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A Blog Written By Skaters for Skaters

Understanding What Makes a Wheel

Posted by Adam Lean on

The Basics Of Roller Skate Wheels

Durometer (hardness): How hard your wheels are is kind of like comparing hard shoes to soft shoes. One is simply softer, and therefore has more give, as well as slightly more grip. For example, you would not want to go hiking in dress shoes or high heels, as they are generally a very ‘hard’ shoe, but they’re great for smooth areas, like city streets. Alternatively, some hiking boots would be fantastic for mountain climbing, but are a little much to be running around the city in. The same applies to skate wheels.

roller skate wheels

Shape (size): In simple terms, the shape of wheels ranges from narrow to wide. There are also specialty wheels available, but they should only be considered once you have determined the type of skating you will be doing.

  • Narrow roller skate wheels give the greatest maneuverability, making them ideal for beginners. They are also used for outdoor skating, artistic skating, and also many rhythm skaters.
  • Wide wheels are used for speed skating, track skating, and most sets of jam skates. This is because the more surface area the wheels have, the greater the amount of traction and grip they provide.
  • Specialty wheels are also available for all types of roller skating. Once you have decided the type of skating you intend to do, you will be able to narrow your focus to that type of wheel, and then select the specialty wheel type that best suits you.

Wheel materials are generally colored urethane. The color of the wheels is dependent on the chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Different hardness materials produce specific hues, but the actual color has no impact on performance. Therefore, if you are fond of pink, black, green, yellow, or sparkles, this is one area where you can make a fashion statement without impacting cost or performance.

If you’re a specialty skater, and need wheels that have extra grip, you can purchase POLY BD wheels. They offer a unique blend of shock absorption and hardness, and were designed specifically for high end jam, speed, and track skating. They are easy to differentiate from other wheel types due to the

So keep in mind that wheels are your ride. Bad wheels for the surfaces you plan to skate on will result in a poor experience, while good wheels will make a big difference in both feel and performance. As ever, should you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact us. That’s why we’re here.