How to choose and buy roller skates?

Throughout the entire period of popularity of roller skates, and this is a long second decade, they have always been surrounded by all kinds of myths and superstitions. With the development of the Internet, these myths, which usually have little to do with the real state of affairs, began to appear as immutable truths on various websites and forums.

What do we need from roller skates?

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First, let’s note that the best option for the beginner are roller skates for fitness or, simply put, for simple skating. In such rollers comfort is always in first place, and the price is usually lower than that of specialized models. Consider the main characteristics of roller skates for easy skating:

  • comfort,
  • quality,
  • technical characteristics.

Comfort, like quality, are statistical concepts. When one says: “I have cheap roller skates of an unknown brand, but they are comfortable and I am satisfied with them,” it only means that the person has not tried them to compare them with better ones. It is also possible that the person has tried on the best and most comfortable skates in the world, but has not found his or her shoe among them. This is very rare, but it does happen.

Technical characteristics include lacing speed, frame material, wheel diameter and stiffness, bearing brand, and even things not immediately obvious such as lateral support stiffness and moisture wicking. After comfort and quality, technical characteristics are the least important for the beginner, because we are talking about rollers for fitness, that is just skating.

Now it should be clear that the probability to buy comfortable roller skates, which will last you a long time, bringing joy and pleasure from skating, is much higher in stores that specialize in the world’s leading brands.

What do I need to know about wheels for rollers?

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Roller wheels have certain characteristics by which they are distinguished – diameter (size), width, hardness (rigidity), wheel profile, profile height and hub.

The most popular brand is Hyper, they are also the most famous company. By the way, the Hyper wheel always has the size and stiffness listed on it.

The size is measured in millimeters, the possible range of diameters in most cases is from 54 to 125 mm. The width of the wheels is almost always the same.

A thicker wheel profile is a good option for children’s rollers, beginners’ rollers, freeskate and aggressive models. The shape of the wheel profile affects the contact patch, and the contact patch, in turn, affects traction. Profiles are different for each style of skating because the traction and drag characteristics are different for each style. The wheel can be elongated and narrow, as in speedskate models, can be thick and flattened, as in aggressive models and the golden mean for fitness – children’s roller skates.

The hub in the wheel is the core of the wheel in which the bearings are inserted. At first glance, it may seem that the hub is the same in different models of roller skates. In fact, the differences are significant – the hubs may be made of different material, have spokes or other slots. In the top models of wheels for freeskate, such as Hyper Concrete +G, the hub is made of soft plastic, so it is very durable. Speed and recreational models have hubs made of hard plastic, so the wheel doesn’t lose energy when pushed and has better rollability. Aggressive wheels don’t have hubs because of the size of the wheel itself. And for fitness models, the most common hubs with large spokes are suitable.


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