What to consider when buying inlines (rollerblades): A buying guide

Here we'll explain some of the parts and properties of inlines that you consider when buying inline skates!

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So, you're considering buying inline skates? 

Let's take a look into inline skates and their parts so you know what things will affect the skates and your performance.

Inline skates come in different variants: Speed, fitness, Street and Aggressive

First things first we'll give you a simple summary. for your first pair of inline skates, we would recommend you buy a set of street or fitness skates as they will come with the necessary parts and modification-ability for you to try of variety of different skate styles and they will usually be the most comfortable boots for you to learn in. 



Inline skates have a variety of parts that will affect your skates performance.

Buying Guide


Starting at the top of our lovely diagram we have the Liner. The liner is the inside of your boot and is responsible for keeping your feet and ankles padded, protected and comfortable. An uncomfortable or ill-fitting liner can cause friction blisters, pressure indentations and can cause the feet to hurt.


Shell (Soft and Hard boot skates): 

Some inline skates classed as Hard boot have a removable liner on the inside of a shell meaning they can be replaced for a more comfortable one. Some inline skates are classed as soft boot meaning the liner is directly attached to the other parts without a shell making it impossible to remove.

Soft boot skates are generally better to learn on as they stretch and fit the foot more comfortably while a hard boot has a hard shell meaning the liner is restricted and can not stretch perfectly to the foot every time. 



Almost all modern skates have at least one power strap to support the ankle and prevent the ankle from rolling, breaking and twisting. Some fitness skates may replace a lower strap for a velcro one. These are very important parts to ensure your skates fit properly and prevent injury.



The cuff is not a major thing to worry about when buying your skates as it simply allows the power strap to pull both sides of the skate together and stop the ankle fro moving from side to side too much. All inline skates have a cuff. 



Your wheel frames are very important for deciding what kind of skating you do. Bigger frames allow for bigger wheels but mean you will be higher off the ground and therefore will be less stable. The longer your frames are, the more wheels you can fit on them. However, They can become trip hazards when doing crossovers and prevent fast turns. 



The size and hardness of your wheels will make a massive difference to your skating experience. The larger your wheels are the faster you'll go but they'll also get increasingly less stable the higher you go. Turns will also become faster but spins will be harder.

What to Know Before Buying Your Wheels

Wheel Hardness also affects your skating experience in that harder wheels will wear away slower meaning they take more time before needing to be replaced. However, harder wheels have less grip meaning they slip on shrubs, leaves and wet ground much more easily. As well as this a harder wheel will make you feel more of the vibrations from unsmooth paths, as softer wheels physically spread out more absorbing more vibration.

What to Know Before Buying Your Wheels


The final part of your skates are your bearings. bearings are small circular parts that go in your wheels to make them spin around the axles. bearings have to be cleaned and oiled at least every 2 weeks and are vital to keeping your skates rolling. bearings are sold at varying prices depending on brand and ABEC rating (or equivalent). ABEC rating runs from 1 to 9 and means how accurately the part was machined. ABEC 9 rated bearings are the best types of steel bearings you can find. However, good ABEC 5 bearings and above will work fine when you're on a budget. we would recommend the 'Enuff skateboard bearings ABEC 7' on skate hut. don't worry about them labelling them as 'skateboard bearings' this makes no difference to their size or performance


If you have any questions or don't understand any of these parts or sections feel free to message or email us via the email provided on the society website.

For now good luck on your hunt for skates 

now get your wheels, get your friends and get rolling.