Best Rollerblades for Outdoors

Rollerblading outdoors isn’t exactly the same as indoor skating. Generally, indoor skating requires smaller, harder wheels. But when blading outside, you’re tackling terrain that ranges from smooth sidewalks and proper parks to rough roads and trails.

You don’t really need a different kind of rollerblade to ride outdoors though. Pretty much any inline skate will do if the wheels are reasonably large (at least 80mm) and soft. Get wheels with a hardness rating of 80A-85A and go skate.

You can use a softbot or a hard boot. It doesn’t matter. Just know that soft boots are comfier but not spectacularly supportive. And hard boots provide more foot support and make for much better power transfer.

Also Read:

Best rollerblades for kids

Best rollerblades for beginners

Best inline skates for women

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Best Outdoor Rollerblades: [Reviews&Guide]

Want a quick summary of my top-three rollerblades for gliding outside? Check out the comparison table below.

Best Recreational

Rollerblade Macroblade

  • Sizing: Your regular shoe size; size up if between sizes
  • 3WD frame: super supportive and upgradeable
  • Nice-looking
  • Good wheels: 100mm, 85A Rollerblade Supreme
  • Pretty comfortable: nice padding
  • Roomy
  • Brake
  • Good for beginners and seasoned skaters
Best Urban Casual

Rollerblade RB Cruiser

  • Sizing: Size up, fits small
  • Wide fitting outdoor inline skates
  • Wheels: 80mm, 80A Rollerblade Urban Profile (stock)
  • Frame: 243mm; agile, super supportive, and removable
  • Boot: Has vent holes; made of high-quality components; a tank-solid boot
  • A good mid-priced outdoor skate for exploring urban environments
Budget Pick, Popular

Rollerblade Zetrablade

  • Sizing tip: Get them in your normal shoe size. Have narrow feet? These work better than most. 
  • Sturdier and better quality than the also-popular Bladerunner Advantage Pro.
  • Integrated Monocoque frame: A strong plastic frame, strong enough for tricks
  • Features a hard, plastic toe cap for when you want to spin or perform tricks
  • Comfier than the Bladerunner
  • SG7 bearings roll really smooth and fast, ideal for intermediate outdoor skaters
  • Wheels: 80mm, 82A wheels
  • Lacing positions farther up the boot if needed


Below are short-form reviews of my top picks for blading outdoors.

1.Three-Wheeled Rollerblade Macroblade 100 Women’s Rollerblade Review (Best Pick)

Sizing tip: These boots are roomy, and because they stretch with use, resist the temptation to size up if you can. The brand says to order these in your regular shoe size. But many people have found that buying them half a size bigger is a good idea. Have wide feet, like W to Extra Wide feet? Get the Rollerblade Macroblade 100 3WD and problem solved! If you’re a W or Extra Wide, these should fit you nicely.

Here’s a bunch of roomy skates you may want to check out. The RB 110 3WD is another option you could look at if you have wide feet.

When you’re ready to upgrade to a better (and pricier) pair of skates, get a performance outdoor rollerblade, and keep going. And the cute 3-wheeler, the Rollerblade Macroblade 100 fits the bill perfectly.

Rollerblade macroblade 100

At first glance, you can tell these beautiful fitness skates are made for speed and fun. Having three wheels instead of four reduces the surface area in contact with the ground, which decreases friction drag so you can skate faster.

But speed without control can be counterproductive. Fortunately, these skates have a decent amount of lateral support and do feel pretty stable at speed. Just don’t expect as much support as you’d get from a hard-shell boot such as a freestyle skate.

At higher speeds, your safety becomes even more critical. The designers of the Macroblade took that into account by providing a higher cuff for an extra secure foothold. These high cuffs translate to decent forward flex so you can ride like a boss. The boot wraps firmly around your feet creating that solid and secure fit we’ve to expect from good fitness blades.

I like that these guys come with a 274mm/10.8″ 3WD aluminum frame. It’s a lightweight but strong frame that stays nice and solid even when a heavy rider rides on them. Plus, they dampen shocks/absorb impacts quite well.

It’s a relatively long, low-profile frame designed to keep you close to the ground, which makes for stable cruising even at speed.

The mesh supposedly breathes comfort into the boot, but you’ll sweat after an intense workout as you would in any boot. There’s decent padding on the tongue, and the same goes for the ankle area. If your fitness routine involves skating short to medium-long distances, this athletic skate design got you covered. I

Wheels: 100 mm 85A Supreme Rollerblade wheels. When it comes to wheels, it’s either Supremes or Hydrogens. They’re fast, and they roll like melted butter.  At 85A, these wheels are relatively hard, but they’re soft enough for soaking up cracks, small twigs, and small rocks.

These wheels are good quality and hold up beautifully to outdoor blading. They don’t wear crazy fast as others I’ve tested.

Don’t buy these skates if you will do tricks of any kind. The front wheel sticks out a tad, which makes performing tricks somewhat harder. But these wheels aren’t the best bet for skating on wet surfaces because they can be pretty slippery.

Bearings: The friction-defying SG9 bearings roll with super smooth precision. And I’ve heard only good things about them from skaters.

Closure: Includes a velcro power strap, a top band, and speed laces. These work, but the top buckle didn’t feel like it was the best quality it could be. That didn’t prevent me from creating a tight secure fit.

Stopping: Comes with a detachable break so that new and intermediate riders can stop with ease.

Pros

  • Detachable brake
  • Cute, comfy, and roomy soft boots
  • Available in several half sizes
  • Good padding around the tongue and ankle
  • Lightweight, sturdy, long-lasting 3WD aluminum frame (replaceable)
  • Large, relatively hard, durable Supreme wheels
  • A high-performance skate for both beginners and intermediate-level skaters

Cons

  • Pricey but not excessively so
  • Wheels are slippery in wet outdoor conditions
  • Not good for tricks

On the whole, the Macroblade 100 3WD is a good-quality and affordable intermediate*skater and confident-beginner skate. For cruising and travel, you’d have to look hard to find anything this good. These are good skates built for the rigors of outdoor skating. If you skate on rough asphalt with these, you won’t like it.

2. Rollerblade Zetrablade Women’s In-line Skate: Best Intermediate, Popular)

Sizing tip: They fit true to size and fit narrow feet better than most. Order your shoe size. If they feel a little tight initially, keep riding them. They’ll stretch and create more room, and any fit issues will vanish.

The Rollerblade Zetrablade is another pair of affordable women’s rollerblades for limitless outdoor fun. These soft boots are similar to the cheaper Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT. A quick glance at both doesn’t reveal anything superior about the pricier option. So is one better than the other? Let’s see.

Rollerblade Zetrablade Outdoor rolerblades

In the looks department, both boots are true works of beauty. Real comments attractors, but more outdoorsy skaters seem to prefer the Zetrablade over the Bladerunner.

I purchased a pair of these skates so I wouldn’t go insane during the pandemic, and I have zero regrets. Nothing about it feels cheap or low quality perhaps with the exception of the Rollerblade stock wheels. I skated them for a while and replaced them cheaply with a set of better but affordable outdoor asphalt inline wheels. 

The wheels aren’t any different than those on the Bladerunner. Both are 80mm, but the urethane on the Zetrablades has a durometer rating of 82A. I believe this is why they were zippy from the get-go.

The bearings are SG9 vs. ABEC 7 for the Bladerunner, but they rolled more smoothly, freely, and faster when I gave each skate’s wheels a gentle spin with my hand.

If you’re a novice inline skater, these guys might overwhelm you at first. To me, these are pretty much intermediate skates. They’re faster, of better quality, sturdier, and more supportive than the Bladerunner.

And they’re not as stiff thanks to the pretty plushy built-in comfort liner. For me, the Zetrablades win hands down comfort-wise. Small wonder skaters have heaped almost 6K reviews on Amazon placing the skate at a solid 4.8/5 rating.

Besides, the Monocoque composite frame feels stronger and more supportive than the plastic one on the Bladerunner. The cuff and the cushy inner liner are high enough and provide a nice level of ankle support and stability. However, if you’re a freestyle skater who loves a super supportive boot, go for an urban skate.

These skates come with capped toes that are hard enough so you can do spins and toe-wheel tricks without worry. The frames also provide good support as does the closure system. Then there’s the extra support and comfort coming from the plushy built-in liner. With this setup, my crossovers felt nice and stable.

The laces are of decent quality. They’re also thick and quite long. Plus there are extra lacing positions farther up the boot. Working all three fasteners locked my feet into a tight, secure place so I could make better, more powerful strides.

Pros

  • A well-made, comfortable, cute outdoor soft boot
  • Laces are of good quality, pretty thick, and long
  • Lacing positions available farther up the boot
  • Sturdy boots and frames for good spins, crossovers, and other tricks

Cons

  • Integrated plastic frame; future upgrades impossible
  • The wheels aren’t amazing

Overall, it’s a decent-quality outdoor skate that’s also comfortable and reasonably supportive. While it costs more than the Bladerunner, the quality feels better.

3. Bladerunner Women’s Advantage Pro XT Inline Skates: Best For Beginner Women

Sizing: Order the Bladerunner Advantage in your regular shoe size. If you follow their size chart, you’ll likely end up with skates that will make your toes feel cramped. For those on the size cusp, size up a half size.

Have slightly wide feet? These are medium-width, so consider buying the men’s version of this skate as it’s wider at the heel and comes with a wider toe box. Remember to order one size smaller.

Bladerunner Advantage pro xt women outdoor bladesA person who’s been around for a while recently told me they’ve always bought their skates from Rollerblade. They’ve skated 3 times every day since they first learned to ride on Bladerunners in the 1990s.

McLeod says, “the 90s were the good old days when Rollerblade made amazing skates. Those skates got me to ride every single day. And I wasn’t the only person who became addicted to inline skating.”

But are today’s Bladerunners as good? I asked.

“Well, Rollerblade is the same company for sure. But it does seem to me that the awesomeness of the past isn’t there anymore. My Bladerunners don’t feel anything close to the original Bladerunners of the 90s. It is what is,” He stoically quips.

I borrowed the Bladerunner Pro XT from a mom who recently got into skating. We’re the same foot size, and they weren’t bad at all. But these are basically beginner recreational skates, the kind you buy for just cruising around on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Or for goofing with your kids around the local link.

I got Mr. McLeod to take a look at the Bladerunner Pro XT and see what was different about it. The first difference he noticed was the liner. In the original Bladerunners, the liner was a soft-cushioned liner that was detachable compared to the thin and stiff built-in liner of the Pro XT.

Another difference pointed out was that the boot felt way stiffer than the original Bladerunner. Our middle-aged friend wondered how people managed to skate on skates that stiff.

For me, they skated pretty much like most entry-level outdoor options I’ve ever strapped onto my feet. But that’s probably because the mom who let me test them had already broken them in. A beginner willing to skate past the initial stiffness and discomfort should go ahead and swipe right.

Well, some reviewers said their calves hurt quite a bit but wearing an inexpensive heel wedge helped. But if you’re looking for an outdoor boot with plushier padding, the Bladerunner Pro XT isn’t it.

The frame is unlike that of the Macroblade 1003WD. You can’t switch it out to upgrade it since it’s joined to the boot permanently. If you’re in for the long haul, I’d suggest that you buy something with a replaceable frame.

Oh, and it’s a composite frame, which’s a fancy way of saying it’s tough plastic. But this frame is strong enough, just not for heavy riders.

Wheels: are 80mm and 78A, large and soft enough for maximum comfort. They’re made from urethane, but don’t expect them to last long at a hardness rating of 78A. I got a butter-smooth glide out of my borrowed skates. I guess the ABEC 7 bearings and the soft wheels accounted for my experience.

Brake: It works, and you can easily remove the brakes if you outgrow them. He’s how to put a new brake pad on a skate.

Closure: Laces, powerstrap, buckle. They work fine.

Pros

  • Runs true to size
  • Looks really cute; a comments magnet
  • Accessible to everyone as far as price
  • A removable break for safe outdoor fun

Cons

  • Plastic frame; not good for massive riders (200 lbs+)
  • Feels stiff initially because the built-in liner is stiff and not very thick

For your $100-ish, you’re getting an aesthetically appealing recreational rollerblade so you can see the outdoors in style.

4. Men’s Advantage Pro XT Outdoor Rollerblade: Best for Beginner Men

Sizing tip: They run true to size, order your shoe size. Go a half-size up if you are between sizes. That is, order size 10 if are size 9.5. They’re available in a wide range of sizes up to size 13.

The men’s black-and-crimson Advantage Pro XT looks stylish, just like the Women’s Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT. In fact, it’s the exact same skate from the wheels and bearings to the frame, closure system, break, and whatnot.
US Men's Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT Rec skatesThe brand chose to call it a fitness skate, but this isn’t anything like the quintessential fitness skate. A fitness skate sure looks similar to a recreational skate, but the cuff is slightly shorter, and it may not have as much padding.

A fitness skate is built for exercise, and it’s designed for this use case. The cuff cants you forward (forward flex) so that you’re always in a skate-ready position.

Also, the wheels are larger than those of a fitness skate, usually 90 mm-125 mm vs 80 mm-90 mm for a regular recreation skate such as the Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT. Besides that, a fitness boot gives you more ankle support. And the wheels tend to be slightly harder for speed.

So, this Bladerunner skate isn’t a fitness skate in the truest sense of the word. But that doesn’t mean you can’t burn calories riding it. Just don’t expect much speed from the 80mm wheels.

And if the wheels start wearing down on your very first ride, it’s probably because they’re super soft at 78A and not the best quality. Hubby tested these outdoor recreation inline skates a while back and had to put in new wheels after a few leisurely skates.

Overall, the Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT for men is a good outdoor inline skate, and it suits people new to skating best. And don’t buy this skate thinking you’ll swap out the frame and put in a stronger aluminum one. The frame and the boot are an integrated foot support system.

Pros

  • Fits like normal shoes
  • Break for safe stopping
  • A good choice for those just starting their skating career
  • A stylish boot that gets strangers asking questions
  • Sold at a great price point
  • Soft, relatively large wheels that smooth out small cracks well

Cons

  • The frame is constructed from plastic and can’t be swapped out for a better one
  • The wheels aren’t of great quality
  • Not ideal for heavy outdoor skaters

5. Rollerblade Zetrablade Men’s Inline Skates: Intermediate-level Skates

Sizing advice: True to size. Size up if between shoe sizes. Up to size 13 US men.

Here’s another entry-level skate for intermediate-level outdoor rollerbladers. As far as specs and features, this skate is similar to the women’s version.

If you’re a woman/girl with wide feet, the Zetrablade Women’s skates will crush your toes. But since men’s skates generally have a wider fit, this standard-width boot will probably work for you.

Men's Zetrablade Fitness skates for outdoor

Even though these guys have plastic frames, the frame is pretty strong. But I’d not buy this if I were a heavy person. Why? It’s because plastic frames get a little saggy when a heavy rider puts on the boots, and there just isn’t as much support.

You get good stability around the ankle thanks to the supportive, generously padded integrated liner. Cuff support is also decent. And the hard, plastic toe cap serves as a good pivot for performing tricks and skate spins.

But if you’re a guy looking for a solid, highly agile boot with which to explore the nooks and crannies of your city, buy something else. A hard-shell skate would be the best bet for you in that case.

The soft boot does breathe. But you’ll sweat in this and any other skate if you practice hard for long, especially in warm weather.

Brake: it works well. And it’s not awkwardly placed on the skate’s rear that it becomes hard to use. You also get an Allen key, a skate tool that comes in handy during wheel replacement.

Pros

  • Comfortable soft boots that offer good ankle support
  • A cushy integrated comfort and support liner
  • Plastic toe cap provides support when doing tricks
  • Safety break
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Plastic frame
  • Outer shell and frame integrated

Verdict: A high-quality, nice-looking men’s outdoor skate sold at an equally great price point.

6. Rollerblade RB Cruiser: Best for Casual Urban Skating

Sizing tip: This boot runs small. Order the next size up.

If you’re a city dweller looking for a pair of solid boots to wear while cruising and exploring the city, give the Rollerblade RB Cruiser a chance. BTW, this skate (and RB skates in general) works best for skaters with wide feet.

Rollerblade RB Cruiser Outdoor casual skates

You’re not getting a skate here; you’re getting a rugged tank. Urban skates are known for one thing: their nimbleness/agility and durability. They are typically not cheap. At least, the best ones aren’t. But you end up with a solidly built boot that supports your foot better than any recreational or fitness skate ever could.

This boot works perfectly when it comes to picking up your way through crowded city situations and traffic. The outer shell is hard and tough, which translates into an amazing level of lateral foot support. Cuff support is also great so you can push like a real pro.

The frame is aluminum, but it’s sturdier and probably of better quality than that of the Rollerblade Macroblade 100 3WD. It’s a 243mm frame that packs a hefty punch as far as maneuverability. You’ll love that it turns on a dime.

Its 80mm 80A Rollerblade Urban Profile wheels are nothing special. They’re stock urban wheels, and you can ride them for a while before replacing them with better-quality, harder wheels. If you’re tall and heavy, definitely get harder wheels in the 88A-90A neighborhood. 

The boots are designed to force you to lean forward a little, which means the boot gets you into a natural skating position without much effort. This aspect is known as forward flex and no freestyle skater wants a boot that isn’t designed this way.

Pros

  • Fits wide
  • An extremely durable boot
  • Amazing forward flex and lateral support
  • Has a brake (many urban skaters remove it)
  • Air vents help it breathe
  • Made of superior quality components
  • A highly maneuverable, removable frame that supports future upgrades

Cons

  • Price may limit access for some
  • Stock wheels need to be replaced

Overall: This is one of the best outdoor casual-skating rollerblades for the money. It’s an indestructible boot, and all the parts are high quality. It’s the priciest pick on my list of recommended blades for enjoying your life outdoors, but it’s worth it. You won’t regret this purchase.

How to Select the Best Rollerblades for Outdoor Skating

When evaluating different options to choose the best inline skates for outdoor use, there’s a set of factors to consider:

1. Skate Fit and Overall Comfort

Fancy rollerblades that fit poorly? Keep searching. OK quality skates that wrap around your feet, cradling them comfortably and snugly? Grab them fast and go have fun.

Tip: measure the width and length of your feet and work out the right skate size using the model’s size chart. To measure your feet, step on a blank piece of paper and trace out the outline of your foot with a pencil. Once done, measure the distance across the widest portion of the drawing and that’s your foot width.

Super important: Skate size charts vary wildly between manufacturers. It’s always a good idea to read user comments concerning how a rollerblade fits.

Sometimes, a skate runs small and you need to size up. But you won’t always find this information on the manufacturer’s site try reading reliable customer skate reviews before purchasing.

2. Is the In-line Skate Safe and Strong?

When roller skating outside, you can reach a speed of 8 to 16 miles per hour or even more. At such speeds, your rollerblades have to absorb all kinds of impacts from bumps and whatnot.

Only settle for strong, safe skates. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs recommends that you select a sturdy pair with excellent ankle support.

Before you buy, find out:

  • What material was used to make the boot?
  • Is the frame of good quality and how well are the wheels attached?
  • Is the outer shell strong and sturdy and will it be supportive enough?
  • Does the skate use straps or buckles or maybe a combination of these two?

Skate safety tip: The cheapest inline skates have been known to fall apart during use. Be willing to spend at least $80-$150 if you want a reliable pair of skates for riding outside.

3. Rollerblade Wheel Diameter and Durometer

Wheel diameter is a key feature that differentiates rollerblades/inline skates from quad skates. Inline wheels generally have wider diameters, ranging from 72mm to 125 mm. Quad skates typically have a wheel diameter ranging from 58mm to 65 mm.

Since you’re going to skate outside, the larger the wheels the better. The ideal diameter for outdoor skating hovers between 80mm and 125mm. Most beginner outdoor rollerblades come with 80mm-90mm wheels. 

Bigger rollerblade wheels roll faster but build up acceleration slower compared to smaller ones. Smaller wheels accelerate fast, keep you nearer the ground for stability, and are somewhat easier to maneuver.

Outdoor rollerblade wheel hardness: Match wheel hardness with the terrain. Use softer wheels for rougher terrain and harder ones for skating smoother spots. And if you’re rather big, definitely pick wheels located higher up on the Shore Durometer Scale.

How soft do outdoor rollerblade wheels need to be? It depends on the overall quality of the surface, but try sticking to 83A-85A. If you’ll skate on asphalt a lot of the time, get 78A wheels or 80A ones if you’re heavier.

Softer wheels soak up road vibrations and cracks like a boss. That’s why they’re recommended for blading outside. However, if the wheels are softer beyond a certain threshold (78A-79A for most riders), they tend to wear down pretty quickly. Besides that, ultra-soft urethane wheels tend to be more vulnerable to chunking and gouges.

Fortunately, there are many good outdoor-oriented rollerblade wheels that aren’t expensive. Check out these ones and see if you might like any.

4. What Specifically Will You Will Do Outdoors?

If you’re someone that’s been inline skating for years, I bet you know what you’re looking for. But if you’re new to outdoor skating, think about how you will blade.

I’m too old for tricks and just want to be outdoors cruising around on my rollerblades: If you’ll mostly skate along sidewalks and paved parks and don’t intend to focus on tricks, good recreational and fitness skates will be OK. Get skates with a decently long frame, preferably a sturdy aluminum one. Longer frames translate to more stability even at higher speeds. More on frames below.

I’m younger and like seeing cities in style: What if you’re younger and will spend most of your time jumping over all kinds of obstacles out on the streets and dodging cars and pedestrians? Get urban-style rollerblades. The Rollerblade Cruiser RB series come to mind.

Urban inline skates are tough guys that stand up strong to all kinds of abuse. They’re usually hard-shell skates with cuffs and frames designed to boost power transfer. They may not be comfy initially, but once you get used to how they ride, you’ll never go back to soft-boot skates such as fitness and recreational options.

I want to transition into a kind of hardcore rollerblading: If you’ve been using your skates to cruise around at leisurely speeds and are now looking to get into a more hardcore style of outdoor rollerblading, consider getting into aggressive inline skating. These boots come in all kinds of designs, but they have a few things in common.

  • The wheels are smaller and harder than most skates, usually in the 57mm-60mm range. Also, aggro skating wheels are wider than most. They’re like skateboard wheels.
  • The boots are usually hard shells and sometimes a hardshell/soft-shell hybrid, and they’re designed to tolerate abuse from jumps, grinding, and other high-impact maneuvers.
  • The frame’s design incorporates a grinding block known as the grind-block (aka H-Block) that helps you lock onto rails and ledges. Two small wheels (typically 47mm) seat on either side of the sliding block. But NOT all aggro skates have the two small wheels in the middle. The Rollerblade NJ Pro Aggressive skates definitely don’t have them.
  • Aggressive rollerblading is exclusively done outdoors.
  • They’re the only rollerblades with an anti-rocker setup (see bottom of post for details on different kinds of rollerblade frame rocker profiles)
  • They’re not the best skates for absolute beginners.

I’m an artist at heart and like expressing myself in my own unique ways: This is where urban-style and slalom rollerblades come in. Urban skates have a hard, tough boot and tend to last long. They may be tri skates or have 4 wheels. And their frames are optimized for superior turning ability in tight spaces in urban environments. Wheel diameter ranges from 90mm-125mm. 

In slalom, you’re making fast twisty turns around evenly spaced cones and performing other technical tricks with great skill. This is a competitive kind of skating and is best left to pro skaters. Riders normally set up a rockered configuration to bump up maneuverability. Slalom requires 80-84mm wheels, and the boot is pretty supportive.

I want to travel long distances on my skates and have fun: Get endurance/marathon/long-distance skates. These are usually tri skates or 4-wheeled boots. They usually have super-sized elliptical wheels for speed. We’re talking 100mm, 110mm, and  125mm wheels here. These wheels can be pretty heavy because they have tons of urethane, but they glide like a modern train on steroids!

If you’re looking for ankle support, speed, and ride control, get a hard-shell long-distance skate. And if comfort matters more to you, go for a soft boot fitness-style skate.

You can ride endurance skates even if you’re new. Just stick to 100mm wheels and an extended frame and you’ll be fine. Also, stick to 4-wheelers and not 3-wheelers for better stability.

Definitely pick out an option with a long frame for stability, and most transportation skates have a long, removable frame. Others, usually soft-boot options, have a removable cuff system and are designed to ease riders into speed skating.

5. Components and General Construction

An outdoor inline skate has several parts. These include the wheels, frame, cuff, lacing system, bearings, braking system, comfort liner, and boot.

Boot: Some boots have a soft-boot construction while others have a hard-boot construction. Softboots tend to be a little stretchy and more comfortable than hard-shell boots. But they may not offer enough ankle support for really intense outdoor blading.

Cuff: High cuffs provide more protection and support, but they may reduce maneuverability. If high cuffs hurt your calves, get heel wedges from Amazon or wherever. Some outdoor boots even come with a removable cuff system so you can customize your outdoor experience however you want.

Plastic frames are pretty common among lower-priced skates, but they rarely outlast aluminum frames. Some options let you swap out the frame and upgrade to a better choice while others don’t. I’d go with a skate that lets me make modifications down the road.

Bearings: They may be ABEC 7 or whatever. It really doesn’t matter. Read comments from users to learn how nicely or poorly the bearings roll. Even if the bearings turn out to be crap, good ones such as the Bones Reds are pretty inexpensive.

Wheels: Wheels for outdoor use should be relatively large and soft. And urethane wheels are preferable to clunky, plastic ones. Go back to the section on durometer and wheel size if you need to.

Closure system: Typically, inline skates come with a 3-tier closure system consisting of laces, velcro fasteners, and a buckle on the top. But some may have specialized closure systems such as BOA which makes them cost a pretty penny.

Liner: Recreational skates prioritize comfort, so check whether the one you’re looking at is praised by other skaters for its padding quality. Performance outdoor skates care more about results and less about comfort, so the liner may not be plush.

Braking: Experienced outdoor skaters may not need a braking system because they’ve mastered how to slow down using different kinds of techniques. Read how to stop on inline skates to learn more.

Frames: Aluminum frames are better than plastic ones (usually described as composite frames). The best ones are pretty sturdy and don’t vibrate at speed.

Many entry-level outdoor rollerblades have a composite frame, and that’s bad if you’re not heavy. But I prefer metal ones, especially replaceable ones switched out for better-quality frames. Integrated frames aren’t detachable, and usually, you can’t run wheels bigger than 90mm.

Frame rocker: For cruising, a flat setup should be adequate.

Frames: longer frames in a flat configuration make for more stability, even when traveling at higher speeds. The longer wheelbase of these frames accounts for this advantage. But the price to pay is decreased nimbleness/agility.

Frame length: Your frames shouldn’t be too short or too long relative to your foot length. If they’re too long relative to your foot, the rides will be somewhat squirrelly (unstable). And if the frame’s too short relative to your foot length, pushing on your skates becomes a hellishly sluggish and cumbersome affair.

How to determine the correct skate frame length

  • Measure the length of both feet.
  • Divide your height by 6.6, which is the standard height-to-foot ratio.
  • The value you get is how long the frames of your outdoor exploration rollerblades should be.

For example: Suppose you stand 5’7″ tall. That’s 5 feet 7 inches. This number is the same as 5.5833 feet or 1701.7898mm.

Then, 1701.7898/6.6=257.85mm (convert to cm or inches if needed).

Any frame length close to 258mm should work perfectly for you, including any 243 mm-long frames. BTW, 243mm happens to be the most common frame length.

Frame rocker: This is when wheels or the frame itself are set up in a way that makes the skate behave in a certain way.

Flat rocker: For many recreational outdoor rollerblades, a flat setup works best. Flat frames demonstrate better stability when traveling fast. Besides, they foster balance and make learning slides easier. All wheels are the same size. For example, 4*80mm wheels.

HiLo configuration: The HiLo rockering setup consists of wheels arranged in descending order. The largest at the back and the smallest wheel at the front. As a result, your body weight shifts forward, which makes it less likely you’ll fall on your bottom.

This profile makes for decent stability at speed and is good for doing slides. Roller hockey players use this configuration a lot because it effortlessly keeps them in a sprint-ready position. Not the best for a beginner because it can be super uncomfortable.

Banana rocker/full rocker: Has the curved shape of a banana. Two same-diameter wheels are mounted at the middle of the frame while two smaller same-size wheels are positioned at the ends, one at the back and the other at the front. For skating styles that require lots of maneuverability such as slalom, the full rocker works great. For example, 76mm*80nn*80mm*76mm.

Anti-rocker/Inverse rocker: This is the rocker profile aggressive inline skaters use. Here, you have two larger outside wheels and two smaller wheels inside. These anti-rocker wheels aren’t there to roll but to make grinding on surfaces easier, especially wider surfaces.

Modern aggressive boots are UFS, meaning that they come with a UFS frame. A UFS frame is unique in that it lets you swap out the existing frame if you grind through it, and you can mount any UFS frame from any brand onto the boot. Single-piece boots are OK, but they’re limited because the only way to replace the frame is to actually replace the entire bottom section. Just get yourself a hassle-free aggro skate.

A standard UFS frame has two 20mm mounting holes placed 167mm on each side of the sliding block. These holes are 3mm deep, and the frame is 41″ wide. Do all UFS frames fit all UFS boots? No, a minority of UFS boots are narrower and just won’t be compatible with the frame.

Front rocker: On a 4-wheel configuration, you have 3 same-diameter wheels at the back and a smaller wheel at the front. For example, 80mm*80mm*80mm*76mm. People who want a versatile skate that they can use for two different styles such as street and hockey might like this one.

Banana/HiLo rocker: It’s the best profile for doing all kinds of beautiful, complex footwork. It’s a crossbreed between the banana/full rocker and the hilo rocker. Many freestyle and slalom inline skaters like this setup. How the wheel arrangement looks like this: 77mm*80mm*78mm**71mm.

How to Calculate Your Inline Skate Frame length

  • Measure the length of both feet.
  • Divide your height by 6.6, which is the standard height-to-foot ratio.
  • The value you get is how long the frames of your outdoor exploration rollerblades should be.

For example: Suppose you stand 5’7″ tall. That’s 5 feet 7 inches. This number is the same as 5.5833 feet or 1701.7898mm.

Then, 1701.7898/6.6=257.85mm (convert to cm or inches if needed).

Any frame length close to 258mm should work perfectly for you.

6. Price, Brand, And Buying Used

There are many $100-$150 outdoor skates that actually work. Mid-range ones cost $200-$300 while high-end options cost $350+. Your budget and your skill level will help you decide.

Brands: K2, Rollerblade, Powerslide, Seba, and FR skates have good skates.

Buying used outdoor inline skates: You can get decent used skates for cheap online. Play It Again Sports is a great place to start your search for a good-quality pair of used rollerblades. Make sure to deep-clean your rollerblades, disinfect them, and go skate.

What’s the Best Rollerblade for Skating Outdoors?

I believe that the Zetrablade Rollerblades are one of the best budget choices for having fun outdoors.

These rollerblades stood out to me because they’re affordable and suit beginners and more experienced skaters looking for something to cruise through streets on.

But if you love the finer things in life, grab the Macroblade 100. It’s grander, performs much better, and looks great.

That said, all of the recommendations above are good for outdoor skating. So take your pick and go skate.