Best roller skates

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Whether you’re looking for some outdoor exercise or to improve your roller rink moves, the best roller skates make a big difference in your active life.

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Which roller skates are best?

Roller skating is the quintessential activity for anyone wanting a bit of fun and low-impact exercise. While it used to be a forgotten 1980s hobby, roller-skating glided back in style during a time of gym closures and lockdown. It’s quickly become a popular means of adding movement to an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. It’s an excellent fit for all age ranges and skill levels. 

If you’re new to roller skating or are hoping to upgrade your current pair of well-loved skates, Epic Super Nitro Quad Roller Skates are a top-of-the-line option.

What to know before you buy roller skates

Safety first

Whether you’re looking for a pair of skates for yourself or your kids, safety is crucial. Children who are new to roller skating should have the proper safety equipment, including skating pads to protect their knees, elbows and wrists. Adults learning to skate also benefit from safety pads to make falls less discouraging and damaging.

Skate types

As you shop for roller skates, you’ll quickly learn that there are many different types. Understandably, different kinds of skates have various purposes. Consider your roller skating goals before purchasing, then examine your roller skate options:

  • Speed skates: These skates are popular for their ability to glide fast. They allow for plenty of freedom of movement, making them popular choices for dancers and racers.
  • Outdoor skates: As their name implies, these skates are for outdoor use. They can have either low- or high-top boots and come with wheels formed to withstand the wear and tear of uneven ground.
  • Indoor skates: Often called recreational or traditional skates, these are for anyone wanting to stick to an indoor rink. They usually come in a high-boot style and narrow wheels, which provide control and maneuverability during spins or jumps.
  • Roller derby skates: These quad skates are highly durable and designed to withstand the abuse from participating in roller derby. They make fast skating easy and handle tight turns well. 
  • Inline skates: Also known as roller blades, these skates can come in racing, recreational or roller hockey styles. They are ideal for users wanting to skate long distances.

Try them on first

While online shopping is convenient, trying your skates on before committing to them helps avoid bad fits and discomfort. Some skates are more suited to wider feet. Others are created for narrow feet. Some are meant for beginner skaters while others are best suited for experts. On top of that, different skates offer a different “riding feel.” Trying on different skates can help you figure out what’s best for you.

What to look for in quality roller skates

Size

Unless a skate’s sizing guide says otherwise, it’s a good idea to go one size larger than your regular shoe size when choosing roller skates. The skates should fit firmly but allow movement so as not to restrict your feet. Trying the skates on before purchasing is the best way to get the right fit.

Wheels

There are four wheels on your quad skate, and you have the option of hard or soft. A harder wheel offers longevity, and it will hold up better against surfaces that aren’t smooth. However, they offer less shock absorption and grip. A softer wheel is exactly the opposite. Wheels with more shock absorption and grip have a shorter lifespan.

Bearings

Bearings make a difference in how fast you can go and how smooth your ride is. Quad skates frequently have 8mm 608 bearings, but 7mm 627 bearings may be best if you want to optimize the speed of your skate. Regardless of your bearing choice, it’s essential to keep them clean and dry. Dirty or moisture-ridden bearings can ruin your ride.

Toe stop

All the best roller skates come with a quality toe stop. This feature aims to provide an easy shove-off point and serve as a brake when necessary. It’s essential to replace a toe stop before it wears down completely. Failing to replace the toe stop early enough will make removal difficult.

How much you can expect to spend on roller skates

You can find a great pair of beginner’s skates for around $50, but high-quality skates are $80-$100. Some professional skates are over $250.

Roller skates FAQ

Is learning to roller skate difficult?

A. While the difficulty level of roller skating depends on the individual, most people manage to skate decently well within a few hours of determined practice.

Is roller skating good exercise?

A. Roller skating can be great exercise. It improves balance, core stability, strength and cardiovascular endurance.

What are the best roller skates to buy?

Top roller skates

Epic Super Nitro Quad Roller Skates

Epic Super Nitro Quad Roller Skates

What you need to know: These low-boot quad skates are perfect for any entry-level skater looking to glide on indoor or smooth outdoor surfaces.

What you’ll love: With a padded collar and adjustable strap, these skates ensure a comfortable ride. They have speed grooves and compound wheels, so expect optimal control and grip. A non-marking toe stop provides confidence in braking.

What you should consider: These skates may not hold up well against rough outdoor surfaces.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top roller skates for the money

Skate Gear Retro Quad Design Roller Skates

Skate Gear Retro Quad Design Roller Skates

What you need to know: Offering a retro, high-top boot and plenty of style options, these skates are great for starter skaters seeking something affordable. 

What you’ll love: This straightforward skate is both comfortable and dependable. Offering playful styles as well as classic designs, you’re sure to find a skate you love. It also comes in adult and children’s sizes.

What you should consider: Some users had difficulty setting the wheels to spin correctly and in unison.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Roller Derby Men's Reewind Quad Roller Skates

Roller Derby Men’s Reewind Quad Roller Skates

What you need to know: With reinforced heel and toe construction and a padded tongue, these quad roller skates offer great durability and peak comfort. 

What you’ll love: Enjoy plenty of ankle support and control during spins, jumps and speed skating with this classic design. Good for maneuverability and easy turns, these skates will have you styling out on the skating rink.

What you should consider: These skates are not suited for outdoor use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Abbey Ryan writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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