Buyers Guide - Rollerblades
We've chosen the generic term 'Rollerblades' to describe our range of standard recreational skates, used for leisure or fitness. Available in Mens, Womens and kids models.
These are the skates to buy if you want to go skating along the seafront, in the park or even just up and down your driveway. Maybe you could take the kids to your local roller disco or skating club. These skates are what you may describe as just regular, recreational skates for people that simply want to skate for leisure. Some people will use these skates for fitness as skating in general offers such great cardiovascular, anaerobic and aerobic exercise.
Fitness skates, recreational skates, inline skates, rollerblades… whatever you want to call them, all these terms mean very much the same thing! Most adult skates in this category come with large wheels sized between 76mm and 90mm although if you are new to skating we would recommend sticking to 84mm and below in the interest of better balance. Adult skates almost always come in separate Mens and Womens models with the better brands basing their fitment around the specific anatomy and shape or a man's or a woman's foot. The kids skates are very similar in construction to the adults (with slightly smaller wheels) and they are mostly all extendable so they have a longer life when your kids inevitably grow. Most extend in length by simply adjusting the toecap to a longer length and usually extend by 4 or 5 sizes per model. There are actually very few reputable skate brands out there. For recreational skates you can pretty much pin it down to K2, Rollerblade, Bladerunner and Powerslide (and Roces make some good junior skates!). You will have to spend at least £65 to get a decent, functional adult skate and around £50 for the kids. Anything lower in price than this (like in catalogue stores and the sports shops) is a waste of your money as the materials will not allow you to skate with ease. Watch out for sports shop chains who claim to have skates at 70% off by finding loopholes in trading standards laws (simply retailing a certain model at 'full price' at just one of their branches for the shortest legal amount of time required).
The price of skates goes up with the specification, so the more you spend the better you get (ie more comfort, aluminium frames for control, better bearings for more glide, closer fit etc). There's really no need as a beginner skater to ever spend any more than £180 on these type of skates.
Top Fitness, leisure and recreational skates to look out for:
- If you are looking for adult skates the three main brands to look for are K2, Rollerblade and Powerslide. They all offer supreme quality, comfort and performance. They range from around £80-£180 going up in price as they go up in specification. Spending more will get you better comfort, better fit, better materials, better wheels, bearings and possibly other snazzy features like the BOA tightening wheel on some K2's. Regardless of which model you go for they all function very well as a recreational skate.
- For budget skates we'd recommend you look no further than Bladerunner skates. They outperform every other brand in the low price range and are the sister company to Rollerblade (who started the inline skate movement). Although some may find that they offer a less ergonomic fit and rigidity than a higher priced skate they do a fantastic job with proper polyurethane wheels and precision bearings and are ideal for the unsure first-timer or those with a limited budget.
- Junior skates are best judged by how much growing room you will get out of the skate. All of our kids skates are size extendable so have a careful look at the size ranges of various models and buy the skate which will give you the best economy over a period of time. Bladerunner make very popular junior skates and retail at some of the lowest prices, also take a look at the K2 kids range which offer a great fit across the range and some of which come with a pad set included (wrist, knee and elbow guards).