Inline Skates Buying Guide

What is Inline Skating?

Inline skating is a great way to get around on wheels, whether for fitness, socialising or just plain fun.ᅠInline Skates are usually used for travelling at speed on smooth ground. They are designed with 4 wheels located directly behind each other in 1 line, hence the name "inline skates". This allows for a faster, smoother ride requiring less effort.ᅠFitness/Speed Inline Skates come with larger wheels and higher quality bearings for increased speed. These are designed with the more serious skater in mind who want the very best performance out of their inline skates.

How Do I Know What Inline Skate To Buy?

There are different factors to take into consideration when choosing which skate is the right one for you.

  • Money - There's little point spending more money than is necessary. However, you'll find that the quality of many skates is reflected by the price. Generally, the higher the cost, the better quality skate you are likely to get.
  • Age - If the skates are for a child it may be worth taking a look at the adjustable skates that we have to offer. Adjustable skates can allow for a few years growth which in the long run will could save you money. As a child's foot grows the skates size can be adjusted to fit.
  • Skill Level - On individual skates product pages we state what level of skater they are most suitable for. It is important to pick the skate which is at the right level for you to ride comfortably, especially if you are a beginner.
  • With or Without a Stopper/Brake - Most inline skates come with a brake at the heel. Some skates however don't and it's worth taking into consideration, especially if you are new to the sport. The brake makes slowing down and stopping easier. However without one when it comes to stopping you will need to do a T-Stop which involves dragging your back foot at a 90 degree angle to your front foot. This takes more effort and control. Repeated T-Stopping will eventually wear the wheels down on the back foot.

NOTE: A number of inline skates manufacturers provide skates with only 1 stopper on them. This is an intentional safety feature from the manufacturer to stop kids stopping incorrectly and enabling them to avoid falls.

Fitting and Sizing

Inline Skates sizing varies slightly from brand to brand. Unless specifically mentioned on the product description, we'd generally recommend getting a size above your usual shoe size. We'd also strongly recommend purchasing a pair of insoles.

Inline Skate Parts

When purchasing a pair of inline skates or some accessories for your existing skates, it's worth making sure you purchase the correct parts for your skates.

  • Wheels Sizing)ᅠ-ᅠInline skates usually come with 70-76 mm wheels providing a low, stable centre of gravity.ᅠFitness Inline skates come with larger diameter wheels (up to 80 mm) to allow for faster skating.ᅠInline skating wheels are usually made of polyurethane, a molded compound that allows for different levels of durability and grip.
  • Wheels (Hardness) -ᅠWheel hardness is measured in durometers. Lower numbers indicate a softer wheel and higher numbers indicate a harder wheel.ᅠDurometer is denoted by the suffix "A" (example - 80A).ᅠThe typical recreational in-line skate wheel is 78A or 82A.ᅠSofter wheels are good for winter and provide a softer ride whilst harder wheels are better in the summer when the pavement is hot and the wheels tend to soften.
  • Frames -ᅠFrames hold skate components in place.ᅠMost recreational frames are made of aluminum alloy or nylon and fiberglass composites.ᅠMake sure the frames you select are designed for the type of skating you plan to do.ᅠMetal frames are stiffer, faster, and lighter, but typically cost more.
  • Materials -ᅠRecreational skate uppers are usually made from synthetic materials that offer durability, comfort and breathability.ᅠHockey skates are usually made of leather composites
  • Liners -ᅠMany boots contain a cushioning liner usually made of a foam material.ᅠSometimes reinforced along the toe and sides for protection (in hockey skates) for increased stability.
  • Hard Shell -ᅠConstructed of molded plastic and similar to a ski boot.ᅠThe lower half covers and protects the foot whilst the upper half wraps around and supports the ankle.The two halves are connected with a hinge system that allows the ankle and boot to flex forward naturally.
  • Soft Boot -ᅠMade with an external (and sometimes internal) plastic cuff to provide support, like a hiking boot. They provide a good fit and performance whilst still being very breathable and lightweight.
  • Bearings - In the centre of each wheel are two bearings.Each bearing has an ABEC rating that indicates the precision of their manufacturing.ᅠThe higher the rating, the more precise the manufacture and the better the performance and speed.ᅠBearings don't need to be cleaned after every use, but if they become wet, they should be cleaned and dried
  • Brakes -ᅠMost manufacturers offer different braking systems.ᅠThe most common form of braking system is a pad or cylinder on the rear wheel that stops movement by applying pressure on the heel.ᅠHockey skates and speed skates normally do not include braking systems.ᅠMost brake pads have a "wear line" that indicates how much performance is left in the brake. The brake pad should be replaced before this wear line is reached.ᅠSome manufacturers do offer mechanical braking systems that make stopping easier to learn.ᅠ