Reviews

The Best Inline Skates (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

These are the best inline skates for every skater and every style.

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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON March 4, 2021

Inline skates are fun for people of all ages. Whether you wore rollerblades as a kid to cruise the sidewalks or inline skates to roll around the skating rink, or maybe you’re interested in a different kind of transportation, inline skates have a lot to offer. Featuring a single line of smooth-rolling wheels that make it easy to accelerate and increase speed, these skates are a great alternative to skateboarding and biking. They’re convenient, comfortable, sleek, and speedy.

 

You can skate just about anywhere, and you can even master tricks, ramps, and so much more to challenge yourself. Whether you’re using your inline skates to commute, explore local sights, or try out new skating challenges, you’ll have a ton of versatility right on your feet. Check out our picks for the best inline skates on the market in our guide below.

Best Overall
Papaison Adjustable Inline Skates
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Summary
Summary

An adjustable set of skates that fits a wide range of sizes and is durable enough for skaters of all experience levels.

Pros
Pros
  • Reinforced aluminum alloy frame
  • Polyurethane wheels are wear-resistant
  • Skates ride smoothly and quietly
Cons
Cons
  • Light-up wheels are a feature that’s really only for kids
  • Wheels may vibrate as they roll
Best Overall
Papaison Adjustable Inline Skates
Best Value
Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate
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Summary
Summary

A lightweight inline skate that’s great for casual skating with an affordable price.

Pros
Pros
  • Adjustable sizing allows for a more custom fit
  • Triple buckle closure is easy to use
  • Bearings offer great speed
Cons
Cons
  • Skates have a narrow fit
  • Brake takes time to master
Best Value
Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate
Honorable Mention
Rollerblade Zetrablade Adult Fitness Inline Skate
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Summary
Summary

A high-quality, entry-level pair of inline skates designed for durability and solid comfort.

Pros
Pros
  • Skates are balanced for beginners
  • Padded comfort performance liner offers great cushioning
  • Great lateral support for the ankles
Cons
Cons
  • Wheels are prone to breaking
  • Wheels may also wear down within months of use
Honorable Mention
Rollerblade Zetrablade Adult Fitness Inline Skate
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Benefits of Inline Skates

  • Great form of exercise. When you skate with inline skates, you’re getting both aerobic and anaerobic benefits. You’ll increase your heart rate, strengthen muscles all over your body, and tone up.
  • Improves your balance and coordination. Inline skates require both balance and careful coordination as you get used to their thin platform — and you’ll really strengthen both of these physical qualities to master tricks and advanced moves like skating backwards. 
  • Low-impact workout. If sports and activities like cycling and skateboarding are too hard on your weight-bearing joints, inline skating can be a better choice. It’s a low-impact activity, so you’ll get in exercise, have fun, and lessen any aches and pains you might experience otherwise.

Types of Inline Skates

Recreational

Recreational inline skates are the most basic type. These are the skates that most people wear and choose — they’re great for casual skaters who want to have fun, try out local roads and trails, or get in a basic workout. They’re very versatile and suitable for all levels, including beginners. Though the shape and design might vary slightly, recreational inline skates are designed to handle just about anything the average skater might try.

Racing

Racing inline skates are a more specialized kind of skate. Designed specifically for going fast and reaching top speeds, racing skates are made with advanced inline technology. They’re lightweight, streamlined, and utilize special bearings to roll as fast as possible. Since they are more expensive than recreational skates and made with fancier materials, you’ll want to invest in racing skates only if you plan on getting serious about your racing performance.

Roller Hockey

One sport that requires inline skates is roller hockey — and there are special skates made just for it. Roller hockey inline skates are designed for the fast pace and rough play of a hockey game, and they’re also frequently used by ice hockey players who want to train off the ice. These unique skates are typically made with a lighter weight and extra-tough materials for better durability.

Urban

Urban inline skating is a relatively new kind of skating — it’s a mix between recreational skating and more aggressive skating. Urban inline skates are designed for this, and they have all the same functionality and versatility of recreational skates but more durable boots. These boots are better equipped to withstand wear from tricks, jumps, and all kinds of impact-driven wear. The wheels on these inline skates are also typically larger.

Top Brands

Rollerblade

There’s perhaps no inline skate brand better known than Rollerblade. This brand is so popular that many people call all inline skates Rollerblades. Since 1980, when two hockey players created the first Rollerblades, this company has created standout products like the Rollerblade Zetrablade Elite InLine Skate.

Roller Derby

Roller derby, the sport, was first created in 1936, and soon after, the brand Roller Derby was founded. With a focus on creating products that can handle the ups, downs, curves, and skating impacts, Roller Derby makes quality skates like the Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate.

Inline Skate Pricing

  • $50 to $100: Most quality inline skates cost between $50 and $100. These skates are mostly recreational inline skates, which are good for beginner and intermediate skaters.
  • $150 and up: If you need a specialized pair of inline skates, you’ll find them priced at $150 or more. With more customized features, they have a more premium price.

Key Features

Liners

The liners are a pretty important feature in any pair of inline skates. They’re the only material between your feet and the skates themselves, and they can offer comfort, cushioning, and a great fit. Inline skate liners can be made from materials like foam, comfort padding, and even memory foam or heat-moldable material that’ll expertly cushion you from the heels to the toes.

Closure System

While inline skates used to have basic laces, today’s skates are much more advanced — and more complex. The closure system is what secures the skates to your feet, and you’ll want to find a closure system that works for your needs and your comfort level. You’ll find inline skates with Velcro, ratchet buckle, quick lace systems, and other secure closure systems. Make sure the closure you choose is easy to secure and loosen.

Frames

The skate frame is what your boot sits on. It’s the centerpiece of an inline skate, as it holds the wheels in place and carries the weight of your body. Frames can be made from materials like plastic, aluminum, and carbon, and the material will determine how sturdy and heavy a skate is on your foot.

Wheels

Lastly, you can’t forget about the wheels. As one of the most critical features of any inline skate, the wheels determine your speed, balance, and ability to ride over different terrain types. You can find different sizes of wheels and wheels made from various materials; you’ll want a set of wheels that roll smoothly for the best experience.

Other Considerations

  • Consider your skill level. Some inline skates are better for beginners, with lightweight construction, increased durability, and more stability. Others are for intermediate or advanced skaters who don’t need the same qualities from their inline skates. Knowing your skill level can help you find the right fit, so you have stability and quality.
  • Cuffs offer extra support. The cuff of an inline skate makes up the hard back of the boot. It’s unassuming, but it’s where you’ll get your ankle support from. When considering different skates, make sure you choose ones with cuffs that are supportive and strong yet flexible enough to suit your skating style.
  • You don’t always need fancy closures. While inline skate closure systems can be advanced and extra secure, sometimes basic works best. If you want to keep things simple, you can always opt for a pair of skates with traditional laces — they’re even easy to take off when you’re finished skating.

Best Inline Skates Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Papaison Adjustable Inline Skates

The Papaison Adjustable Inline Skates have just about everything you could want in a pair of skates. They’re built to survive wear and tear, they’re comfortable to wear, and they ride smoothly on all kinds of surfaces. These inline skates offer a great mix of quality and good construction. They’re available in four sizes for kids and adults — but these skates are also adjustable, so you can increase the boot’s size if your feet grow or change. A thick, comfortable liner cradles and cushions your feet, while the reinforced aluminum alloy frame keeps you stable. A set of eight polyurethane wear-resistant wheels roll smoothly and quickly with high-speed mute ABEC-7 carbon steel bearings. 


However, these inline skates have light-up wheels. This feature can be fun for kids, but it may be a drawback for adults or more advanced skaters’ style. The wheels may also vibrate as they roll. 

Best Value
Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate

With a mix of affordability and value, the Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate is a fantastic choice for women. Designed for teenagers and adults, these adjustable skates can fit shoe sizes six to nine with a little wiggle room. They’re lightweight, which makes them perfect for casual recreational skating. Each pair is built with high-quality components that are all performance tested, like indoor/outdoor polyurethane wheels, top-of-the-line Bevo Gold-7 Race rated bearings and a supportive liner. A strong skate frame helps you stay on your feet, and you’ll enjoy incredible speeds thanks to the bearings designed for cruising. Of course, the affordable price of these inline skates is also a great perk. 


Keep in mind that these skates have a narrower fit, so if you have wide feet, they might not be the best option. Also, the brakes can take some time to master.

Premium Pick
Rollerblade Zetrablade Adult Fitness Inline Skate

Made by one of the best-known names in inline skating, these Rollerblades are an excellent choice for both casual and more experienced skaters. They’re balanced, secure, comfortable, and supportive. These inline skates are also a good option for new skaters because they offer a lower center of gravity and aid balance. Built with a highly durable shell, a comfortably padded performance liner, a secure buckle, strap, and lace closure system, these skates offer a good combination of ankle support and forward flex. A monocoque frame enhances stability, and a set of 80 millimeter 82A wheels paired with SG5 bearings offer moderate speed. These inline skates are a bit more expensive than , but they offer great perks for skaters who want support.


Although these skates are a great option, there are some problems with the wheels. They are prone to breaking and may also wear down within a few months of use. 

Most Versatile
ITurnGlow Adjustable Inline Skates

These skates are fun, well built, and roll smoothly—even more importantly, these skates offer premium performance thanks to high-quality wheels and bearings. Available in sizes for both kids and adults, each pair of these inline skates is adjustable, so you can adjust the fit as needed. The reinforced aluminum frame supports ankles and is durable for impacts, falls, and other wear. A set of eight 82A polyurethane wheels and ABEC-7 bearings help you ride smoothly and quietly, offering moderate speed and silent gliding. 


A detachable rubber TPR brake gives you extra safety, and once it becomes worn down over time, you can swap it out easily. Whether you’re looking for skates for kids or want to liven up your skating experience, these inline skates are a comfortable choice.

Most Durable
Liku Professional Inline Skates

Inline skates can really take a beating — but the Liku Black Professional Inline Skates are tough enough to handle anything. Constructed with a durable shell, these skates have one piece of housing that combines the boot structure and the frame. Both are designed to offer stability and control. Inside, the lining features EVA elastic cotton for cushioning and protection. The lining is also breathable and ventilated, and you can remove it for easy cleaning. A buckle and lace closure system keep your feet and the skates secure. 


Aluminum alloy bearings help the wheels roll smoothly and keep you moving fast, whether you’re skating for fun or speed. With enough strength to support nearly 500 pounds, you can trust that you’ll be able to skate confidently.

Honorable Mention
Roller Derby Aerio Q-60 Men’s Inline Skates

If comfort is the most critical quality you’re looking for in a pair of inline skates, the Roller Derby Aerio Q-60 Men’s Inline Skates are an excellent option. These skates are built with features that will enhance your comfort and keep you on your feet — and your wheels — without aches or pain. Built with a semi-soft advanced level inline boot that’s highly breathable, each skate’s liner is made with memory foam for superior cushioning that adapts to the shape of your foot. An aluminum tri-coil frame offers good balance and control as you move. 


A locking cam-lever buckle system also adds more stability and support. You can even articulate the shell of these skates, which keeps you flexible as you skate. And these inline skates won’t let you down when it comes to smoothness and speed either.

Honorable Mention
Bladerunner by Rollerblade Advantage Pro XT Inline Skate

New skaters will love the Bladerunner by Rollerblade Advantage Pro XT Inline Skate. Designed just for beginners, this inline skate is constructed with extra support for learning the ins and outs of skating and better control and responsiveness. Each skate is built with a strong frame that helps lower skaters’ center of gravity for better balance with less difficulty. You’ll get lateral support and durability as you get your footing during your first skates. 


The liners are also generously padded to give you both a snug fit and extra cushioning as you get your feet used to skating. As you improve, you’ll see just how great the 80-millimeter wheels and ABEC-7 bearings work to deliver speed and smooth, free spins.

Honorable Mention
Xino Sports Kids Inline Skates

Kids need inline skates that can help them learn yet still offer reliable support, and that’s what the Xino Sports Kids Inline Skates provide. These skates are designed just for young skaters, with an adjustable fit for growing feet and LED light-up wheels that add a bit of fun. The interior of the skates is thickly padded to offer support, with a foam lining. The frame is built out of aluminum and is rust-resistant for long-term durability. 


Even better, as kids’ feet grow, the adjustable boot will give kids and parents more value for the cost — these inline skates can expand up to four sizes. Suitable for use outdoors, at the rink, and for every other kind of skating surface, kids will be able to take these inline skates just about anywhere.

Honorable Mention
5th Element Panther XT Men’s Recreational Inline Skates

If you love inline skating for speed and powerful strides, the 5th Element Panther XT Men’s Recreational Inline Skates are a great choice. These skates excel when it comes to performance — and they’re perfect for achieving speed. Each pair is built with a premium aluminum exterior, which lasts a long time and offers sturdy support. The liner is soft, and the skates secure with traditional laces, a buckle, and a hook-and-loop strap. A set of 82-millimeter wheels give you speed with less exertion and effort, with an 82A durometer that allows you to tackle almost any terrain. 


You’ll love the precision of these inline skates and the nimbleness you get as you glide along streets, rinks, and more. They can even withstand intense skating thanks to their tough bearings and exterior materials.

Honorable Mention
Rollerblade Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT Women’s Inline Skate

The Rollerblade Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT Women’s Inline Skate is a female-focused pair of skates with great style and impressive stability for beginners. Designed for those just learning how to master inline skating, these black and pink skates offer the right balance of support and a low center of gravity. You’ll be able to easily maintain your balance thanks to the additional foot support provided by the skate frame; it’s even shock-absorbing thanks to its composite construction. The frame is made with monocoque, increasing the skates’ durability and protecting when you fall or bang up your skates. 


The 80 millimeter Bladerunner wheels paired with ABEC-7 bearings allow you to reach moderate levels of speed, and you can put these skates to use for recreational skating as well as fitness skating.

Tips

  • Gender does matter when you’re buying inline skates. Brands typically change the fit, color choices, and sizes, so you’ll want to consider pairs that are suited for your feet based on your gender.
  • If you plan to skate aggressively, you’ll need an extra-tough pair of skates. Look for all-terrain, urban, or aggressive inline skates, all of which are better equipped to handle rough use.
  • The number of wheels and the size of each wheel can affect everything from your speed to your control. Bigger wheels are good for speed and distance, while smaller wheels are better for control.

FAQs

Q: Should I buy quads or inline skates?

It depends on how comfortable you are in either type of skate. Both quad skates and inline skates require balance, coordination, and practice. And both types can also be great for recreation. However, inline skates are better for outdoor skating, while quads are better indoors at a rink or track.

Q: What's the difference between inline skates and rollerblades?

Inline skates and rollerblades are the same product. Rollerblade is a brand of inline skates. Many people use the two names interchangeably, but not all inline skates are technically rollerblades since different brands make them.

Q: Is inline skating dangerous?

Inline skating can be dangerous if you don’t wear the proper protective equipment like a helmet. Elbow pads, knee pads, and other protective gear can also prevent injuries when you fall or crash into obstacles — but once you master the sport, you likely won’t experience as many falls.

Final Thoughts

The Papaison Adjustable Inline Skates are an excellent all-around pair of inline skates that’ll be supportive and fun for all skaters — including beginners. You’ll also make a great choice if you opt for the Roller Derby Women’s V-Tech 500 Button Adjustable Inline Skate, an affordably priced option.