Best Inline Skates for Beginners

Our guide to the best inline skates for beginners details everything you need to know to make an informed decision when buying skates.

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A Beginners Guide to Inline Skates

If you’re interested in inline skating but need help figuring out where to start when choosing the right skates, this guide is here to help. We’ll walk you through essential steps like measuring your foot size using the Mondopoint system. Next, we will explain the difference between soft and hard boot skates.. Additionally, we’ll cover key skate components such as frames, wheels, and bearings. As an avid rollerblader who has dedicated my life to this sport, I am passionate about helping others explore and enjoy inline skating. The process of figuring out which skates to buy can be overwhelming with the vast options available. This guide is designed to simplify choosing skates for you, directing you to affordable, high-quality options.

In this guide, I recommend inline skates with four 80mm wheels for beginners, categorizing them into soft and hard boot models. All the skates discussed are from trusted brands like Rollerblade, K2, Flying Eagle, FR, and Powerslide. These companies are known for their quality skates and commitment to the skating community. This guide aims to equip you with all the necessary information to choose the ideal pair of skates, whether you’re into recreation, fitness, or urban skating.

Girl inline skating in Colchester, Vermont

Tips for Choosing the Right Size Inline Skates

Using the Mondopoint System and Wall Method for the Perfect Fit

To choose the right size inline skate, accurately measure your foot length in centimeters to get your Mondo shoe size. The Mondopoint system measures the exact length of your foot, simplifying the process of finding the right size across various types of footwear that adopt this standardized approach. A slight difference of just a few millimeters can significantly impact how well they fit. Wear the socks you intend to skate in for precise measurements. Then use the wall method to figure out your mondo shoe size. Place your foot on a piece of paper with your heel against a wall, mark from heel to toe, and measure the distance. For more information and visuals on positioning and tracing your foot, check out this article.

Compare this measurement to the size chart specific to that skate model, noting any recommendations to size up or down. Remember that sizing can vary between skates. As skate brands do not all use the same sizing charts, so don’t rely solely on your shoe size. Ignore the advice from websites that tell you to simply use your shoe size to size up or down for skates. This method can be misleading and often leads to skates that don’t fit properly. Customer reviews can also be valuable, as they often comment on whether the skates fit true to size, small or large. 

Remember: Inline skates aren’t meant to fit like shoes. They need to be much more snug to provide more stability at any speed and make the power transfer of your strides—and your ability to stop—more efficient. 

Deciding Between Soft and Hard Boot Skates

Deciding Between Soft and Hard Boot Skates

When deciding on your first pair of skates, one of the most important choices you’ll have to make is between soft and hard shell models. Here, we’ll explain the differences between soft and hard boot skates so you can better understand the two types and choose the best option for your needs and goals.

Soft Boots

Soft boot skates are a popular choice for beginners, and for good reason. They are more affordable, lighter, and more flexible than hard boot skates, allowing for a greater range of motion. The cushioned boots provide a comfortable fit, similar to regular shoes, and are gentle on the feet, reducing the likelihood of blisters or discomfort during extended skating sessions. These features make soft boot skates a reassuring choice for beginners. 

Things to Think About

While soft boots are suitable for some beginners with strong ankles, they do not provide the lateral ankle support that hard boots offer. This lack of support can lead to stability and comfort issues for new skaters with weaker ankles, as the skates will often unnaturally bend to the side. Soft shell skates are generally better suited for those with stronger ankles or intermediate fitness skaters. 

Hard Boots

Hard boot skates offer enhanced support and stability, making them an excellent choice for beginners who need extra help with balance and ankle strength. These skates have a rigid outer shell that provides superior lateral ankle support. They are ideal for those at risk of ankle injuries or who need additional stability while learning. They feature removable liners, which opens up a world of customization. Many incredible aftermarket liners are available for added comfort and support. Once new skaters adjust to the feel, which differs from the regular shoe-like comfort of soft boots, they often appreciate the improved stability that hard shells provide.Furthermore, hard boots have a longer lifespan and come with aluminum frames to add to their durability and responsiveness. This makes them a wise investment for skaters who aim to advance their skills or navigate rougher surfaces.

What to Consider

The drawback of hard boot skates is that they tend to be more expensive because they are made with higher-quality components. This requires a more significant investment and commitment from first-time skaters. However, this guide selects some of the most affordable hard boot skates that still provide excellent quality for beginners. Furthermore, hard boot skates may require a longer break-in period, but once they are fully broken in, they are just as comfortable as soft shell boots. This contrasts with soft boot models, which can be more comfortable right out of the box. Some hard boot models, like the Powerslide Storm, come with heat-moldable liners for a better fit and added comfort. However, the hard boot skates on this list stand out as they offer many advanced features at an affordable price and with good quality.

Soft boot inline skates provide less lateral support then hard boot skates.

Example of Stability: The girl on the left has weaker ankles, which makes her soft boot skates bend to the side. The flexibility of the soft shell for some people can cause pain, making skating less enjoyable. On the other hand, the man on the right has hard boot skates that align with his legs. These hard shells provide better lateral support to the ankle, preventing the foot from bending sideways. This makes them a better choice for people with weaker ankles or who want to get better power transfers in their strides.

Image of girl by Freepik, and image on right is by Rollerblade.

The Verdict: While soft boot skates are commonly aimed at beginners, I suggest opting for hard boot skates for better lateral support, stability, and power transfer. They also provide more upgrade options, making them ideal for those who plan to continue skating over the long term.

A Deep Dive Into Frames, Wheels, and Bearings

About Inline Skate Frames

Inline skate frames play an important role in the performance and durability of your skates. As a beginner, understanding the different types of frames and their features is essential for making an informed decision when purchasing your first pair of skates. In this section, we explore how plastic and metal frames differ, the most common types found on beginner skates.

Inline skates for beginners often come with lightweight and sturdy composite plastic frames. These frames are usually integrated into the boot mold or firmly attached with rivets, meaning they cannot be removed. This provides a seamless connection between the boot and frame, enhancing power transfer and control. They offer enough stability and support for new skaters to feel confident on the rink or pavement. Plus, since they’re less expensive to make, beginner skates with composite plastic frames are budget-friendly options for those starting out. Although not as stiff as metal frames, these plastic frames provide enough responsiveness for beginners to learn and grow their skating skills. They also absorb vibrations better, making skating sessions more comfortable for beginners.

Metal frames, often made from aluminum or other alloys, offer superior durability and performance compared to composite plastic frames. They provide excellent power transfer and responsiveness, which is ideal for more advanced skaters or those pursuing aggressive skating styles. Metal frames may offer a steeper learning curve for beginners due to their increased rigidity and responsiveness. However, as beginners progress and become more comfortable on their skates, metal frames can provide a smoother and more efficient skating experience.

Inline skate frame mounting systems

As you progress to higher-end skates with metal frames, you’ll find that, unlike many composite plastic frames, the metal frames aren’t integrated into the boot and are removable. This feature allows for more customization and flexibility in upgrading or replacing frames. When considering mounting systems, beginners should pay attention to how the frames are attached to the bottom of inline skates. Two popular options are the 165 mount and the trinity mount.

165 Mount: The 165 mount is a standard mounting system where the frame is attached to the boot using two screws positioned 165mm apart. This mounting system is commonly found on recreational and fitness skates and allows for easy frame replacement or upgrades.

Trinity Mount: The Trinity Mount is a newer system developed by Powerslide with three mounting points arranged in a triangle shape. This mounting system offers a lower center of gravity, enhanced stability, power transfer, and maneuverability compared to traditional mounting systems. 

Inline Skate Wheels Explained

Inline skate wheels

Knowing about the size and durometer of inline skate wheels is really helpful for beginners as they start their skating journey. In this section, we’ll talk about softer wheels found on most inline skates for beginners and look at when it might be a good idea to switch to harder wheels as you get better. Let’s dive into the world of inline skate wheels and find out the best setup for beginner skates.

Wheel Size

Beginner skates usually have wheels between 76mm and 80mm in diameter. These smaller wheels offer greater control and stability, making them easier for beginners to balance and maneuver. When getting into more advanced skating, some people opt for 90mm, 110m, and 125mm wheels, among others, for improved smoothness, speed, and momentum. These larger wheel sizes require more ankle strength, so we recommend getting comfortable on 80mm first on a hard boot skate with aluminum frames. You can easily swap a larger-sized frame onto this skate without having to buy an entire new skate to be able to ride on larger wheels.

Wheel Durometer

Wheels on beginner skates typically have a durometer rating between 78A and 83A. The durometer measures the wheel’s hardness, with lower numbers indicating softer wheels. These softer wheels provide better grip and shock absorption, which can benefit beginners as they learn to navigate different surfaces and terrain. These wheels help beginners maintain stability and control, especially on uneven or rough surfaces. Additionally, softer wheels provide enhanced shock absorption, reducing the impact of bumps and vibrations and making the learning process more comfortable and enjoyable for beginners.

The downside of soft wheels is that they are less durable and wear out faster on rough surfaces, so you’ll need to replace them more frequently, increasing your costs. They also provide less speed then harder wheels, which can benefit cautious beginners. As new skaters gain confidence and their skating skills increase, they may consider upgrading to harder wheels between 84 and 88A. These wheels are more durable, handle better on rough surfaces, and last longer than softer wheels. Harder wheels offer less grip but roll faster and maintain speed better. 

Our Thoughts: We recommend 4x80mm wheels with around 85A hardness as the perfect size and durometer for skating on most surfaces for beginners.  

Related: Dream Urethane Launches Mind Altering Wheel Line

Understanding Bearing Ratings

Inline skate bearings

For beginner inline skaters, it’s helpful to know that skates typically feature bearings rated according to systems like ABEC, ILQ, and SG. Lower-end beginner skates often come equipped with bearings like ABEC 5 or SG5, which are cost-effective yet perform well enough for new skaters. Higher-end models may include ABEC 9 or ILQ9 bearings, which offer greater precision and smoothness. The ABEC scale measures the precision of the bearing, with higher numbers (up to 9) indicating tighter tolerance and smoother performance. 

ILQ bearings are specifically designed for inline skating, addressing the sport’s unique demands, while SG bearings, used in Rollerblade skates, focus on durability and quality lubrication. While beginners might not significantly feel the difference between these bearings, more advanced skaters benefit from the enhanced smoothness and efficiency of higher-rated bearings. Additionally, components like the steel’s quality and the ball retainers’ precision in ABEC-rated bearings can significantly influence their performance and durability.

Further Reading: Interested in learning about various inline skating disciplines, such as recreational, fitness, urban, aggressive, slalom, etc? Take a look at our article, “Demystifying Inline Skating Disciplines.” This comprehensive guide covers the ten most popular inline skating disciplines, providing key insights to deepen your understanding of the sport.

Exploring the Seaport District in Boston on Inline Skates

Our Picks for the Best Beginner Inline Skates of 2024

We’ve carefully selected the best inline skates for beginners of 2024, organized into soft and hard boot models from the most trusted brands. We’ll break down what makes each pair unique, and as you explore, we’ll delve into each pair’s features. Let’s dive into the world of skates for beginners, ensuring fun for years to come!

Soft Boot Models
SkatesFrame MountWheel SizePrice
K2 Kinetic 80Integrated80mm 80A$99.95
Rollerblade ZetrabladeIntegrated80mm 80A$129.00 – $139.00
Powerslide Phuzion RadonTrinity90mm 83A$149.99 – $205.99
Powerslide Phuzion ArgonTrinity80mm 83A$189.95
Rollerblade Macroblade ABTIntegrated80mm 82A$199.00
K2 Alexis 84 BOAIntegrated84mm 80A$219.95
K2 FIT 84 BOAIntegrated84mm 80A$219.95
Hard Boot Models
SkatesFrame MountWheel SizePrice
Flying Eagle X3 Shrike165mm80mm 85A$149.95
Rollerblade RB80165mm80mm 82A$159.00
Micro MT Plus165mm76mm – 90mm 85A$169.00
Rollerblade Lightning 80165mm80mm 85A$199.00
Powerslide Zoom Pro 80Trinity80mm 86A$199.99
FR FR3 80165mm / 195mm80mm 85A$220.00
Powerslide Storm 80Trinity80mm 88A$249.99

Best Soft Boot Inline Skates for Beginners

K2 Kinetic 80

K2 Kinetic 80 Soft Boot Inline Skates

For those newly getting into inline skating or wanting to relive their memories of rollerblading in their youth but don’t want to make a significant investment, the K2 Kinetic 80 are the perfect skates for you. It is the only recreational inline skates for beginners we recommend for under $100, offering excellent quality components and exceptional comfort and support. The Kinetic 80 skates feature a user-friendly buckle and strap system that makes them easy to put on and take off. They are designed to help beginners learn the basics of skating effortlessly, allowing you to swiftly improve your skills, whether you’re skating around your neighborhood, on trails, or at the roller rink. The K2 Kinetic 80 makes an excellent choice for beginners looking for a reliable and enjoyable skating experience.

K2 Kinetic Specifications

The Kinetic 80 uses K2’s SoftBoot technology, which merges a soft shell with a built-in liner to provide a comfortable, shoe-like fit. The Stability Plus Cuff also offers the right amount of stiffness to keep control while allowing flexibility. To ensure your skates fit snugly and securely around your foot, they have a closure system that includes a cuff buckle, a 45° Velcro strap, and standard lacing. The monocoque composite plastic frames offer stability and dampen vibrations. They are equipped with 80mm 80A wheels that have ABEC 5 bearings and come with a removable brake for extra safety.

Upgrade to the Pro Version for the Ease of Speed Lacing

The K2 Kinetic 80 Pro builds on the standard Kinetic 80 by adding a speed lacing system that makes fitting adjustments quick and easy with just a pull. This feature not only saves time but also keeps the skates extra snug during use. While not everyone may need this upgrade, for an extra $20, it could be a worthwhile improvement for some.

Men’s Sizes5 – 13
Women’s Sizes6 – 11
Mondo Size21.0 – 32.0

Related: The Best Inline Skates for Kids Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Rollerblade Zetrablade Inline Skates

Rollerblade Zetrablade Inline Skates for Beginners

The Zetrablade skates from Rollerblade have been in production since the 1990s and have been refined and perfected immensely in the last 30 years. Although slightly more expensive than the K2 Kinetic series, the Zetrablade is known for its stability and comfort and is a popular skate for many beginner skaters.I love how these skates perform and feel, and I find them visually more appealing than other skates in this price range. 

Rollerblade Zetrablade Specifications

The Rollerblade Zetrablade, like the K2 Kinetic skates, features a soft boot design with an integrated liner and a high cuff for better support. It also uses a similar closure system that includes standard laces, a cuff buckle, and a 45° Velcro strap for stability and a secure fit. The skates have a monocoque frame that is connected directly to the shell, lowering your center of gravity for improved balance and control. They are equipped with Rollerblade 80mm 80A wheels and ABEC 5 bearings, and include a removable brake for safety.

Men’s Sizes6 – 13
Women’s Sizes6 – 10
Mondo Size22.0 – 31.0
Price$129.00 – $139.00

Related: The 10 Best Inline Skates for Men

Powerslide Phuzion Radon 90

Powerslide Radon 90 Inline Skates For Beginners

The Powerslide Phuzion Radon 90 skates are designed for skaters of all levels and are great for recreational and fitness skating. Two key features make these skates stand out. First, they have a versatile Trinity mounting system that allows you to switch among various frame types, from urban to slalom to speed. The way the system works is you actually stand closer to the ground giving you even more control. This system supports wheel sizes ranging from 80 to 125 millimeters, offering flexibility to adapt the skates to different skating styles. Second, these inline skates come with fast 90mm wheels, making them better suited for uneven surfaces and ideal for beginners who want to cover longer distances quickly. Overall, these skates offer performance, comfort, and safety, making them an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate skaters looking to enhance their skills and enjoy smoother rides.

Powerslide Phuzion Radon Specifications

The Powerslide Phuzion Radon boot features a lightweight glass-fiber reinforced plastic shell, an integrated EVA padded liner, and a plastic cuff for support. Standard lacing, a 45° strap, and a locking cuff buckle ensure the boot stays securely on your foot. It features Trinity mounting points and a Trinity mount aluminum frame, Powerslide Phuzion 90mm 83A wheels, and Wicked ABEC 7 bearings for smooth and responsive skating. Additionally, the Radon 90 includes a Height Adjustable Brake System (HABS) for improved safety.

Men’s Sizes6 – 9
Women’s Sizes6 – 10
Mondo Size22.9 – 30.3
Price$149.99 – $205.99

Relate: Best Inline Skates for Women – The Ultimate 2024 Collection

Powerslide Phuzion Argon 80

Powerslide Phuzion Argon 80 Inline Skates

The Powerslide Phuzion Argon 80 skates were the first pair I bought for my partner, and she found them incredibly comfortable and responsive right from the start. The integrated MyFit liner ensures a snug and cozy fit, while the composite frame delivers good power transfer without being too stiff, which is ideal for beginners. With 80mm wheels, these inline skates provide a nice balance of speed and control, making them versatile enough for beginners for both city skating and cruising around parks.

Powerslide Phuzion Argon Specifications

Like the Phuzion Radon 90, the Phuzion Argon 80 also features a glass-fiber reinforced plastic shell and cuff. However, it includes an integrated MyFit Recall Memory Fit Liner for enhanced comfort. The boot is secured with standard lacing, a locking cuff buckle, and a 45° ratchet buckle for a firm fit. It also features the versatile Trinity mounting system and is equipped with an Elite 3D cast aluminum frame. The skates feature Powerslide Phuzion 80mm 83A wheels and Wicked ABEC 7 bearings. They also include a Height Adjustable Brake System (HABS) for enhanced braking.

Men’s Sizes7.5 – 12
Women’s Sizes6.5 – 10
Mondo Size22.9 – 30.3

Related: The 36 Best Inline Skates and Rollerblades for Every Discipline

Rollerblade Macroblade 80 ABT

Rollerblade Macroblade Inline Skates

The Rollerblade Macroblade 80 ABT inline skates are perfect for beginners worried about stopping safely. They feature innovative Active Brake Technology (ABT) which allows you to brake without lifting the front wheels, ensuring all wheels stay on the ground for smoother and more stable stops. This makes them ideal for new skaters who need extra control and confidence. Additionally, the skates have a mesh design that provides excellent ventilation, keeping you cool during long summer skating sessions.

Rollerblade Macroblade ABT Specifications

The Rollerblade Macroblade 80 ABT features a comfortable soft mesh shell with an integrated liner. Its standout feature is the ABT brake system, which is easier to use than traditional brakes. It’s attached to the non-removable aluminum twinblade frame and linked to the hard plastic cuff at the back. The skates use standard lacing, a cuff buckle, and a 45° strap for a secure and stable fit. They come equipped with Rollerblade 80mm 82A wheels and SG5 bearings, and the frames accommodate up to 84mm wheels as skaters progress and seek more speed.

Men’s Sizes6 – 13.5
Women’s Sizes5 – 10.5
Mondo Size22.0 – 31.5

Related: The 15 Best Helmets for Inline Skating

K2 Alexis 84 BOA

K2 Alexis 84 BOA Inline Skates

The K2 Alexis 84 BOA are the only inline skates for beginners in our guide with a female-specific fit. They are the counterparts of the K2 FIT 84 BOA, which are virtually identical, besides being developed with a men’s specific fit. The Alexis 84 is designed for women seeking a blend of performance and comfort in their skating experience. They feature the advanced BOA Fit System, offering precision tightening and easy on-the-fly adjustments, ensuring a secure and customized fit. Its 84mm wheels allow smooth rolling over various surfaces, ideal for recreational skating, cross-training, and long-distance journeys. The soft boot design fits comfortably, supported by the Stability Plus Cuff for essential support without excessive stiffness, perfect for long skate sessions.

K2 Alexis BOA Specifications

The K2 Alexis 84 BOA includes K2’s soft boot shell technology with an integrated liner and plastic cuff. It features BOA speed lacing, a 45° strap, and a cuff buckle for a secure fit. The skates have a non-removable stamped aluminum frame, K2 84mm 80A wheels, and TwinCam ILQ7 bearings for smooth performance.

Women’s Sizes4 – 11
Mondo Size21.0 – 28.0

Related: Best Pads for Inline Skating


K2 Fit 84 BOA Inline Skates

Tailored for men, the K2 FIT 84 BOA inline skates cater to beginners who value ease of use and adjustable comfort. These skates incorporate the BOA Fit System, enabling quick, precise adjustments with a simple dial turn. Like the Alexis, the FIT 84 boasts 84mm wheels that ensure a smooth and fast ride, ideal for diverse skating activities. The design aims to balance comfort and performance, featuring a supportive cuff and a soft boot construction for maximum comfort. This combination positions the FIT 84 BOA as a top choice for beginners and intermediate skaters. It offers both reliability and the flexibility needed to improve skating skills, making it perfect for those looking to advance.

K2 FIT BOA Specifications

The K2 Fit 84 BOA shares the same features as the Alexis 84 BOA, including a soft boot shell with an integrated liner and a secure closure system. This system includes BOA speed lacing, a 45° strap, and a cuff buckle for a snug fit. These skates also have a non-removable stamped aluminum frame equipped with K2 84mm 80A wheels and TwinCam ILQ7 bearings, making them sturdy and smooth for skating.

Men’s Sizes6 – 14
Mondo Size23.0 – 32.0
IQON CL15 Pink Banner

Best Hard Boot Inline Skates for Beginners

Flying Eagle X3 Shrike

Flying Eagle X3 Shrike urban inline skates for beginners

Flying Eagle is a fantastic brand known for making quality inline skates for beginners at affordable prices. The Flying Eagle X3 Shrike is perfect for beginners who want skates they can progress with and learn new skills. These urban skates provide great support and have adjustable frames that let you change the vertical position of the front and back wheels by rotating the axles, which is excellent for slalom skating and fun moves on the tennis court. For the price, they offer excellent value with customizable features and adjustable frames, all at a great price.

Flying Eagle X3 Shrike Specifications

The Flying Eagle X3 Shrike features a ventilated, molded plastic shell with a cuff and a removable liner. It secures your foot with standard lacing, a plastic cuff buckle, and a 45° micro-adjustable ratchet buckle. The boot is compatible with 165mm mounting and includes a CNC-machined aluminum frame that supports 150mm, 165mm, 180mm, and 195mm mounting points. Smaller sizes (4.5 to 7.5) are equipped with 76mm 85A wheels, while larger sizes have 80mm 85A wheels, all paired with TwinCam MW7 Titalium Freeride bearings.

Brake Not Included: The Flying Eagle X3 Shrike does not include a brake, so if you need brakes, you’ll have to buy the Powerslide Urban Brake in size small separately. Additionally, you must also purchase an aftermarket FR/Seba Brake Axle to install the brakes properly.

Men’s Sizes5 – 12
Mondo Size22.0 – 29.5

Related: The Absolute Best Socks for Inline Skating

Rollerblade RB80

Rollerblade RB80 Inline Skates for Beginners

The Rollerblade RB80 is a robust and comfortable urban skate well-suited for those with wider feet. It offers a molded boot with a more relaxed fit than other rollerblade models. The RB80 is highly responsive and versatile, making it ideal for skaters of all skill levels. Its design features excellent lateral support that helps new skaters develop skills, ensuring stability and control. Additionally, the frame’s low center of gravity improves balance, and its rugged construction withstands various terrains and conditions. Making the RB80 inline skates an excellent choice for beginners starting their skating journey or looking to explore their city.

Rollerblade RB80 Specifications

The RB80 skates have a molded plastic shell and cuff. They include a removable liner held by standard lacing, a cuff buckle, and a 45° strap for a snug fit. Like the Powerslide Phuzion, these skates feature customizable frames but use the 165mm mounting system instead of Trinity. This system fits many aftermarket frames from various companies, providing options in size and length. The skates come with an extruded aluminum frame, 80mm 82A wheels, and SG7 bearings, making them perfect for outdoor skating.

Men’s Sizes6 – 14
Women’s Sizes5 – 10
Mondo Size20.6 – 31.5

Micro MT Plus

Micro MT Plus urban inline skates for beginners

The Micro MT Plus are budget-friendly hard boot inline skates, perfect for beginners. It’s fully customizable, which means you can update it with aftermarket frames and liners at a fraction of the cost of buying new inlines, allowing it to last for years. The skate features a wide body construction for a perfect fit. It also has plenty of side and bottom vents, ensuring good airflow to keep your feet dry while skating. Unique to our list, the Micro MT Plus comes in several color variations, so you can choose a style that best fits your personal taste.

Micro MT Plus Specifications

The Micro MT Plus skates feature a molded plastic shell with a removable liner, a 165mm frame mounting, and a height adjustable plastic cuff. They secure snugly with standard lacing, a safety lock cuff buckle, and a 45° ratchet buckle. The skates are equipped with a 6000 Series aluminum frame and 85A wheels, ranging in size from 76mm to 90mm, depending on the boot size. These skates also include ABEC 5 bearings for smooth movement.

Brake Not Included: The Micro MT Plus skates do not include a brake.

Men’s Sizes4.5 – 13
Women’s Sizes5 – 13.5
Mondo Size230mm – 300mm

Related: Best Aggressive Inline Skates of 2024 – The Ultimate Guide

Rollerblade Lightning 80

Rollerblade Lightning Inline Skates for Beginners

In the 1990s, the Rollerblade Lightning was among the most popular skates of the era. I skated numerous versions of these before they eventually faded from the market as I started transitioning into doing tricks and becoming an aggressive skater. To everyone’s surprise, they’ve reintroduced a modern interpretation for 2024, the Rollerblade Lightning 80, a streamlined version of their high-end Twister skate. I was excited about the relaunch of the Lightning model, and it has quickly become one of my favorite skates on this list! These cool-looking skates are lightweight, making them easy to maneuver and control. They are an ideal choice for beginners and anyone looking for a reliable pair of inline skates that perform as well as they look.

Rollerblade Lightning Specifications

The Rollerblade Lightning features a molded plastic shell and cuff with a removable liner. It includes a secure closure system with standard lacing, a memory cuff buckle, and a 45° memory buckle to ensure a snug fit while skating, enhancing comfort and safety. The skates also boast an extruded aluminum frame that accommodates 165mm and 185mm mounting points, equipped with Rollerblade Urban 80mm 85A wheels and SG7 bearings for smooth cruising on various terrain. A brake is included in the box.

Men’s Sizes6 – 15
Women’s Sizes5 – 10.5
Mondo Size21.6 – 32.5

Related: 50 Awesome Gift Ideas for Inline Skaters

Powerslide Zoom Pro 80

Powerslide Zoom Pro 80 inline skates

The Powerslide Zoom Pro 80 are Powerslide’s introductory hard boot urban inline skates for beginners. These skates feature a wider shell, providing plenty of toe room for comfort. They are ideal for beginners, whether you’re practicing on trails or right in front of your house. Once you’ve mastered the basics, they’re also great for city exploration through urban skating. They offer customization options, including the ability to upgrade the liner. Additionally, the Trinity 3-point mounting system allows compatibility with a wide range of Trinity frames, suiting various skating styles from slalom to speed.

Powerslide Zoom Pro Specifications

The Powerslide Zoom Pro 80 inline skates boast a molded plastic shell and cuff and a removable cozzy MyFit Dual-fit liner that can accommodate two shoe sizes. They feature standard laces, a cuff buckle, and a 45° micro-adjustable ratchet buckle to ensure your foot stays securely in place. These skates have an elite cast aluminum frame designed for Trinity mounting points with Hurricane 80mm 86A wheels and Wicked ABEC 7 bearings.

Brake Not Included: The Powerslide Zoom Pro 80 skates do not come with a brake. If you need a brake, purchase the compatible Powerslide Habs Brake Mount SM/MD separately.

Men’s Size5.5 – 12.5
Mondo Size23.6 – 30.3

Related: Best Bikes for Kids from Toddlers to Teens

FR FR3 80

FR FR3 80 inline skastes

FR is a well-known brand that makes high-quality skates favored by skaters of all skill levels, especially those into slalom and urban skating. Even if you’re not into slalom or urban skating yet, the FR FR3 80 inline skates offer beginners the flexibility to explore different styles as their skating progresses. They come with a rockerable frame, which allows you to adjust the front and back wheel positions to be slightly raised by rotating the axles to change the wheel position, making freestyle and slalom skating much easier. With its rigid, medium-height cuff, memory foam liner, adjustable rockerable frame, and customization options, the FR FR3 80 is high on our list of the best beginner inline skates.

FR FR3 Specifications

The FR FR3 80 skate features a molded plastic shell and cuff, complemented by a removable Drylex Memory Foam liner for comfort. It uses regular laces, a memory cuff buckle, and a 45° memory buckle to keep your foot tightly secured. These skates are fitted with a 243mm extruded aluminum frame supporting 165mm and 185mm mounting points. They come equipped with FR Downtown 80mm 85A wheels and TwinCam MW7 Titalium Freeride bearings.

Brake Not Included: The FR FR3 80 skates do not include a brake. If you require brakes, you can purchase the FR Skates 4W Brake Mount separately, which is compatible with these skates.

Men’s Sizes5 – 13.5
Mondo Size22.0 – 30.0

Related: The 24 Best Scooters for Kids from Toddlers to Teens

Powerslide Storm 80

Powerslide Storm 80 Urban Inline Skates

The Powerslide Storm is a great option for beginners looking to explore 3-wheel inline skates but who want to begin with a 4×80 setup. These skates use a 165mm standard mounting system and have a wider overall fit, providing ample room for movement and comfort, especially for those with wider feet in the toe or heel areas. The Storm includes a versatile 2-in-1 frame with a standard 4x80mm wheel setup and offers bolt holes for switching to a 3x110mm configuration. This flexibility makes the Storm an excellent skate for beginners who want to invest time in learning and later transition to faster, more intense urban skating.

Powerslide Storm Specifications

The Powerslide Storm skate has a durable plastic shell and an adjustable cuff for a custom fit. It features a removable, heat-moldable MyFit FatBoy Dual Fit Liner for extra comfort. The skates use standard laces, a cuff buckle, and a 45° micro-adjustable ratchet buckle to fasten your foot securely. These skates have 260mm Powerslide Surface 2 in 1 ADC10 aluminum frames that support the 165mm mounting standard. They also come with Powerslide Spinner 80mm 88A wheels and high-quality Wicked ABEC 9 bearings for smooth and fast performance.

Brake Not Included: The Powerslide Storm skates do not include a brake. If you need one, they are compatible with the Urban Inline Skate Brake Mount—use the MD Brake for 4×80 setups and the LG Brake for 3×110 setups.

Men’s Sizes5.5 – 12
Mondo Size23.4 – 29.8
Mom inline skating in St. Johnsbury, Vermont

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best inline skates for beginners?

There are many inline skate brands out there. Yet, only a handful can be trusted to provide quality skates using durable parts. The best recreational, fitness, and urban inline skating brands we support and recommend are Rollerblade, K2, Powerslide, FR, Micro, and Flying Eagle. Regarding other disciplines like aggressive inline and speed skating, there are more great brands that make skates targeted explicitly to those disciplines, which we cover more in other guides

What inline skate brands should I avoid?

If you shop on sites like Amazon, you will be overwhelmed with the many low-cost and low-quality skates from dozens of off-brands. It should be avoided if the brand wasn’t listed above when looking for recreational, fitness, or urban skates. Also, you may run across deals on some of our recommended skates that seem too good to be true on sites like Alibaba, which is known to sell counterfeit skates using low-quality parts and construction. Avoid buying these skates, which can be dangerous and cause serious injury

Why should I use brakes when inline skating?

Brakes are crucial for safety, particularly for beginners. They help you control your speed and maintain stability as you learn to skate. This is especially important when skating downhill or on uneven surfaces, where it’s easy to accelerate beyond your comfort zone. Brakes are your primary tool for stopping safely and preventing collisions.

Can I remove the brakes on my inline skates?

Many beginner skaters find brakes helpful for stopping, but they must learn how to use them effectively. As skaters improve, some remove their brakes and learn alternative stopping methods. While most intermediate and advanced skaters do not use brakes, a few advanced models still include them. The tricky part about heel brakes is that when the brake pad is brand new, it can be hard to lift your heel enough to use your weight and momentum effectively. However, your stopping power significantly increases as the pad wears down to about half its original thickness.

What are the best methods for braking on inline skates?

Many beginners start with the plow stop, which works well on flat surfaces but is ineffective on hills. The T-stop is the most common stopping technique for skaters and can be done at any speed. However, keep in mind that the faster you go, the harder and longer it will take to slow down, and this method can cause significant wear or flat spots on your wheels. More advanced stopping techniques, such as the power stop, parallel slides, and powerslides, are suitable for various speeds. My favorite approach, particularly on steep hills, combines skating on your edges to slow down with the T-stop. You can find numerous tutorials on YouTube that show how to stop on inline skates

YouTube player

Ricardo Lino shows you six ways to stop on inline skates.

What safety pads should I wear when inline skating?

At a minimum, I suggest wearing a helmet and wrist guards. Beginners often instinctively brace themselves with their hands when they fall, so wrist guards can protect against injuries. Helmets are crucial as they safeguard your brain, the most important part of your body. If you’re still feeling nervous or apprehensive about progressing, consider adding knee pads, hip guards, and elbow pads. Being fully protected can boost your confidence and help you navigate the learning curve. Once you become comfortable on skates, you can choose to remove some pads at your discretion, but I strongly recommend always wearing a helmet and wrist guards every time you skate

Do inline skates need any initial maintenance?

Most skates are ready to roll out of the box, but it’s wise to do a few basic checks before your first skate to ensure everything is in order. Use the included tools to check that all bolts are tight—but be careful not to overtighten them. The wheels should spin freely without wobbling. Performing these quick maintenance checks before you start skating can help prevent accidents and enhance your skating experience.

Where are the best places to practice learning to inline skate?

For beginners, finding the right place to practice is vital to learning and enjoying skating. Look for flat, smooth surfaces such as freshly paved parking lots, tennis courts, basketball courts, or skating rinks. Once you feel confident skating in these areas, you can begin exploring trails or skating around your neighborhood. Avoid skating on roads until you can safely stop and confidently jump onto and off curbs.

Should I take inline skating lessons?

Yes, lessons can be incredibly helpful, especially for beginners. A professional instructor can teach you the proper techniques, show you how to fall safely, and offer tips suited to your learning pace and style. Lessons can boost your confidence and speed up your learning process. To find instructors, check your local skating rink, post on a local Facebook skating page, or visit for a list of certified instructors near you. Additionally, watching YouTube tutorials from expert instructors like Asha Kirkby can also be beneficial for learning both basic and advanced techniques. We also compiled a list of skating instructors and schools worldwide that you can view.

YouTube player

Asha Kirkby covers 5 mistakes beginners make.

What inline skate maintenance should I be doing?

Regularly clean dirt and debris from your bearings and wheels to prolong their life. Also, routinely check and tighten the bolts and screws, as skating vibrations can loosen them. Periodically rotate your wheels to ensure even wear and replace them when necessary. Some people also clean and lubricate their bearings. While I prefer to buy new ones instead of doing this maintenance, some enjoy it. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

YouTube player

Lawrence Ingraham shows you how to clean your bearings.

When should I replace my inline skate wheels?

Replace your wheels when they show significant wear, such as being flattened on one side, cracking, or shrinking from use. The wear pattern varies based on your skating style, the roughness of the surfaces you skate on, and how often you skate. Regularly rotating your wheels can help extend their life by promoting even wear.

When should I replace my inline skates?

Replace your skates if they no longer offer the necessary support, if the boot has become uncomfortable or floppy, or if the integrated frame is damaged to the point of being dangerous or interfering with your skating. If your skates have a 165 mounting or another replaceable frame system, you can replace the frames. However, if the frames are integrated into the boot, you must replace the entire skate. The lifespan of skates varies based on how much you use them, their quality, and how well you maintain them.

Can I upgrade my inline skates?

Yes and no. Many beginner soft boot inline skates come with integrated liners and frames that cannot be upgraded. However, if your skates feature 165, 195, Trinity, or UFS mounting systems, you can upgrade the frames, and many aftermarket options and configurations are available. For hard boot skates with removable liners, you can upgrade to high-end, ultra-comfortable liners from brands like MyFit and Intuition. Additionally, you can upgrade the wheels and bearings on any pair of skates. High-quality wheels and bearings make a significant difference, especially as you advance your skating skills.

Jan Welch Skating the Golden Circle in Iceland

Why Trust Big Wheel Blading?

Since 1995, I’ve been deeply involved in the inline skating industry, gaining experience with almost every skate model on the market. My career has included roles at various skating magazines and managing multiple skating brands, where I’ve handled everything from design to manufacturing wheels and bearings to complete skates. Working closely with manufacturers and overseeing quality control, combined with my extensive work in the industry, has given me a thorough understanding of the evolution of skates, including their features, advantages, and disadvantages. With this vast knowledge, I can guide you through the best brands to help beginners find the perfect pair of inline skates to enjoy!


  • Jan Welch

    Jan Welch began inline skating in 1989 in Austin, Texas. He founded Scum Magazine in 1995, which won Best Sports Website at the 1999 SXSW Interactive Media Festival. That year, Jan moved to San Diego to join Daily Bread Magazine and later co-founded Rat Tail Distribution, behind 4x4 Urethane, Vicious Bearings, and Nimh Skates. In 2017, he started Big Wheel Blading to promote the sport, and in 2024, he launched Dream Urethane. Jan's extensive experience has made him a leading expert in the inline skating industry.

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