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Anatomy of a roller skate

There several main styles of roller skates and parts will vary a little with each. The main styles are high-top or low-top quad skates or inline skates. Below we have listed the different parts of a skate. Not all components are available on all skates, so you may have to look from one picture to another.

1. Boot
Every skate has a boot. Boot uppers (the part of the boot above the sole) can be made of leather, suede or man-made materials such as acrylic. The inside of the boot is called the "lining", and is padded for comfort. Other parts of the boot include the sole, tongue, eyelets and/or hooks, laces, and sometimes a Velcro speed strap for added security in addition to laces. Boots are either high-top (artistic skating) or low-top (speed skating)


2. Plate
The plate is mounted to the bottom of the boot and is what everything else is attached to. Plates are typically aluminum or nylon. Aluminum plates are more durable, while nylon plates are lighter weight. Components of the plate include trucks, cushions, axles and in some cases a jump bar. 


3. Wheels
Skate wheels come in different sizes and hardness levels that vary based on your style of skating. Outdoor wheels are softer than indoor wheels. The larger the wheel, the greater the traction. The smaller the wheel, the more agility the wheel offers. 


4. Bearings
Bearings are located inside the wheel hub and help the wheels spin. Each wheel has 2 bearings in it, so a pair of skates uses 16 bearings total. They come in two sizes, 7 mm and 8mm. 


5. Toe Stops or Jam Plugs
Toe stops are either adjustable or fixed (non-adjustable), and help you slow down your skates. Jam plugs are an alternative to toe stops when the style of skating does not require a toe stop, such as jam skating. Inline skates have a brake at the end of one boot as opposed to in the front of both boots. 

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