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Buying Guide

Different Types of Skates

Different Types of Skates

Different Types of Roller Skates and Inline Skates (Roller Blades)

When it comes to roller skating, the type of skate you choose can significantly impact your experience. Understanding the different types of roller skates is crucial for selecting the right one for your needs.

Speed Skates

These skates are meant to go fast and because of their design they are very popular skates. Speed skates feature low cut shoes (boot) that fits just like tennis shoes. The low cut design helps with going around corners. These skates are very popular because of the freedom of movement that they provide in the ankles thus being popular for jam (dance) skating and, of course, speed skating. These skates also feature speed style wheels and bearings (part that makes your wheel spin) that enables skaters to skate faster and longer. 

Outdoor Skates

Outdoor skates come in either low top or high top boots and the wheels are specifically designed to skate outdoors where the ground is typically not as smooth. For the most part, the only difference between an indoor skate and an outdoor skate are the wheels, and outdoor wheels are typically softer than indoor wheels. 

Outdoor recreational wheels are softer and more absorbent which allow for a smoother ride over "not so smooth" surfaces like streets and paths that have cracks and debris. 

Within the Outdoor Skates category, there are wheels specifically designed for park skating, such as the Moxi Fundae wheels. Wheels for park skating are a bit harder than traditional outdoor wheels because they are designed to be used on smooth concrete that you will find in a skate bowl. There are also wheels specifically designed for outdoor roller dance, such as the Radar Crush wheels. These wheels are smaller than traditional outdoor recreational wheels to allow for fast transitions and spins. 

Skate park skaters typically go for a high top boot with a supportive, structured ankle. Roller dancers, on the other hand, want more movement, so they will opt for a low top boot or a high top boot that allows their ankle to bend. If you are simply wanting to skate recreationally, the style of boot is completely up to you and your personal preference.

Indoor Skates

Indoor skates (sometimes referred to as Artistic Skates, Rhythm skates or Traditional Skates). These are traditional style skates that are for those wanting to skate in a skating rink, artistically dance (kind of like ice skating but instead of a blade they have wheels), and those that want to rhythm skate. These skates feature high boots that allow for good control while performing spins or jumps. The wheels are more narrow which allow for easy turning and maneuverability.

Roller Derby Skates

The sport of Roller Derby dates back to the 1930s and is quickly gaining in popularity. These quad skates are designed to take the abuse that is experienced by participating in the sport. Roller Derby Skates require durability but also a skate that can get up to fast levels very quickly as well as hold through tight turns.

Kids Skates

Kids skates are skates that are designed for the young skaters. They look cool but at the same time they designed so that they will not go as fast as other skates. Plus, kids skating shoes are designed for the wear and tear that kids put on their skates!

Inline Skates

There are 3 different kinds of Inline roller blade shoes: Recreational, Racing, and Roller Hockey.

Recreational Skates
Also known as fitness skates, these recreational roller blades are designed for the skater who wants a good pair of skates to exercise in, usually outdoors. The shoes (boots) are high top which offers excellent foot and ankle support. These recreational roller skates are also amazingly comfortable so that the skater can skate for longer periods of time.

Racing Skates
Racing skates are skates that were designed to go fast, simply put. The shoe (boot) is designed so that it fits as close to your foot as possible allowing you the least amount of wind resistance. The wheels of these skates are easily interchangeable to allow the skater to skate indoors or outdoors.

Roller Hockey Skates
These are skates that are made for those playing the sport of roller hockey. Roller hockey is a very popular sport, especially among youth and young adults. These skates were designed to hold up to the abuse due to the nature of the sport.