Inline skates come in several different varieties depending upon their intended use, including recreational, fitness, hockey, aggressive and speed skating. Finding the top-rated models in each category can be done by researching the overall quality and popularity of a skate. Because skates have a different fit and “feel” for everyone, it’s best if you try on skates before you buy them. All rollerblades listed are based on 2010 prices.
Two of the top recreational skate manufacturers include K2 and Rollerblade. The Rollerblade Formula 10 is the top-rated recreational skate at Dick’s Sporting Goods because of its lightweight and comfortable design, ABEC 7 bearings, stable feel and affordable price tag at $150. The K2 Mach-series of recreation skates are also a top choice because of their comfortable ride and shock absorption properties.
Fitness skates are almost identical to recreational skates, but they are higher quality and designed for traveling over longer distances. Two of the top fitness inline skates, according to Kathie Fry of SkateLog.com, include the K2 Mod-line of skates and the Rollerblade Lightning series. Both types offer increased durability over recreational skates and higher top-speed potential. A good fitness skate will run $200 or more.
The two top inline hockey skate manufacturers are both longtime ice hockey giants: Bauer and CCM. The most popular Bauer skate for 2010 is the Vapor series, which has been a popular choice for ice hockey players in the past. The price range for Bauer Vapor skates ranges from $100 up to $650 for the top-of-the-line RX60 skate. CCM’s most successful skate is the Vector-line of skates ranging in price from just under $100 to $350 for the Vector V10 Sr. inline hockey skates.
Aggressive inline skates are designed for street and freestyle use, such as for grinds, rail slides and jumps. These skates start at around $100 for an entry-level pair and go up from there. Two of the top aggressive skate manufacturers include Razors and Valo. The Razors Genesys series of skates starts at $90 for kids sizes up to $200 for adult sizes. The Valo EB1 is also a cost-effective choice at $150, according to SkateAggressive.com. This skate offers a memory foam liner, ABEC 5 bearings and 56 mm wheels.
Two of the top inline speed skating manufacturers include Luigino and Powerslide. The 2010 Luigino Strut is a $250 speed skate that is a popular and smart choice, according to inline speed skating resource, Nett Racing. It states that the Luigino boot is one of the most comfortable on the market. The second most popular speed skate at Nett Racing is the 2010 Powerslide R2 priced at just over $300. This skate contours well to the foot for exceptional comfort, and it features three 100 mm wheels and one 90 mm wheel per skate.