Kids Inline Skates Buying Guide
If your kids have a thirst for adventure, inline skating is a fun recreational activity that will keep your child active, build confidence, and satisfy their need for speed. Safely introducing your kids to skating at a young age can help them develop skills for a lifelong hobby.
Whether your child is just getting on skates for the first time or wants to upgrade their gear for more advanced moves, this kid's inline skates buying guide will help to inform you about the best skating options for your child.
Which Kids Skates are Best for Beginners?
Depending on where your child will skate most frequently will impact what type of skates you'll want to purchase. Specifically, will they skate indoors, or will the family go to an outdoor park or trail?
Different skates require different skating techniques, so you should also consider which type of skate is most suitable for your child.
Indoor Kids Skates
Kid's indoor skates are designed for the roller rink. With a softer boot and wheels, the indoor skate is a great recreational option because of its flexibility and lower barrier of entry. In addition, the softer wheels provide less friction with the ground, allowing for greater control and speed.
Although parents may not want their kids to develop a need for speed, the softer wheels will enable them to glide more smoothly and with greater accuracy as they develop their skills.
Outdoor Kids Skates
Compared to indoor skates, outdoor recreational skates are great for sidewalks, empty parking lots, and paved trails. The more rigid wheel means that there will be more friction with the ground, which is helpful when children are first learning the mechanics of skating.
Also, because the wheel is more durable, it will be less impacted by minor obstacles like small rocks or cracks in the sidewalk. Outdoor kid's skates can still have a flexible tennis shoe style boot, or they may have stiffer boots for more support.
Kids Recreational Skates
Are you planning a family outing with the kids to try out skating for the first time? Then, recreational skates are a great first set of wheels. Here, comfort and control are essential characteristics. Recreational skates are designed with a frame and wheel height to accommodate young skaters as they develop mechanics like balance, braking, and turns.
Kids Hockey Skates
Kids roller hockey skates are a specialty inline skate category with a boot specifically designed to stop and start fast. If your child has mastered the basics of skating and demonstrates a desire to play roller hockey, then purchasing a roller hockey skate will aid their performance.
Kids Aggressive Inline Skates
Reserve aggressive inline for children with a lot of experience skating. Aggressive skates are designed for more speed and are more suitable for the skate park than a trail or sidewalk. In addition, aggressive inline skates feature smaller wheels, enabling them to generate speed and stiffer boots to make them more resistant to wear and tear.
Most Common FAQ's
What Age Should My Kids Get Inline Skates?
You may be asking yourself, how early is too early to get my child their first pair of inline skates? Because some children develop more quickly than others, that question can vary significantly. However, here are some common questions that parents can ask regarding kids inline skates:
Can a 3-year-old Rollerblade?
Most children don't develop balance and coordination until they are four or five years old. That said, toddlers as young as two or three years old can start to begin their skate journey with careful supervision.
Is Skating Good For a 3-year-old?
Sure! As long as the child is wearing protective gear and is well-supervised, skating offers three-year-olds the same benefits as older children and adults.
Can a 5-year-old Rollerblade?
Yes, with practice, a five-year-old child has enough balance and control to learn how to rollerblade.
Inline Skates for Kids
Gone are the days of kids skates with rugged plastic boots and plastic wheels. Now, they have a much sportier design for improved performance. There are many different options for kids' skates, ranging in age, size, price, and experience level.
Inline Skates for Girls
Girl's inline skates offer a wide arrange of colors to match your daughter's personality. Inline skates can come in either three or four inline wheels, depending on experience level. Recreational skates are the most common for girls, but as your daughter gains experience and interest in the sport, she may seek out aggressive or roller hockey skates.
Inline Skates for Boys
Compared to girl's inline skates, boy's inline skates offer many similarities, including color options and sporty designs across recreational, aggressive, and hockey skates. Although kid's sizes remain relatively consistent between boys and girls through early development, some boy's inline skates are slightly wider to accommodate their bone structure.
Inline Skates for Toddlers
For children two to three years old, we recommended you purchase toddler skates. Toddler skates come in traditional quad roller skates or 'rollerblade style.' You may also see some toddler skates that feature two larger back wheels at the heel and two smaller inline wheels toward the toe, which helps toddlers balance better while navigating their skates for the first time.
Kids Adjustable Inline Skates
Without a doubt, kids' feet grow fast. So, purchasing skates out of season can be a fool's quest that could result in poorly fitting skates. When you're shopping for skates, it's crucial that skates are comfortable, secure, and support your child's growing feet.
Most kids' skates offer adjustable options to accommodate sizing. Adjustable skates give kids the ability to continue to use their skates as their feet grow. Plus, it helps parents save a few extra bucks so that you don't have to buy them new skates year after year.
Brands differ on what sizing they offer, so look for an available size range that fits closest to your child's size. For example, you may see sizes range from 11-1, 2-4, 5.5-7.5, etc. For instance, if your child's foot is a size 2, find an adjustable skate range that starts closest to 2 to ensure that your child can continue to grow into the skate over time.
Kids Skates Wheel Size
As with adult inline skates, wheel size can impact the speed and performance of your skates. Two main factors affect wheel performance, namely wheel size and hardness. Here's a quick guide to help determine which wheel size is right for your child.
Wheel Size for Kids Inline Skates
Like adults wheels, kids' wheels measure in millimeters. Wheels that are too big can be difficult to balance on, while wheels that are too small can be too fast for beginner skaters. Because children are typically just learning how to skate, wheels usually range between 70-79mm on recreational skates. Eventually, if your child gets more advanced and needs acceleration to perform tricks like jumps, aggressive wheels ranging between 50-59mm are preferred.
Wheel Hardness for Kids Inline Skates
Today, most skate wheels are made out of polyurethane because they provide better speed, control and are less likely to crack or break over time. Although some youth skates still use plastic wheels, most feature polyurethane wheels, so you'll have to consider wheel hardness when shopping for skates. Wheel hardness depending on usage; 72A to 80A hardness range is most suitable for indoor recreational skaters, whereas 82A to 86A is harder and better suited for outdoor skating.
Wheel Bearings for Kids Skates
Bearings directly impact the amount of friction that the wheels experience. Bearings typically operate on a nine-point scale – the higher the wheel bearing number, the higher the level of manufacturing precision. The precision of the wheel bearing allows skaters to generate more speed, which is desirable for children that are proficient skaters. However, parents should note that higher-numbered bearings perform better in larger wheels. Meaning, kids using aggressive skates will require smaller wheels.
Closure System for Kids Skates
Depending on the age of your child, you may want different types of closure systems. For example, because some children need assistance putting on their skates, you may want something more accessible. As kids get older, they can choose a closure system that best meets their skating needs.
Standard Lacing Closure
When you think back to your skates as a kid, you may envision tie-up skates. For young children, standard lace systems can be more challenging to put on independently. However, standard lace systems are often combined with other systems to get the best of both worlds: support and accessibility.
Ratchet buckles have become commonplace for inline skates and are faster and easier to get on for kids on the go. The strap feeds into a buckle, which can be cranked for an adjustable fit. Ratchet buckles are durable and designed for high-impact while still being manageable for little hands.
If you notice that your child is having difficulty tightening their ratchet buckles, consider shortening the end of the strap so that it feeds into the buckle more easily.
Power straps (or hook and loop straps) are a kid-friendly closure system that quickly gets children into their skates. It's common to see power straps by themselves or in combination with other closure systems.
Quick Lace Systems
Quick-lace systems are great for kids that need an easy way to put on skates. The quick-lace systems only require a very short pull of a very durable cable, and then the kids are on their way.
Kids BOA System
The BOA system is similar to the quick lace system but uses a cable pushed through a dial for a super snug fit. The dial component makes it exceptionally easy to tighten the boot and make a highly personal, custom feel.
Protective Skate Gear for Kids
Parents' primary concern is to keep their kids safe, which is why it's necessary to invest in protective skate gear. Protective gear can help prevent hard falls, broken bones, and scrapped knees to ensure that your child has a fun and safe skating experience for many years to come.
Here's the most important protective gear you should consider:
Pads and Wrist Guards
Knee pads, elbow pads, padded shorts, and wrist guards can all help protect your child from hard falls. Because kids will be kids, it's essential to ensure that children continue to wear protective gear even as they become more experienced.
In particular, wrist guards are necessary because they help stabilize the wrist and absorb hard falls. To avoid injury, instruct your child not to try to catch their fall with straight arms. Instead, coach them to use a slight bend at the wrist and elbow to help prevent major injuries.
Parents should also invest in a proper skate helmet for their children. Unlike bicycle helmets which offer limited coverage and only withstand one impact, skate helmets provide a full-coverage hardshell capable of withstanding multiple impacts.
The helmet's full coverage and soft foam interior padding help prevent injury if your child falls backward, which can easily happen while learning. If you notice that your child's helmet is cracked or seriously impacted, it's a sign to buy a new helmet.
Developing Skills for a Lifelong Hobby
Introducing your child to skating at a young age can help them develop skills for a lifelong hobby. Although anyone can learn how to skate at virtually any age, getting your children into skates at a young age helps them build confidence, develop athleticism, and introduce them to a fun form of fitness they can do for years to come.