There comes a time in any skater’s life when they must decide: To buy, or not to buy? That is the question. And—spoiler alert—the answer is almost always going to be a resounding “BUY!” While paying to rent roller skates every time you visit the rink isn’t particularly expensive, it does add up over time. And if you love to skate, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of a pair of skates. Before you buy, check out these tips for purchasing roller skates to find the right pair for you.
How to Choose Which Roller Skates to Buy
There are several factors to consider when choosing roller skates. First, think about what type of skating you enjoy most. Are you primarily into dance skating (like rhythm skating, shuffle skating, or JB skating) or are you a speed demon? Do you want to learn how to own the rink like a jam skater, or do you dream of playing roller derby? Just like you’d need specialized gear for any other sport, the type of skating you plan to do will inform what type of skates you should buy.
Inline or Quad Roller Skates?
If you plan to do a lot of outdoor skating or vert skating (think half pipe grinding at your local skate park), you might want to opt for inline skates. Just like the name implies, the wheels on inline skates (usually 3-5) are in a line one after the other underneath the skate boot.
If you’re more interested in dance skating, rink skating, speed skating, jam skating, or roller derby, quad skates are the way to go. Quad skates are the “classic” skates you probably think of when you hear “roller skates.” Instead of the wheels being aligned under the boot, quad skate wheels are set up like a car, with two wheels side-by-side in the front and two side-by-side in the back.
Hard or Soft Boots?
Once you’ve decided on the type of skates you want to buy, you’ll need to choose between a hard boot (the part your foot goes into) or a soft boot. Hard boots provide more stability and ankle support, which makes them great for outdoor skating and vert skating. You can cruise for miles in hard boot skates. On the other hand, soft boot skates offer more flexibility, which is important if you want to be able to dance in them. Soft boots are also more breathable, allowing air to circulate, and they’re much lighter weight than their hard boot counterparts.
What Size Roller Skates Should I Buy?
Just like any other clothing or accessories, you should always try on or measure skates to determine the correct size. However, in general, you should be able to wear a skate that is the same size or slightly larger than your shoe size, as long as it’s laced properly.