If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.
When shopping for roller skates, there a few important factors to consider. The material of the boot as well as the size and feel of the wheels and the hardware used all determine a pair’s comfort, durability and maneuverability.
Styles made of leather are typically more comfortable and last longer than those made with synthetic materials. Softer boots are more maneuverable for dancing while harder ones are ideal for longer rides when you want more stability and support. Entry-level skaters may choose harder boots for this reason.
Concerning wheels, smaller ones provide the maneuverability you need for artistic skating and roller dancing, while larger ones are great for lending enhanced traction outdoors and speed indoors. Additionally, harder wheels tend to pick up more speed while softer wheels are slower due to their enhanced grip. So, hard wheels are better for skating on smooth surfaces like indoor rinks and softer wheels will offer shock absorption and better grip on textured or uneven surfaces. The hardness is indicated with an A number; the higher the A number, the harder the wheels are.
Moreover, bearings give your wheels the ability to spin, making them pretty important. Typically rated according to what’s known as the ABEC scale, which includes grades 1,3,5,7, and 9, the higher the number, the less resistance you’ll have. Thus, if you have higher-grade bearings, it’ll take longer for your wheels to stop spinning after push-off. This makes it easier to maintain your speed with less effort.
The plates that sit under your boots are also an essential factor in how your skates will feel and perform. Many basic beginner models will feature lightweight nylon plates reinforced with fiberglass for durability and strength. While aluminum plates are typically heavier, they don’t flex, which allows for more power transfer. These rigid plates are also more durable.
Ready to shop for roller skates now that you have all the basic information? Read on to shop styles suited for various skill levels and types of skating.
Crazy Skates Women’s Evoke Roller Skates
The upper of these Crazy Skates Women’s Evoke Roller Skates is handcrafted from soft suede leather. Coming in multiple colors, they’re equipped with a lightweight fiber-reinforced nylon plate with a laser-cut, mirror-finished heel that lends a striking look. Meanwhile 65-millimeter, 78A urethane wheels give a fast, smooth ride. These also offer a contoured fit and have moisture-wicking linings.
C Seven C7 Roller Skates
C Seven C7 Roller Skates feature a structured PVC boot with ankle support and a cushioned ankle collar, plus a lightweight, durable aluminum plate with 58-millimeter, 83A wheels for enhanced speed on everything from concrete and asphalt to the rink. On top of this shimmering gold color, these are available in other head-turning hues.
VLNA Mint Jam Skates
Designed for jam skating, VLNA Mint Jam Skates are low-cut with a leather shell and a soft padded interior for extra comfort. A velcro lace cover offers a secure fit. Backspin 62-millimeter, 95A wheels are made specifically for indoor skating. The style also includes a lightweight nylon plate, ABEC-9 bearings and premium aluminum trucks for speed and versatility.
Sure-Grip Prism Plus Roller Skates
Crafted from vegan-friendly materials, Sure-Grip’s Prism Plus Roller Skates deliver a silver reflective boot upper and 62-millimeter, 78A urethane wheels for a smooth ride over cement, asphalt or other outdoor terrains. The Rock nylon plate is lightweight and sturdy while ABEC-3 bearings provide controlled speed.
Roller Derby Candi Grl Quad Roller Skate
Complete with a durable, lightweight aluminum chassis, Roller Derby’s Candi Grl Quad Roller Skate allows for optimal control when turning, cruising and doing tricks. It also has a supple leather exterior and padded lining for comfort. Meanwhile, 66-millimeter wheels make these skates ideal for rolling over uneven pavement and smooth surfaces. They also include chrome steel Bevo Silver-5 bearings, which are made to last and provide smoother strides, as well as help minimize vibration and roll resistance thanks to Bevo’s Deep Groove Channel design.
Riedell Skates Dart Ombré Quad Roller Speed Skate
Designed to slip on and off with ease, Riedell’s Dart Ombré Quad Roller Speed Skates feature an easy lacing system, padded tongue and velcro cinch strap that allows for quick adjustments and a snug, comfortable fit. The low-cut style also comes with a high-impact, die-cast aluminum plate for unbeatable support and 62-millimeter wheels for just the right amount of grip and speed.
Roces Movida Art Roller Skates
Roces’ Movida Art Roller Skates are made to keep you comfortably cruising for miles. They’re equipped with a supportive ECOleather upper, sturdy frame, anatomical footbed and a stability strap for added security. Underfoot, they have smaller, harder 54-millimeter, 85A wheels, making them ideal for ultimate maneuverability and speed outdoors.
Epic Nitro Turbo Quad Roller Skates
Another vibrant style featuring a lower-cut boot, these Epic Nitro Turbo Quad Roller Skates are great for indoor entry-level speed skating or skating on smooth outdoor surfaces. While the boot is fixed with a padded collar and stability strap, underneath, the skates have a lightweight nylon plate and PU compound wheels with ABEC-5 precision speed bearings to ensure grip and control.
Moxi Skates Beach Bunny Roller Skates
Also good for beginners, Moxi’s Beach Bunny Roller Skates boast 58-millimeter, 78A wheels that provide optimal cushioning and ABEC-5 steel ball bearings designed to reduce friction. They’re also equipped with a drum-dyed vinyl upper and curved collar with extra ankle padding for comfortable support, plus a moisture-wicking Dri-Lex liner printed with a fun, custom pattern. Available in five vibrant shades, they also feature a PVC unit outsole and heel offering stability and durability.
Impala Rollerskates Impala Quad Skate
Key elements of Impala Rollerskates’ Impala Quad Skate include an aluminum plate and trucks and rigid 58-millimeter, 82A wheels with ABEC-7 bearings for maneuverability and speed. Delivering a 70s-inspired design with a PETA-approved vegan construction, they also feature a PVC upper, heel and sole.
Chicago Women’s Rink Roller Skate
These sleek white Chicago Women’s Rink Roller Skates are crafted from premium leather inside and out and padded at the ankle for maximum comfort. Ideal for taking from the sidewalk to the rink, they also have a strong aluminum chassis and high-rebound 58-millimeter wheels with ABEC-1 bearings for a ride that’s smooth and comfortable.