The 5 Best Rollerblades for Men and Women, According to Pro Bladers

LIVESTRONG.com may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Rollerblade Zetrablade Elite
Rollerblade Zetrablade Inline Skates
Rollerblade Macroblade 100 3WD
K2 Skate Alexis 84 Boa
Rollerblade Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT
collage of the best rollerblades of 2021 isolated on a light blue and purple background
When shopping for your best rollerblades, consider your level and need for speed.
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com

Whether your interest in rollerblading was born from childhood or a simple desire to add some fun to your exercise routine, there's no denying: Rollerblading is making a comeback.

Video of the Day

How come, exactly? In short, because it's the ultimate two-for one. Not just a fun pastime of 1990s tweens, rollerblading is also a legit form of functional fitness — benefitting your endurance, muscle strength, balance, stability and mood.

Advertisement

"It's a fun, efficient, joint-friendly way of exercising that works the full body and also gets you outside for some fresh air," according to personal trainer Kelly Cosentino, CPT, director of fitness for FitXR, a virtual reality fitness app.

Ready to hop on the roller-wagon? We talked to pro bladers and trainers to find out exactly what you need to get rolling. Read on a list of the five best rollerblades of 2021.

Manufacturers typically market footwear according to gender, so we have listed both women's and men's picks below. However, the main difference between most men's and women's shoes lies in the width and size. Choose whichever feels best to your body.

1. Best Overall: Rollerblade Zetrablade Elite

  • Wheels:​ 4
  • Wheel size:​ 100 mm
  • Closure type:​ Lace-up

Advertisement

If you want a boot that does it all — stabilizes, secures, slides and glides — consider this four-wheel pick.

"Four-wheel skates like this option carry speed well, and have a longer sticking point for acceleration and pushing forward," explains Jack Craig, CPT, a certified personal trainer with Inside Bodybuilding, a health clinic for professional athletes.

On top of that, the pair offers a strong buckle and detailed lace system that will help you secure the boot as tight as you need. Plus, engineered with mesh, this the arguably the most breathable pair on the market.

Advertisement

Buy it:Amazon.com (men); DicksSportingGoods.com (women); ​Price:​ $139.99

2. Best for Beginners: Rollerblade Zetrablade Inline Skates

  • Wheels:​ 4
  • Wheel size:​ 80 mm
  • Closure type:​ Cuff buckle and lace-up

Advertisement

Affordable, comfortable and stable, these boots feature a tight but soft boot design complete with cuff buckles closures. Craig says your ankles will feel stable as you ride and glide.

Best part: As you build up your speed, you can switch out the wheels for a higher-performance set. "The larger the wheel ,the faster you'll be able to go, and the easier you will go over larger cracks, rocks and bumps," explains professional in-line skater Caleb Smith.

Buy it:Amazon.com (men); Amazon.com (women); ​Price:​ $99.98 - $199.98 (men), $85.99 - $192.84 (women)

3. Best Three-Wheel: Rollerblade Macroblade 100 3WD

  • Wheels:​ 3
  • Wheel size:​ 100 mm
  • Closure type:​ Lace-Up

Three wheel rollerblades are generally reserved for intermediate and advanced level skaters because they offer better maneuverability — meaning they're faster, explains Craig. If that's you, consider the the Macroblade 100 3WD.

"The high boot will provide more stability through the ankle, limiting any opportunity for twists or fractures," he says. And the mesh upper-boot supports breathability, which will keep your foot dry all glide long.

Buy it:Amazon.com (men); Amazon.com (women); ​Price:​ $219.99

4. Best Luxury: K2 Skate Alexis 84 Boa

  • Wheels:​ 4
  • Wheel size:​ 84 mm
  • Closure type:​ Boa

Maybe you skated as a kid or maybe you tried your partner's pair and now want your own. Whatever the reason, if you're reading this list because you're looking to upgrade your current pair, the K2 Skate Alexis 84 Boa Incline State is your move.

It has a soft but stable boot, sturdy aluminum form and boa closure system for security. What's a boa closure? It's a crank that's attached to wires in your boot. Turn to tighten or loosen with ultimate precision.

This pair checks off the two most important features of any boot, according to Smith, which are quality and comfort.

Buy it:Amazon.com (men); Amazon.com (women); ​Price:​ $167.17-$255.14 (men); $189.95-$342.25 (women)

5. Best Budget: Rollerblade Bladerunner Advantage Pro XT

  • Wheels:​ 4
  • Wheel size:​ 80 mm
  • Closure type:​ Lace-up

This pair is an absolute steal — especially considering that it's made by Rollerblade, a brand ​known​ for their high-quality blades.

Perfect for the rink, walkway or park, this pair is as stable as it is stylish: Very. That's thanks to the sturdy boot structure that enhances stability, and therefore gives you more control.

Plus, at 80 millimeters in diameter, the wheel size is perfect for beginners, according to certified trainer John Gardner, CPT, CEO of Kicko online custom fitness platform. "For beginners you want a wheel that's 75 to 85 millimeters," he says.

Buy it:Amazon.com (men); Amazon.com (women); ​Price:​ $75.49-$160.98 (men); $76.29-$159.99 (women)

5 Factors to Think About When Buying Rollerblades

1. Your Budget

Even the most wallet-friendly pair of skates can put you out one hundred bucks. And a pair of blades isn't the only thing you'll need to get moving! You also need a helmet, knee pads, wrist guards and/or gloves and elbow pads, says Craig. That can cost you an additional one to two hundred dollars.

If you're on a budget, rather than skimping on protective gear altogether Craig recommends hitting your local second-hand sporting goods shop to see if you can find a safety gear there. "Skating without proper protection can result in serious injury," he says.

2. Fit

No matter what, you should prioritize size over style, says Smith. Rollerblades are usually sized the same way as running shoes, so if you're an 8 in running sneaks, you'll likely be an 8 in blades.

But if you can, try them on before investing. "Too big of a skate will cause blisters and too small of a skate will cause pressure points," he says. Generally, you want to be able to fit one pencil between your heel and the back of the boot, but ​not​ wiggle it around once it's there, he says. And that stands no matter what closure type(s) your skate has.

If you're buying online, check the return policy. "A lot of online retailers will allow you to buy skates, try them on and return them as long as you don't cause any visible damage," he says.

3. Closure Type

Laces and Velcro, buckles and knobs — all skates have ​some​ closure mechanism. Actually, most skates feature multiple for the most secure fit.

Each blader will have their own preference for closure type, according to Smith. And that's Ok, he says. The kind of closure(s) doesn't necessarily matter so long as the skate is equal parts quality, comfortable and secure.

4. Wheel Number

For casual users, a four-wheel pair is perfect. These are ideal for learning to rollerblade and most people feel like they have more control while using them, according to Gardner.

"But for people looking to go longer distances, join races or go really fast, three-wheel is best," he says. Three-wheel blades have room for larger wheels, he explains, and larger wheels make it easier to go fast. But that's next.

5. Wheel Size

The larger your wheels, the faster your speed. That's why the best rollerblades for beginners tend to have smaller, 75- to 85-millimeter wheels, and competition-ready lades have the bigger, 100- to 110-millimeter ones, says Smith. You know which you are.

That said, even if you're a beginner now, that doesn't mean you will be in the future. If you think, with time, you'll want to pick up speed, opt for a pair that allow you to switch out the wheels with a larger set, he says. The simple wheel change will allow you to go faster with the same blades — while saving money.

Related Reading

Advertisement