The best roller skates for starting a cool new hobby - MrLiambi's blog


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Tuesday, 10 August 2021

The best roller skates for starting a cool new hobby

As we were all searching for safe activities to keep us entertained or active throughout the pandemic, roller skating emerged as an extremely popular choice. So popular that skates were on backorder, out of stock, and generally hard to come by.

Skating is a relatively safe way to get outside and move in a fun way. Roller skating posts exploded on TikTok and Instagram, which drew new people into the existing community. And while skates were difficult to pin down during the earlier days of the pandemic, they're more readily available if you're looking to join the craze â€" or grab a new pair after wearing down your OG pair of pandemic skates.

Quad skates vs. inline skates

There are two main categories of roller skates: Quad skates are the ones with four wheels that you'd typically rent at a skating rink, and inline skates are commonly called rollerblades. Other than the fact that they look different, the two types of skates are each better for different aspects of skating.

Quad skates are better for tricks, dancing, and roller derby. Because of the two-by-two arrangement of the wheels, quad skates offer more stability than inline skates, making them better for beginners. Quad skates have a toe stopper, which means you lean your foot forward to brake. You can also use the toe stopper to help with turns and tricks. Most are made of rubber or plastic. Quad skates are also more customizable as the trucks, wheels, and toe stops are more easily replaceable. If you want to get really fun with it, you can swap out your wheels with some that light up.

Inline skates are better for speed and nimble maneuvering because the wheels are arranged in a straight line. They resemble the feeling of being on ice skates, but ya know, on solid ground. If you want to skate fast or go long distances, inline skates are the better option. And just because they are a little tougher to balance on if you're standing still, don't be put off by rollerblades if you're a beginner. They're honestly pretty easy to get the hang of. Inline skates have a backstop instead of a toe stop â€" usually only on the right skate â€" so you have to lift your toes up and put weight in your heel to slow down or stop. This makes it a bit harder to stop on rollerblades than quad skates. While you can't swap out many parts of inline skates, you can replace the wheels if they wear down or you want something more flashy.

No matter which kind of skates you buy, make sure to wear protective gear like knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and a helmet. I have a gnarly scar on my elbow from when I was feeling cocky and went skating without my elbow pads.

Skating indoors vs. skating outdoors

Durometer determines the hardness of the wheels, with average durometer ratings for skate wheels ranging between 72A and 102A.

The hardness you want depends on the surface you'll be skating on. If it's a slippery or uneven surface, a lower durometer will be better because the wheels are softer, have more grip, and can absorb more shock. But if the surface is smooth and has good traction, harder wheels will allow you to go faster. Anything around 78A to 82A will be suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

If you do use your skates outside and decide you want to skate at an indoor rink as well, check to make sure they allow outdoor skates. Some rinks do not because your wheels might contain debris that could scratch up their flooring.

Is roller skate sizing the same as shoe sizing?

Generally, you'll probably be safe opting for your regular shoe size when buying a pair of skates. If you're in between sizes, sizing down might be your best bet, but be sure to check sizing charts for specific pairs of skates because not all are true to size. You want skates to have a tight fit because if they're too loose, you could be left vulnerable to a rolled ankle. If your skates are loose, wear multiple pairs of thick socks to fill them out. Regardless of how they fit, we recommend wearing taller socks to avoid any uncomfortable rubbing on your ankles if you have skates with a high-top boot, at least as you break the skates in.

While some skates might only display either women's or men's sizing, just check a size conversion chart to see if there's a pair that will actually fit your feet.

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