The 7 Best Rollerblades of 2021

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Best Rollerblades

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Rollerblading—also known as inline skating—can be a great way to work up a sweat. The activity combines the freedom of running with the speed of cycling, allowing you to explore your neighborhood in an entirely new way. Plus, since rollerblading requires you to balance on two thin rows of wheels, you can rest assured knowing you’ll build a little strength any time you head out for a quick jaunt.

If you’re a first-time rollerblader, you’ll want to seek out a pair of skates that make it easier to balance. Look for features that encourage stability—like a durable frame, ankle straps, and ample padding. If you’re looking to take your rollerblading skills to the next level, go lighter and lower-profile.

Here are the best rollerblades for every level.

Our Top Picks
A solid pick for beginners or intermediate skaters, thanks to its low center of gravity, its durable frame works as a stabilizer.
Its performance wheels promise a smooth ride while the plush lining cushions your feet, alleviating pressure.
Lined with ventilation holes for airflow, the first-time option features a snug fit that stays comfy, even on bumpy terrains.
Ideal for intermediate skaters, they're cushioned with a liner for comfort while the shell allows for solid range of motion.
Low-profile and lightweight, the performance skates boast a convertible frame that can accommodate three or four wheels.
A great option for commuting, its integrated frame keeps you stable while the shock-absorbing bearings smooth out your ride.
Perfect if you enjoy or are experienced enough for higher speeds, its mid-size wheels ensure that you won't lose control.

Best Overall for Women: Rollerblade Women's Zetrablade Inline Skates

Rollerblade Women's Zetrablade Inline Skates
Pros
  • Provides cushion

  • Durable

  • Great for beginner and intermediate skaters

Cons
  • Only comes in one color

Rollerblade’s Zetrablade Women’s Inline Skates are comfortable, durable, and easy to use—an ideal combination for recreational skating. If you’re a first-time roller skater, don’t worry—the skates boast a low center of gravity, which will make maintaining your balance a whole lot easier. The skates are also designed with a durable frame, which will stabilize your ankles and feet as you stride.

Inside the Zetrablade Women’s Inline Skates, you’ll find a plush performance liner. This padding will help ensure you get a snug fit each time you strap on your skates, and it will also cushion your feet so you can comfortably conquer longer routes. At the base of each skate, you’ll find four performance wheels. These were designed with beginner and intermediate skaters in mind, allowing you to enjoy a smooth, controllable ride as you build your skating skill set.

Materials: Synthetic | Level: Beginner | Closure: Buckle, strap, and lace closure | Rise: Ankle

Best Overall for Men: Rollerblade Men's Zetrablade Inline Skates

Rollerblade Men's Zetrablade Inline Skates
Pros
  • Durable

  • Provides cushion

  • Great for beginner and intermediate skaters

Cons
  • Must rotate wheels

Whether you’re a casual or first-time skater, Rollerblade’s Men's Zetrablade Inline Skates are a worthy choice. The skates were designed with durability in mind. Their performance wheels promise a smooth ride for beginner and intermediate skaters. And their strong, protective shells will help you stay stable as you skate. From top to bottom, the skates were crafted to help you balance—making it easy to master the art of recreational rollerblading. 

Unsurprisingly, the interior of the Men's Zetrablade Inline Skate is as thoughtfully designed as its exterior. The skate is lined with performance padding, which will keep your feet feeling snug and secure as you skate. The plush lining will also cushion your feet, alleviating some of the pressure that tends to accompany beginner or recreational skating.

Materials: Synthetic, rubber | Level: Beginner | Closure: Strap and laces | Rise: Ankle

Best for Beginners: LIKU Black Professional Inline Skates

Pros
  • Durable

  • Easy to clean

  • Works on a variety of terrains

  • Breathable

Cons
  • Assembly may be difficult for beginners

Durable, comfortable, and easy to clean, LIKU’s Black Professional Inline Skates are an excellent pick for first-time skaters. The rollerblades boast a thick, durable shell that will protect and stabilize your foot, making it easier for you to balance.

Thanks to a series of buckled straps and high-density laces, this shell will stay firmly in place, hugging your foot as you move around. If you find yourself on more textured terrain, don’t worry: The skates’ wheels are equipped with shock-absorbing aluminum alloy bearings, which promise to keep you comfortable—even if things get a little bumpy.

Because thick shells can get heavy and uncomfortable, LIKU’s Black Professional Inline Skates are lined with ventilation holes. These will encourage airflow, keeping your feet cool and comfortable. Once you’ve finished skating, you can take off your rollerblades and remove the cotton liners padding their interiors. These liners are easy to slip in and out of the skates, making it incredibly hassle-free for you to keep your skates clean and odor-free. 

Materials: Aluminum, ethylene vinyl acetate | Level: Beginner | Closure: Buckle and lace up | Rise: Ankle

Best Intermediate: Rollerblade Zetrablade Elite Women's Inline Skates

Rollerblade Zetrablade Elite Inline Skate
Pros
  • Great for beginner and intermediate skaters

  • Durable

  • Breathable

  • Provides cushion

Cons
  • Expensive

Rollerblade’s Zetrablade Elite Women's Inline Skates are designed to accommodate entry-level and intermediate skaters. But despite their range, they’re still reasonably priced. The skates boast a durable shell, which is held in place by a series of buckles, straps, and laces.

Though the shell is sturdy enough to keep your feet feeling stable and supported, it also allows for some range of motion—the skate’s upper is crafted from mesh, a more breathable and lightweight textile than you’d find on many skates.

Inside the Zetrablade Elite Women's Inline Skates, you’ll find ample padding. The skates are cushioned with a comfort performance liner, which will keep your feet cozy without weighing them down too much. The soles of the skates are lined with performance wheels, which are designed to give you a swift, smooth ride. You can expect to reach moderate speeds—and to feel in control as you do so.

Materials: Synthetic | Level: Beginner, intermediate | Closure: Buckle, strap, and lace-up | Rise: Ankle

Best Advanced: Atom Luigino Strut Inline Skates

Atom Luigino Strut Inline Skates
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Carbon fiber shell

  • Can accommodate three to four wheels

Cons
  • Expensive

Atom’s Luigino Strut Inline Skates are low-profile and lightweight—and with good reason. The rollerblades are designed for performance skaters, who care more about speed and agility than about stability and security.

Whereas many inline skates boast a boot-like silhouette, Atom’s Luigino Strut Inline Skates look more like a low-top sneaker. This absence of ankle bulk makes the skates easier to move around in, allowing performance skaters to nimbly tackle skates. 

But the Atom Luigino’s silhouette isn’t the only thing performance skaters will love. The skate’s carbon fiber shell is stiff but lightweight, offering ample protection without weighing you down. A series of waxed laces will help you get a snug fit every time you slip on your skates, and Atom’s Nano Buckles will ensure the laces stay securely in place as you move around.

Finally, the skates boast a convertible frame that can accommodate three or four wheels, allowing you to customize your set-up based on your preferences.

Materials: Carbon fiber | Level: Advanced | Closure: Lace-up | Rise: Low-rise

Best for Commuting: LIKU Unisex Fitness Inline Skates

Pros
  • Works on a variety of terrains

  • Lightweight

  • Shock absorbent

  • Provides cushion

Cons
  • Doesn't have replacement breaks

LIKU’s Unisex Fitness Inline Skates were designed to take you anywhere. You can wear them to the rink, to the park, on the road, or even on paved trails—making them an excellent option for your morning and evening commutes.

The lightweight skates boast an integrated frame, which promises to keep you stably on your feet, even as you brake or tackle nimble turns. The skates are also equipped with shock-absorbing bearings, which promise to keep your rides feeling comfortable and smooth.

The interior of the skates is padded with a removable cotton liner. The liner is shaped like a sock, and it’s held in place by a stretchy band that promises to hug your foot just right. Slide on the liner, then slip into the skate, and fasten it securely using the skate’s triple closure system. A series of buckles, straps, and laces will work together to keep your skates hugging your foot every time you go rollerblading.

Materials: Aluminum, ethylene vinyl acetate | Level: Beginner | Closure: Strap and lace-up | Rise: Calves

Best for Speed: K2 Trio 100 Women’s Urban Inline Skates

K2 Trio 100 Women’s Urban Inline Skates
Pros
  • Works on a variety of terrains

  • Provides cushion

  • 100-mm wheels

Cons
  • Expensive

Many recreational rollerblades are designed to offer control and stability—not speed and performance. So if you’re looking for a faster ride, you’ll need to seek out a pair of skates equipped to handle higher speeds, like K2’s Trio 100 Urban Inline Skates. The rollerblades are equipped with 100-mm wheels, which will allow you to speed up your skates without losing control. (For context, many entry-level skates come with 80-mm wheels, and many performance skates come with 125-mm wheels.) The skates are also equipped with ILQ 7 bearings, which promise to hold up under more intense conditions.

Of course, comfort is important, no matter how fast you’re skating. So K2’s Trio 100 Urban Inline Skates are lined with padding that’ll cushion your feet, keeping you comfortable, even during longer, tougher skates. The rollerblades fasten via a series of laces and straps, allowing you to customize your foot-hugging fit—and to make sure your skates stay firmly in place once you have.

The K2 Trio 100 Women’s Urban Inline Skates are currently available in sizes 10.5–11.

Materials: Performance composite materials | Level: Advanced | Closure: Laces, velcro straps, and buckles | Rise: Calves

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a nice pair of rollerblades, Rollerblade’s Zetrablade Women’s Inline Skates (view at Amazon) offer comfort, value, and stability—still at a reasonable price. Ideal for beginner or intermediate skaters, thanks to its low center of gravity, the skates are a solid pair as you gradually improve your skill level. 

The Men’s Zetrablade Inline Skates (view at Dick’s Sporting Goods), get the job done for recreational skaters as it works to maintain your balance while its plush lining cushions your feet.

What to Look for in Rollerblades

Fit

“A pair of rollerblades should fit fairly snug,” says Arnav “Sonic” Shah, instructor and owner of Kinetic Expression Skate Shop in New York City. With your foot fully flat in the boot, he says that you can check the fit of your skates by bending at the ankle and knees. If your foot remains flat in the boot without any curling or pressure points after ten minutes, you should be good to go. 

Shah explains that, in terms of adjustment for fit, you should ensure that the top strap is fairly tight. Look for features like straps, buckles, and laces, that will help you feel secure in the boots. 

Padding

To mitigate discomfort and ensure proper fit, rollerblades are typically lined with plush padding. “The material of the padding doesn’t matter in general, as long as you’ve got a quality pair of skates,” says Shah. “In terms of the feel of the boot, it should be snug, like a nice hug, but not so tight that it’s like a creepy hug.”

Silhouette

If you’re a beginner skater, a boot-shaped rollerblade—intended for increasing stabilization—is a good choice. A stable boot will also help in terms of balance because it will keep your ankle and foot aligned. “Having a skate that isn’t too loose, and ensuring that the top strap is on tight are both important in terms of stabilization,” Shah adds. 

If you’re a performance skater, a rollerblade with a lower-profile boot may be preferable, since it allows for a wider range of motion. 

Wheels

Entry-level skates tend to have smaller wheels than performance skates. So if you’re looking to tackle tough terrain at high speeds, it’s probably worth investing in a higher-performance pair. But if you’re happy skating at moderate speeds on sidewalks and streets, you won’t need to pay too much attention to your wheels—most should work just fine.

FAQs

How should rollerblades fit?

For most people, rollerblades should fit a little tighter than your shoes.Your feet shouldn't be able to move around inside the skate,” says AJ DeLong, operations manager at Shop Task Skates. “It’s OK if your toes have a bit of wiggle room, but the rest of your foot should be snug. This kind of fit will give you good control and support while skating.”

What is the difference between rollerblades and roller skates?

The main difference between rollerblades and roller skates is the number and arrangement of the wheels. Roller skates always have four wheels that are aligned in two rows. The rubber brakes are arranged in front of the wheels. On the other hand, rollerblades may have three, four, or even five wheels on each skate. The wheels are usually thinner than those on roller skates and the rubber brakes are placed in the back, behind the wheels. Rollerblades also have larger wheels than roller skates, so they’re much faster and a better choice for speed skating.

“Most inline skates use a hard outer plastic shell that comes up above your ankle and that provides a lot of lateral support,” says DeLong. “In contrast, roller skates are usually made of leather and come up just above or even below the ankle giving the skater more ankle mobility which can be helpful for certain styles of roller skating.”

Is rollerblading a good workout?

Rollerblading is an excellent cardio workout, and it also works a lot of muscles at the same time. The push motions activate your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and inner thigh abductors, while rollerblading also activates and engages your core muscles.

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