Quick intro to roller skates

Black Roller SkatesRiding roller skates is great fun for young and old alike. At least if you have the right skates. It keeps you fit and develops balance and coordination, and if you want to take it to the next level, there are all kinds of specialized roller skates. However when you get started or return to skating after a long pause, the following tips should help you get started.

Kinds of skates

There’s many kinds of skates out there. The classic roller skates have 4 wheels like a car. The solid platform provided by the wheels makes them a bit easier to learn than inline skates – especially for kids. The different types of adjustable roller skates are also great for kids.
The most popular kind of skates today are inline skates. Their wheels are in one line behind each other. This allows for more powerful pushing and faster speeds, but comes at the cost of stability and mobility when compared to classic roller skates. They ride feeling is best compared to ice skates.
There are a also several kinds of niche skates. For example, there are Skikes, which use large air filled wheels that work even on uneven ground and trails. Another interesting kind of skates are electric roller skates – we looked at them in a specialized article.

What to watch out for when buying roller skates

The easiest way to get roller skates is to buy them in a specialized shop where you can get some advice from the sales personal. If you want to do something for your fitness, normal inline or roller skates should suffice. If you’re more advanced and feel ready for longer tours, you might have a look at speed skates. They have bigger wheels and a longer rail, which allows for higher speeds and more stable skating.

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No matter which model you’re looking at, always make certain that it has a good stopper. It’s much more problematic to be going too fast than too slow.
Quick tip: Go shopping for the skates in the evening. Your feet expand throughout the day. When you try them on in the evening you won’t have a problem with pressure point later on.

Skates for beginners and pros

If you’re a beginner you might want to look at hard plastic to start with. They offer a maximum of support for your feet – kind of like ski boots. The plastic buckles should have many sizes and be easy to open or close.
If you’re a bit more advanced, you should invest in a pair of soft or semi-soft boot roller skates. They are a lot more flexible, but require a bit more strength in the ankles.

What else to look for

Always wear the appropriate safety gear when riding. A helmet as well as elbow and knee protectors are a necessity. If you’re planning to go very fast or on rougher roads, back and wrist protectors might be useful as well. You can learn more about safty equipment in our article about this topic.

Where to get roller skates

The optimal place to get roller skates would be a dedicated sports shop. However very few of them are still around, and even fewer carry a sufficient variety of roller skates to choose from. That means the easiest way to get roller skates is through online shops.

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