General Information about Rollerskates and Rollerskating
What type of skate should you purchase?
The type of skate depends on what kind of skating you wish to do.
For all-around fun and enjoyment in a roller rink it would be best to purchase
quad skates (4-wheelers).
This skate may also be use for outdoor skating with a
wider and softer wheel, such as an aerobic, etc.
Roller skates may be divided into the following categories:
Recreational Roller Skates
Recreational rollerskates may start as low as $20 and go up in price to several hundred dollars.
In buying your first pair of regular roller skates, you should first be sure that you get the correct sizing by going to your local rink or a shoe store and having them measure your foot and also check to see what size shoe you are
wearing at this time.
Usually it is best if you are wearing a half size to go to the next full size. Most of the less expensive recreational skating boots do not come in half sizes.
Recreational skates are almost always high-top boots with a narrow wheel and are 57mm to 60mm in diameter.
The durometer (hardness or softness) of the roller skating wheel is measured by numbers. The higher the number the harder the wheel. For example, an 88A
durometer would definitely be an outdoor wheel. A 95 or 95A durometer would be an indoor/outdoor wheel. A 98A to 103A would be for indoor skating only.
Most always an outdoor wheel is wider and softer than an indoor wheel, so as to
absorb the unevenness of the outdoor surface.
The recreational roller skating boot provides more ankle support.
The plate (chassis) on this type of roller skate will be made of aluminum or a
high impact urethane composition material.
All of the skates will have double-action (dual cushions) which will allow the skater to make edges and turns easier.
The best way to find a bargain on a recreational roller skate is to buy a
close-out or discontinued model.
Outdoor Roller Skates
Outdoor skates can be either high-top or low-top or tennis shoe (sneaker)
You will get the best price and bargain for your money with a tennis shoe
(sneaker) skate. These type of skates are very popular with the ladies.
Any type of roller skate, whether speed skate or recreational skate may be
adapted to outdoor skating by using an outdoor type wheel, which should be a
high-impact and high-rebound urethane.
They will usually be from 62mm to 65mm in size.
When indoor skating with an outdoor pair of skates with this type of wheel, the
skater will have to work somewhat harder to maintain their momentum and will
find that they will naturally go slower than with a normal indoor wheel.
In outdoor roller skating the suede boot works very well due to the fact that if
one should happen to fall the suede may be brushed off.
The outdoor quad skate is beginning to be very popular with adults who want to
skate on jogging trails and smooth roads.
In purchasing outdoor skates it is very important to be sure that you get
completely sealed precision bearings.
This type of skate is very, very popular with the teenagers and young adults
for regular rink and social skating.
In many roller skating rinks, the skaters remove their toe stops and replace
them with jam plugs.
Jam skating is the fastest growing element of roller
Speed Skates have a low-cut shoe and the strap across the instep is for extra
ankle support and is very popular.
Also, the complete flap over the front of the skate and laces is most popular
with jam skaters. This type of skate is very popular with all types and ages of
The speed type of skate adapts itself well to maneuvers pertaining to jam
The wide wheel base of the quad roller skate makes it a more fun-type and
comfortable skate for general all-around session skating.
Quad skating and quad skates are certainly once again gaining popularity in the
roller rinks, as opposed to the inline skate, which is built for speed and for
going in a straight line.
Speed skates use a wide 62mm, 95 - 98A wheel with an ABEC-3 to an ABEC-7
bearing. The plate is usually made of high-impact urethane material with double
action cushions with an adjustable toe stop, which may be removed to install jam
For normal speed skates, an ABEC-3 bearing is most adequate.
Speed skates come in both quad and inline. The quad fulfills the need for
all-around fun type skating in a roller rink.
Toy or plastic type skates with vinyl boots may be purchased at most any
sports related store, or online.
These are very good skates for very young children to learn to move at a slow
speed with wheels on their feet.
Many people relate this to walking on skates. As the child progresses, serious
consideration should be given to moving them up to a quality type quad roller
These may be purchased from your local roller rink or from a roller skate
internet store. It is difficult to find a quality quad skate in any type of
When buying a skate on the Internet, one should read the description carefully
to be sure that it has quality bearings and wheels and chassis (plate).
So as to be sure that you get the best skate for your child and the best bargain
for your money.
Children's roller skates should cost between $45 to $65.
It is recommended that in most cases you buy once size larger than their shoe
size at the time of purchase to allow for growth, particularly when the child is
under 12 years old.
Roller Skating is a fun type of activity, but for your child to have the most
fun, they should have roller skates with real bearings that will allow them to
skate and go faster and not just walk on skates.
Artistic skates and figure skates are very specialized for people wanting to
do freestyle skating, dance skating, or compulsory figures skating.
Freestyle skates need to be as light as possible with smaller wheels with good
grip and at least an ABEC-3 rated bearing.
They should have a soft, rubber toe stop that can be adjusted to different
heights to allow the skater to maneuver off their toe stop to get maximum
height on their jumps.
The freestyle roller skate will use the same type of boots and models as a
freestyle ice skater.
The freestyle boot should be somewhat rigid and firm to give the skater adequate
ankle support for their spins and jumps.
A leather boot is preferred due to it's flexibility and support. The plate
should be made of an aircraft type of aluminum or light weight titanium with a
double action and adjustable pivot pin.
The very advanced freestyle skater needs a very lightweight buy highly durable
The wheel should have a firm grip but with the maximum roll and made of a high
The cost of a freestyle artistic plate is between $200 and $700.
The roller dance skate is similar to the freestyle skate but has a much softer
leather boot and should give the skater more flexibility in the ankle to make
The plate must have a very true action and there will be toe stop required, and
is usually replaced with a dance plug.
The dance skate needs a special type of wheel: approx a 62mm and at least a 101A
to a 103A hardness. This allows the skater to get maximum roll from both the
size of the wheel and with not too much friction or grip.
The idea of the use of a dance skate is to flow around the floor and use a
minimum amount of effort and to look smooth and graceful.
The compulsory figure skate has no toe stop, a very rigid leather boot so that
the ankle cannot move, but stay very true and straight.
The action and adjustment on a roller figure skate should be as tight as
possible and together with the very rigid leather roller skating boot so as not
to allow any type of subcurve or movement in the skate.
What the skater whishes to achieve are true edges with no deviation in the curve
of the skate.
The highest durometer wheel is needed to get maximum roll from the effort. It is
of utmost importance that the skater be able to roll as far as possible with as
In this type of skating the highest rated bearing is desired and has to be
lubricated to roll as freely as possible.