The terms “inline skates” and “rollerblades” are often used interchangeably, which may cause some confusion. While it seems like these terms are describing two different activities, they are actually referring to the same sport. \n\n“Inline skates” refer to all kinds of outdoor skates that have wheels in a straight line, and “rollerblades” are a specific type of inline skates manufactured by the Rollerblade skates brand. \n\nThe confusion mainly stems from people saying “rollerblading” when what they mean is inline skating in general. This is in large part due to the significant role that Rollerblade, the skates brand, played in popularizing inline skates.\n\nIn fact, Rollerblade was so successful in its marketing efforts that inline skates are often referred to as “rollerblades” regardless of the skate’s brand. \n\nWhat are inline skates?\n\nInline skates have a unique design where the attached wheels are positioned in a straight line. The size and number of wheels can vary depending on the type of inline skates, but they usually have at least three and up to five wheels per skate. Some different types of inline skates include: \n\n\n\nAggressive inline skates: These are mainly used for artistic skating. Think figure skating, but on regular ground. These skates usually have a smaller wheel size of 55 mm to 59 mm. You can also use them for street skating, tricks, and skating in skate parks. \n\nInline hockey skates: As suggested by the name, these skates are designed for roller hockey, and they usually have a bigger wheel size of 72 mm to 80 mm.\n\nInline recreational skates: These are designed for recreational use in skate parks, sports courts, or street skating. They have a wheel size of 70 mm to 90 mm. \n\nInline fitness skates: These are the most commonly found type of inline skates, and have a wheel diameter of 90 mm to 110 mm. You can use them for body fitness or recreational skating.\n\nInline racing skates: Specifically designed for speed skating and racing, they have hard and thin wheels, and a large wheel size of over 110 mm to help skaters gain and maintain speed. \n\n\nHow to Choose Inline Skates for Beginners\n\nInline skates have many different components that can be customized to fit the level and comfort of the skater. From the wheels to the frame, finding the right pair of inline skates can affect how fast you progress as a skater and, of course, how much you enjoy the sport! \n\nIn this blog we’ve broken down the different parts of inline skates to help guide you on your search for the perfect pair. \n\nWheels\n\nThe number of wheels on an inline skate can vary. Four or five wheels are ideal for inline skaters at the beginner to intermediate level, as they are easier to balance on. Experienced skaters might prefer to only have three wheels. \n\nInline skate wheels can vary in size or diameter, which also affects the skater’s stability. In general, the wider the wheel, the less stability it provides. So, if you’re a beginner inline skater, opt for skates with a smaller or medium diameter. \n\nFinally, you’ll find that inline skate wheels can vary in hardness. Wheel hardness is measured using a special tool named a durometer, which gives the wheel hardness rating. You can find this printed on most wheels as a number with the letter “A” after it. The bigger the number, the harder the wheel.\n\nFor example, a 76A wheel is deemed soft and a 74A wheel is considered extra-soft. Soft wheels are slower and feel smoother when riding on rough terrains, meaning your legs won’t shake as much when travelling down asphalt or concrete roads. They’re also better at handling small debris. On the other hand, a harder wheel can help you skate faster, but you may not be as comfortable. \n\nBraking System\n\nThe traditional inline skate-braking system is basically a hard rubber pad attached to a plastic holder at the back wheel. The brake is usually found on the right skate, but it is interchangeable. To brake, the skater has to angle the braking skate upwards and force their heel to the ground to create friction between the braking pad and the ground.\n\nYou can also find the ABT (Advanced Braking Technology) braking system in entry-level Rollerblade skates. This special braking system was designed by Rollerblade to help beginners brake with more confidence on their skates. The main difference between the ABT system and the traditional braking method is that it allows the skater to keep all four wheels on the ground while stopping and remaining balanced. \n\nFrame\n\nInline skate frames are mainly made of either plastic or metal. Choosing the right frame can help your skates last as long as possible. We suggest using skates with metal frames as they are sturdier and can withstand bumpy or uneven surfaces. \n\nSafety Buckle\n\nThe safety buckle helps to reinforce the feet and ankles inside the skates. We suggest that beginners invest in a pair of inline skates with safety buckles to keep their feet stable and protect their ankles. \n\nLooking for the right pair of inline skates? At Figure Skating Boutique, we specialize in everything you need to skate on and off the ice. Regardless of what kind of skating you are into, and what style you like, we can help you find the right fit. Call us at 866-957-0396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for all your figure skating needs today! You can also contact us online here.