There was once a time when roller skating was the height of fashion. Couples headed to the roller rink on a Friday night to get their groove on. You might have even had a pair of skates as a child, but when was the last time you actually strapped wheels to your feet?
If you were a lover of skating back in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s, the good news is that roller skates and rollerblades are making a comeback, partly due to COVID-19 restrictions. As people turn away from gyms, they need a new way to workout. Thanks to the beautiful spring weather, many are turning to skating as their new exercise. In fact, sales of roller skates and rollerblades are up around 728% year over year.
Roller skating boasts numerous health benefits. According to the Roller Skating Association International, one hour of skating can result in a burn of 600 calories, and 30 minutes of rigorous skating can increase the average heart rate to around 148 beats per minute.
However, because of the sudden popularity of roller skating, finding a good pair of skates can be a challenge as stock levels dwindle. We’ve collected the best pairs that are still in stock, but you’ll need to make a few decisions before you pick the best roller skates for you.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Roller Skates
Many roller skates are designed for specific purposes (as evidenced in the section below), but the two main categories of skates are indoor skates and outdoor skates. The former give a smooth ride around a rink and allow you to do all sorts of tricks and dances.
Outdoor skates, on the other hand, have wheels that can take on rough terrain. These skates are designed to get you from point A to point B or to help you exercise.
Types of Roller Skates
Once you’ve established if you need indoor or outdoor roller skates, you’ll need to decide which type of skating you want to do. The three types of roller skates listed below are the most popular, but some skates are really a hybrid of more than two styles.
- Rink Skates: These skates are designed for indoor use on a smooth surface. They permit all kinds of movement on the rink, from gymnastics to pirouettes, and they protect your ankles during said movement with their high ankle supports. Some of these skates will have a toe brake while others have a jam plug.
- Roller Derby Skates: These roller skates are extremely durable to withstand the rigors of roller derby. They also have quick and stable wheels to get you out of a tight spot fast.
- Speed Skates: Speed skates are, you guessed it, designed for speed. These skates have low-cut boots, speed wheels and high-performance bearings.
Ready to get your skate on? Keep reading to learn more about the eight best pairs of roller skates that you can order today.
1. Roller Derby Cruze XR Hightop Men’s Roller Skate
No matter whether it’s your first or your hundredth roller derby, these Roller Derby Cruze XR Hightop Men’s Roller Skates deliver everything you need to have a great time. The classic style features comfort padding, support in the ankle and silver, five-speed rated bearings which let you race round in comfort. For durability and added stability, the skates include a lightweight yet strong aluminum chassis along with a toe stop which can be adjusted to match your comfort level on wheels. Additionally, the plain black color gives these skates style versatility. They’ll match any kind of outfit and look stylish.
2. Circle Society Children’s Roller Skates
BEST FOR KIDS
There aren’t many better or more fun activities to do with your kids than roller skating. Grab a pair of these Circle Society Children’s Roller Skates for kids between the ages of five and 14 (ish) and get skating indoors or outdoors. These skates come in two different designs created by the YouTube personality, JoJo Siwa, and they also feature an easy-push button that allows them to accommodate feet as they grow. The patent leather construction boosts the skates’ durability, and the large front brake helps prevent any runaway occurrences.
3. Chicago Bullet Men’s Speed Roller Skates
BEST SPEED SKATE
If you’re looking for that wind in your hair feeling and want a pair of roller skates to achieve it, these Chicago Bullet Men’s Speed Roller Skates fit the bill. These skates feature a strategic design which is great for racing on rinks and social skating, too. You’ll also find a durable chassis, precision bearings and adjustable trucks that add to the quality and comfortable feel of the skates. In addition, the velcro and lace closure and large front brake deliver a secure and easy way to slow down when things get too quick for you.
4. Lenexa Sonic Cruiser Roller Speed Skates
BEST SNEAKER STYLE
The Lenexa Sonic Cruiser Roller Speed Skates sport a sneaker-on-wheels style that delivers all the style and comfort you’d expect, plus the added benefits of having wheels attached to your feet. The sneakers include a handy loop in the heel for easier fitting along with a lace-up front to provide a secure fit around your feet. The skates sport a large brake on the front, meaning these are a great choice for beginners and intermediate skaters. They are also best suited to outdoor skating. Additionally, the skates come in either pink and purple or blue and black color combinations.
5. Classic Quad Artistic Roller Skates
BEST RINK SKATES
These Classic Quad Artistic Roller Skates offer a combination of skating function and style. The high-cut style and classy suede material ensure you’ll look great whether you’re rolling around an indoor rink or flying down the beach boardwalk in the summer sun. The skates include alloy plates, alloy trucks along with premium Abec 7 bearings for a comfortable and smooth ride throughout. Furthermore, they are a great option for beginners and intermediate skaters alike.
6. Rollerblade Zetrablade Men’s Inline Skates
If skates aren’t really your thing yet you still want wheels on your feet, inline skates may be the answer you’re looking for. These Rollerblade Zetrablade Men’s Adult Fitness Inline Skates are a solid choice for anyone looking to delve into the world of inline skating. They are well balanced and deliver a secure hold around your feet and ankles with added cushioning to ensure a comfortable skating experience. The monocoque, low-sitting frame further adds to the stability of the wearer, and the jet black color scheme ensures you look stylish as you go.
7. VNLA Tuxedo Jam Skate Men’s & Women’s Skates
BEST FOR TRICKS
If you’re really looking to impress, whether out on the street or in the rink, opt for these Tuxedo skates by VNLA. Available for both men and women, the high-quality leather construction of these skates, as well as their minimal front brake, allow for more tricks and skating ingenuity. Likewise, the skates are low tops, so you have more flexibility in the foot region as you try to pull off tricks. The VNLA’s come stock with Abec 9 bearings so if you want to go fast, you’ll have the option to fly.