. The frame length and number of wheels matter too, in maneuverability. All of which we will discuss in the next section of the guide.
So pick one that best suits your needs. A beginner should go with soft wheels that are small in size. They are apt for recreational purposes. As far as bearings go, you do not need to have an in-depth understanding to make the right purchase. They usually come with ABEC numbers that denote their smoothness and even though they’re crucial for the blades to roll, they are not for your decisions.
A Long Lasting Product (Durability)
The last (yet, most important) thing you’d want to consider as a responsible buyer is the durability of the skates. A Very important thing to note and yet the most overlooked. But bear in mind, you’d be using your skates for a good long time. If it is for sports or for urban use, they will be put to their test. So purchase something that will not wear off as the months go by.
Usually, you’d want to invest in something *expensive*. That is the general idea here. The more expensive the product, the better build quality and materials you’ll get for the premium price you paid.
You get what you pay for. As you approach the premium-price spectrum, the build quality, materials used, comfort, and versatility improve multifold.
Budget rollerblades for kids often times have plastic frames holding all the wheels along with the boot in place. And as obvious it may seem, plastic bends, and so can that frame. So an aluminum frame is a better choice. Almost all of the good ones that are available on Amazon have either an aluminum or a carbon frame. All the more ease in deciding!
Breakdown Of Each Component
Up until this point, we were pretty much talking in layman’s terms. Now let’s get down to the real deal here. Yes!, time for me to speak all technical!
There are certain intricacies that you need to have a fairly rough grasp of. A lot of things go into making a rollerblade, and if we know what all those things are and how each kind affects each aspect of our experience with it, we learn it all!
Padding: This is what determines the comfort and breathability. So it is crucial. The nicer and the softer the padding, the better. It should provide a snug fit for your feet.
Cuff: Inline skates either come with a cuff or without. Beginners and casual skaters would benefit from a cuff as it provides support to your ankle and feet. Although it restricts movements after a certain level, it is good to have for an amateur.
Racing inline skates, on the other hand, come with no cuff. That is their identifying visual trait. Reason for the exclusion is the restriction of complete movements. Having no cuff allows a racer to do complex movements at sharp angles/
Liners: You can buy after-market liners that better fit your feet. You could insert them into your boot or replace the existing in-built liner with the new better fitting ones. They are usually normal foam types where it provides the expected comfort and fit. Fancy ones called the ‘Memory foam’ liners adjust to the shape of your feet to give you a superior fit.
If you want to go all crazy on the liners, you could even have one molded to the exact profile of your feet. That is super expensive and a bit too extreme but hey, it is always nice to have more ludicrous options
Standard lacing: My very first pair of skates had this. Just the regular laces you would have in your sneakers. You tie ‘em up nice and tight and you’re ready to hit the rink.
Quick lacing or boa lacing: Laces itself, they don’t change. But you don’t tie them, because why would you? It is time-consuming. Speed lacing or boa lacing uses a fancy contraption on your boot which enables you to fully fasten the laces by just pulling the string at the top that tightens the laces below. Convenient!
Velcro closures: Some blades come with velcro attachments to further fasten your feet in the boot. They are an awesome compliment to your normal laces.
Ratchet buckles: These are a pretty cool addition too. Most have them complimented at the ankle where is makes the whole closure system more effective. They don’t take up much time to be fastened, just like the velcros.
Plastic frames: They are the most affordable frames on the market. They bend pretty easily when under heavy load and thus are only seen in kid’s skates. Avoid them at all cost if the blades are for adults.
Aluminium frames: Blades with these frames are priced significantly higher than their plastic counterparts. These are the go-to frames for pretty much any inline skates you could think of. They are very durable and worth the money.
Carbon frames: The most expensive of the bunch but ticks all the checkboxes except the affordability one! They are super light-weight, are extremely durable and provide great stability while skating. If you can afford this, it is an obvious choice. (no brainer)
Size: The size of the wheel determines how you skate. Understanding this is key. Wheel size changes the way you use your blades. The size ranges from 57mm to beyond 100mm.
Small wheels give you more control and maneuverability, especially on low speeds. So they are often fit for recreational purposes and for urban use. Accelerating and decelerating is also easy when you have small wheels which makes it great for skating through a crowd in an urban setting.
Large wheels on the other hand are primarily used in races. Bigger the wheel, the higher the speed. Acceleration may be slower, but the top speed would be higher. Plus superior control at the high speeds are a bonus. Due to their inherent nature, they don’t come fitted to recreational or fitness skates. They are a big No-No for urban use as they don’t allow easy quick turns.
The optimum size range for inline skate wheels is 80-90mm. If we are talking about kid’s section, anywhere between 70-80 is fine. Wanna race? You’re looking at 90-100. For urban use, go as low as 57mm, for that extra nimbleness.
Hardness: The hardness (or softness) of the wheels are measured in durometer rating. This also greatly affects your skating style and how the wheels behave on a given surface. The usual values range from 70A to 90A. 70 is soft 90 is hard. Simple, right? Let us see the difference:
Soft wheels provide more grip. This characteristic is beneficial for beginners who could use that extra grip and hockey players that require superior grip for the game. The downside is they wear out quickly. Softer wheels are intended to be used inside or on a rink. They are not meant to be used outside, on uneven pavements on which they might easily get worn off.
Hard wheels provide less. They offer more speed in return which is great for experienced skaters. Because of their inherent nature, they wear off very slowly and can be used outside. In fact, hard wheels like 88A are recommended to be used outside on the streets.
The optimum durometer rating for recreational use is 78A. For aggressive urban use go with 82 or 84, perhaps even higher. Racing also benefits from hard wheels as they provide less grip and more speed.
Number: The usual number of wheels per each inline skating shoe is 4. But there are blades that come with 3 and 5, although they are uncommon.
Having 3 wheels instead of 4 results in a shorter wheelbase, usually – which is great for maneuverability. Shorter the wheelbase more the nimbleness. Plus you have fewer wheels to worry about!
Having 5 wheels often lengthens the wheelbase which provides the skater with more overall stability but with inferior maneuverability. Not something I would recommend.
Bearings are truly the unsung heroes when it comes to any kind of skates. They literally help the wheel roll, think about that! The smoothness, the speed, and ride quality are all thanks to these little guys. They are placed between the wheels themselves and the non-moving part of the frame to provide easy rolling.
They are usually gauged with the ABEC system. The numbers go from 1-9, with the top end being more precise and fast. Usually, the recreational and fitness skates come fitted with ABEC 7 or 8. The high-end performance skates have ABEC 9 race rated bearings.
Rubber stopper seems like more of an appropriate name, to be honest. They are attached to the back side of the right skate. The idea being you gently raise your right foot’s front so the heel, and by extension, the brake hits the floor/road. This provides a braking action thanks to friction.
All well and said, this is for beginners. You will and should ditch this completely once you gain enough experience to brake on your own. I mean, actual braking, the one that does not involve black blob of rubber stuck at the end of your blade! Hah!
Most pro-grade inline skates do not come with these stoppers, to begin with. So all the less confusion to be concerned about.
Best Inline Skate Brands
Specific components for specific purposes
Different kinds of skating fitness recreation racing
Don’t get into too much detail on this guide, we will have a separate post dedicated on this. Also, look at the comments on this video. I got some controversial stuff.
Include the types of socks that are best for skating (I think it was medium. Neither thick, nor too thin; although it’s a personal preference) Preferably ankle length
(for reference; don’t embed)
What’s the difference between inline skates and rollerblades?
Inline skates is the general name for skates with wheels arranged in a single line. And rollerblades is just another name for it. In fact, “rollerblade” was made popular by the brand of the same name.
Are inline skates easier than roller skates?
Inline skates have wheels arranged in a single line while roller skates have two wheels each on either side. So roller skates are easier to learn because they require less balance.
Which is better quad or inline skates?
Quad skates or roller skates is a great place to start I would say. But inline skates are almost always better since they are inherently much faster and smoother, although a little harder to learn.
Are inline skates like ice skates?
They are very similar, apart from the obvious differences such as the surface they are used on and the contact element (wheels in inline skates and metal blade in ice skates).
What are inline skates used for?
They can be used as a means of transportation or as a recreation fitness activity. Some people also view it as a sport, which it is rightfully so. It all depends on how you choose to see it.
Where to buy inline skates?
Amazon is okay for most of you. We recommend the Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT, a hot new iteration from ‘Rollerblade’.
How to rollerblade backwards?
Start by getting familiar with the backward motion. Push yourself from a wall backwards. Then try practising the “V stance” and staggered feet to gain stability and momentum.
How to stop inline skates?
The most basic method is to use the heelbrake that comes installed with most beginner rollerblades. As you advance, trying learning T-stops and slalom breakings as they’re more efficient.
How to get better at rollerblading?
The key is to practise every day. Start off by getting all the basics covered. Once done, try new tricks like skating backward, or on one foot. The more you learn, the better you get.
How to teach a kid to rollerblade?
Ensure proper safety gear is worn by your kid before starting out. Try rolling on level grass first before going over very smooth surfaces. Getting familiar with the overall movements is crucial.
Is inline skating good exercise?
Yes, of course! Like any action sports that require a lot of body movements, inline skating is a great exercise and an excellent means to stay in shape. Also, it puts less pressure on knees than running.
Does rollerblading make your legs bigger?
Skating, in general, is an excellent way to workout your lower body. It’s essentially a recreational fitness activity and usually yields great results. High Speed uphill & downhill blading is recommended.
How many calories does rollerblading burn?
It largely depends on how vigorously you skate, but the rough estimate is 300 calories an hour. Very intense skating sessions can burn up to 600 calories an hour.
What does rollerblading do for your body?
Inline skating aka rollerblading is a great recreation fitness activity for people of all ages. It is a very good alternative to jogging and cycling and provides an excellent workout for legs and abs.
Can inline skates be used outdoors?
Not all, but some can be. Mainly you’d need big soft wheels fitted to the skates. The bigger the wheel, more effortlessly it will roll over uneven surfaces and pavements.
How to choose inline skates?
Firstly you should determine what you’d be using the skates for. Recreation and fitness, each come with different skates. Then, getting familiar with how inline skates work would be next.
Where to buy inline skate wheels?
What size inline skates should I get?The size should be true to your foot size and not your shoe size. The best bet is to try on the boot and making sure it fits snug but not too tightly. Or just go with a half size smaller than your shoe size.