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Published Oct. 26, 2021

It’s no secret that vintage is cool. With fashion trends taking an average of 20 to 30 years to come back in style, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with what’s back in style. One of the most surprising—yet totally rad—resurgences of this year is the quintessential 80s fitness  and entertainment craze: roller skates. Thanks to the likes of viral TikTok derby dancers and a pandemic that pushed people to exercise outdoors, roller-skating is hot right now. Now’s the time to gear up with some of the best roller skates for the whole family.

How We Selected the Products

Methodology

We compared over 50 styles of skates to find the best for a range of needs, from kids trying out wheels for their first time to outdoor skates that can keep up with rougher terrain. To make our selection, we kept a number of factors in mind to narrow down this final list to only the best roller skates.

  • Safety: We kept an eye out for products that have a high-ankle design that can help keep you stable and comfortable as you skate. We also looked for strong brakes that will be easy to operate for any skater.
  • Value: We selected a range of prices, for those who are just starting out and want a budget-friendly beginners pair to skaters that want to spin outside in style. Whatever your needs, we’ve selected a pick suited to you.
  • Materials: We looked for durable materials like polyurethane wheels, steel bearings, and additional padding to determine that your skates will be both comfortable and durable.

Best overall: Chicago Skates Men’s Premium Leather Lined Rink Roller Skate

Proven Premium Performance

Sleek style meets comfortable design. CHICAGO

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Why It Made The Cut: Chicago is a reputable brand known for providing some of the best quality classic roller skates, and the Rink Roller Skate is no exception. 

Specs:

  • Closure Type: Lace-up
  • Wheel Size: 60 mm
  • Materials: Leather, polyurethane

Pros

  • High top supports ankles
  • Durable wheels 
  • Sleek design

Cons 

  • Skates run big 

This men’s roller skate has been designed for easy indoor and outdoor gliding and features 58mm urethane wheels which hold up against wear and tear, absorb shock, and provide stability and control for the rider. Semi-precision bearings allow for smooth and speedy moving, and the aluminum base plate with jump bar and adjustable truck helps with turning. The Chicago Skates come in a sleek and timeless black and have been designed in a traditional high top design with a leather lined boot for ultimate comfort. 

Best value roller skates: Chicago Women’s Classic Roller Skates

Classic No-Frills

Safety and security perfect for gliding. CHICAGO

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Why It Made The Cut: This is an absolute classic white with pink wheels quad roller skate that is a perfect way to get started without breaking the bank. 

Specs:

  • Closure Type: Lace-up
  • Wheel Size: 60 mm
  • Materials: Polyurethane

Pros

  • Adjustable truck
  • High top for safety
  • Wheels for traction

Cons 

  • Some issues with bearings, may need adjustments

Roller skating is a sport, a hobby, a mode of transportation. It should be accessible to anyone interested. That’s why there are plenty of solid roller skates that provide the safety and quality you need while staying in a lower price bracket. Chicago is one of the most well-known roller brands that fits this bill. 

The Chicago Women’s Classic Roller Skates are designed with a traditional high top vinyl boot with speed laces, eyelets, and lace hooks. They feature 608Z semi precision speed bearings that provide solid traction and control against wear and tear, as well as ⅝’’ adjustable toe stop for easy stopping and turning. The 60mm urethane oversized spoke core wheels function well both indoors and outdoors. These skates also come in youth sizes! 

Best women’s roller skates: Moxi Skates – Beach Bunny – Womens Roller Skates

Supportive and Stylish

These extra-supportive blades come in a range of cute colors. Moxi

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Why It Made The Cut: Created by the Moxi Skate Team, an original girl gang of roller skaters out of Long Beach, California, these skates are not only quirky and fashionable, but are designed with safety and comfort in mind. 

Specs:

  • Closure Type: Lace-up
  • Wheel Size: 58 mm
  • Materials: Aluminum, vinyl

Pros

  • Padded tongue
  • Steel ball bearings
  • Extra ankle padding

Cons 

  • Runs one size big

Available in color combos including Periwinkle Sunset and Strawberry Lemonade, Moxi’s Beach Bunny Roller Skates feature an easy lace system with a padded tongue for a snug fit and extra ankle padding for the right support. They are built with ABEC-5 steel ball bearings for a friction-free ride and 58mm 78A *glittery* hardness wheels for cushion between you and the ground. The black toe stopper is adjustable for easy braking. And last but not least, these skates are 100% animal friendly with the Moxi team using dyed vinyl and custom Moxi Dri-Lex lining material. 

Best roller skates for kids: Crazy Skates Rolla Roller Skates for Boys and Girls

Perfect for Beginners

Skating can be an activity for any age with these comfortable rollers.
Crazy Skates

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Why It Made The Cut: Trust that children will enjoy themselves in the Crazy Skates Rollas, as they are made with high quality parts like ABEC-5 chrome speed bearings and a high-impact chassis that ensure a strong and stable platform for safe roller skate learning. 

Specs:

  • Closure Type: Lace-up
  • Wheel Size: 58mm
  • Materials: Plastic, polyurethane

Pros

  • Stylish sneaker-style
  • Chrome speed bearings
  • Suitable for indoors or outdoors
  • Sturdy

Cons 

  • On the heavier side

Available in black, camo, rainbow, purple, and teal with color coordinating wheels and laces, these roller skates are stylish yet comfortable. The sneaker-style boots come padded with support and allow for greater control. Polyurethane toe stops offer enhanced braking capabilities and the wheels have been designed to perform well both indoors at the rink or in the great outdoors. Plus, at less than $40 dollars, these roller skates are quite reasonably priced. 

Best outdoor roller skates: Sure-Grip Boardwalk Outdoor Skates

All-Terrain

Take your blades anywhere with this durable and high-quality design. Sure-Grip

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Specs:

  • Closure Type: Lace-up
  • Wheel Size: 57 mm
  • Materials: Nylon, Aluminum, Leather, Suede, Rubber

Why It Made The Cut

The Sure-Grip Boardwalk Outdoor Skates are durable and quality enough to take you from Point A to Point B with all your desired stops in between. 

Pros

  • Durable rock plate
  • Range of colors 
  • Smooth riding on rougher terrain

Cons 

  • More expensive

If you’re trying to get into roller skating but not the derby type, try taking a pair for a roll outside. Roller skating is a great form of exercise – and transportation – so a reliable pair can get you from point A to point B. These roller skates utilize super soft outdoor 57mm wheels, ABEC-3 bearings, and a ROCK plate. Aluminium trucks and ⅝’’ adjustable rubber stoppers allow for safety in both rolling and braking. Made in the USA from traditional retro suede and an embroidered leather tongue, they come available in key lime, lavender, sea breeze, tan, and teaberry color schemes.  

Things to Consider Before Buying Roller Skates

Whether you’re a derby devotee  or have never donned roller skates in your life, there are some important things to keep in mind before you get yourself a new set of wheels.. While roller-skating is a fun hobby to start or sustain, it’s also a potentially dangerous sport. Certain precautions should be taken to ensure you and  other skaters and pedestrians in the vicinity are safe. 

Safety starts with the roller skates themselves:

  • Wheels can impact how you skate and where you skate. If you want to impress your friends with tricks and agility, you’ll want smaller wheels. Larger wheels will help if you hope to skate for a long time, over a far stretch of land. Similarly, soft wheels will set you up for success outdoors, while harder wheels are ideal in a rink or indoor environment.  
  • Boot Material will make or break you. Only you can decide which material feels best, but keep in mind that leather is durable and quite comfortable.  
  • Size should be aligned with your normal shoe size. There’s no need to go up or down a size just because they roll; if you wear a sneaker size 7 you’ll want a roller skate size 7.

FAQs

Which type of roller skates are best for beginners?

Roller skates are quad skates, meaning they have a two-by-two wheel configuration. This set-up allows for greater stability, perfect for beginners. Beginners will also benefit from a high-top design which allows for more security and safety around the ankle. Chicago and Moxi are two great brands to help you get started.

How long does it take to break in roller skates?

Roller skates typically take around 12 to 24 hours of use to feel properly broken in. This means you may have to skate, for example, 4 hours a week for 3 to 6 weeks. There are a few tricks to help you break in your new roller skates that you may want to consider doing, like applying some heat, using leather conditioner at times, and correctly lacing up.

Should I buy roller skates a size bigger?

No. Roller skates should fit as a normal shoe fits. If you wear a size 7 sneaker or boot size, wear a size 7 roller skate. Nowadays most roller skate brands match popular shoe brands so you won’t have much trouble figuring out the right size for you.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to take up roller skating as a new hobby or sport, congratulations! There are so many incredible health and wellbeing benefits to roller skating, and it’s a great way to socialize with friends or even meet others through clubs or organized derby teams. Choosing a pair of roller skates should be fun and unique to your needs and wants, so use these tips and roller skate recommendations to find the perfect pair for you.

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