Whether you’re a rink rat, a trick skater, or totally new to roller-skating, buying your first pair of roller-skates is daunting. Learn the difference between indoor skates, outdoor skates, and performance roller-skates before making your purchase.
Buying your own skates can be a great investment. You save money on rentals, get to wear boots that fit to a T, and have the freedom to skate whenever you want. There are dozens of choices to make when buying your own roller-skates, from color to speed to wheel alignment. Just as crucial, however, is knowing where and how you plan to use your skates.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Roller-Skates
Inline and quad skates both come in indoor and outdoor varieties. Some skaters only skate indoors. Others prefer performing tricks outside. Many skaters, however, choose where to skate based on weather, time, or some other factor. So is it better to buy indoor skates or outdoor skates?
The biggest difference between indoor and outdoor roller-skates is the wheels. Indoor wheels glide across smooth hardwood floors, so they’re much harder than wheels on outdoor skates. Outdoor wheels have a malleable, rubbery texture to absorb shocks from the uneven terrain outside; they wear through much more quickly than indoor wheels. Outdoor skates also have larger wheels than indoor skates, because indoor skates need more maneuverability and less power to overcome dirt, sticks, and pebbles. Most skaters buy indoor boots and change the wheels before skating outdoors. If you’re primarily an outdoor skater, buy outdoor boots–which have higher tops and increased durability–and switch your wheels for indoor skating.
Some roller-skates are geared specifically towards high-performance skating. These skates are popular with speed skaters, jam skaters, and roller-derby skaters. Choosing a sport skate instead of a leisure skate allows a skater to increase speed, playability, and maneuverability. The downside of performance skating is the required upkeep. If you’re not a hardcore skater, performance skates probably aren’t necessary.
Want advice on purchasing roller-skates? Stop by Fun Spot and ask our experts about what skates we sell.