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Buying Guide

Choosing the right skates for you

Choosing the right skates for you

Skate Buying Guide: How to Choose The Best Skates For You

If this is your first time buying a pair of skates for yourself or a loved one, choosing the right roller skates can be intimidating, and the sheer number of options can feel overwhelming. Whether you are a first-time skater or looking to replace an old pair, our Buying Guide will help you find the right skate for you!

Here are the 3 first steps every skate buyer should take to ensure they get the right skate for them.

Step 1: Determine which type of skate you are looking for: quad or inline

Inline skates have wheels that are arranged in 1 straight line. This makes them easier to maneuver, which is why they are great for roller hockey or outdoor skating if you want to be able to quickly maneuver around cones or potholes.

If you want a feeling similar to being on ice skates, or want to travel long distances on your skates, inline skates may be the better choice for you!

Quad skates have wheels that are arranged in a two-by-two configuration. This makes them more stable, and therefore better for beginners.

Quad skates (or roller skates) are the perfect choice if you are interested in dancing on your skates (such as with artistic or jam styles) or if you are interested in roller derby. With the right hardware and protective gear, you can also enjoy them at the skate park.

Another difference between inline and quad skates is the location of the brake. On inline skates, the brake is located at the heel of 1 boot. On quad skates, the "toe stop" is attached to the plate, located under the toe of both boots. 

Have you decided on inline skates? Great! Shop our selection of  inline skates for adults or inline skates for kids.

If you have decided on quad skates, next you need to determine if you want to skate mainly indoors or outdoors.

Step 2: Determine if you want indoor or outdoor skates

What makes an indoor skate an indoor skate, or an outdoor skate an outdoor skate? The wheels! Indoor wheels are harder (less grip), which allows them to glide easily on rink floors or derby tracks. Outdoor wheels are softer (more grip), which allows them to absorb more shock as they roll over outdoor debris or rough surfaces.

Some wheels are all-purpose or indoor/outdoor. This means they are at a hardness level that is in between a standard indoor wheel hardness and a standard outdoor wheel hardness. Children's skates typically come with all-purpose wheels. More serious skaters prefer to change their wheels when they move from indoor skating to outdoor skating for best results. To learn more about wheels, check out our  wheel FAQ.

We have a wide selection of adult skates both with  outdoor wheels and indoor wheels

Step 3: Determine if you want a high-top or low top style boot

When it comes to high-top vs. low-top boots, unless you want to stick to a specific style of skating, it really boils down to which look you prefer. High-top boots offer a more nostalgic look, while low-top boots look and fit more like a sneaker.

Low-top boots are considered speed boots and are used on derby and jam skates.

High-top boots are what are used on artistic and rhythm skates.

Where to go from here...

Now that you've narrowed down whether you are looking for a quad skate or inline skate, indoor skate or outdoor skate, and low-top or high-top boot, you're almost there! From here, many skaters choose based on budget, boot color, or brand.

Typically boots made from materials such as leather or suede will be more expensive than boots made from vinyl or microfiber. The quality of the hardware used on a skate also factors into pricing. For example, a plate made from magnesium or aluminum will be more expensive than a plate made from nylon.

If you are still undecided, our customer service team is equipped with the expertise you need to guide you toward choosing the best roller skate options for you! Give us a call at 913-894-9339 or send an email to