If there's one positive thing that’s come from this global pandemic, it's the fact that millions of people have had the chance to slow down and find new ways to connect with themselves and others.
Spending time baking with loved ones, investing in self-care regimens or reconnecting with the outdoors have all become popular pastimes. However, one of the coolest fads to gain in popularity is the return of the beloved roller skates.
Roller skates, also known as quad skates, have four wheels arranged in a two-by-two configuration — not to get confused with roller blades (or inline skates) that have a single line of wheels. Whether you want to dance around in your skates, take up roller derby, or casually skate through the park, these retro-inspired skates use a wide base for stability. If you’re buying your first pair or simply upgrading your old pair, there are a few things to consider before pulling out your wallet.
What Makes A Good Roller Skate?
It's not all about getting the cutest or best-looking pair of roller skates. The size and stiffness of your wheels; the height and flexibility of your boot; and, the hardware like bearings, trucks, and plates: all have an impact on how you'll feel in them.
For a deeper breakdown of the different elements that make up a roller skate, check out our buying guide at the bottom of the article. If you’re ready to shop, here's our list of some of the best roller skates on the market!
Ride in style with these classic roller skates by Xudrez. Made from high-quality polyurethane leather to give users a breathable and comfortable fit, this old school inspired roller skate by Xudrez is perfect for both new and experienced skaters alike. Choose between bright blue, pink, or classic white boots with light up or clear wheels that have strong grip and shock absorption so you can confidently hit the streets and cruise in style.
|Boot Material:||Synthetic Leather|
With non-marking toe stops and a lightweight boot, this Roller Derby roller skate is perfect for dancing and cruising indoors. If you’re dying to relive the good old days, or want to be transported back to the days of roller rink birthday parties, these indoor roller skates will get you there. These high top boots are outfitted with a comfortable padded lining, reinforced heel support, 56mm wheels and carbon bearings that combine to give you lightweight freestyle skates that are perfect for staying in control during every twist and turn.
|Wheel Size:||54mm x 32mm|
The Kuxan Saya adjustable roller skates feature bright, illuminating, durable wheels and a memory sponge lined boot so you don’t have to worry about the comfort of your kids feet. Kids' feet grow ridiculously fast, so why not save yourself the time and money of having to buy new skates every year by investing in a pair of adjustable roller skates?
With just the push of a button you can adjust the size of the skates up to four sizes! You can feel confident that your kids feet will be well-supported in these skates. With a traditional lacing system, velcro and buckle closures, its triple-locking system ensures a solid fit. These are a great starter pair for kids to get comfortable in and users say they are durable and well-made.
This Chicago Bullet speed skate makes for not only a great racing skate, but can also function as an everyday skate perfect for social outings. The low-cut design allows users more ankle mobility when skating and features high quality laces to keep your feet secure. Made from durable vinyl, wide 62mm urethane wheels with fixed axles and precision bearings, these athletic roller skates provide ample stability and control through every quick stop and turn.
|Wheel Size:||66mm x 38mm|
Stylish, comfortable and durable — what more could you want from your roller skates? If you’re serious about roller skating and are looking to spend a little extra on a durable pair of skates, these Roller Derby Candi Carlin artistic skates are a great option.
These colourful high top suede boots feature a leather interior lining with reinforced heel and toe support as well as a classic lace-up design to give you a custom fit. With a wide range of sizes, these classic skates are perfect for spending the day strolling down boardwalks and gliding through rinks.
There’re a lot of options out there when it comes to shopping for roller skates and it’s easy to get distracted by all of the fun colours and old school designs without taking into account the actual skate itself. Before you buy your first or next pair of roller skates take a second to fully understand what goes into making a roller skate so you can find a pair that fits your specific needs.
The wheels of roller skates are measured by something called a durometer, which is basically a scale that tells you how soft or hard the wheels are. If a wheel is hard, it will have a rating that looks something like 100A. The softer the wheels, the closer to zero they’re going to be.
Hard wheels are great for indoor tracks and have little grip which helps them to slide along rink floors and derby tracks. Although they have a longer lifespan, they don’t have great shock absorption which isn’t ideal for outdoor use. Soft wheels on the other hand have a shorter shelf life but offer more grip and shock absorption which is necessary when skating outdoors and you inevitably encounter rocks and other small debris. Also, as a rule of thumb, small wheels are better suited for fancy tricks and swift moves whereas larger wheels provide more stability and are useful when travelling long distances.
There are two different elements to consider when it comes to choosing the right boot for you: boot shell and boot height.
Great for all of your disco and dancing needs
The bearings in a roller skate refers to the small metal pieces that are inside of the wheel that work to keep them rolling smoothly. If you’ve ever come across a strange letter combination called ABEC, that refers to the rating scale used for the bearings. To protect your bearings and help them last as long as possible, try to avoid skating through water, sand, mud, etc. to help keep your skates at maximum performance.
Trucks & Plate
Every roller skate comes with a truck and plate attached to the bottom of the boot. The material they're made from will have an impact on how light or heavy your skate feels; nylon plates are typically lighter while aluminum is more durable but heavier.
One feature that sets roller skates apart is the front toe stop that’s used as a brake and to push off to start skating. Toe stops get worn down with use; it's super important to remember to replace them before they disappear to save yourself the hassle and danger of using and changing an old toe stop.
Whether you’re new to the world of roller skating, or are returning to a lost love, roller skating is a great way to get outside, connect with others, and build up a sweat. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a specific style of skate and boot, the rest comes down to budget and personal preference.
We're always looking for more feedback! If you own one of these roller skates and would like to share your experience, please comment below! Or, if you have a recommendation, scribble it down below.