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What Should I Consider When Buying Rollerblades?

By Denise Kincy Grier
Updated May 23, 2024
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Rollerblade is actually the name of the most popular brand of inline skates. Just as many of us call tissues "Kleenex," the sport of inline skating is commonly referred to the brand rather than the sport. For the sake of popular terminology, this article will use the word "rollerblades" interchangeably with the more appropriate term of "inline skates."

The first thing to do before buying rollerblades is to determine what kind of inline skate you'll need. Being armed with sufficient information will keep you from buying rollerblades that you find later are not right for you. The primary thing you'll need to consider is what you will be doing with the rollerblades. Will you be using the rollerblades to learn to figure skate? Are you going to play hockey? Is speed skating what you have in mind? Or are you simply buying rollerblades for exercise and fun?

The majority of people buying rollerblades are likely planning on using them for recreation purposes. In this case, multi-purpose, cross-training, or fitness inline skates are the right ones to buy. In fact, most of the rollerblade market is made up of these general-purpose skates. They are usually made out of plastic and lined with a soft foam. The tying mechanism can be comprised of laces, buckles, or a combination of both.

Aggressive or street skates are available for those wanting to do more aggressive tricks like grinds or railslides. These skates usually come with grind plates, smaller, harder wheels, and rugged shells.

The next thing to consider when buying rollerblades is how much money you want to spend. As with most things, the more money you put up front the less it will cost you in the long run. But if you don't feel strongly committed to rollerblading yet, it might be advisable to buy a cheaper pair of inline skates from a discount store. You can try them out and discover whether you like the sport enough to make an investment in a good pair of rollerblades. A decent pair of rollerblades can run you $200 US Dollars (USD) and up.

When buying rollerblades, your next consideration is protective gear which can cost around $50-$100 USD. The protective gear you'll need includes a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads which are often offered in combination packs at a discount.

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Discussion Comments
By anon243681 — On Jan 29, 2012

Where I live it is very flat. I was considering buying hockey inline skates because I used to ice skate using a pair of well, hockey skates. Anyway, what pair should I buy because I don't want to do slalom and I want to learn similar tricks to ice skating.

By manykitties2 — On May 20, 2011

I know with traditional ice skates that there are designs specifically for men and women, hockey skate and figure skate style.

Are there different kinds of rollerblades?

I am considering buying my first pair and am not sure what to look for.

Do some come with more wheels, or wider ones to make them easier to use?

Also, when you are considering a pair, do different varieties have better ankle support than others?

I am worried that I might hurt myself on my first try if I overestimate how much support the skates are giving me. I have a bad habit of falling over.

By animegal — On May 19, 2011

Rollerblading is a great way to get exercise and spend time with your friends. It also burns quite a few calories for those who are feeling weight conscious.

I would recommend borrowing a pair from a friend before you consider buying your own pair of rollerblades. While you may think it's going to be a lot of fun and you will be whizzing around in no time, there is definitely a learning curve, and you should make sure it is something you can do before dropping hundreds of dollars on a good pair.

Also, if you have weak ankles this may not be the sport for you. While rollerblades offer a lot of support they can be tricky for those that have ankle trouble.

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