Selection of Inline Skates

 Rollerblade Maxxum 100 Men Inline SkatesRollerblade Maxxum 100 Men Inline SkatesRoller Derby Aerio Q-60 Men Inline SkatesRoller Derby Aerio Q-60 Men Inline SkatesRollerblade Zetrablade 80 Men Inline SkatesRollerblade Zetrablade 80 Men Inline SkatesRoller Derby V500 Adjustable Men Inline SkatesRoller Derby V500 Adjustable Men Inline SkatesK2 Skates Kinetic 78 Men Inline SkatesK2 Skates Kinetic 78 Men Inline Skates
PriceCheck Price »Check Price »Check Price »Check Price »Check Price »
For beginnersNoYesYesYesYes
Wheel size100mm/90mm80mm80mm76mm78mm
Durometer ratingNot statedNot statedNot statedNot stated80A
Adjustable sizingNoNoNoYesYes
Frame materialExtruded aluminumAluminum tri-coilMonocoque compositeReinforced polymerFBI
ABEC ratingSG9Bevo Gold 7SG5 bearingsABEC-7ABEC-5
PaddingYesYesYesYesYes
Skate sizeUS men's - 6 to 12.5US men's - 5 to 12US men's - 6 to 136 to 9US men's - 5 to 13
Closure systemBuckle and lacesBuckle and lacesBuckleTriple buckleBuckle and Velcro
Shell designMolded and ventedSupportiveSupportiveNylonSupportive
Maximum wheel size100mm80mm80mm76mm80mm
AccessoriesNot includedNot includedNot includedNot includedNot included
SpeedHighModerateModerateLowModerate
LacesYesYesYesNoYes
Ankle buckleYesYesYesYesYes
 Rollerblade Maxxum 100 Men Inline SkatesRollerblade Maxxum 100 Men Inline SkatesRoller Derby Aerio Q-60 Men Inline SkatesRoller Derby Aerio Q-60 Men Inline SkatesRollerblade Zetrablade 80 Men Inline SkatesRollerblade Zetrablade 80 Men Inline SkatesRoller Derby V500 Adjustable Men Inline SkatesRoller Derby V500 Adjustable Men Inline SkatesK2 Skates Kinetic 78 Men Inline SkatesK2 Skates Kinetic 78 Men Inline Skates

Inline Skates Buying Guide

Updated: December 31, 2016

Inline Skates Buying Guide on Amazon

Inline Skates Buying Guide

Skating is one of the most thrilling – and entertaining ways – to keep fit. No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to pick up this hobby.

The only hurdle you have to overcome first is finding the right pair to buy.

Although you might be looking for a fun way to lose some pounds, there are loads of skating communities throughout the States.

There’s no reason why you need to end up with sore, blistering feet to enjoy your hobby – and luxurious features, such as memory foam padding which conforms around your feet, are available.

That means it’s a great way to socialize and make some new friends, too. Before you begin hunting for the perfect pair, it’s important to think about how you’re planning on using them. If you’re looking to travel at high speeds over many miles – or want to engage in some hockey – the type of inline skates you need to purchase will vary.

However advanced (or basic!) the skates you buy, don’t forget that comfort should always be a top priority. There’s no reason why you need to end up with sore, blistering feet to enjoy your hobby – and luxurious features, such as memory foam padding which conforms around your feet, are available.

You should also be looking for safety features which will reduce the chances of an accident. An effective braking system is the first place to start – and it’s often as simple as applying pressure on your heels in order to come to a complete halt.

To ensure that you don’t end up using your pair of skates when the brakes are past their peak, double-check to see whether your model has a “wear line” which indicates when they need replacing, too.

Choosing the Right Inline Skates

2-inline-skates-buying-guide-choiceGenerally, inline skates can be split into five distinctive categories, which clearly indicate what they are intended to be used for. Getting acquainted with the lingo which surrounds rollerblades will ensure you make an informed decision during a fitting in store, or when you’re ready to purchase on the Internet. They are:

Recreational skates: This is, by far, the most common category. If you’re looking for a basic pair which doesn’t contain superfluous bells and whistles – skates which you can slip on and off at will – these are for you.

They come highly recommended if you want a pair which are ideal for a whizz around the park when you want to burn off some steam. Usually, the actual boot will be a lace-up, like a normal pair of shoes.

If you’re more accustomed to ice skating than rollerblading, you’ll normally take to one of these pairs like a duck to water!

Roller hockey skates: The statistics surround the growth of this sport are pretty impressive – with thousands of Americans getting involved in the game.

As you’d imagine, they’re based off ice skates, and were originally designed for players of this game who wanted to continue training when the weather wasn’t in their favor. If you’re more accustomed to ice skating than rollerblading, you’ll normally take to one of these pairs like a duck to water!

Urban and street skates: As you’d imagine, these pairs rate durability very highly – especially because they’re geared towards people who like performing high-octane tricks at skate parks.

Even if you’re jumping off ledges for hours on end, you’ll notice that there isn’t any immediate wear and tear – and parts will only need to be replaced sporadically. There’s a lot of freedom of movement in the wheels, and you’ll be able to achieve high speeds, too. As you’d imagine, they’re not really a model that’s recommended for beginners.

Inline Skates Buying Specifications

What wheel sizes are available?

3-inline-skates-buying-guide-wheel-sizeNow – as we explored when we were looking at all of the different disciplines of skating that exist in this crowded marketplace, there are going to be variations in the specifications of each model. One of the most important is wheel size – and this will fluctuate wildly between inline skates designed for certain specialties and abilities.

Wheel sizes are measured in millimeters – and the figure you’ll see when you’re shopping around is the diameter of the wheel. A few decades ago, very few inline skates offered wheel sizes which exceeded 80mm – but this has become more of an entry-level specification these days as manufacturers cater to demand.

If your model offers a diameter of around 70mm to 76mm, it normally means that the inline skates in question will be lightweight, and you’ll find it easier to steer them.

First, let’s explore the difference between the performance of a small and a large wheel.

If your model offers a diameter of around 70mm to 76mm, it normally means that the inline skates in question will be lightweight, and you’ll find it easier to steer them.

However, they will bring really slow speeds – and as such, they’re normally associated with recreational skating. However, from a safety perspective, they’re perfect for beginners and children, as they grind to a halt really quickly.

When the diameters get larger – up to 110mm, for more specialized inline skates – the user needs to really plan ahead, and anticipate when they’re going to need to change direction in advance. It’s also far more of a rigorous workout in comparison, as you really need to give it your all when you’re pushing for power. That said, this exertion will help you to cover longer distances – and the top speeds on offer will certainly get the adrenalin pumping!

Purchasing inline skates with interchangeable wheels – allowing you to upgrade the diameter – is a really smart move.

What is the ABEC rating?

4-inline-skates-buying-guide-abec-ratingThis is an industry term, which is used by many manufacturers of inline skates. “ABEC” stands for the Annular Bearing Engineering Council, and whenever you see a rating, you can rest assured that the skates in question have been tested rigorously for speed and performance. Another scale of measurement you may see, which rivals ABEC, is known as Swiss.

Within each of the four wheels on your inline skates, there are two bearings. These components help to ensure that the skates turn according to your movements.

Generally, inline skates which have a higher ABEC rating will satisfy the needs of more advanced competitors and adrenalin junkies. The scale has five scores: 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.

Many experts believe that the most important thing is to make sure that the bearings are dried whenever they become wet on the road – and remain well lubricated to guarantee longevity.

Now, there has been some skepticism within the skating community over whether the ABEC rating actually contributes anything of value to a product.

Although a higher score can indicate more refined levels of workmanship and higher standards, some experts claim that even a score of ABEC-3 – the second-lowest – would be enough to meet the needs of eight in ten skaters. It’s only if you’re looking for high speeds that an ABEC-5 or ABEC-7 should be at the top of your wish list, and if you’re reading this buying guide to learn about skating, it probably isn’t.

Many experts believe that the most important thing is to make sure that the bearings are dried whenever they become wet on the road – and remain well lubricated to guarantee longevity.

In most specialist skate stores, online and off, you won’t have too much trouble finding dedicated products which will help to keep the bearings rotating without any lag.

Again, if you’re looking for your first pair of skates, you won’t really need to pay this any mind.

How does inline skate sizes work?

5-inline-skates-buying-guide-how-it-worksOne concern for many first-time buyers out there is whether or not the sizes of inline skates are the equivalent of what their usual shoe size is.

Although many manufacturers do pledge this is the case, it isn’t universal – so it’s worth checking around with other shoppers first. Nothing beats going in for a fitting – and even if you want to buy online to ensure you get the cheapest price – at least it gives you an idea of whether or not they’re comfortable.

A good test when you’re in the store is whether or not you can fit a finger into the skating shoe (with a little bit of difficulty!) once they’re fully fastened up.

Here’s the thing: it’s important to bear in mind that as the blood courses through our body during exercise, our feet can swell up – and so although you may not experience discomfort at first, it can soon begin to build towards the end of a session.

Now, the conventional wisdom is to always go for inline skates which are half a size (or a whole size) bigger than what you’d wear for shoes. That’s because there are a plethora of fastenings – which usually include Velcro, laces and leather straps – which enable you to secure your feet in, and offer support to particular parts (such as your heels, for instance) wherever necessary.

A good test when you’re in the store is whether or not you can fit a finger into the skating shoe (with a little bit of difficulty!) once they’re fully fastened up.

The last thing you want to do is affect your ability to bend the knees, or for your feet to lose circulation.

If you have children who are particularly keen on skating, continually buying them new pairs of inline skates as they grow can be a nightmare. As such, keep a beady eye out for adjustable models for those growth spurts!

What is the shell of the skates made from?

6-inline-skates-buying-guide-shell-materialThe materials which are included in your inline skates will be determined by how the pair is designed to be used. For example, if you were to plump for “aggressive” skates, it’s likely that the shell would be reinforced with plastic or metallic plates which absorb the shock of the tricks you perform, and ensure that any smaller parts (such as the wheels, for instance!) don’t fall off in a heartbeat.

You’ll normally find that the cheaper models on the marketplace have been made out of plastic, too. Meanwhile, if a dedicated pair of hockey inline skates is more to your taste, it’s likely that the materials used will stay true to those used in ice skates, with nylon and leather the norm.

The higher-end inline skates on the market have had frames which were cut from one block of aluminum alloy, as they form the strongest skates which can withstand the most pressure.

If you’re on the lookout to buy some specialist speed skates, you’ll want the materials which have been used to design the product to be lightweight, as this will ensure that you don’t experience any lag that’ll slow you down during a race. Unfortunately, and rather unsurprisingly, the most desirable materials – including fiberglass – come at a price. If you see that an aluminum alloy has also been used to construct the shell, this’ll give you peace of mind that it’s a resilient piece of kit.

The higher-end inline skates on the market have had frames which were cut from one block of aluminum alloy, as they form the strongest skates which can withstand the most pressure.

The other thing you need to consider is the color and design of the skates you end up going for. Ideally, they should reflect your personality – and when it comes to urban pairs in particular, you’ll normally find some vivid creations which will work wonders in helping you to stand out from the crowd.

Does it have an ankle buckle?

7-inline-skates-buying-guide-ankle-buckleWhen you’re starting out in the big, bad world of skating – it’s likely that you’re going to feel a little uneasy. Balance might be a problem, and your muscles may need a little refining before you’re fully accustomed to the experience of using inline skates.

But this is nothing to worry about. That’s because most manufacturers which offer inline skates that are designed for beginner and intermediate enthusiasts come with an ankle strap which offers additional security.

If this is your first time using inline skates, we highly recommend getting a pair which comes with added support for ankles.

Although this does reduce your maneuverability to an extent, you do get the added benefit of feeling secure – and it can stop your heel from slipping around within the skating shoe.

When you have ankle straps, it’s likely that the cuffs on your inline skates will be higher, and that the diameter of the wheels will be on the small side, as this reduces your speed.

If this is your first time using inline skates, we highly recommend getting a pair which comes with added support for ankles – and that way, you can always branch out and opt for a model which enables you to move more freely in the future.

Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the other bits of safety gear which will reduce the risk of you becoming injured during the inevitable slips, trips and falls which are associated with beginning to skate for the first time. Wearing wrist guards, knee pads and a helmet are the bare minimum to reduce the risk of a nasty fracture which could leave you out of action for a little while.

You might also want to invest in some gloves and some dedicated clothing – such as a long-sleeved tee, which will eliminate the chance of any unsightly scrapes during your journey. Enjoy!

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