Pair of rollerblades with a cushioned liner and tongue and four 80mm wheels. Boot is similar to a sneaker. Has a rear brake and is secured with laces, a strap, and an adjustable buckle. Features mesh material for better airflow.
Some reports of wheels being misaligned.
Lightweight skates with a hard shell around the foot and 3 adjustable straps. Features a button for adjusting skate size between 4 sizes. Has a loop on the back, 4 wheels, and a rear brake.
May not be as comfortable as some other options.
Black and gold skates with three 125mm wheels. Boot is encased in a hard shell. Secured with laces and 2 adjustable buckles. Features a large pull loop in the back. Boot has mesh material for airflow.
These skates do not have brakes.
Offers a button for adjusting skate between 4 sizes. Features durable toe protection and 4 wheels with lights. Has a brake in the back and mesh material for airflow. Secured with laces, a strap, and a buckle.
May be lacking in durability.
Has a button that adjusts the skate between 4 sizes. Features 4 light-up wheels and a frame that prevents rust. Secured with laces, a strap, and an upper buckle. Back of the skate has a brake and pull loop.
May not be as supportive in the ankles.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Though they had their heyday in the late 1980s and early ’90s, inline skates or rollerblades (as most call them) are still a terrific way to have a blast while getting in shape. Easier to master than roller skates thanks to their sturdy, supportive design, rollerblades give you a low-impact workout that does wonders for strengthening your core and upper legs while improving your balance and coordination.
According to the National Museum of Roller Skating, inline skates were first invented in the 1760s and, later, became a way for Olympic skaters to keep up their skills when not on the ice. In the 1980s, the Rollerblade company perfected the heel brake and brought inline skating to the masses with skates in radical neon colours, which is why most of us still call any pair of skates with three to five wheels in a single line rollerblade.
Recreational skates vs. high-performance skates
Before purchasing rollerblades, customers should identify the kinds of skating activities they wish to do. Leisurely family outings, beachside cruising, or running errands around town are best to do with recreational skates, which have a higher cuff for support and are generally cheaper in price. Those needing rollerblades for competitive sports, workout routines, or simply a high-quality skating experience should consider investing in a set of high-performance skates. When checking out performance skates, look for a shorter cuff for mobility and bigger wheels for increased speed.
The rollerblade frame is one of the more important considerations when buying inline skates as it works to secure the wheels in their proper formation while attaching them to the boot. Recreational skates with an inexpensive price tag are generally constructed with a plastic frame, and this build will work fine for novice and leisurely skaters. As more speed and power is applied to the skate, however, the plastic frame will begin to twist underneath the pressure. For maximum stability, control, and durability in your skates, purchase a pair with an aluminum frame.
The most common measuring system for rollerblade bearings is based on the ABEC system, a numerical ranking that grades the skates’ bearings on a scale of one to nine. Cheaper, recreational blades will typically have lower ABEC ratings from one to six, while high-performance skates will offer exceptional bearings at ABEC seven to nine. Be aware that not all bearings are measured with the ABEC system — some are ranked under the ILQ and SG models. However, all the rankings will share numbers similar to the ABEC system; lower numbers mean lower quality bearings, and higher numbers provide a higher-performance glide.
The construction of the boot is key to customer comfort. This includes the interior fabric layering, the shock absorption of the footbed, the thickness of the tongue, and the exterior lacing system. As with most things, the fit and overall comfort of the boot are largely determined by how much money a buyer is willing to spend. For serious performance, a form-fitting boot is best.
Rollerblade speed depends almost entirely upon one thing: wheel size. Generally, the larger the wheel, the faster the skates can go, as the longer circumference takes the skate farther in a single wheel rotation. The larger surface area does require more initial effort to accelerate the wheels up to maximum speed, but the extra push is worth the high-flying ease once you’ve gained momentum. Smaller wheels are easier to get rolling, but the wheels require constant push to maintain their speed. The fast pace of the larger wheels are must-haves for advanced skaters or roller sporting, and smaller wheels are typically ideal for recreational users.
Almost every part of a rollerblade is customizable, allowing for infinite self-expression in your skates’ design. Light-up wheels can be bought online and added to your favourite rollerblades, neon-coloured frames can be acquired, and boots come in a variety of hues. If piecing together odds and ends of rollerblade parts isn’t your thing, try finding a pre-assembled rollerblade you connect with — ideally, the skates’ design should be something you’re proud to show off to your friends. Rollerblades come in all kinds of different patterns and colours, so finding a skate look you enjoy shouldn’t be too difficult.
Finding the correct fit is essential to comfortable rollerblading, and lacing mechanisms are imperative in determining the fit of the boot. A proper lacing system should keep your foot securely in the boot and should also mould the boot to the shape of your leg to prevent unnecessary wiggle room. There are different kinds of lacing systems, and the one you choose is strictly up to you. Some of the lacing systems available to skaters include shoelaces, buckles, and tightening knobs, though there are other forms of closure for different user needs.
Rollerblades can meet almost any budget with prices ranging from $15 to $600.
Inexpensive: Cheaper rollerblades can cost anywhere from $15 to $200. These models are best for beginners and leisurely skating. Rollerblades in this price range will usually come with a plastic frame, smaller wheels, a longer cuff, and a simple lacing system. Though these features will not be as fast or as durable as more expensive skates, the rollerblades in this budget should fit the needs of most recreational skaters.
Mid-range: Customers wanting a high-quality skate should go for a pair within the $200 to $400 range. These rollerblades are a fine purchase for most roller sports and are guaranteed to last for years. Mid-range skates will feature larger wheels, a shorter cuff, an aluminum frame, and a lacing system that fits snugly to the foot — an excellent option for those wanting a decent skate.
Expensive: Rollerblades of the highest calibre can be found for around $400 to $600, though there are many pairs that exceed $600. These top-of-the-line skates are a must-have for competitive skaters and professional roller sports. Remarkable mobility, fit, comfort, and speed will accompany skates at these prices, and they are sure to provide one of the smoothest glides available to skaters.
Q. Which is a better lacing system: shoelaces or buckles?
A. Depends on your needs. Laces are often cheaper and provide evenly distributed pressure for nearly universal comfort. Buckles are typically more durable, adjustable, and quick to secure, but some users find their stiff pressure uncomfortable.
Q. Am I allowed to skate anywhere?
A. Most outdoor public spaces allow for rollerblading, but be sure to check with your city before taking to the road — some districts, streets, and sidewalks have skating bans, and most indoor venues prohibit skating of any kind.
Q: Are inline skates and rollerblades different?
A: Essentially, no. Rollerblades and inline skates are basically the same product. However, Rollerblade is a famous brand whose name is commonly used in lieu of the term inline skates — much like how customers use the term Chapstick to refer to all kinds of lip balm. The official names for rollerblades and rollerblading in the skating world are inline skates and inline skating.