Buying the best rollerblades for beginners is as challenging as shopping for anything else that costs more than cents. That’s mostly because the inline skates market inundates shoppers with endless options. And all the noise from sometimes-not-so-honest marketers adds to the confusion.
Here, I reveal everything a beginner skater should know before shelling out for anything they think is the best inline skates for beginners. My goal is to provide you with honest and accurate information so you can confidently pick an option you’ll love.
*Affiliate Links Disclosure: And as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Also read: How to rollerblade
A list of the Best Beginner Rollerblades
Also read: Fitness vs recreational inline skates
1. Rollerblade RB Cruiser Urban Performance Skates: Best Wide-fitting Beginner Skates
2. Flying Eagle F5S Eclipse Pro: Best Narrow-width Beginner Skates for Slalom
3. Rollerblade Zetrablade Beginner Women’s Recreational Skate (Best Overall)
4. Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT Women’s Inline Skate (Also Good)
5. 5th Element Panther XT Men’s Recreational Inline Skates (Best Budget Men’s Beginner Blades)
6. K2 Skate Sk8 Hero Boa Junior Inline Skates (A Mid-range Unisex Pick)
7. Size-adjustable K2 Youth Raider Pro (Best for kids)
Also Read: 7 Ways to Carry Your Rollerblades
Top 3 Rollerblades for Beginners Comparison Table
- #Sizing tip: These skates run a size smaller. Definitely size up. Fits normal-sized feet nice and snug and also expands to accommodate somewhat wider feet. If between sizes, definitely size up.
- An affordable skate with 80mm 82A Rollerblade wheels
- Lightweight plastic frame offers a decent amount of support and doesn’t vibrate too much
- A soft boot that looks nice while offering OK lateral support and great comfort
- Plastic-tipped cap for when you’ll start practicing inline skate tricks
- Made by a US skate brand many skaters like
- Skates have a brake for nice, smooth stops
- Frame NOT detachable, unfortunately.
- Overall: Even though the listing says it’s a fitness skate, it’s actually a beginner inline skate. And it’s not possible to put in bigger wheels or swap out the plastic frame for a better-quality one. But it lets you get into inline skating at a reasonable price
- Sizing tip: The sizing chart of this skate is a little off. Don’t order your usual shoe size. Go at least a size up and you’ll be fine.
- 78A 80mm wheels couple with ABEC 7, definitely helmet up and wear protective pads
- The wheels roll nicely over small cracks, but durability could be better. Make sure to put in Supremes or Hydrogens for wheel replacement.
- The frame is supportive, but it’s not detachable. You’re stuck with it for the entire lifespan of this boot, but it’s a new-skater boot, after all.
- Sizing tip: They run small, make sure to size up
- 80mm 80A stock wheels. Get harder wheels if you’re heavy
- Indestructible hard boots that carry big dudes better than most
- 243mm thick aluminum frames that react quickly so you can turn on a dime in tight spaces
- Not cheap, but they’re made from premium-quality materials and are super durable
- Frames are removable, and because they’re nice and solid, they’re highly supportive and don’t vibrate even at speed
- Get harder wheels (88-90A) if you’re 250 lbs or heavier
- The hard outer shell offers amazing lateral support, and the heel plugs into a position that makes striding feel super natural
1. Rollerblade RB Cruiser Urban Performance Skates: Best Wide-fitting Beginner Skates
Size tip: These ones are a small cut, so make sure to size up.
If you think indestructible beginner skates don’t exist, think again, because they do. The Rollerblade RB Cruiser are heavy-duty fitness skates for urban/street skating. Hubby is a big guy and has wide feet, and these fit like a glove. But you get used to them being heavier than others after some time.
These are nothing like the soft-boot beginner skates below. Not even a nuclear bomb can blow these extremely solid boots up!
The lines are sharp and smooth, and while they’re not the cutest pair of skates I’ve seen, they’re definitely not ugly. I bet you’ll get compliments from every new skater wearing sluggish soft boots.
I didn’t find any weight limit information on the manufacturer’s site, but I can say for sure that these boots are perfect for even the heaviest of skaters. One guy who recently moved into our neighborhood skates these hard boots, and he weighs over 250 lbs and skates really hard. The boots have held up so far, and the dude says he’s owned them for at least 2 years.
If you’re a big dude looking for tanker-like boots to help you chisel that massive body into the perfect shape, pick these boots. You won’t be disappointed.
The stock wheels they come with are 80mm and have a hardness rating of 80A. Just the perfect combo for anyone wanting to get into rollerblading. If you weigh anywhere near 250 lbs, definitely swap out the wheels for harder ones. Get some 88A-90A wheels and you’re set up fine.
The extruded aluminum frames are thick and solid, and they measure 243mm from the front wheel axle to the rear wheel axle. That frame length is the perfect measurement for when you’re dodging obstacles in tight urban spaces. They’re agile and responsive, and you won’t want to see your hometown in anything else.
These are premium-quality boots and cost $300ish at the time of writing, but they’re worth every penny. O don’t know if availability could be an issue where you’re at, but they’re available on Amazon.
- Super-solid hard boots that provide an insane level of lateral support
- Heavy-duty beginner boots that last a long time
- Supportive boots that are ideal for even very heavy rollerbladers
- Work great for inline skaters with wide feet
- Not cheap
- Breaking them in might feel harder than breaking-in soft boots
2. Flying Eagle F5S Eclipse Pro: Best Narrow-width Beginner Skates for Slalom
Sizing tip: This boot fits narrow feet better than normal-width or wide feet. After researching around, it did seem that sizing down would work best for most skaters with narrow feet.
First off, the Flying Eagle F5S Eclipse Pro isn’t for anyone with wide feet. If your feet aren’t narrow, these hard boots will squeeze them to a level of discomfort that’ll compel you to return them.
Before you purchase these skates, be sure to measure your length and width. The size chart seems to be off, but sizing down (1 size) seemed to work for most people. If you buy them in the size suggested by the official chart, you’ll likely experience heel lift, which isn’t exactly nice.
Here’s another thing: these aren’t absolute beginner boots. They’re for people who have mastered the fundamentals of skating but are looking to get into slalom inline skating. Think of them as the best inline skates for beginners with narrow feet.
These are hard boots, and you can expect breaking them in to feel like really hard work. But once you pay the price, the fit should feel much better and comfier.
The insoles these skates come with aren’t great, so you’ll want to drop in a pair of good-quality insoles to increase comfort.
The wheels are 85A, and even though users are supposed to be able to rocker these skates, the wheels that come are one size, 76mm or 80mm depending on the size you pick. But it’s possible to switch the skates to a rocker position, and the tool to complete this task should be in the box. I suggest that you watch a video or two and learn how to convert the skate to a rocker setup.
If you’re looking to buy hard boots for learning crab cross, heel-toe spin, crisscross & spin, or any other beginner slalom trick, these guys got you covered.
- Great for learning slalom skating on
- Hard boots that hug narrow feet nice and snug
- Axles are rockerable: you can switch between flat and rockered setups
- Eagle aluminum frames stand out
- ABEC 7 Flying Eagle bearings
- A great price point for high-quality beginner slalom skates
- Doesn’t work for rollerbladers with wide feet
- Sizing seems off
- No brakes, but aftermarket Flying Eagle brake pads can be easily added if needed
3. Rollerblade Zetrablade Beginner Women’s Recreational Skate (Overall Winner)
Sizing tip: They run small, definitely size up. They’re normal width and fit nice and snug even if your feet are somewhat narrow. But the integrated liner extends outward to accommodate wider feet. If between skate sizes, size up.
Summary: The Rollerblade Zetrablade Beginner Women’s Fitness Rollerblades come with a near-the-ground plastic frame that houses 80mm 82A wheels revolving around moderately fast SG5 bearings. These guys offer new skaters tons of stability. And the 3-tier closure system keeps the heel securely locked in for amazing power transfer while the outer shell offers good lateral support. Best of all, the price is enticing.
I bet you’re hunting around for an affordable soft boot for recreational skating. And the Rollerblade Zetrablade fitness skate for beginner women skaters is a good bet.
This recommendation sits on the #1 spot for a reason. I positioned it here because I couldn’t find a better deal for the money. And I’m not the only person who feels that way about these cheap beginner blades.
First off, these guys are cute. You might think you’re looking at a nice pair of women’s regular boots. The high and plush liner inside the boots does a really good of supporting and stabilizing the area around the ankles. Few entry-level inline skates come close to the kind of support I got out these boots.
The padding is thick and soft, too. And the thick comfort performance liner takes comfort to a whole new level. So, what happens when you pair the cushiness of the comfort liner with the boot’s great breathing skills?
Skating in hot weather feels way better than merely tolerable. And when skating in cool weather, you’ll love how warm your feet will feel. No more smelly feet after skating, unless you sweat profusely and skate too hard.
If you’re a pro skater, though, you won’t like the level of support you get from this skate’s cuff. But then, these boots are meant for folks looking for boots to learn on, not for hardcore inline skaters.
A High, Supportive Cuff
The cuff extends high enough, further increasing the boot’s overall support and stability. High-cuff inline skates are a great choice for beginner and intermediate skating skills.
Plastic-capped Toes: This is a Unique Feature
Beginners don’t do tricks much at all at the start. But you’ll come to appreciate all of the protection and longevity the plastic cap on the toes provides. This is a unique feature, IMO, one you won’t get from competitors such as the Zetrablade Elite or Bladerunner.
Wheel Hardness, Size, and Bearings
With 80mm wheels at duro 82A, you can expect as much beginner-level performance as your play level permits. 80mm is about the sweet spot in case you’re wondering what’s the ideal wheel diameter. And 82A duro is ideal for entry-level inline skating.
These beginner rollerblade wheels are moderately tall and soft. Just the perfect set of wheels for recreational rollerblading where pursuing fun rather than performance.
The wheels have SG5 bearings powering them. With these bearings and Rollerblade stock wheels, you’ll go fast but not too fast. Here’s a piece of advice: wear a certified roller skate helmet and decent pads. Also, read up on how to stop on rollerblades as a beginner before strapping these blades on.
Fortunately, the brake on the rear of the right skate works well. I’ve skated on blades whose brake felt awkward and others that caused seriously unstable wobbles during stops.
Frame: Sturdy and Stays Low for Stability
The outer shell integrates well with a low-profile and durable Monocoque frame. You’ll ride comfortably close to the ground, and balance won’t be an issue. The frame flexes well, but the rides are silky smooth, and vibration-free.
But at that price, you didn’t expect a durable aluminum frame, did you? The Monocoque frame is made of plastic, but it’s lightweight yet sturdy enough for all the pushing you’ll ever do.
Sizing the Rollerblade Zetrablade Women’s Inline Skates
These skates fit like your regular sneaker. So, if you’re a size 7 sneaker size, definitely order this soft boot in size 7.
What if your foot measurement sits between sizes? Let’s assume you measured your feet properly and the number you got was 26.5 cm. By the way, you should measure in centimeters rather than inches.
In this case, you’re clearly between two sizes, 9 and 10. You need to go to the next full size. The skate isn’t available in half sizes.
Amazon carries from size 6 to 10 skates for feet in the 23cm-27cm length range. Below is a size chart to help you size the Rollerblade Zetrablade fitness skate properly.
Rollerblade Zetrablade Recreational Beginner Women’s Inline Skate Size Chart
|Foot Length (In Centimeters)
||Corresponding Skate Size (US Women)|
By the way, the softboot in the pic above is a size 6. If you glance at the skate size chart of this model, it should fit feet measuring 23cm-24cm without issues.
What If I Have Wide Feet?
Do the Rollerblade Zetrablade women’s recreational skates fit wide flat feet? This entry-level inline skate for women comes in medium width.
But it’s a softboot with lots of comfy padding inside, which means it stretches a little after a while to accommodate wider feet. I’m not saying it fits extremely wide feet, though. If your feet are too wide, here’s a bunch of inline skates that fit wide feet.
The closure system includes laces, Velcro straps, and buckles. This 3-tier closure system ensures your heels stay locked in for perfect balance and stability.
The 45˚ powerstrap helps immensely when it comes to keeping the heel locked in tight and securely. You won’t experience heel lift provided you work the closure right.
The laces are thick but not too wide as others I’ve seen. They stay intact once tied, and there’s lacing options situated farther up on the boot.
Tie up the laces, snap the powerstrap into position, and fasten the buckle above the powerstrap to keep the fit nice and snug.
- Great quality at a great price point
- A plush integrated comfort liner
- Plastic-capped toes
- 80mm 82A wheels: the wheels can feel too zippy for new skaters, but there’s a brake
- They’re from a trusted US brand
- Low-profile, lightweight composite frame for stability
- Comfy, breathable liner
- Decent beginner-level lateral support
- High cuffs for more support&stability
- Amazon only carries sizes 6 to 10
- No half sizes
- Plastic frames
- Won’t offer sufficient support for experienced skaters
Overall, these are comfortable women’s beginner inline skates at an equally great price. And while the skate won’t last a lifetime, it holds up well to regular beginner-level abuse.
Soft boots focus more on comfort than on durability and performance, and this one is no exception. It looks nice, too. Plus, it comforts and supports the feet decently, helping keep foot fatigue at bay. What’s more, the rollerblades give beginner skaters nice, smooth rolls thanks to the rather soft wheels.
Well, the deal isn’t exactly a steal. But this entry-level recreational inline skate brings tons of value to the table.
Grab a pair of these cute guys and start building up your core strength. There’s a reason this starter skate has pulled in a quality and performance rating of 4.8/5 from 5,000+ Amazon customer reviews.
4. Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT Women’s Skate
Sizing tip: Don’t use the company’s size chart for these skates unless you want to buy them and then return them because they won’t fit.
Summary: The Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT Women’s Fitness Skate rolls on 80mm 78A wheels and ABEC 7 bearings, but it travels somewhat slower than the Zetrablade above with SG5 bearings and 82A duro wheels. As far as looks, you’ll get compliments just as you would with my best pick.
Bladerunner is a sister company to the better-known Rollerblade USA, BTW.
This shoe looks like the Zetrablade Fitness women’s inline skate above and offers similar features. These are essentially similar options, but the Advantage Pro XT offers half sizes while its competitor doesn’t.
Another key difference is that the Bladerunner isn’t as fast as the Zetrablade. That makes it a great choice for absolute beginners.
Comfort liner Offers Great Comfort, support, and Fit
A supportive outer shell houses an amply padded soft boot. And the soft boot and its foot-hugging comfort liner breathe moderately well. But I felt that ventilation could be better.
The plastic outer shell feels firm enough — it deserves a huge part of the credit as far as ankle support. But while this soft boot supports beginner ankles adequately, it may not be the best bet for more advanced rollerbladers.
As a starting skater, you’ll love the comfort, stability, and support you’ll get from this boot. But this pick isn’t something to upgrade to after you’ve been skating for years.
Riveted Composite Frame: It Integrates with the Outer Shell
The outer plastic shell and the low-profile composite frame make for a strong integrated foot support system. The frame and the outer shell join around the heel area. But the front portion of this construction relies on screws to stay intact.
You’d easily tear down this entry-level recreational skate if the outer shell and frame weren’t permanently joined at the hip..sorry at the heel. If you’re looking for an upgradeable beginner skate that lets you take out the frame, find something else. However, you can replace the wheels it comes with better wheels such as the long-lasting Hydrogen or Supreme wheels from Rollerblade. And replacing the wheels shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Bladerunner deserves a pat on the back for being mindful of the needs of starting skaters when designing this composite frame. It’s a lightweight plastic frame that keeps things pretty close to the ground. And that makes for increased rider stability. Composite simply means this frame definitely isn’t metallic. And that isn’t surprising for entry-level rollerblades.
80mm Wheels at 78A Paired with ABEC 7 Bearings
Yes, this skate uses ABEC 7 bearings which are known for speed and performance. But the wheels are duro 78A, which means they’re softer than those of the Zetrablade.
If two sets of inline skate wheels have the same duro but one set contains softer wheels, that set will be slower. And that’s exactly how it is with these softer wheels. But I bet you want slower wheels that deliver super-smooth rides.
As a complete beginner in inline skating, you want moderately tall wheels with matching speed capabilities. With this blade, you’ll go reasonably fast, but not crazy fast. And you’ll roll over twigs, cracks in the asphalt, pebbles, and other impediments on your way to endless excitement and fun outdoors.
You won’t outskate someone striding and trying to push their limits on the Zetrablade Fitness women’s skate, though. But you’re new to rollerblading and are all about having fun rolling down smooth sidewalks rather than zipping around at breakneck speed.
The wheels of the Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT skate aren’t the most long-lasting. They’re stock wheels at that price point. When it comes time to swap worn wheels out, consider mounting better wheels into the skate’s low-profile frame. Go with Hydrogen wheels, Supreme wheels, or any other better-quality option with a diameter of 80mm.
The closure of the Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT looks and works like that of its nemesis, the Zetrablade. So, no need to repeat myself describing how the closure functions. The skate fits nicely, locking the heels into just the perfect position for crossovers and other learner-level tricks.
The Braking System
As expected, the brake sits on the rear of the right skate. This stopping subsystem is designed to help neophytes come to a stable, smooth stop without wobbling. But if you’d rather have the brake on the left skate, simply remove it and put it on your preferred side. Here’s how to replace the brake pad on inline skates in case you’re interested.
How to Size the Advantage Pro XT (Available in Half Sizes)
The inline skate in the pic above is size 9 in medium width. One small difference between my best pick and the runner-up option is that it’s available in half sizes. Measure your foot length in centimeters and use the size chart below to work out the correct size.
Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT Size Chart
|Foot Length||Corresponding Skate Size (US Women)|
- Good looks
- Half sizes available
- High cuff
- Butter-smooth rides
- Irresistible pricing
- Great ankle support
- Not ideal for intermediate and other advanced skaters
- Run small, size up
Overall, the Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT recreational skate for adult women beginners is a decent pick. It fits great and offers enough support to untrained ankles.
Also, this choice looks good and rolls safely fast. Plus, the price point is right where you want it to be. Choose these blades if shopping for your first-ever inline skate.
My post on how to ride rollerblades can help you get on the rink or skatepark and make those first crucial forward glides and backward swizzles.
5. 5th Element Panther XT Men’s Recreational Inline Skates (Best Budget Men’s)
Summary: The 5th Element Panther Men’s Fitness Skate features 82mm, 82A wheels with ABEC 7 bearings. It offers a long-lasting detachable aluminum frame. It’s designed for absolute beginners as well as those who’ve been skating for a while/intermediate skaters. It’s one of the few inline skates with a weight limit (190 lbs max limit).
The 5th Element Panther XT is a men’s budget recreational inline skate that beginners and intermediate skaters can consider.
Who makes the 5th Element Panther XT skate? I couldn’t find any website called 5th Element Panther, but I did find Europe-based Roces that appeared like it owned 5th Element.
I’d advise you to stick with Amazon if you choose to buy this product for obvious reasons. So, how good and reliable is the 5th Element Panther XT? Let’s see.
Detachable Aluminum Frames
This skate’s softboot and low-profile metal frame aren’t a one-piece construction. Sturdy screws attach the frame to the boot, and it’s not uncommon for some boots to come with these screws loose. Make sure to give your package a lookover once it arrives and tighten any loose screws with a wrench.
Aluminum frames flex somewhat better than plastic or composite ones. Plus, metal frames tend to outlast composite and plastic frames.
But this frame isn’t designed for the heaviest rollerbladers. Its stated weight capacity is 190 lbs, about the average weight of the regular American male.
Skates with metal frames tend to be pricier, but that doesn’t apply to the 5th Element Panther XT. This men’s fitness skate costs similar to the women’s fitness options above.
With this pick, you get an upgradeable skate that doesn’t cost gobs of money. You can put in better, shorter, or longer frames. And you can put in bigger wheels down the road up to 89mm. But the wheels it comes with are 82mm in diameter.
Support, Comfort, and Breathability
The cuff doesn’t go as high as it does with my two top picks. But it is still a decent cuff height that provides good support.
As for the comfort liner, nothing spectacular, but it does the job. Breathability? There’s a few tiny holes in the boot, but breathability isn’t perfect. I’d even say that it’s low-ventilation skate, which isn’t like
Most skaters reported satisfaction with their purchase as far as support and comfort. However, there are a few…
A few reviewers said their boot wasn’t super comfortable. For others, the heel rolled out or sat awkwardly inside the boot.
My hubby owns this skate. After tightening the screws a little, he got them on, and they rolled like a dream. They were comfortable, too, after he’d broken them in.
However, Jason’s buckle tends to get caught in the skate’s padding. Consequently, he can’t easily tighten the buckle. As a result, his ankles have a hard time staying straight.
Here’s how my SO solves the padding-getting-in-the-buckle’s-way issue. He pushes the padding in and then angles his ankles. Meanwhile, he’s tightening things neat and snug.
One more thing — he taps the heel on the ground a couple of times as he tightens, positioning the heel even better. Well, that’s a bummer, but one you can solve with a little creativity.
ABEC 7 bearings work alongside 82mm 82A wheels to give you really smooth rolls. These wheels are as soft/hard as those of my #1 choice. But the bearings of the Zetrablade Fitness skate aren’t ABEC 7.
The 5th Element Panther XT Men’s Recreational Inline Skate rolls a little faster than the Zetrablade. But that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for a comfort-focused starting skater like you.
These aren’t proper-rubber wheels, though. So, definitely upgrade to something better come wheel replacement.
The product uses roundish traditional laces alongside a hook-and-loop powerstrap, and a plastic buckle. Use the trick I revealed above if you have problems closing the buckle.
These blades fit true to size. The boot comes in half sizes as well. Select the next full size if you’re on the larger side of foot length. Avoid buying a full-size bigger, or you’ll end up twisting your ankle.
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Fast ABEC 7 wheels
- Great price
- Low-profile/good stability
- Upgradeable: frame is detachable and you can put in bigger wheels up to 89mm
- Comfort could be better
- Breathability not great
Overall, the Men’s 5th Element Panther XT is a decent budget starting-skater choice. And its frame is all metal. Also, the boot is lighter. This skate might last a little longer than its plastic-framed contenders.
6. K2 Skate Sk8 Hero Boa Junior Inline Skates (A Mid-range Unisex Pick)
Summary: The K2 Skate Hero BOA with Aluminum Frame and Adjustability boasts 76mm, 80A wheels driven by ABEC 5 bearings. The lightweight metal frame is replaceable, too. This metal frame helps power transfer quite a bit while promoting flexibility, stability, and support.
K2 is a high-quality brand that’s been around for years. The company designs and creates comfortable skates that also look nice. As for performance and durability, K2 skates are big winners.
But is the higher price justified? We’ll see.
The black and orange color on the softboot harmoniously matches the black/orange on the wheels, rear, and carry straps. Compliments will overwhelm your son.
Comfort, Fit, and Support
Once your kiddo breaks this skate in, they’ll love how comfy the liner feels. But this softboot flounders in the breathability department. The shell feels tough and supportive, though, and the cuff doesn’t disappoint.
Frame: It’s Aluminum and Replaceable
The frame is constructed from premium-quality aluminum. Its strength makes for great power transfer from the foot to the wheels.
This replaceable frame is also quite responsive. When skating on these, your baby won’t experience much vibration at all. Additionally, the little tester who tested these skates said they didn’t experience much fatigue after skating for about half an hour.
Duro, Diameter, and Bearings
The wheels measure 76mm in diameter vs. 72mm wheels of the K2 Skate Youth Raider Pro reviewed below. Smaller wheels stay closer to the ground, which lowers your center of gravity and increases stability. Aside from that, smaller wheels offer more acceleration and maneuverability than larger ones.
These are durometer 80A wheels, and the bearings are ABEC 5 vs. ABEC 3 for the K2 Raider Pro below. These wheels are soft enough, and they roll great.
But wheels with a height like that (76mm) tend to be harder than taller duro 80A ones. This height/duro combination suggests that these wheels would work well both indoors and outdoors.
However, if the asphalt trails and pavements where you’re at are crappy, don’t let your kid skate on these guys. Instead, buy your kid taller wheels so they can easily navigate tough terrain.
The closure doesn’t include traditional laces. Instead, it consists of a powerstrap that keeps the heel locked in snugly. A buckle and a BOA dial fit system are the other components.
And this BOA closure system works. I’ve skated a bunch of BOA inline skates, and it’s easy to customize the fit. Situations where the BOA fit system broke or failed to work as intended aren’t common, but a BOA fit dial system can sure come loose. Fortunately, BOA fit systems typically come with a guarantee spanning months.
The good thing is that this premium-quality closure system works. It didn’t get loose at any point during the skating session.
Size Adjustability: It’ll Grow As Your Kid’s Feet Does
Expandability is a great feature, especially if you have a kid with fast-growing feet. So, how do you adjust for size with a boot like this one? With most skates, you simply push a button or open a lever and turn the screws. Then, give the toe a forward pull.
Sizing the K2 Skate SK8 BOA Junior Rollerblades
This K2 skate comes in 3 junior skate sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. But the item shown in the product box above is M.
The skate extends from size 1 through size 5. It’s for kids with a foot measurement ranging between 20cm and 23cm.
So, measure your foot. Then, look at the skate model’s size chart below and note down the size that matches your foot length.
K2 Skate SK8 BOA Junior Rollerblades Sizing Chart
|Foot Length in cm||Corresponding Junior Skate Size (US Sizing)|
|18-21||11 to 2|
|20-23||1 to 5|
|21.5-24.5||4 to 8|
- High-quality replaceable aluminum frames
- Designed by an American brand parents trust
- BOA Fit System
- Adjustable up to 5 sizes
- Great ankle support and comfort
- A long-lasting metal frame that is also removable
- Priciest deal on my list
Overall, this is a great blade for young beginner-level and intermediate rollerbladers. It looks amazing. And the wheels are soft which dampens impacts and vibrations. It’s definitely worth the money.
7. Size-adjustable K2 Youth Raider Pro (Best Value for Beginner Kids)
Sizing tip: It’s size-adjustable, and the size in the pic below is 4-8.
K2 Raider Pro Size Adjustable Inline Skates are high-quality kids’ rollerblades that offer adjustability so that your child’s feet can grow with them. But the Velcro and ankle straps could be improved. Size is adjustable up to 5 full sizes so you can save money. Oh, and they’re not ABEC 5 as advertised. Unlike the others here, this skate features speed lacing rather than traditional laces. You also get the Raider Pro Pad Set for keeping your little one protected. However, this inline skating boot isn’t super breathable.
Possibly the best beginner kids inline skate, the K2 Raider Pro allows size adjustability — you’ll save money. The Stability Plus Cuff, which is a lightweight and stiff cuff, offers tons of support to young, weak ankles. A high cuff height maximizes lower leg and ankle support.
The skate’s F.B.I. interlocking plastic skate frame features a flexible base that dampens road vibrations, delivering smoother rides.
Its moderately fast 80A wheels with ABEC 3 bearings (not ABEC 5 as stated in the Amazon listing) and a good braking system make for comfortable inline skating kids’ gear that rolls at a safe, leisurely speed.
In the 1-5 size range, the wheel configuration is four 72 mm wheels, and for the 11-2Y range, it’s four 70mm wheels. *You can introduce larger wheels, up to 76mm.
Available in a kid-friendly blue/orange color combination, this inline skating equipment comes in two size ranges (11-2 Youth) and (1-5). Your little one gets up to 5 size adjustments. And thanks to the powerstraps, speed lacing system, and traditional lace-up system, achieving a snug fit is easy.
The reason I voted these skates as the best value option is that the deal included one super important extra: protective pads.
- Size adjustability: 5 full sizes
- Safety features: brakes and pads included
- Speed lacing system
- Attractive price point
- Interlocking frame for shock absorption
- Moderately fast ABEC 3 bearings for safety
- Extras: protective gear included
- Plastic frame=reduced durability
- Ventilation not great
- Limited color options
Overall, the K2 Raider Pro is a cheap pair of kids’ recreation inline skates that expand to accommodate growing feet. These are probably the best rollerblades for beginner kids in that price range.
How to Choose Good Beginner Inline Skates
Here’s our video tutorial on how to choose a good beginner-level skate. If you know nothing about rollerblades, this is probably the most comprehensive resource you’ll ever need.
The best beginner inline skate is reasonably stiff and comfortable, has a low deck height (low center of gravity), and a high calf height for support. Also, it’s adequately breathable. The wheels may or may not be great; it all depends on the price point. Wheel size, hardness, and shape also matter. Better-quality new-skater boots tend to be costlier, but the costliest skate isn’t always the best quality.
Also read: How to skate downhill on inline skates
But before we jump into the buying guide…
Rollerblades vs Inline Skates: What’s the difference?
What’s the difference — if any — between rollerblades and inline skates? There’s absolutely no difference between the two. Actually, the reason they’re called rollerblades is that Rollerblade, a U.S. inline skates manufacturer, made them insanely popular. Over time, everyone started calling them rollerblades, but the correct name is inline skates.
Rollerblades vs Rollerskates
You may hear some people referring to rollerblades as roller skates. And that’s technically correct. But strictly speaking, roller skates and rollerblades are different things.
The main difference between roller skates and rollerblades is that while the wheels on rollerblades are mounted in line (one after the other), the wheels on roller skates (aka quad skates) are mounted side-by-side.
1. Correct Beginner Rollerblade Wheel Size
Wheel size and hardness determine how fast your inline skates go. Inline skate wheels for new skaters typically range between 76 mm to 90 mm in diameter.
Larger wheels are ideal for skating longer distances, skating at higher speeds/speed skating, and urban skating, especially in high-traffic environments. Bigger wheels are also a great option if the skating surface is pretty rough.
Also Read: Best Rough-terrain Inline Skates
The smaller the wheels, the lower the profile or center of gravity and the greater the skater’s stability, and vice-versa. As a beginner, you’re not looking for the fastest rollerblades. Instead, you want skates that offer safe, comfortable transportation and fun.
Beginner inline skaters should almost always choose low-profile and mid-profile skates, leaving high-profile rollerblades for pro-level bladers since super-sized wheels prioritize speed over stability.
You’re an entry-level inline skater, a leisure skater, a recreational skater, or whatever you want to call yourself. And your needs are different than those of someone looking to do speed skating or long-distance rollerblading.
I’ve tested several wheel sizes and duros over the years. For beginners, I recommend 80 mm-90 mm wheels. In that diameter range, you’re assured of a decent level of balance, stability, and speed as you roll around.
2. Wheel Hardness/Softness (Durometer)
Recreational and fitness rollerbladers ride best in the 78A to 84A hardness rating range. Softer wheels give smoother rides on most terrains while harder wheels powerslide extremely well. You may want to test different durometer ratings for a while until you find that sweet spot that gives you a comfortable, smooth ride each time.
Rollerblade wheels with a higher durometer rating are harder, go faster, and tend to outlast lower-durometer wheels even if they have similar chemical formulations. Lower-durometer wheels roll as smooth as butter and soak up cracks and small bumps nicely. For new inline skaters, softer wheels tend to translate to a better skating experience compared to harder ones.
Rollerblade Wheel Quality and Formulas
The best rollerblades for beginners and everyone else have urethane wheels rather than plastic ones. But cheaper skates tend to come with plastic-y stock rollerblade wheels that are quite chunky, don’t have much grip, and don’t last long.
If money isn’t tight and you’re willing to splurge on a top-end beginner rollerblade, you’ll likely get good-quality wheels such as Hydrogen or Supreme wheels from Rollerblade. These ones demonstrate great performance and last longer than stock wheels.
Beginner Rollerblade Wheel Shape
As a starting skater, you want to choose wheels with a wide contact patch (flatter wheels). If the area in contact with the ground is large enough, friction increases a bit and speed decreases, but stability and balance get a slight boost.
With that said, most rollerblade wheels have what we in the skating community call the bullet profile. The wheels are thicker around the middle and thin toward the edges. The slimmer the middle and the thinner the edges, the faster and less stable the wheels. And vice versa.
3. Women, Stop Buying Men’s Rollerblades… Unless You Have Wide Feet
It’s not uncommon for some women beginner inline skaters to buy men’s skates. And that’s OK. But what such skaters fail to consider is that men’s and women’s feet have different anatomy.
Men’s feet are in general bigger and wider than women’s. And women’s shoes and skates tend to be narrower because women’s feet tend to be narrower.
All that said, if you’re a female beginner skater and have wider feet, you may want to use men’s inline skates because they’re a tad wider.
Here’s a simple rule of thumb: Stick to women’s sizes if you have normal-width feet, and try out men’s rollerblades if you have wide feet.
4. Do I Buy Rollerblades Online or Shop In-store?
Sizing issues aren’t uncommon when buying rollerblades, particularly when buying online. But why shop online when you could walk into a store and try on different sizes of a model for the perfect fit?
In most cases, though, people don’t have the time to shop in-store. Or, they may not live near a skate shop. But the most prevalent reason people buy rollerblades online is the frequent mouthwatering discounts.
A friend recently visited a local skate shop and tried different brands and models until she found the right size. Afterward, she bought the skates at Amazon at a discounted price, and the quality was great. Well, that may seem a little crafty, even leech-ish. But aren’t there times when saving a buck or two means so much?
5. Are the Rollerblades Extendable?
One way to stop worrying about buying the wrong size is to choose extendable rollerblades. These skates come with a toecap push button that lets you adjust your boot size.
Typically, you can extend the skates up to 5 sizes. You can find extendable inline skates for adults as well as extendable rollerblades for kids.
Extendable inline skates are usually the best bet for young children. Because size-adjustable inline skates grow with your child. Going with an expandable skate can save you a small sum over time because you won’t buy new skates every time. And kids’ feet grow crazy fast.
6. Every Beginner Inline Skater Needs to Stop
Beginners shouldn’t pick skates they’d have trouble bringing to a stop. And that’s where good skate brakes come in. Quality brakes help you slow down for safety or even stop abruptly in some emergency.
So, stay away from brakeless inline skates. Boots without brakes are for later in your rollerblading journey; they’re for seasoned inline skaters.
Typically, only recreational and fitness inline skates have brakes. But inline skates for marathons, inline hockey skates, off-road rollerblades, and rollerblades for competitive skating such as slalom inline skates usually lack brakes.
Get skates with rubber brake pads so that you can stop every time you need to and stay safe.
7. What About Rollerblade Brands?
I tread carefully when it comes to what beginner rollerblade brands are the best. I’m independent, which means I don’t allow sponsored posts on this website.
That said, there’s a bunch of rollerblade brands that deserve to be recommended to aspiring inline skaters…because they’re great and skaters love them.
If you seek out comfortable, supportive, and long-lasting adult inline skates for both men and women, few brands outshine K2, FR, Powerslide, Rollerblade, and Seba. Some of the recommendations in my beginner rollerblade reviews are from these popular brands.
What if you’re looking for budget inline skates that demonstrate acceptable performance? Think of Bladerunner. Best rollerblades for kids? K2 and Bladerunner do a good job, but they’re not the only ones I like.
If you’re not 100% sure whether rollerblading is a pastime you want to pursue, don’t worry too much about the brand. Simply measure the length and width of both feet and get comfortable boots that don’t cost a small fortune. Bladerunner offers decent $100+ skates that many beginners like.
8. Frame Type and Cuff Height
Beginner skates typically come with tough-plastic frames. Plastic frames generally aren’t as supportive, stiff, or durable as aluminum ones.
Aluminum frames are lighter and have greater endurance and strength while enabling serious power transfer. Additionally, metal frames tend to have a longer lifespan.
But metal frames can drive the cost up considerably. Advanced inline skates tend to have a super lightweight carbon frame, though, that’s why they’re significantly pricier.
Some skates have rocker-able frames (though these ones are harder to find these days) that let you lower or raise the skate’s center of gravity. Such frames are great choices for slalom, inline hockey, and aggro inline skating. But rocker-able frames aren’t always the most ideal choice for beginning inline skaters.
Cuff height: Beginner inline skaters need boots with lightweight high cuffs as these provide decent support while keeping the overall weight low.
Generally, rollerblades for novice skaters have high-cut plastic cuffs while hardcore inline skating boots usually have low-cut carbon cuffs.
Carbon cuffs are high-quality parts that provide loads of stiffness. That’s why you find such cuffs on inline skates for hockey players, aggressive inline skates, and speed skates. But plastic cuffs aren’t necessarily low quality.
9. Purpose and Skating Skill-Level
Different boot designs or skate styles are ideal for different skill levels. A beginner typically values comfort more than speed. That’s why recreational inline skates focus on comfort.
Intermediate-level skaters may use either beginner options or fitness skates. And pro-level inline skaters tend to get into speed skating at some point. Such performance-oriented rollerbladers need extremely stiff boots that offer lots of speed, support, and durability.
Hard-shell Boots or Soft-shell Boots for New Inline Skaters?
I’ve always recommended soft-shell boots for new rollerbladers because they offer a decent amount of comfort while not overly compromising on support and performance.
But I’ve been skating for quite a while now, and my advice’s changed. My new advice is: Get hard-boot rollerblades instead. Power through the break-in phase, and just keep rolling. And if the skates are upgradeable, that’s even better even if you have to pay more.
Avoid starter rollerblades with riveted frames. If you can’t remove the frames to mount better-quality, shorter, or longer frames, you’re stuck with a certain wheel size and ride quality for the entirety of the boot’s lifespan.
If a non-detachable rollerblade frame rides a certain way and you don’t like it, you have to be OK with that, or trash the skates and buy something else. Also, you often can’t mount wheels past a specific size.
It’s almost always best to buy hard boots with a detachable frame. If your skating gets better, and it will if you keep practicing, you can easily swap out the frame for a shorter or longer one that rides differently. Or even mount larger, speedier, better-quality wheels.
Avoid starter rollerblades with riveted frames. Get detachable frames instead because these ones help you modify the skates to reflect changes and preferences in your evolving skating ability .
10. Skate Price and Value
Most insanely cheap inline skates suck at almost everything. You’ll likely hate them within weeks of owning them. Quality typically improves as the price point moves up.
Beginner rollerblades are pretty much like beginner skateboards. For the most part, the higher the cost, the better the quality. Expect $200 inline skates to be made of better quality materials than $70 skates.
Do you want long-lasting skates with the best frames, perfect breathability, and attractive pricing? Do you also desire extra features such as a BOA tightening wheel? There’s only one path to the ideal beginner skate: paying more.
What if you come across two closely comparable rollerblades and one of them offers extras such as protective pads while the other doesn’t? Pick the one that offers more value for the same price, of course.
Best Beginners Inline Skates Overall?
The Rollerblade RB Cruiser Urban Performance Skates are arguably the best entry-level roller skates for the money. These solidly built hard-boot skates are comfortable once you break them in, stable with a relatively low center of gravity, and have new-skater-friendly wheel sizes. Plus, they look nice.
A well-known brand with boatloads of credibility makes them. The wheels spin nicely, and the boots pick up speed quickly. Luckily, it features a good braking system.
If you’re looking for the best budget rollerblades for women, consider the Rollerblade Zetrablade. As for the best budget rollerblades for beginner men, I can’t think of a better choice than the 5th Element Panther XT skates.