You’ve likely watched those amazing roller skate dancers jamming to Pardison Fontaine’s Backin’ It Up. And you’ve always wondered if you, too, can groove like one of those guys and gals. Maybe you’ve been meaning to take your rhythm and blues skating to a whole new level. Probably even join a roller dance competition? With the best roller skates for dancing, nearly everyone who practices hard wins.
You need a pair of good, strong, stable, and elegant roller skates. For most people especially beginners, I recommend you go for quad skates instead of inline skates due to the stability of the former. Quad skates have 4 wheels configured in a two-by-two style instead of a straight line like inline skates.
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Best Dance Skates Comparison Table:
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Best Dance Skates: My Top Picks
If you are looking for the best bet for your dancing sessions, I recommend the Riedell R3 Quad Roller Skates for dancing. These dance skates have a sturdy build constructed using a unique vinyl material that’s more durable than many other skate materials I’ve seen.
Its reinforced PowerDyne Thrust nylon plates make for supportive frames that also dampen shocks well. The Sonar Striker wheels are soft enough and offer good grip on various types of surfaces.
If you have more cash to spar e and want a second pair of good rollers, my second choice is the VNLA Tuxedo Jam Skates. These dance skates are designed with some good cushioning for comfort so you can show off all your jam skills while staying safe and secure the whole time.
The trucks are made from lightweight aluminum that lasts a long time. The best thing is it has low-profile toe stops that won’t stop you from performing your tricks. It’s made of leather which is why it’s long-lasting. Check its current price at AMAZON below.
Best Roller Skates for Dancing
1. Riedell R3 Quad Roller Skates for Dancing Review (With Small Wheels for Acceleration)
The low-profile Riedel R3 Skates are made from a durable but comfortable vinyl material. The straps are sturdy, and they hold the roller dancer’s feet securely in place. Traditional lacing also comes in, further improving fit. With these ones, it seems like you’re waltzing around in normal shoes on wheels. And that’s cool.
As for the plates, they’re made from a lightweight material, the kind that makes dancing a noticeably easier. If you use these skates for jamming rather than Roller Derby, they’ll likely last years.
- Wheels: 4 x 59mm, width 38mm, 93A polyurethane
- Boot: vinyl upper, Low profile, padded and comfortable
- Closure: Normal laces with cinch straps
- Bearings: ABEC-5 608 Kwik
- Plates and trucks: plastic and metal respectively
- Toe-stop: PowerDyne modifiable toe stop
- Good For: Jam, Speed, Rhythm, Roller Derby
- For Who: Men and Women
Riedell R3 (A Unisex Option)
The Riedell R3 is a superb unisex vinyl roller dancing boot. Its being not made from leather doesn’t make it a lesser dance skate. It preforms pretty well, and it’ll keep you super comfortable when jam skating. Vinyl is cheaper than leather, and that makes the boot more affordable. What’s more, the material is also animal free, hey vegans!
The plates are the 10-degree nylon double action type with metal trucks. Double action means the kingpin has 2 cushions instead of one. Being lower degree translates into more stability, and a higher degree means more turn-ability. But it doesn’t mean you won’t turn well with these ones. Actually, quite the contrary.
Please Note that nylon plates typically aren’t as strong as metal. If you’re a rather large and heavy skater, choose something else as these ones can bend with time.
Admittedly, the plates are slightly hard. So if you’re someone that needs a little more comfort, you can always upgrade to better quality cushions. And Super Grip Super cushions fit quite well.
Their polyurethane Sonar Cayman wheels with ABEC-5 bearings are moderately small (59 mm) and remarkably hard at 93A. These wheels aren’t the best set for slippery floors, though. Use these boots for dancing on hard-packed, sticky surfaces.
Fit? They fit true to size, but they come in narrow. But I found the Riedell sizing chart (below) pretty accurate.
- Fast and maneuverable
- Sleek and comfortable
- Durable and affordable
- Hard wheels for sticky floors
- 93A wheels for skating sticky floors
- The Riedell R3 has a narrow fit
- Vinly not as long-lasting as leather
- Not heat-moldable, so be keen on sizing
This dancing boot isn’t ideal for people with wide feet as it could hurt. Remember that before whipping out that credit card. Overall, these are decent boots, a great value for money for performance-focused dancers.
2. VNLA Tuxedo Jam Skate for Dancing Review
The VNLA Tuxedo skates are designed to last, and ‘Team Vanilla’ have tested them again and again, and they’ve endured all the abuse. This soft boot is made from high-quality, long-lasting leather that resists scuffing. It’s a jam-style quad skates. But they should also hold up to rhythm roller skating.
- Wheels: Genuine Vanilla Tuxedo wheels (62mm, 95A)
- Boot: Leather and comfortable
- Closure: Velcro wraps
- Plates and Trucks: plastic
- Bearings: ABEC-9
- Toe-stop: Low profile
- Good For: Jam, Rhythm, and Blues Skating
- For Who: Men and Women
VNLA Tuxedo Skates
These skates are made from a rubber outsole that’s fully stitched and strong skate shoe lining. The frame is made from Vanilla’s nylon and plastic trucks. Well, the Amazon description the trucks are aluminium, but they’re actually plastic and not as great as metal ones. Their 5-degree action means more stability while their cone-shaped cushions enhance their overall response. These are great entry-level dance boots that look really wicked and last a long time. But the leather isn’t as scuff-resistant as advertised.
The 62mm 95A Vanilla Genuine Backspin Tuxedo wheels with ABEC-9 bearings roll much better than most. With a hardness of 95A, their duro is slightly higher than R3’s 93A. But while they’re that hard, they’re surprisingly grippy.
These VNLA Tuxedo skates also come with Vanilla’s low-profile jam plugs. I tested these plugs, and they performed reasonably well. I thought stopping would be harder somewhat, but it was, nor did they get in the way while doing tricks. But plugs instead of stoppers takes some getting used to.
- Durable soft leather boots
- Hard but grippy wheels
- ABEC-9 bearings for speed
- Low-profile boots and plugs for unlimited agility
- Plastic and trucks plastic
- Many cheaper jam skates available
- Leather premium but may still scuff
Overall, these are decent entry-level jam-type roller skates that last forever. They look really wicked, and they’re comfortable, too. And, they fit true to size. But you’ll likely want to upgrade to something better down the road.
3. Moxi Beach Bunny Skates Review (Elegant Dance Skates For Women)
These are drum-dyed, fade-resistant, high-top soft boots that sit atop relatively small, soft wheels (58mm). They’re not only good for rhythm skating but also for fashionably bouncing on the streets. They come in sizes 1 to 10 with an easy to use and accurate Moxi sizing chart. These are size 2 by the way.
- Wheels: 58mm, 78A
- Boot: Vinyl and Soft
- Closure: Shoe Laces
- Plates: metal(aluminium)
- Bearings: ABEC-5
- Boot design: High-top style
- Good For: Jam, Rhythm, and Blues Skating
- For Who: Women
These are beautiful vegan/animal-friendly dance skates that come in at a great price. They’re designed for women of all ages and come in 3 different colors including blue sky, peach blanket, and periwinkle Sunset.
The Moxi Beach Bunny skates come with toe guards and an extra pair to protect the skater from abrasions especially when skating in the park. Also, these dancing boots are built on a strong aluminum plate with metal trucks for good support.
These high-top women’s skates roll around on relatively soft wheels rated at 78A. That means the wheels are super grippy, and you won’t spill while doing your circles on indoor slippery surfaces.
The wheels are 58mm in diameter, which means they’re pretty small for maximum maneuverability and stability. They offer some ok-ish cushioning, and some jammers have ended up with nasty blisters. Another thing: these boots are a little stiff and you’ll have to break them in. But there’s enough padding around the ankle that boosts ankle support.
As for sizing, the boots run true to size. Also, an adjustable toe stopper makes speed control easy.
- Elegant design+animal-friendly
- Small wheels for acceleration and maneuverability
- Strong aluminum plate and metal trucks
- Soft wheels for max grip
- Traditional lacing for a snug fit
- The boots are slightly stiff
- Some users have experienced blisters
Overall, these are affordable roller dancing skates that do the job, a value option. But they may not be the most comfortable offer.
4. VNLA Royalty Jam Skate Review (Ideal For Kids)
Vanilla (VNLA) Royalty Jam Skates are constructed from suede, so they’re not as durable as regular leather. They feature aluminum trucks that last, but the plates are nylon, not as good as strong as I’d like. By the way, these are junior jam skates, and if you’re the heaviest jammer around, buy something else.
These rollers come with moderately small indoor wheels that measure 62mm with a hardness of 95A. If you need to jam outdoor, consider buying a second set of wheels, larger wheels.
- Wheels: 62mm 95A
- Boot: Suede exterior
- Closure: Velcro flap
- Trucks: Aluminium
- Plates: Plastic
- Bearings: ABEC-9
- Toe-stop: Low profile
- Good For: Jam, Rhythm and Blues Skating
- For Who: Kids, Women, Men
The Vanilla Royalty skates have you jamming like a pro because they comes with a low-profile jam plug that doesn’t interfere with any tricks and moves you may desire to execute. They’re a low cut skate with an elegant and long-lasting suede exterior.
The material used does not require a long break-in time since its soft and comfortable as long as you choose the right size based on the sizing chart below, which by the way is pretty reliable.
But there’s more. These boots offer micro-adjustability, some hidden mechanism that lets you fit the shoes to the wearer’s feet. You end up with a customized fit, and your child will want to jam skate or roller dance pretty much all the time.
My nephew tested these guys, and they move fast with an astonishing acceleration thanks to the small hard wheels (62mm, 95A) rotated by ABEC-9 bearings. The aluminum trucks are light, too, and that supercharges the shoes’ speed and maneuverability.
However, these rollers might be too hard for slippery floors. They’re best suited for sticky surfaces.
- Great for indoor jamming
- Good and fast bearings
- Comfortable boot with a suede exterior
- Jam plugs instead of stoppers
- Almost no break-in period
- May feel roomy for narrow feet
- Harder wheels not ideal for slippery surfaces
Overall, these are decent jam skates that fit well. But jam skaters with narrow feet may find them a little too roomy.
Factors to Consider While Selecting Dancing Roller Skates
You’ve just completed a roller dance class. Or you’ve been waltzing all along and now need to replace your roller dancing boots. But how do you choose the best product your budget can accommodate? How do you choose the right roller skates for grooving when there’s way too much choice out there? It turns out there’s a few factors to keep in mind:
1.Wheel Hardness Or Durometer
Durometer (skaters call it just duro) is a standard way of measuring the hardness or softness of materials such as elastomers and plastics. Elastomers include materials such as natural rubber, thermoplastics, neoprene rubber, buna-n, and buna-s.
I’ve seen supposedly authoritative sources stating that the durometer scale ranges from 0-100. But anyone who’s skated for any length of time has seen roller skate wheels with a greater duro than that, as high as 104 (A).
And is duro zero even possible? I’m not sure duro 0 materials exist, do you? But I’m not an engineer or material scientist. I’m just a skater with a functioning brain that’s always questioning things.
Skate dancing is usually performed indoors mostly on slippery floors. The best skates for roller dancing depends on what type of floor you have. typically have softer wheels. You should be comfortable enough with duro 70A to duro 86A. Wheels in that duro range are soft and grippy enough and should keep you up the entire dancing session.
In the end, though, the best duro for rink dancing is purely a matter of personal preference. So try out a few sets of wheels until you discover what duro works best for your dancing style.
For roller dancing and skating rinks in general, smaller diameter wheels are ideal for fast acceleration, stability, and maneuverability.
Larger wheels, on the other hand, are best suited to skating outdoors as they roll over obstacles better than smaller wheels. Ideal wheel diameter ranges for jamming ranges from 58mm to 62mm, and for outdoor jamming, go for larger wheels.
3. Roller Skate Boot Style
There are low-cut boots, mid-cut ones, and high-top jam skates. In my experience, low-cut skates are the best option for jammers. Low-cut styled boots are easier to get on and off besides being the best option for doing tricks. You’ll want to try out different styles until you find out what works best for your dance style.
4. Boot Texture
Overall boot texture is another factor to not ignore. For disco, it’s best to choose soft boots as they typically are more maneuverable, weigh less, and tend to be better ventilated/more breathable. Soft boots are usually more comfortable and don’t require much breaking in, but they offer a little less support.
Stiffer boots generally offer more support and stability, but they’re not as easy to break in. Also, stiffer skates aren’t the most comfortable and may in some cases cause blisters.
5. Sizing Jam Skates
So, how do you size jam skates? Jam skates typically fit like regular shoes. With most brands, you should be fine if you just order your actual size. It’s a good idea to measure your feet’s length and width and then compare the reading with the model’s size chart. Please note that what fits you in one brand may turn out to be too large or small for your feet. And if your mom and pop gave you large, wide feet, be sure to choose a brand that offers wide-running jam skates.
Roller Dance Video
What’s the Best Roller Skate for Dancing?
After hours of physically testing the 4 options described above and based on the selection factors I’ve discussed, I found the best roller skates for dancing to be the Riedell R3.
The Riedell R3 Quad dancing skate won the race because they’re low-profile and look great, fit well, are made of animal-friendly vinyl, and have soft grippy indoor wheels that allow for great maneuverability. Plus they offer both traditional laces and velcro straps for the snuggest fit. Finally, the parts look like good quality, and they’re not sinfully expensive.
With these dance roller skates, only you can stop you from enjoying jamming to the max. Don’t forget to grab some safety gear such as a CPSC-certified helmet and protective pads before hitting the roller rink. Enjoy your skate dance. But all the other 3 are good options that deserve a glance or two.