HOW TO CHOOSE INLINE SKATES
Inline skating promotes an exercise that is a low impact and enjoyable workout. The sport is popular with kids and adults, making it an option for family fitness and entertainment. As is with all sporting activities, buying the right product makes a big difference on your enjoyment of the activity. Inline skates come in different types and you should select the model that suits your style and needs.
Where will you be Skating? Choose the type of inline skate that serves your needs. The most common types are recreational, fitness and speed with each style providing the best performance for that specific type of skating.
Compare the wheels of the skates. Choose smaller wheels for better maneuverability (76-84mm) and larger wheels (90-110mm) for faster speeds. Assess the hardness of the wheels, with higher numbers (80-85a) indicating a harder wheel. Choose softer wheels for indoor use and harder wheels for outdoor skating. Each wheel has 2 bearings. Bearing designations are: ABEC or ILQ and come in speed ratings of 5, 7 or 9. The higher the number the faster the bearing.
Explore the boot options. Most recreational skates will have a higher boot for more support and control. Performance skates will have a much lower cuff to eliminate weight. Soft-shell boots offer both comfort and support. Youth skates come in models that may adjust to cover 3 sizes.
Formalize yourself with the closures common on inline skates, buckles and laces. Some skates have a combination of the two which can be the best of both worlds. Choose the type which holds your foot securely with a minimal amount of movement.
Inspect the frame of the skates (the part that connects the wheels and the boot). Look for a stable frame that is securely attached to the boot sole. A combination nylon/fiberglass frame is common; however most frames made today are aluminum. The stiffer the frame the more true the wheels will run and with less flex.
Inspect the brake on the skate. It is typically located on the heel of one or both skates. Most Inline skates made today have the ability to move the brake from one foot to the other so you can feel comfortable utilizing your dominate foot. You may want to use a non-marking brake pad for indoor use.
Fit the skates wearing socks similar to those you will wear while skating. A very light wicking material works best. Don’t wear anything too thick as you want the skates to fit close to your foot. Choose a skate that fits snugly with a minimal amount of movement without crowding your toes.
ENJOY! HAVE FUN! BE SAFE! WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR!