Although buying inline skates can be exciting, it can also be daunting for beginners who are unfamiliar with all the options available. Knowing what kind of inline skating you are interested in will help narrow down the options.
Below, we will discuss each one and its specific characteristics. It is easier to choose the right inline skates for you if you know what you are looking for.
Choose your skating type
There are many types of inline skating according to its use. The four major types of inline skating: fitness, race, and recreation. Urban is the fourth. So, let’s see what are the characteristics of these skating we mention above.
Fitness: For more advanced skaters or those who want to get more from their skates. We will find skates that can be used for recreational skating as well as skates that can go faster and cover greater distances.
Recreation: This is the most popular type of skate, and it's perfect for intermediate to advanced skaters. Skates in the recreational category were designed with comfort and performance in mind. They will provide a great fit for beginners and can be used as a stepstone to fitness skates.
Race: Inline skates for race style will have a stiff boot design that offers great performance. These skates will provide great performance, but are not super comfortable. They are only suitable for people who want to be race-inspired.
Urban: These inline skates, which are relatively new, offer a boot design that is similar to an aggressive skate. Urban skates are designed for urban streets and feature a short frame that allows for easy maneuvering on busy sidewalks.
Know the Structure of inline skates
It’s important to know the parts of your skates so you can choose the most suitable one for yourself and have a better skating experience.
After talking about the main types, let's learn about the structure of roller skates. Everyone who has done roller skating has his own pair of roller skates. Roller skating shoes are composed of upper and lower shoes. The upper part is above the plate, which is mainly divided into inner liner and skate boot, which are also called shoe body. The lower shoe is below the plate, which is mainly divided into the plate, wheel, and bearing.
Skate boot: the inner liner is in direct contact with both feet, so the material selection of the inner liner of roller skating shoes is very important. The boot is usually made from real or synthetic leather for its durability and protection. A good inner liner not only has good wrapping and comfort performance but also has the performance of perspiration and ventilation during roller skating. The inferior roller skating liner not only has poor comfort and wrapping but also becomes thinner and harder after a long time of use, affecting the wearing experience.
Some skate types, especially recreational and fitness, offer a choice of soft or hard boots.
Although soft boots are more prominent in the marketplace, here we still recommend hard boots for those who are heavier. They provide the support heavier people require.
Soft boots can cause pronation on the inside of the boot's edges. Skaters who have been learning to skate on them for a while are twice as likely. They often switch to hard boots within a few months.
It is best to start with well-fitting, comfortable hard boots.
Shoe shell: This is an important part of roller skating shoes, generally divided into hard shell shoes and semi-soft type. In the upper position of the shoe, there is a group of fixed ankles, called buckles, which can fix the ankles well. Improve the stability during taxiing. The shell of roller skates generally uses PP, and different PP has different impact resistance strength. The space in the shell actually determines whether the shoes are comfortable to wear. Because the shell is a hard material, it hardly deforms. But everyone's feet are different. Some feet are thin, some are wide, and some are fat. Therefore, the outer shell needs to be matched with the inner tank, so as to better match the feet of most people.
The ankle part of the shell is called leggings or CUFF. The legging position provides support for the ankle. After many low-priced roller skates are put on, the ankle inward or outward is mainly caused by the inability of the leggings to provide sufficient support.
Plate： The plate is a sturdy metal platform that attaches the boot to all other parts of the skate. The shape design of the plate is different for different gameplays. Most of them are hollowed out, which can reduce the weight of the plate while being beautiful.
It is mainly divided into a flat frame and a Semi-curved blade holder. The flat frame means that four wheels of the same size are on the ground during the sliding process, while the Semi-curved blade holder means that only the middle two wheels touch the ground when the wheels are the same. Mainly used to practice fancy movements.
The material of the plate. Common materials include composite materials (engineering plastics), aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, etc.
The composite material is light in weight and has a certain degree of toughness. It is often used in children's leisure roller skates and extreme roller skates.
Aluminum alloy is a composite material of multiple metals, and different metals and different matching ratios will also lead to different characteristics of aluminum alloy.
Wheels: A skate is incomplete without wheels. There are many types of roller skate wheels, each with different hardness levels, grips, and styles that will suit different needs. A roller skate's wheels usually have three to four wheels, while others have five. There are many features of wheels: size, hard and soft, material, flash, and non-flash. Every wheel is different in hardness. They range from 80A up to 85A. The harder the wheel, the more wear-resistant it is. The most popular materials for wheel meat at the moment are PVC, TPU, and PU. Flash is just being cool to used to attract customers. Flash wheels should not be used for professional training. It will make it more difficult to use flash wheels. The flash wheel's performance is also not great.
The outside of the wheel is called wheel meat, and the middle is called wheel hub. The materials selected for different types of wheels are also different. Pu (polyurethane) materials are generally used.
Bearings: These are the components that attach to the wheels. They are one of the most crucial parts of a pair of roller skates， available in 8 mm and 7 mm sizes. The quality of the bearings will determine the speed and flow of the roller skates while they are sliding. Competitors generally have higher bearing requirements, with speed skaters having the highest. Roller skates that are used by beginners have a low bearing density. The speed, endurance, and sealing are all indicators of the quality of the bearing. You can test the quality of the bearing by holding the roller skate and spinning the wheel around one circle to see the rotation time and speed．
If you love skating, sooner or later you’re likely to want your pair of skates instead of renting them. Just remember comfort is the key when choosing inline skates after it satisfying all your usage requirements. We hope you will pick the right one and have fun！