Reviews

The Best Rollerblades (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Skate towards success with the help of these fan-favorite rollerblades.

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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON March 28, 2021

Some activities withstand the test of time — and what better example than rollerblading. A staple in the ‘50s, this activity became synonymous with drive-in diners and leisurely beach time. Though we might not all crowd together for shakes and fries as we did mid 20th century, rollerblading has retained its appeal. With movies like Whip It, the revival of roller rinks, and the skating path at Venice Beach, it’s no wonder rollerblading has remained popular. Letting you skate in warm weather (or inside during winter), rollerblades feature a single line of wheels along the base with a brake pad at the back. They come in bright colors with light-up wheels or muted hues for those focused mainly on exercise. Helping riders foster coordination, balance, and get in a heart-pumping workout, there’s so much to love about this gear. So, if you’re looking to add a dash of magic to your exercise routine, it only makes sense to pick out a pair of these summer skates. We’ve curated a list of the best rollerblades on the market. Let’s get to it.

Best Overall
2PM Sports Adjustable Skates
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Summary
Summary

Stylish and comfortable, these adjustable inline skates are ideal for any experience level. They close easily and light up to make blading even more fun.

Pros
Pros
  • Durable polyurethane wheels that light up
  • Buckle closure for ease
  • High ankle to improve balance
Cons
Cons
  • Sized primarily for youth
  • Buckle can get stuck in position
  • Bearings require ongoing maintenance
Best Overall
2PM Sports Adjustable Skates
Best Value
Roller Derby V-Tech Inline Skate
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Summary
Summary

Simple yet effective, these sleek rollerblades are designed for serious skaters. They incorporate adjustable sizing with the push of a button.

Pros
Pros
  • Comes at an affordable price point
  • Suitable for sports like roller derby
  • User-friendly buckle closure
Cons
Cons
  • Brake pad wears down with time
  • Can be somewhat restricting on calves
  • Button adjustment can get stuck
Best Value
Roller Derby V-Tech Inline Skate
Honorable Mention
Rollerblade Zetrablade Inline Skate
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Summary
Summary

These skates are built to offer streamlined performance for athletes. With smooth-rolling wheels and an easily adjustable fit, these rollerblades are sure to last over the long term.

Pros
Pros
  • Black design won’t show scuffs
  • Prominent brake pad for quick stopping
  • Wheel hardness lets you reach fast speeds efficiently
Cons
Cons
  • Wheels are relatively small
  • Designed primarily for female users
  • High cuff can be too tight on riders’ calves
Honorable Mention
Rollerblade Zetrablade Inline Skate
Man With Rollerblades
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Benefits of Rollerblades

  • Improves cardiovascular health. Among the many benefits of rollerblading are the advantages to heart health. By incorporating rollerblading into a regular exercise regiment, you can get the heart-pumping benefits necessary to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Strengthens muscles. Though you can move easily on rollerblades, they do require a lot of muscle for you to move around. Particularly for leg and lower back muscles, rollerblades can help you tone your muscles. 
  • Helps foster balance. Unlike roller skates, rollerblades have a single line of wheels. This means you have to balance both while still and in motion, helping strengthen your abs and improving your overall ability to balance. 
  • Can assist with coordination. Because of the speed at which you can travel with rollerblades, they can help you develop gross motor skills, particularly coordination. This vestibular skill is essential to getting around safely in any environment.  
  • Useful in many sports. From roller derby to speed racing, rollerblades are a prominent component of many sporting activities. Many use them to keep their skills sharp for hockey when the weather gets warm. Riders can benefit from using rollerblades all year round. 
  • Lets you get around faster. Instead of walking from place to place, rollerblades let you travel at much higher speeds. Plus, since rollerblading is lower-impact than running or jogging, you can move more quickly without putting your legs in any pain.

Types of Rollerblades

Recreational Skates

As the name suggests, this type of inline skate is built for casual rollerblading. They feature a single row of wheels, usually made out of polyurethane. Typically, these skates close with a buckle and Velcro strap. At the back of the skates is a brake pad, so you can tip your heel and come to a stop. Featuring a soft interior, these skates have a low-rising boot that keeps the rider stable without encumbering their ability to move around. 

Racing Skates

This type of skate is geared towards those with substantial rollerblading experience. Designed for fast travel, these skates are ideal for those pursuing fitness goals. The wheels are generally larger than on other models and placed further apart. Unlike more casual rollerblades, these don’t feature a brake pad. The boot sits close to the ankle to keep the rollerblade weight low so you can move around faster. If you are using the skates to get around quickly or for cardio, this type is a good option. 

Street Skates

Though urban, or street skates, are a newer type of rollerblade, they are quickly becoming more prevalent on the market. In effect, they are a blend of recreational and racing rollerblades. They feature the high boot of a recreational inline skate, along with the buckle closure and sizing adjustments. To let you travel more quirky, they also incorporate larger wheels without a brake pad at the back. This type is ideal if you plan to use the rollerblades for both speed and casual riding. 

Top Brands

Roller Derby Skate Corp.

Opening its doors in 1936, this company is credited with creating the first roller skates, and thus with the origins of roller derby as a sport. An American business, this company has continued to create high-quality inline skates and rollerblades. Among its most popular offerings is the Roller Derby Cobra Inline Skates

2PM Sports

With a dedicated focus on crafting outdoor sporting gear, this brand has a wide line of rollerblades, skates, and protective gear. Hitting the market in 2017, it has continued to be a popular supplier of skating gear for all seasons. One of its top products is the 2PM Sports Adjustable Inline Skates. 

Rollerblade Pricing

  • Under $50: In this price range, you can find recreational rollerblades of good quality. Most inline skates for children fall in this category. 
  • Between $50 and $100: Many racing and recreational skates fall in this category. The majority of adult inline skates are priced in this range. 
  • $100 and up: Though less common, you can find many streets or urban rollerblades in this category. Professional models for serious athletes usually fall in this range, too.

Key Features

Wheels 

All rollerblades have a single row of polyurethane wheels. Usually, there are either four or five individual wheels. To work properly, the wheels must be properly sized. Look for something in the range of 7-8 centimeters. Also, they must be hard enough to work well on pavement yet forgiving enough to give you a reasonable amount of grip on the road. Finally, the internal bearings must be well-lubricated so the wheels move smoothly. So long as all these criteria are in order, you can count on the wheels to work well. 

Boot

An essential part of the rollerblade is the boot itself, the part where your foot sits. To be comfortable and usable, your foot needs to fit properly. There must be a small amount of wiggle room by the toes, so be sure to consult the sizing chart. Additionally, the boot needs to have a quality lining (ideally one that won’t hold onto moisture) and keeps your feet comfortable. Look for a boot with a small strap at the back to make it easier to put on and take off the rollerblades. 

Closure

This is the part of the rollerblade that closes onto your foot. While it technically is a part of the boot itself, it performs such an important role that it is worth looking into individually. Most rollerblades use an adjustable buckle that ratchets into place. Others are controlled by a push button. This component determines how tight against your calf and ankle the rollerblade is. It works in conjunction with a Velcro strap that goes over the main part of the foot. 

Brakes

Though not all rollerblades have built-in brakes, if you opt for a recreational model, then you are going to want to look into the quality of the brakes. It will sit at the back of the line of wheels so that, when you press your heel backward, you can come to an efficient stop. Sometimes, only one rollerblade out of the pair will include a brake. If that’s the case, be sure that it is on your dominant side to make sure you can stop comfortably. 

Other Considerations

  • Size. When you go to pick out your rollerblades, after you’ve gone through all the essential features, look at the size. Even a half-size too small or too large will make the rollerblades virtually unusable, so consult the chart. If necessary, measure your feet beforehand. If you’re unsure, it is always best to err on the larger side. 
  • Comfort. Especially if you plan to use the rollerblades as a method of exercise or recreation, you’re going to want them to be comfortable. Seek out models with softer linings, more supportive bases, and breathable material so that your feet can stay cool. Look for higher-quality material inside the rollerblade so the lining doesn’t lift when you remove the skates.
  • Durability. The goal of any sporting equipment is finding something that can last over the long term. To achieve this, be sure that you pick out a rollerblade that is meant to last. Opt for harder polyurethane wheels (around 82A on the hardness scale) and look for well-made bearings (ABEC-7 is a good standard). By finding good wheels, you are well on your way to optimal inline skate durability. 
  • Maintenance. Everything requires upkeep, but taking care of your rollerblades shouldn’t be a chore. You’ll need to clean them after use and take care of the wheels, lubricating them once in a while. Outside of that, the brake pads and wheel attachment parts also need care. The heavier-duty your rollerblades are, the less frequently they will require maintenance, and the more time you can spend skating.

Best Rollerblades Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
2PM Sports Adjustable Skates

Looking to get set up with a pair of fashionable and effective rollerblades? Check out the 2PM Sports Adjustable Skates. Each of these recreational rollerblades incorporates a single line of four wheels. Made out of high-grade polyurethane material, they ring in at 82A on the hardness scale. This enables the wheels to traverse all types of terrain, especially when paired with quality lubrication of the ABEC-7 bearings. Plus, when you’re rolling in the inline skates, they light up when you are in motion. The rollerblades themselves adjust over four positions, each downsizing about a quarter of an inch. It enables the blades to have a precise fit, an ideal choice for growing children. With a quality design and durable structure, these rollerblades are a solid choice overall.

Best Value
Roller Derby V-Tech Inline Skate

Want to explore the wide world of inline skating without breaking the bank? Consider the Roller Derby V-Tech Inline Skate set for its friendly price point and lightweight design. These rollerblades are sturdy enough for use during sports like roller derby, largely thanks to the well-built design. The green boot has an adjustable buckle closure, letting you find the precise fit for your foot. It rises high above the ankle, giving your leg support while you move. Paired with the four polyurethane wheels and quality brake pads these rollerblades make sports easy. Designed to fit feet between the sizes of 6 and 9, they are compatible with the majority of skaters. Comfortable, cost-effective, and durable, these skates offer terrific value. 


Keep in mind that the rollerblades require some breaking in to prevent strain on the buckles. Take your time when getting started to optimize the durability of your skates over the long term. 

Best for Women
Rollerblade Zetrablade Inline Skate

If your main focus is on finding skates that you can use for working out, then the Rollerblade Zetrablade Inline Skate set is worth a look. All parts of these inline skates are designed to optimize comfort and make moving around smooth and easy. With a strong frame, the boot rises to well above your ankle for stability and balance. It’s meant to fit snugly on your foot, reducing chafing during long trips. Paired with the 8-centimeter, 82A polyurethane wheels, you can easily travel on everything from pavement to asphalt. Worried about wear and tear? The SG5 bearings are there to balance speed and friction, helping the rollerblades last longer. Closing with both laces and an adjustable buckle, these rollerblades make exercise both fun and accessible. 


Bear in mind that, while these skates are meant to last and come equipped with advanced features, they are higher on the pricing spectrum. As such, they are best-suited to long-term use by serious athletes.

Most Stylish
Papaison Adjustable Inline Skates

Looking to get the next generation enthused about the proud sport of rollerblading? In that case, you can’t miss Papaison Adjustable Inline Skates. In terms of function, they feature a sturdy boot with a comfortable interior. The top part features a ratcheting buckle that locks in place to add security. Paired with the Velcro that goes over the main part of the foot, your kids can stay stably inside the rollerblade. In terms of the wheels, these inline skates do a great job balancing flash and function. The ABEC-7 bearings are made out of carbon-heavy steel, lubricated to offer smooth movement. Strong polyurethane material on the wheels lends to durability while the light-up component keeps kids engaged. Attaching to the boot with reliable hardware, these skates are a great way to learn the sport. 


One thing to note is that the brake pad is relatively small. As such, it might take a bit of extra practice to come to a stop. Be sure to get some experience before stopping when traveling at high speeds

Honorable Mention
Roller Derby Cobra Inline Skates

Those who want to rollerblade along the trails, using them for smoothness instead of speed, can benefit from the Roller Derby Cobra Inline Skates. Available in unisex sizes between 6 and 9, these lightweight skates are meant to be comfortable. The sturdy exterior of the skates enhances stability and fosters balance while you move. Since the rollerblades are meant for casual skating, the boot rises far above the ankles. In terms of the wheels, the tough polyurethane material lets you move over all types of terrains. Paired with high-grade bearings, you can move smoothly and unencumbered. With a sleek design and quality brakes, these rollerblades are ideal for a stroll on the trails. 


One thing to note is that, since the wheels are relatively thin, if you are new to the sport, proper balance may take some practice. Be sure to acclimate to the skates before you go on a big trip.

Honorable Mention
Zalalova Adjustable Inline Skates

One of the best parts of rollerblading is that it is fun for the whole family. If you are looking to involve a youngster, the Zalalova Adjustable Inline Skates are a great way to go. The design puts a lot of effort into flash, with a bright pink boot, light-up wheels, and wings on the buckle. Despite all the bells and whistles, the rollerblades still function very well. The tongue and boot rise to above the ankle, giving the child support and balance. The main part of the inline skates close with laces, fortified by Velcro. In terms of the wheels, hard polyurethane material gives optimal traction while letting the rider move fluidly. Finally, with a strong PVC brake at the back of the wheels, they can come to an efficient stop without trouble. Stylish and comfortable, these skates make getting kids active that much easier. 


It’s worth a mention that your child will likely outgrow them before the skates wear down naturally. However, given the affordability and utility value, it is still a worthy investment. 

Honorable Mention
2PM Sports Vinal Inline Skates

Whether you’ve been out of the game for a few years or are brand new to rollerblading, 2PM Sports Vinal Inline Skates are a great place to start. The skates come in sizes for young wearers and adults alike, each featuring a sturdy design and quality parts. With rows of four light-up wheels on each skate, these rollerblades let you move smoothly. They rise to above the ankle, promoting stability while you move around. Thanks to the aluminum exterior, they are both resistant to damage and lightweight, making them ideal for any environment. Closing with an adjustable buckle, a Velcro strap, and laces, these skates keep a firm fit. This helps riders travel longer distances more comfortably. Easy to put on and take off, these inline skates are a worthy piece of sporting equipment. 


Bear in mind that, while many adults can fit these rollerblades, the sizes only go up to a seven. Consult the sizing chart before you make your selection to ensure a good fit.

Tips

  • Wear a helmet and protective padding when rollerblading, especially if you are new to the sport. 
  • Be sure to check the wheel quality and the attachment to the boots before you ride to ensure a tight hold. 
  • When tightening the boot of your rollerblade, close it a bit extra since movement will loosen it. 
  • As with any footwear, rollerblades require some breaking-in, so practice with them before taking any long trips. 
  • Like a car has a towing capacity, rollerblades have limits to the forces they can withstand, so make sure not to overdo it. 
  • After a ride, be sure to air out the insoles to prevent premature wear to the inside of the inline skates. 
  • Though rollerblades are durable, some small parts can rust so keep them dry and store the skates indoors whenever possible. 

FAQs

Q: Can you lose weight by rollerblading?

Since rollerblading is a form of exercise, if you make it a part of a healthy lifestyle (good diet, proper sleep, etc.), then yes, rollerblading can lead to weight loss. It can also help strengthen muscles and improve balance.

Q: What are good rollerblades?

Good rollerblades have a sturdy boot, good attachments, and durable wheels. The best inline skates work on multiple terrains and have wheels that move smoothly thanks to well-lubricated bearings. Look for options with quality brakes and a strong exterior to maximize durability.

Q: Are roller skates better than rollerblades?

The two are inherently different, so it all comes down to the athlete’s preference. Roller skates have two rows of two wheels each. Rollerblades have a single row of wheels (usually four). If you are looking for speed and distance, rollerblades are often a better way to go. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the finer points of rollerblades, you can make your pick. It could be the 2PM Sports Adjustable Skates or the cost-effectiveness of the Roller Derby V-Tech Inline Skates. Inline skates are fun for all ages. Do you have some rollerblading expertise? Tell your tale in the comments below. Happy skating!