Rollerblading is a great way to exercise, have fun, or just get around, that is gaining popularity again in recent years. Rollerblades, or inline skates, must be chosen carefully to ensure that they work for you, though. Just like you’d spend some time choosing your shoes for comfort, durability, and function, you also need to consider a few things to get the best rollerblades.
We’ve put together this review, as well as a brief guide on choosing rollerblades, so that you can see the best the market has to offer in inline skates for men, women, and kids.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Rollerblades for Men
- 2 Best Rollerblades for Women
- 3 Best Rollerblades for Kids
- 4 How to Choose the Best Inline Skates
Best Rollerblades for Men
|Name||Avg. Star Rating||Key Feature||Price Range|
|Rollerblade Zetrablade Men's Inline Skate||4.5||Supportive cuff for beginners||$$ - $$$|
|Bladerunner by Rollerblade Advantage Pro XT Men's Inline Skates||4.5||Lower center of gravity for more stability||$$|
|Roller Derby AERIO Q-60 Men's Inline Skates||4||Memory foam padding||$$ - $$$|
|Rollerblade MACROBLADE 90 High Performance Fitness Skate||4.5||Built for high speed||$$$|
|Rollerblade Men's Swindler RB Street Skate||4||Extremely durable frames||$$$|
|Rollerblade Men's RBXL Fitness Skate||4.5||Made for larger than average shoe sizes||$$$|
|K2 Skate Men's F.I.T. Pro 84 Inline Skates||4||Extremely lightweight||$$ - $$$|
|K2 Skate Men's Kinetic 80 Inline Skates||4.5||Comfort||$$ - $$$|
|Rollerblade Men's Twister 80 Urban Skate||4.5||Works great on multiple surfaces||$$$|
Zetrabalde inline skates are one of the best choices for beginners, thanks to a supportive cuff, simple mechanics, and mid-range elements that give you some speed without sacrificing stability and smoothness. The hard wheels are perfect for outdoor skating, and they are an affordable option for those just dipping their toes into the world of rollerblading.
Another quality option for beginners, the Bladerunner inline skates impress skaters due to their stability. The boot is designed to give the rider a lower center of gravity, so that it’s much easier to stay upright. Additionally, because these skates are all-purpose skates for many types of recreation, all the parts on Bladerunner inline skates are easy to find and replace.
Roller Derby AERIO Q-60
If you are a recreational skater of intermediate skill level, the AERIO Q-60 is an excellent option for venturing into higher-quality skates. These have better insulation and a memory foam liner for more comfort, as well as a more durable aluminum frame and larger wheels, plus a seven-race rated bearing to give you a faster, smoother ride. Skaters agree that this skate gives you better control so you can meet fitness goals better.
The Macroblade skates are built for speed, speed, and more speed. They have a great liner and supporting foot bed as well, plus a secure aluminum calf buckle to make you feel more stable in the boot. The big draw for skaters is the Casting Aluminum Frame, which transfers energy extremely well to reduce skater fatigue. That means you can take advantage of the extreme speed without wearing out before your skate is up. The wheels are also highly responsive for great maneuverability.
If you are an experienced skater and you want skates that will last, the Swindler RB is a great choice. These are extremely durable skates, with quite a bit of heft to them. Perfect for street hockey and other sports, these skates aren’t meant for casual cruising. Their heft would make them tiring for long periods of getting around, but for the price, you can’t beat the durability.
Built for a good compromise between durability and speed, the RBXL Fitness skate by Rollerblades is the best choice for men with larger feet. These have the largest boot volume of any skate on the market right now, and the heftier components support larger weights as well. An aluminum frame keeps this skate light but durable, while the super-hard wheels let you get quite a lot of speed.
K2 Skate F.I.T. Pro 84
Made for advanced skaters, these are great if you prefer distance riding. They offer a very high amount of ventilation, which keeps your feet comfortable for longer skating periods. However, that does mean that they offer less stability, so they are definitely not for beginners. These skates have a mid-range wheel that falls somewhere between soft and hard, so they aren’t ideal for rough outdoor riding. That being said, the 84mm wheels will allow you to get some serious speed, and the aluminum frames keep things lightweight. If you are an advanced skater and you prefer skating for fitness purposes, these are our top choice.
K2 Skate Kinetic 80
This skate is designed to be extremely comfortable, with shock-absorbing materials to prevent vibrations and eliminate any roughness from the road. They do sacrifice some speed and support in order to offer better comfort, which makes these better for occasional recreational skating rather than focused fitness skating. They are also one of the more affordable skates on our list, and offer enough stability to be decent for novice skaters.
Twister 80 Urban Skate
If you want to buy just one pair of skates to do it all – from indoor rollerblading to trail riding to tricks at the skate park, to more – the Twister 80 is a great pair. With mid-range elements for every feature, you’ll get the most compromise that you can out of a pair of skates. These are also highly durable thanks to aircraft-grade aluminum, and the 85mm wheels will give you plenty of speed.
Best Rollerblades for Women
|Name||Avg. Star Rating||Key Feature||Price Range|
|Rollerblade Zetrablade Women's Inline Skate||4.5||More support for beginners||$$ - $$$|
|Roller Derby Women's V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate||4.5||Adjustable fit||$$|
|Roller Derby AERIO Q-60 Women's Inline Skates||4||Memory foam padding||$$ - $$$|
|Rollerblade Macroblade W 80 ABT Specific Fit SG7 Bearings Inline Skates||5||Built for high speed||$$$|
|5th Element Panther XT Inline Skates||4||Great emphasis on stability||$$|
|Rollerblade Macroblade 90 Women's Fitness Inline Skates||4.5||Designed for advanced performance||$$$|
|5th Element G2-100 Adjustable Girls Inline Skates||4.5||Adjustable fit||$$|
|Rollerblade Women's Twister 80 Urban Skate||4||Works great on multiple surfaces||$$$|
|K2 Skate Women's Kinetic 80 Inline Skates||4.5||Comfort||$$ - $$$|
Just like the men’s version, the Zetrablade is the ideal skate for a beginner. These are affordable but still of very high quality, with tons of support for novice skaters. They offer a tough enough wheel to skate outdoors, but aren’t the most exciting when it comes to speed or smoothness. If you’re just getting started and aren’t sure if skating will be your obsession, these are perfect for getting a good introduction to the sport.
Roller Derby V-Tech 500
If you struggle to find a skate that fits your foot properly due to being between sizes, the Roller Derby V-Tech 500 is a great choice. These are lightweight skates built for smooth, even, fast skating, but they have a soft boot with adjustable buckle system, much like a child’s skate. The aluminum-reinforced nylon frame keeps everything durable, and the multiple straps and buckles keeps every part of the boot snuggly on your foot.
Roller Derby AERIO Q-60
Designed as a great intermediate skate for those wanting to graduate up from their beginner skates, the AERIO Q-60 offers features for more precise performance. Better insulation and a very comfortable memory foam liner makes these skates ideal for longer rides. They have high-quality bearings and larger wheels for more speed, and the aluminum frame is designed to give you more control. These are ideal for skaters who are moving from hobby skating to fitness skating.
If what you want out of a pair of skates is speed, the Macroblade line is ideal. This brand focuses on making lightweight skates that reduce skater fatigue, with calf buckles that keep everything in place while you skate. They are extremely responsive so you have great maneuverability, and the supportive foot bed makes you more comfortable as you skate. These aren’t meant for beginners, but do offer advanced skaters a great athletic skate.
5th Element Panther XT
5th Element skates are primarily known for being much more stylish and sleek than many other inline skates, but they do offer some great performance features as well. The Panther XT is known for great stability for skaters that aren’t as confident yet with their skills. The soft boot is also very comfortable, and the triple secure closures (straps, laces, and buckles) keep everything in place. This is a great skate for the all-around skater of any skill level that is looking for something that can go most places for an affordable price.
Macroblade’s extreme need for speed evolves even more with the 90 inline skate. This skate offers the same comfortable and supportive foot bed, as well as the same aluminum calf buckle for stability, but the larger wheels go even faster than the 80. This skate also features the Casting Aluminum Frame, which transfers energy extremely well to reduce skater fatigue. Maneuverability is slightly less responsive, but these are ideal for downhill cruising and racing.
5th Element G-2 100
Just as stylish and solid as the Panther XT, the 5th Element G-2 100 offers an adjustable fit for those who struggle with in-between sizes. This skate is a great choice for all-around hobby skating, but still offers high-performance elements for those who prefer something a little bit meatier than a beginner skate. The aluminum chassis transfers energy very well to prevent fatigue, and the sleeker look is a favorite among skaters.
Twister 80 Urban Skate
The Twister 80 skates are made for skaters who want to be able to do anything and go anywhere. The wheels are hard enough to tackle outdoor terrain, but offer enough maneuverability to enjoy skating inside as well. They are made with extremely durable aircraft aluminum, and the extra-large 85mm wheels let you cruise with tons of speed. The downside is that in trying to compromise to allow for more options, the Twister skate does lose a bit of quality overall. These are excellent skates for those who want to save money on multiple types of skates by getting an all-in-one.
K2 Skate Kinetic 80
For novice skaters that primarily head outside to learn, the K2 Kinetic 80 is the best inline skate on our list. It is made with a heavy focus on comfort and stability, as well as shock absorption. These eliminate roughness from road riding, and while they aren’t the fastest skate you’ll find, they do offer much better comfort than other beginner skates. These aren’t made for fitness skating, but if you’re learning, or just enjoying a fun hobby, these are an affordable option.
Best Rollerblades for Kids
|Name||Avg. Star Rating||Key Feature||Price Range|
|Roller Derby Girl's Stinger 5.2 Adjustable Inline Skate||4.5||EZ push button system to adjust size||$$ - $$$|
|Roller Derby Boy's Stinger 2-5 Adjustable Inline Skate||4.5||EZ push button system to adjust size||$$ - $$$|
|Roller Derby Tracer Boy's Adjustable Inline||4.5||Smooth, stable ride||$$ - $$$|
|Bladerunner Pheonix Adjustable Girls Junior Skate||5||Designed for beginners||$$|
|Bladerunner Pheonix Adjustable Boy's Junior Skate||4.5||Designed for beginners||$$|
|XinoSports Adjustable Inline Skates for Kids, Featuring Illuminating Front Wheels||4.5||Safety lights on front wheels||$$|
|Rollerblade Girls Spitfire JR XTG Kids Skate||4.5||Highly supportive||$$ - $$$|
Roller Derby Girl’s Stinger 5.2
The Stingers are one of the most popular skates for kids on our list, and overall they are a great option. They are very affordable, they have plenty of protection and stability, and they keep kids safe with smaller, softer wheels. However, they aren’t quite as adjustable as other skates on our list, and they also have surprisingly high-quality bearings – which may seem good at first, but can be challenging for kids just learning how to skate. Additionally, the interior liner is made for the largest size of this adjustable skate, so it can bunch up a bit when the skate is on the smallest setting.
Roller Derby Boy’s Stinger 5.2
Despite not being the fastest skate on our list, and not offering more than two adjustable sizes, the Stinger is still one of the most reliable skates for boys out there. These are very inexpensive skates with high cuffs and durable plastic frames to keep kids safe while they learn. The smaller, softer wheels keep kids from going too fast, but the Stingers do have high-quality bearings to give the skates better construction than many other kids’ options.
Roller Derby Boy’s Tracer
For parents that want something just a little bit higher quality for kids, but still don’t want to invest hundreds into skates that their kids may not love, the Roller Derby Tracer is the perfect compromise. These have certain higher-quality features, like a nylon-reinforced frame for better support, but still come with adjustable buckles and softer wheels just like most kids’ skates. These are a good balance for kids that are a bit more enthusiastic about skating, but may not be beyond intermediate skating skill yet. One great thing about the Tracer skate is that it comes with great bearings that make the ride very smooth for the skater.
Bladerunner Phoenix – Girls
If your kids are just starting out with skating, the Bladerunner Phoenix is one of the best options for a novice skate. These are supportive and stiff, so new skaters feel more steady on their feet, and have features designed to keep the ride smooth and slow. These skates can be adjusted between four sizes, so they’ll also last new skaters a while, while they work on developing their skills. These are also one of the more affordable pairs of inline skates we reviewed, and they don’t sacrifice quality. Triple closures on the boot keeps everything safe so your child doesn’t risk injury while learning.
Bladerunner Phoenix – Boys
Just like the girls’ version, the boys’ Bladerunner Phoenix is designed for new skaters that need a confidence boost to feel comfortable skating. These are designed for outdoor use, with quality wheels and bearings that aren’t made for high speeds. Leisurely riding with very comfortable and stiff support lets your child learn how to skate without the wobbly stance. They have a quick button system that allows you to adjust the size four times, so it doesn’t matter how long it takes a child to gain confidence with their skating. These skates are a great introductory skate, and would work perfectly for a kid who isn’t sure that they’ll stick with skating long-term.
XinoSports Adjustable Inline Skates for Kids
The XinoSports skates are very eye catching thanks to the light-up front wheels. Kids love the fun lights, and adults love that it makes kids easier to see as they skate in the neighborhood. But these skates offer more cool features than just the lights. They come with extremely high-quality bearings that rival adult inline skates, and they are also very lightweight, which means kids won’t face muscle fatigue after skating all day. The lightweight construction and great bearings does mean that these skates can get some serious speed, which parents may not want unless their kids are experienced skaters.
Girls Spitfire JR XTG
Spitfires are probably the number one recommended skate for children in the country, and for very good reason. These are not made for beginners, but if your child loves to skate and has a good handle on basics, they are worth the splurge. They are designed to give the skater a lower center of gravity for better stability, and they have plenty of support to keep kids’ ankles and feet protected. They are also adjustable up to four sizes, so the investment is worth it for kids that love to skate. These are also made with higher-quality materials than many kids’ skates, so they won’t wear out if your kid is a frequent skater.
How to Choose the Best Inline Skates
As we rated the skates in each category above, we watched for skates that offered great quality and function in a few key areas.
There are six main elements that make up a pair of inline skates: the wheels, the bearings, the brakes, the frames, the cuffs, and the liners. When choosing your skates, you’ll want to consider what you need in each of these areas. Each element can change how the skate performs in different environments.
For the wheels, consider the size, shape, and the hardness. Large wheels will be faster, harder wheels will be better for rough surfaces, and the shape of the wheel will change based on what kind of skating you do. For example, wheels made for hockey are more elongated than wheels made for cruising. Keep in mind that wheels can be changed on inline skates.
Bearings will be part of what makes your skates faster. The ABEC rating on a bearing tells you the speed of rotation that it will provide. A higher bearing ABEC rating means that your skate will go faster, and provide a smoother ride. However, you may lose some maneuverability with a higher-rated bearing.
You can get traditional and advanced brakes on inline skates. Advanced brakes are more suited for beginners. Traditional brakes, the small rubber stoppers on the heels, are the most commonly seen brakes on inline skates.
The frame of the inline skate is primarily what will determine how durable your skates are. They come in plastic, aluminum, and carbon, as well as hybrid materials like aluminum and nylon. Choose the best quality you can afford to make your skates last.
Finally, the cuff and lining of your skates will be a personal decision based on your own comfort and stability needs. Choose a higher cuff for more ankle support, and memory foam lining for more comfort. Be sure to watch for ventilation in the boot if you like to skate for long periods of time or very fast. However, keep in mind that ventilation makes the boot less supportive, which can make you feel like you have less control as you skate.