Best Wheels for Outdoor Roller Skating

Whether you’re an evolving beginner roller skater or a more experienced skater looking for better outdoor roller skating wheels, you’ll find this post useful. In this buying guide to the best wheels for outdoor roller skating, you’ll learn quite a few things that many other reviewers have either glossed over or even totally ignored.

If by the end of this post you won’t have learned how to choose roller skate wheels for outdoor use like a pro, shoot me an email and call me a shameless liar.

Contents

6 Best Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels at Affordable Prices

I suggest that you first read the buying guide below so you can understand why I’m recommending what I’ve recommended here.

*Affiliate Links Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. 

1. Atom Skates Pulse 65mm 78A Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels (Top Pick)

Features:

  • A hollow core
  • Durometer: 78A
  • Wheel width: 37mm
  • Height: 65mm
  • Best for skating over asphalt

As discussed in the buying guide below, the best outdoor roller skating wheels live relatively low on the durometer scale. Also, good wheels for outdoor use need to be tall enough. And the Atom Pulse Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels check these two boxes.

These guys have a diameter of 65mm. They’re tall enough to roll over all kinds of cracks, twigs, small pebbles, and debris.

And at 78A duro, your legs will thank you because they won’t shake as you roll over asphalt. With these ones, cracks and bumps on pavements and sidewalks won’t terrify you anymore. They roll like butter!

These wheels have a hollow hub, and while it isn’t as rigid and supportive as an aluminum core, it’s definitely tougher than a nylon core.

With a contact patch measuring 37mm, they’re medium-width wheels offering a decent level of grip and agility. They’re an all-around option providing everything you need in an outdoor quad skate wheel in the right amounts.

At 65mm, these ones might be too tall and not stable enough for beginners.

You can buy a set of 4 wheels or 8 wheels in multiple colors at a great price on Amazon.

2. Sure-Grip Boardwalk 65mm 78A Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels (Most Durable)

Features

Height: 65mm

Hardness: 78A

Hub: Hollow

Width:36mm

Good for skating over rough asphalt and sidewalks, and they last.

Like the Atom Pulse above, the Sure-Grip Boardwalk Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels are relatively tall at 65mm. With guys, you’ll take on pebbles, twigs, dirt, and cracks like a champion.

But at that height, they’re definitely not the best option for beginning roller skaters.

Available in at least 4 nice colors, these guys are the perfect upgrade from those indoor wheels you’ve hated since that time you face-planted on them, remember?

If you love roller skate wheels that hold up well to constant abuse, these ones are a great bet. These U.S.-made wheels must be formulated from high-quality urethane because they last long.

My set has lasted 1.5 years now. And while they’re not as meaty as they were when I bought them, they’re still skate-able. I love them, and I bet you too will.

With a durometer of 78A, your legs will enjoy silky-smooth rides over all kinds of rough outdoor terrains. Whether you’re skating on asphalt or crack-filled sidewalks, you’ll love how buttery and comfy the rides feel with these wheels.

And while they aren’t hard at all, they’re noticeably sticky so that you can bomb hills of all shapes and sizes with confidence.

As for the contact patch, it is 36mm. And 36mm isn’t too wide or too narrow — you’ll get enough grip and stability. And lateral movements won’t feel too hard. Overall a decent set of wheels for recreational outdoor use.

I did have a little struggle popping the bearings in, but nothing that’d count as a vote on no-confidence against them.

3. Sure-Grip Outdoor Aerobic Roller Skating Wheels 85A 62mm x 38mm (A Good Hybrid Option)

Features

Diameter: 62mm

Durometer: 85A

Contact Patch:38mm

Core: Hollow

Great hybrid wheels for roller skaters of all skating abilities. The wheels can be used both indoors and outdoors

Sure-Grip wheels are some of the best that can be had today, and the Sure-Grip Aerobic Roller Skating Wheels are no exception.

While these wheels are harder than either the Sure-Grip Boardwalk or Atom Pulse, at 85A they’re still reasonably soft for outdoor adventures.

These are hybrid roller skating wheels. You can use them outdoors and indoors like on smooth hardwood floors. Compared to full-on indoor wheels, you’ll have a little more traction (less slipping) with these wheels.

Being 85A, 62mm wheels, they’re not as good as the options above for rolling over cracks and pebbles. And while 85A is considered soft, it may not be soft and smooth enough for the roughest asphalt roads.

Admittedly, these wheels do shake my feet a little, but not too much that you’d give up rolling around on them.

These Sure-Grip Aerobic wheels have a hollow core like all the options recommended above. A hollow core is moderately strong compared to an aluminum one, but it still keeps a wheel strong and round.

With a core that strong, these wheels are rigid enough and should provide a decent level of support for normal-weight skaters.

The contact patch measures 38mm across. That’s precisely the width you need to stay stable while not sacrificing speed much. And if you’re the sort of skater that likes putting up nice little dance shows for curious strangers, that width should fully support that.

Note that the wheels behind the Amazon link are pink. But if you’re a guy and don’t like girlie colors, there’s a slew of masculine colors for you. Overall, they’re good hybrid wheels, but they’re neither excellent indoors nor outdoors.

4. Bont Glow Outdoor Recreation Roller Skates (Budget Pick for Evening Skating)

Features

Wheel size: 62mm

Durometer: 83A

Contact patch: 35mm

Hub: Hollow

Bont Skates have been around since the early 1970’s, but they’re not best-known for providing dirt-cheap skating-related equipment. That said, the Bont Glow Outdoor Recreation Roller Skate wheels are super affordable.

These 62mm wheels have LED lights that emit a neon glow as you roll around. They don’t use batteries of any kind to power the lights. A magnet spacer in the wheel’s core powers the LED lights as you move around.

I enjoy skating these wheels in the evening with my daughter. No better way to bond with a little loved one! But you can also use them for dancing at the rink.

With a contact path of 35mm, the wheels are quite narrow. You’ll have less stability but more agility. And you’ll spin real good on these hybrid wheels. Also, turns and dancing should feel easy and smooth with these 62mm guys.

The wheels aren’t too small that you can only use them indoors. And they’re not too big and soft that you can only use them outdoors.

Want to subdue small cracks and rocks on relatively smooth asphalt? Or, maybe you want to spin the heck out of your stress after a hectic day at your work? Just get these wheels and get rolling.

Whether you’re spinning on wooden floors or just waltzing at the local roller rink, these wheels should work just fine. But expect skating on a rink to be a complete workout with wheels that grippy!

83A wheels might feel too grippy for rink roller skating, plus they might not absorb impacts very well when you’re riding over rough asphalt.

So, if you decide to choose these Bont quad skating wheels for skating outside, be sure the roads where you’re at aren’t the crappiest you’ve ever seen.

At a sub-$40 price point as of this post’s date, these wheels pack decent value for the money. Mine are cherry blossom pink, but you can also get pearl white, misty teal, or tickle blue.

5. Moxi Gummies Outdoor Roller Skating Wheels (Most Stable and Grippy)

Features

Wheel diameter: 65mm

Hardness: 78A

Contact: 40mm

Hub: Hollow

Moxi Gummies are probably the most common wheels when it comes to quad skating outdoors. With a diameter of 65mm, you’re well in the recommended size range for wheels intended for that purpose.

These outside quad skating wheels have a durometer rating of 78A that translates into really smooth rides on asphalt, concrete, and other surfaces. With such a durometer number, you won’t feel small rocks, debris, twigs, and twigs as you roll around. And when riding on bumpy, rocky terrain, your legs won’t complain of excessive shaking or vibrations.

A hollow hub keeps these wheels nice and round, and that hardness and rigidity convert into really good power transfer. With this option, you’ll get decent speed, support, and stability.

With a contact patch width of 40mm, these wheels are the widest of all my recommendations. And the wider the wheel, the greater the stability and grip, but more traction also means reduced speed.

Also, don’t expect to make smooth dance movements with these wheels — their thicker profile throws a wrench in the works. If you’re not careful enough and keep your feet too close, you’ll likely trip up on these wheels. These wheels seem to protrude quite far out from the skates, and that makes roller skate dancing on them a big challenge.

These wheels are big and bulky, and I can feel the chunkiness during use. And because they’re pretty wide, I don’t experience as much agility as with any of the other options. Also, these wheels can feel a little too sticky at times even though they’re extremely soft.

My Moxi Gummies feel really pleasant during use, and I have nothing major against them. But when I tried rubbing a finger on the lettering, it did come off.

Also, after skating these wheels for 2 months, they lost a bit of their original teal and looked somewhat milky.

But all those little surprises haven’t impaired performance one bit so far. Overall, these are good outdoor skating wheels, but watch those feet!

6. Radar Energy 57mm 31mm 78A Roller Skating Wheels (Best for Transition Skating)

Features:

Diameter: 57mm

Contact Patch: 31mm

Hardness/softness:78A

Recommended for roller skating on rather smooth outdoor surfaces such as skate parks.

I’ve said again and again that the best outdoor roller skating wheels have a relatively large diameter. So, why am I recommending the Radar Energy 57mm wheel as a good option for rolling around outside?

It’s because you’re not always going to skate on rough roads. Some of the time, you’ll want to spend a little of your fun time at your local park. And you’re going to need the right wheels for the job, which is where smaller wheels like the Radar Energy 57mm come in.

When it comes to skating at your local park, few options outperform the Radar Energy 57mm and 31mm. I’ve never skated wheels that reacted faster than these little guys.

Whether you’re doing spins or skating transitions at a park, you’ll love how responsive these small soft wheels are. If you’ve been skating transitions with Moxi Gummies and loving it, you’ll love the 57mm Radar Energy even more. Because they’re not as bulky as the Moxi Gummies.

Also, when it comes to doing turns, Radar 57mm skate like a dream.

What’s more, these Radar wheels really like sticking to the ground. And that gives me a feeling of real safety especially when I’m skating on my outside edges.

Honestly, there’s little to not like about these street roller skating wheels. Except that they’re not the best wheels for skating on rough, bumpy asphalt roads. And when these wheels roll nicely over very small pebbles and leaves, don’t expect much from them outside a skate park.

How to Choose Roller Skate Wheels for Outdoor Use

When it comes to outdoor roller skating wheels, there’s one question to answer so that you won’t end up with the wrong set of wheels.

1. Decide What You Want to Do With Your New Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels

And here’s the all-important question: What do I want to do with the wheels that I want to buy?  

Typically, a roller skater has to choose between two things — speed and agility. So, what do you want to achieve in your outdoor pursuits? Do you want to sacrifice a little agility for a little more speed? Perhaps you’d prefer to have more agility instead of more speed?

Want to Go Really Fast? Go for Big Wheels with a Big, Light Hub

Do you want to be able to roll really fast without ever feeling stuck to the ground? If that’s your goal, I suggest choosing relatively roller skate wheels that also boast a big, light hub. Big wheels having a big, light hub roll pretty fast, but they suck at agility.

In general, roller skate wheels with an aluminum hub roll faster than wheels with other kinds of hubs. More on wheel hubs a little later in this outdoor quad skate buying guide.

Big wheels are also great for skating trails because, well, they’re big. For rolling down trails covered with cracks of all sizes and shapes, avoid wheels such as Radar 57mm. Such wheels would be too small for the kinds of obstacles typically found on trails.

Here’s one more thing, harder wheels roll remarkably faster than softer ones. More on this below.

Maybe You’re Looking to Practice Lots of Basic Roller Skating Stuff?

If you’ll mostly practice lots of elementary roller skating stuff such as forward crossovers, different kinds of transitions, cruising, backward crossovers, and other stuff like that at a skate park or parking lot, get smaller, narrower wheels.

In this case, you need outdoor quad skating wheels that react really fast while sticking to the ground like nothing you’ve ever skated.

Wheels like that provide tons of agility, the kind of wheel to dance and perform demanding footwork with. Also, they feel nice and safe when you’re on your outside edges. Additionally, good park skating wheels are lots of fun when navigating turns.

Below is a list of other important factors to keep in mind while shopping for good outdoor quad wheels.

2. Wheel Hardness (Durometer) Is Also an Important Factor

Durometer refers to how hard or soft a roller skate wheel is, and this number does affect ride quality. Wheel durometer determines how fast a set of outdoor roller skating wheels will go and the smoothness of the ride.

How much durometer do you want on your outdoor wheels? The quality of the surface you’ll skate on and what you’ll be doing determine the right amount of wheel hardness or softness.

Harder wheels are faster and slidey while softer wheels are grippier and give smoother softer rides. Softer wheels do really well at absorbing surface vibrations.

Consider the Quality of the Surface You’ll Roller Skate

If the surface you’ll mostly skate on is quite rough, get low-durometer wheels. Low-durometer wheels are great for rolling over small rocks on bumpy surfaces.

Also, if the surface you have is kind of slippery (think asphalt, immaculate sidewalks, concrete, and other uncoated surfaces), get softer wheels. That’s because softer wheels are naturally grippy. For slippery outdoor surfaces like these ones, go for roller skate wheels with a durometer range of 78A-89A.

When it comes to roller skating outdoors, you can’t go wrong with wheels whose durometer hovers around 78A. Whether you’ll be roller skating on suburban bike trails and decent sidewalks, I recommend 78A wheels.

I’ve found that anything harder than 80A gives me that undesirable feeling of too much vibration from rocks and cracks.

I recently saw someone saying that the best durometer range for outdoor roller skating wheels hovers between 78A and 82A. But tell you what, that’s a really huge jump. Unless you’d be OK with your feet feeling like jello while skating, stick with 78A wheels.

What Duro Should a Novice in Roller Skating Choose?

If you’re a beginner roller skater that prefers skating outside, go with softer wheels. As mentioned above, softer wheels provide more grip, and grippy wheels kind of stick to the ground giving you a feeling of safety, stability, and control.

What if You Intend to Do Artistic Roller Skating Outdoors?

The best roller skating wheels for spinning indoors are the hardest you can ever find. They’re in the durometer range of 100A-103A. These are extremely hard wheels and are best for indoor roller skating.

But what if you’ll mostly do artistic roller skating outdoors? What durometer number would be ideal for that use? Get wheels with a duro in the mid 90s to high 90s, like 95A-99A wheels. Remember, surface quality should be the guiding factor here.

What if you’ll mostly do basic art spinning outdoors on sidewalks, on an outdoor track, or on a park trail? In that case, stick with 78A wheels as they’ve been proven to be the best all-around option for outdoor quad skating.

Still not feeling confident about the right level of hardness for your roller skating wheels? Use the roller skate wheel chart below for more detailed guidance.

Roller Skate Wheel Hardness Chart

Wheel Durometer  Where to Use the Wheels
78A-80A Very soft wheels. Use them outdoors on concrete or asphalt. Also great for skating extremely slippery surfaces indoors. Also a good choice for new skaters.
84A-85A Hybrid roller skate wheels. They are good for both indoor and outdoor quad skating. Also relatively soft wheels, a good choice for beginners.
86A-89A Best wheels for indoor courts including gyms, polished concrete, and super slippery untreated wooden surfaces. Considered the softest wheels that can be used for such surfaces.
90A-93A Considered to be medium hard wheels. Use them for surfaces with medium-level grip such as a sports court or polished concrete.
94A-96A Remarkably hard wheels. They provide a little amount of grip. Use them for roller skating on sticky floors.
97A-103A Extremely hard wheels, the hardest wheels you can find. Use these wheels for the stickiest roller rink floors and treated rubberized gym floors. Best for artistic roller skating because they spin like crazy.

3. Make Sure to Choose the Right Wheel Size or Diameter

Why is wheel size or wheel diameter important when shopping for outdoor roller skating wheels? Wheel diameter determines how tall the wheel will stand as well as the overall weight of your skates.

Wheel size also affects how fast a set of wheels can roll and how long you can freely roll. Another attribute that a wheel’s diameter affects is its stability and acceleration.

I’ll now explain how each of these aspects affects performance.

Wheel Weight is a Function of Wheel Diameter

Taller skaters tend to be heavier than shorter ones because they have more body to them (mass). Similarly, larger-diameter roller skate wheels have more mass to them than smaller ones. That’s why larger wheels weigh more than smaller ones.

Believe it or not, wheel weight forms the majority of the weight in roller skates. If a pair of roller skates feel heavy and clunky, it’s because the wheels are heavy and clunky.

In fact, nearly 50 percent of a skate’s weight comes from its wheels. That’s why you can’t ignore wheel weight/height.

Generally, heavier roller skate wheels are faster, more stable, and provide more grip or traction than lighter wheels. The downside of heavier wheels is that they tend to tire one’s legs out sooner than do lighter wheels.

With lighter wheels, you’re able to make quicker movements easier. However, lighter wheels tend to be more unstable.

If you’re just starting your roller skating career, it’s best to go with heavier wheels. With heavier wheels, you’ll feel somewhat more stable and grounded than you would with heavier wheels.

Advanced and intermediate roller skaters tend to prefer somewhat lighter wheels, though. That’s because maneuverability and agility matter more to them than other selection factors.

Below is a table that’ll help you understand how wheel weight affects wheel use.

Wheel Diameter  Recommended Use for That Height/Weight
45mm Smallest roller skating wheels possible. Good for freestyle roller skating and artistic skating.
57mm-58mm Relatively small wheels. Recommended for jam skating, speed skating, roller derby, and artistic roller skating.  
59mm-62mm  Medium-sized roller skating wheels designed for roller derby, jam skating, and speed skating. 
65mm-70mm  Largest roller skating wheels that can be had. Good for outdoor skating and long-track speed skating.

Taller Wheels Accelerate Slower Than Smaller Wheels

It’s a fact — smaller wheels accelerate faster than larger wheels. Why is that so? The explanation is pure logic: the smaller the wheel, the smaller its circumference, therefore the smaller the distance covered to complete a revolution.

The reverse is also true. That is, the larger the diameter of a wheel, the longer the distance that wheel needs to cover to roll a full revolution.

In other words, smaller wheels need less effort to get rolling than do bigger wheels. But once a larger wheel gets going, there’s literally no stopping it! 

Smaller roller skate wheels give you faster acceleration than bigger wheels. But larger wheels end up spinning faster as they gain more and more acceleration. It’s a matter of pure logic.

Here’s a thought that entirely summarizes all the little facts stated above:

It takes less effort to get a smaller outdoor-use wheel going but more effort to keep it going. Conversely, it takes greater effort to get a larger outdoor roller skate wheel going but less effort to keep it rolling. That’s why larger wheels roll faster at greater acceleration than do smaller wheels.

Smaller Wheels Offer Greater Stability Than Bigger Wheels

I bet you can easily see why a smaller roller skate wheel can feel more stable than a larger wheel. With a small wheel, your feet are standing a smaller distance from the ground than would be the case with larger wheels.

If your high school physics isn’t too rusty, you’ll remember that the higher the distance off the ground, the higher the center of gravity. And the higher the center of gravity, the less stability.

I said elsewhere in this roller skate buying guide that heavier wheels typically offer more stability than lighter wheels. And that greater height in quad skate wheels usually translates into heavier wheels.

So, how do we reconcile these seemingly contradicting statements? Here’s the thing: If a wheel is taller but also heavier than another, its greater weight cancels out some of the effects of it being taller. Plus, we all know that heavier objects are harder to topple than lighter objects, don’t we?

So, there’s no real contradiction there, my dear friend of the wheel.

Wheel Diameter Determines Roll Time (Top Speed)

Roll time refers to the amount of time a wheel continues to roll without you pushing at all. A quad skate wheel with a larger diameter will keep rolling for longer than a wheel with a smaller diameter after you stop pushing.

The existing momentum causes the larger-diameter wheel to roll a longer distance after pushing stops. That is, a larger wheel delivers better roll time than a smaller wheel and also wins in terms of achieving top speeds.

Riding roller skates with larger wheels is pretty much like building a rental property. You do lots of work initially, and your efforts don’t seem to translate into much progress, at first.

But once you’ve done all the heavy work, the property starts paying itself back. And the property will (theoretically) keep throwing off passive income forever. In the case of larger roller skate wheels, they don’t roll forever, but they do roll longer.

Do you now understand why most long-distance roller skate and inline skate wheels tend to be larger than those on other types of skates? I’m sure you got it.

4. Don’t Ignore the Width and Wheel Profile

You also need to pay attention to the width of a wheel before settling on it. If you lay a roller skate wheel on a table and measure the distance across its edges, the number you get is the width or profile.

The width measurement also takes into account beveled edges. That is, if a wheel has beveled edges, its width extends to the end of the beveled edge.

So, no, wheel width isn’t always the same thing as the contact patch. For a wheel with perfectly square edges such as the one in the demonstration picture above, wheel width and contact patch are the same distance across.

But in a beveled-edge roller skate wheel, the contact patch is narrower than the wheel’s width. Clear? Right.

A wheel’s contact patch refers to the actual area of that wheel that’s in contact with the pavement or whatever surface you’re skating on. But does this attribute affect ride quality? Yes, the contact patch affects two important aspects: speed and grip.

So, what’s better for outdoor roller skating, wider or narrower wheels? It depends on what you want to do with your wheels.

If you want to dance the hell outta those wheels as you roll down trails leaving non-roller skaters gawking, definitely choose narrower wheels. Why?

It’s because wheels with a narrower contact patch tend to be lighter and allow for easier, quicker movements. And that’s precisely the kinds of wheels roller dancing prefers. However, wheels with a narrower contact patch tend to be less stable than those with a wider contact patch.

Conversely, wheels with a wider contact patch offer more traction and greater stability. So, if you want more stable rides that give you that grounded feeling, go for wider contact wheels.

Wheel width for roller skating wheels ranges between 31mm to 44mm.

Here are two quick statements that summarize everything:

A wider contact patch = More stability + Greater grip + Less agility.

A narrower contact patch = Easier, quicker movements (More agility) + less Grip + Less Stability.

The table below is a quick and dirty guide to selecting wheels on the basis of contact patch width and wheel profile.

Wheel Width General Wheel Description Ideal for What Skill Level?
31mm The narrowest roller skate wheels. They offer little grip and stability but provide tons of agility. for advanced-level roller skaters
35mm Also relatively narrow and light wheels. With these wheels, you get a bit more stability and grip than 31mm wheels. for advanced and intermediate-level roller skaters
38mm Medium-width wheels, not too wide nor too narrow. 38mm wheels offer a sweet balance between grip, agility, and stability. These are kind of for everything wheels and work well for all skill levels. for all skill levels:  Beginners, intermediate, and advanced roller skaters
44mm The widest roller skate wheels that can be had. They’re the opposite of 31mm wheels; they provide tons of traction and stability. But they’re also the heaviest possible quad skate wheels and the least agile. Plus, they aren’t fast because the wide patch means more resistance against the surface. for beginners

5. Examine the Lip Profile of Your Outdoor Roller Skating Wheels

The lip of a wheel refers to the shape of its edges. The way the lip is shaped or designed determines how much contact patch a wheel will have.

There are 2 main types of lip profile namely:

1.Square lips or edges

2.Rounded lips or edges

Let’s take a closer look at each type of edge profile.

Square-edged Roller Skate Wheels (Best for Artistic Roller Skating)

The edges on wheels are perfectly straight when viewed from the sides. Also, they are the grippiest, stablest quad skate wheels you can find. That’s because they have a really wide contact patch.

In reality, though, very few wheels have perfectly square lips/edges. Most wheels exist somewhere between square-lipped and rounded.

Wheels with a more square shape are best suited for artistic roller skating.

As the name suggests, round-lipped roller skating wheels have more rounded edges. And round-shaped wheels are the best option for roller skating outside.

Some are more rounded than others, and each lip configuration feels a little different than other shapes. The only way to determine what round-shaped wheels would work best for your outdoor skating needs is to buy a couple and ride the hell out of each profile.

Generally, round-shaped wheels are more slidey and cruise-ability (is that even a word?). On the flip side, round-lipped options provide reduced traction.

Do you know why round-lipped wheels are the best option for quad skating outdoors? It’s because their rounded shape/design works superbly when it comes to knocking small pebbles or rocks, twigs, and other small obstacles that could be in the way.

The statement below summarizes what you need to know about square and round roller skating wheels:

The more rounded a roller skating wheel is, the less grip and the more slide-ability and cruise-ability. Conversely, the more square a quad skate wheel is, the grippier it tends to be.

6. Consider the Wheel’s Core and Material Used

The core of a roller-skating wheel is that central area where the bearings pop into place during wheel assembly. Why is a wheel’s core or hub an important consideration? It’s because it affects the overall ride quality or performance as well as its durability.

Another aspect that a wheel’s core quality affects is roll quality.

3 Types of Roller Skate Wheel Cores

There are three kinds of wheel hubs including the following:

  1. Aluminum cores
  2. Nylon cores
  3. Hollow cores

I’ll now describe each core type so that you can understand what would work best in your outdoor riding situation.

Aluminum Wheel Cores (Rounder, Tougher, and Expensive)

The priciest wheels typically have an aluminum core. This core is super strong and rigid and keeps the wheel nice and round for long. And perfectly round wheels roll better for longer. Also, this core happens to be the heaviest of all three.

With an aluminum core, you’ll slide better, get great support (critical if you’re rather heavy), but traction could be better. Also, these are some of the fastest wheels that can be had because they’re not super grippy and make for great power transfer.  

Nylon Wheel Cores (Less Round, Slower, More Affordable)

Wheels with a nylon core are lighter than metal-cored wheels. Nylon-hubbed wheels also offer reduced rigidity compared to those with an aluminum core.

Also, these guys are typically softer and slower than aluminum-cored ones because the core isn’t tough enough to keep the wheel super solid and perfectly round.

And because the wheels are less round, they naturally have a wider contact patch than their aluminum counterparts. That’s why they’re generally slower.

One more thing: nylon-cored wheels are less expensive than those with an aluminum core.

Hollow Wheel Cores

Hollow-cored roller skate wheels have a stronger/more rigid core than nylon-cored wheels but the core isn’t as rigid as an aluminum core. They’re like improved nylon-cored wheels.

Even though hollow-cored roller skating wheels aren’t light as nylon-cored wheels, they’re lighter than aluminum-cored wheels.

Hollow-cored outdoor roller skating wheels don’t have an excellent roll as you’d get with an aluminum core. But you’ll get a stiffer-than-nylon core and pretty decent acceleration and roll time.

So, what’s the best kind of core for outdoor quad skating wheels? Both hollow cored and aluminum cored wheels should be a good option for enjoying the outdoors on your quads.

7. Does Wheel Tread Matter At All? We’ll See

Ah, wheel tread…does the quality and nature of tread on roller skate wheels matter? Lots of people and a few YouTube “experts” out there believe that wheel tread determines wheel grip. But that’s a baseless belief as are most beliefs.

So, should you pay attention to the tread on the wheels you’re eyeing? Not necessarily as far as I’m concerned.

But that’s not to say tread is nothing more than a decorative attribute. If you’re a beginner and a wheel promises tread that will increase its grip, go for it if it checks all the other boxes.

That’s because good tread can help you maintain your balance and stability for those first few minutes before your skate wheels heat up.

All roller skate wheels, whether for indoor or outdoor use, heat up after some time. And when they heat up, you no longer need grip since heated-up wheels naturally become grippier.

8. Skater Weight Affects Wheel Reaction and Performance

Your weight is a critical factor to consider when choosing outdoor quad skating wheels. Follow the simple rules below when choosing outdoor roller skate wheels so you’ll end up with an option that works for your weight:

Rule #1: If you’re a normal weight roller skater, pick up wheels whose durometer is the recommended number for the surface you’ll skate.

Rule #2: If you’re too heavy, choose wheels with a durometer that is 2-3 higher than the recommended durometer for a given surface.

Rule #3: If you’re too light, choose outdoor wheels whose durometer is 2-3 units below the recommended duro number for a given surface.

Are You a Heavy Roller Skater Weighing Over the 200 Lbs?

If you’re an American male and weigh over 198 lbs, you’re heavier than the average. And believe it or not, the average weight for American men is already overweight. At that height, the average guy should be weighing less than the average weight of the American female.

I used the CDC BMI calculator and entered the average height (5 feet 10 inches) and weight of the American male (198 lbs), and the BMI was 28.4, clearly overweight for that height.

Now, if you’re that heavy, choose wheels that are 3 points heavier on the durometer scale than what a normal-weight skater would use. For example, if the recommended durometer for a set of wheels is 90A, choose 93A wheels.

Why go up the durometer scale if you’re a little heavier than most people? It’s because all that extra weight will pile too much pressure on your wheels causing them to sink deeper into the surface you’re skating. Here’s the thing — if your wheels sink more, you’ll go slower.

Also, too much pressure on the wheels causes them to flex a little more. And who wants to end up with distorted wheels?

If you’re heavier than most skaters of your height category, always choose wheels with an extremely solid, rigid core. Go for aluminum-cored roller skate wheels if you weigh over 200 pounds.

What if You’re an Extremely Light Outdoor Roller Skater?

Americans may be getting shorter and heavier on average, but that doesn’t mean no one weighs less than 100 lbs (45kgs).

If you’re that light, do the opposite of what I suggested for heavy skaters — go down 3 or so points on the durometer scale.

For example, if the recommended durometer for the surface you’ll skate on is 85A, choose 82A wheels. As for the core, you can go with whatever you like.

Regular-weight Skaters May Follow Recommended Duro and Any Wheel Core

If you weigh anywhere between 100 lbs and 200 lbs, just choose wheels with the recommended durometer number for the kind of surface you’ll ride on.

For example, if you weigh 150 lbs and will be skating on mostly asphalt or concrete, anything between 78A and 80A.

9. How Much Do Good Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels Cost?

Outdoor roller skating wheels come in at a wide range of price points. The cheapest skate-able quad skate wheels I’ve seen cost as little as $30 while the most expensive I’ve ever seen cost $170.

Cheap wheels are OK especially if you’re an entry-level roller skater. But understand this: when it comes to outdoor skating wheels, you’ll almost always get precisely what you for.

Pricier skate wheels tend to be better than cheaper ones. That said, the most expensive wheels aren’t always the finest or most long-lasting.

If you want good roller skating wheels for outdoor shredding without spending recklessly, consider choosing wheels in the $70-$100 range. Most of my wheels cost no more than $85, and so far so good.

10. Wheel Color Doesn’t Affect Performance, But…

Ok, I really didn’t have to include color because it has zero effect on how well a wheel rolls or performs in general.

But many people care about looks, and skaters are no exception. Color might be more important to dance and artistic roller skaters, but who doesn’t like skates that look really cool? Me neither.

So, choose a color that works well with the colors on the other components of your quad skates. I like colors that make me feel cool and confident. But I’ve never chosen a set of roller skate wheels on the basis of color alone, and neither should you.

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels

When selecting outdoor quad skating wheels, there are quite a few important factors to consider. So, pay attention to the wheel’s diameter, durometer, profile (lip shape and width), and wheel hub materials.

Also, think about the nature or quality of the surface where you’ll skate. Different surfaces require different wheels. Your skating style is also an important aspect to keep in mind while shopping. Because different roller skate wheels really shine when it comes to certain roller skating styles but suck in others.

Consider your weight, too. Certain wheels support heavier roller skaters better than others.

Finally, think about how much money you want to spend on wheels. While it’s possible to find a set of cheap wheels that work for you, you’ll almost always get what you pay for.

I hope you found my guide useful. If there’s something you feel I should have covered in this outdoor roller skating wheel buying guide, let me know in the comments section below.