How to Choose your Inline Skates

July 11, 2010 by  
Filed under How to Choose your Inline Skates




When you are a new skater the hardest part is choosing  and purchasing your new skates. Above all, they need to be supportive and comfortable so that it will be a pleasure for you to wear them, otherwise, they will stay in the closet and your skating hobby will be put on hold. Support is important  to avoid injuries. A well fitting pair of skates will also make it easier for you to learn.
The brand you choose depends on what your goals are as a skater.  Are you looking to use them for fitness, for playing hockey, do you want to learn to do tricks? If you already have experience skating, you probably know what you want. If your friends already do extreme skating, they can point you in the right direction. But if you are totally new, then there's things you should know.

Different types of skates

Girl Skating Recreational Skates-Perfect if you are looking to skate for fitness or just to skate around the park on weekends. They usually have a hard plastic boot with great ankle support, but you can also find soft boots made of fabric which are a lot more comfortable.

Fitness Skates-These are very similar to recreational skates and are made of a lighter material with a boot with a lower profile. They also have larger wheels.

Hockey Skates-They are very similar to ice hockey skates, made of leather with laces to adjust their fit. Their wheels are made to do quick turns and stops.

Speed Skates-Racing skates can have 5 wheels. The boot has a lower profile and the frame is longer. These are ideal for experiences skaters, since they don't always have a brake.

Aggressive Skates-These skates are used in extreme skating in skate parks and ramps and rails. The
heels are a lot smaller.

The boot of the skate needs to support the ankle and the foot. This is very important to avoid getting injured or getting tired quickly. It will also facilitate your learning. Hard shell boots offer the best support, but they are not as common any more, but if you are very tall, or if you have weak ankles, you should really find a hard shell boot.

Soft boots are very comfortable and are common amongst new skaters. Comfort is important, however, you need to make sure the boot offers enough support. Keep in mind that fabric eventually gives in and support will decrease. They are better for shorter people, and of course, people with strong ankles.

The boot liner is also important. Make sure your foot fits comfortably and it feels supported.
Some liners are made of moisture absorbing material. These will help you foot breath better. You can remove the liner to be washed. You will find a foot bed inside the liner that is also removable. You can replace it with custom orthotics, or with one made of a more supportive material.
Sizing is very important. Remember your feet swell in the afternoon. Unlike regular shoes, depending on the material, the liners compact with time to form to your foot, and soft boots stretch over time. So initially, the boots should be snug fitting. It should feel like your foot is comfortably in a cast. You should be able to wiggle your toes, but there shouldn't be any side to side, or front to back movement. Make sure you try the skates on with good skating socks. Ideally over the calf, thin, synthetic or wool blend socks.


Where to buy and how much to pay

If you have a great specialty store in your town, start there. However, you can always find better pricing online. You can always go to the store to research what skates fit you better and then jot down the brand and model and look online. Toy stores and department stores usually do not have the best brands or much variety.

Online stores offer the most variety and choices. EBay is a great place to find great prices. Just make sure you know your size and check the sellers return or exchange policy before you buy.

In regards to price, a good skate should not be very cheap. A good quality pair of recreational skates should cost over $100.00. Specialty skates should be a costlier. In general, the more expensive, the better quality skate it is. And in this sport, you are looking for quality. However, an older model of a great skate can cost you less than $100.00, so always do your homework to know what you are buying.