The Top 10 Rollerblades Reviewed
Rollerblading is an extremely popular activity that’s not only incredibly enjoyable, but it delivers an awesome workout as well.
Whether you’re new to the sport, or a seasoned pro, rollerblading is the kind of activity that can be enjoyed no matter what your level of experience.
The sport’s versatility offers indoor and outdoor skating, something the whole family can enjoy together.
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT
Roller Derby AERIO Q-60
K2 Skate Kinetic 80 Inline
Roller Derby V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable
Blue/Purple, Gray/Purple, Mint
Rollerblade Zetrablade Performance
K2 Skate F.I.T. Pro 84
K2 Boa Skates
XinoSport Adjustable Inline Skates
Rollerblade Spitfire JR XTB
When were rollerblades invented?
Rollerblades, or ‘inline skates’ interestingly have a history that goes all the way back to the 1700’s. A Netherlander took spools made of wood, fastened them to strips of wood, and attached them to his shoes.
Fast-forward to the mid-1800’s when an American created what we typically know as, ‘rollerskates’, with the rows of wheels side by side.
It wasn’t until 1980 when two Minnesota brothers were in a sporting goods store and came upon an older pair of in-line skates. Thinking they could improve on the design, the brothers patterned the very first rollerblade in-line skates.
The pair thought their idea would be perfect for hockey players and Nordic alpine skiers to train and practice in the summer, so they began manufacturing rollerblade in-line skates.
Over time, their rollerblade design became popular with the general public, and has only gained in its admiration through present day.
Rollerblades vs. Rollerskates
If you’re contemplating taking up a new roller sport, you might be wondering whether rollerblades or rollerskates are a better choice for you. When comparing them by design, rollerblades are comprised of four wheels (in a line) under the boot.
The front and back wheels extend past the actual boot length, which offers balance for a skater’s forward and backward propulsion.
This longer wheelbase with its larger, thinner wheels is great for absorbing little bumps and uneven surfaces, thereby allowing you to ride with good stability.
On the other hand, rollerskates have four wider wheels, two side-by-side under the ball area of the boot, and the same pattern under the heel area.
Although it might feel somewhat more stable with the larger wheels underfoot, there isn’t anything past the toe and heel areas (as is the case with rollerblades).
In essence, this makes for much less stability in the front and back areas of the skate. Rollerskates are considerably heavier due to the weight of the larger wheels, thus making them harder to operate than rollerblades.
Learning how to rollerblade can be quite easy to learn, yet having the right features in a pair of rollerblades is a vital part of the process.
Features to Look for in the Best Rollerblades
When searching for the best rollerblades, make sure the wheels are made of polyurethane. This is important, as in the past the wheels for rollerblades were constructed using plastic.
Polyurethane provides a much easier skating experience. In addition, rollerblade wheels produced from polyurethane are much more durable than their plastic predecessors.
It might seem intuitive that the shape of a wheel is round. However, when looking for the best rollerblades to buy, ensure the wheel’s characteristics are in line with the type of skating you plan on undertaking.
For example, the amount of the wheel’s surface that will touch the ground varies with the model type. In other words, if your primary goal is to play hockey, the best rollerblades will be those whose wheels are designed to allow the maximum amount of contact with a surface, regardless of the position of the rollerblade.
Keep in mind, the larger the wheel shape the faster the speed of the skate.
Brakes are not included in the design of every type of rollerblade. If you’re new to the sport, you might want to make certain your skates have a good braking system.
There are two different kinds of brakes for rollerblades: traditional, and advanced braking, known as, “ABT”. A traditional brake design has a rubber stopper on the back of the rollerblade.
The advanced braking is almost the same, but has an ‘arm-like’ feature. The latter is primarily used for new skaters to help build assurance in braking.
Frames are constructed around the wheels to keep them in place. The substance used to make the wheel will determine the weight, durability, and amount of energy transfer (the frames are a conduit between your body and the skating surface).
Plastic frames are generally used by those who are just learning to rollerblade, especially since the skating speed at first will be on the slower side.
Plastic does lack durability, and is heavier than other frame materials. Aluminum frames are lighter than the plastic type, and provide more energy efficiency than plastic. Frames constructed from carbon are super light, durable, and extremely energy efficient.
When you’re searching for the best rollerblades to buy, it’s extremely important that the skate’s boot has excellent ankle support. The foot shouldn’t be able to slide or move around.
There are three designs of boot cuffs which will provide varying degrees of ankle support: no cuff, low, and high. For beginners, it’s recommended that a high cuff be used, as it allows for the most support, something that’s important when first starting to rollerblade.
For more experienced skaters, low cuff skates are an excellent choice, as they give a sharper turn (although a lot less ankle support). Cuffs come in either plastic or carbon, the former being much cheaper, yet are still very effective in providing ankle support.
It’s imperative for your rollerblades to provide you with a good fit. If the boot of your rollerblades is too big or small, you won’t be able to skate properly, which could lead to injuries.
Furthermore, without a good fit, your rollerblades can cause a variety of issues, such as bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and painful blisters.
Skate liners can add the appropriate amount of material for a good fitting rollerblade boot. Liners made from memory foam will provide a good fit around the shape of the foot.
Heat molding liners can actually be shaped precisely to the foot size. Foam liners are basic and mold to the shape and weight of the skater, giving additional assistance for the beginner looking for a good fit.