Updated: Apr 14, 2021
I have been receiving a lot of questions by first timers/beginners regards to what skates is the most suitable for them. So today I want to talk about the 6 different types of inline skates and their key differences and hopefully this article will help you make a better purchasing decision.
The first type of skate available are gonna be kids skates these will typically have a smaller wheel size and adjustable boots. This will make them easier for the child to learn on them as they will be lower to the ground and giving the child plenty of room to grow into this skates as the foot size increases.
Who is this for? Children and kids learning to skate.
Recreational skates, as the name suggest, these skates are perfect for the entry level/occasional user. They typically have a small to moderate wheel size somewhere in the 76mm to 84mm range. The higher cuff and soft boot design will provide comfort and lasting support to keep you out longer. They also usually comes with a brake pad as shown in the image above.
Who is this for? Adults and anyone who is just trying out skating and prefer a more comfortable boot.
Now for speed/fitness game with these you'll see a jump to a 90mm to 125mm wheel size. The lower cuff will provide better ankle articulation as well as more freedom of movement. It also means that the skater would required more strength due to the lacking of cuff support. The stiffer boot will also provide better transfer of energy from your legs to your skates. However the skates will be harder to manoeuvre due to the longer frames so as to keep the skates stable during high speed skating.
Who is this for? It will be ideal choice for a more experienced skaters or someone looking to step up from the traditional recreational model.
Next up we'll have aggressive skates. They are designed specifically for skate parks and are use to do tricks like jumps and grinds. The wheels will be smaller around 56mm - 60mm range and will also have a flatter contact area which will be more stable to land on. However they are not ideal for travelling distances due to the smaller wheels and will be more suitable on concrete surfaces of skate parks.
Who is this for? Skaters who mainly wants to do tricks like jumps and grinds.
What if you like the fit and feel of your aggressive skates but you want the ability to skate around town in the urban or street? Then this model would be right up for you. Featuring a hard shelled boots similar to an aggressive skates and having the traditional frame and wheels sizes.
Who is this for? For the skater wants to do a little bit of everything this is the perfect model.
In fact, I'm using a pair of urban/free skates myself.
Finally you have roller hockey skates now as the name implies these are designed specifically with roller hockey in mind. Slightly smaller wheels 72mm - 80mm range which provides great manoeuvrability, sharper turning and quicker starts and stops. A super stiff boot provide maximum energy transfer and the wheels will also be softer as it is designed for indoor use. You could easily swap and some standard recreational wheels and you're good to go outside as well.
Who is this for? Anyone who might be interested in roller hockey.
So theses are the 6 major inline skates categories. The first and most important step is to determine which type or skating style you going after. From there I'm sure you will be able to find your perfect skates. I really hope that this article helpful.
Let me know also if you have any other questions you encounter while choosing your first pair of inline skates. Love to hear from you!