Best roller derby skates

Recreational Sports

Just like a car, you’re going to have to replace your roller derby skate’s wheels after enough use; you can eke out a little more use by rotating the worn, inside edge to the outside.

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Which roller derby skates are best?

Roller derby is a fast-paced sport that can at times be violent, making it very exciting and fun to watch. For those taking part in a roller derby, the most important piece of equipment one can have is a good pair of roller derby skates.

The best pair of roller derby skates are the Riedell Dart Quad Roller Skate. These quad roller skates are excellent for both new skaters and more experienced skaters, plus they include high-quality wheels that will keep you rolling for some time yet.

What to know before you buy roller derby skates

Quad vs. inline roller skates

Most roller derby leagues require a quad roller skate to play but it’s still a good idea to understand the difference between a quad and an inline roller skate.

  • Quad: Quad roller skates are the models with two wheels in the front and two in the back. They are more stable than inline skates which makes them more suitable for beginning skaters. Most are designed for stable skating but some focus on being as fast as possible. Both can be beneficial for roller derby depending on your preference.
  • Inline: Inline roller skates place all four wheels in a line, like an ice skate. They have all manner of designs to best fit certain skill levels, maximum speeds and better stabilities.

Wheels

Wheels have two measurements: size and hardness.

  • Size: The size of a roller-skating wheel determines your top speed as well as the rate of acceleration/deceleration and directional control. Larger wheels have more top speed while smaller wheels have more control. Wheel sizes roughly range between 2.2-5 inches in diameter. 
  • Hardness: A wheel’s hardness determines its durability, grip and shock absorption with ratings between 0-100, with the larger numbers being harder. Most roller derby wheels have a hardness between 85-95.

What to look for in quality roller derby skates

Closure

Roller derby skates typically have one or a mix of closure types, selected from lacing, buckles, Velcro and cables. Lacing is most common as it can somewhat customize your fit with buckles sometimes being added to provide further security to key areas of the roller skate. Velcro is also a common addition to laced roller skates, once again providing additional security or sometimes being used to cover the laces to prevent accidental snags. Finally, cable closure systems run through the entire roller skate and when pulled, either by pulling on the cable or turning a dial on the side of the roller skate, tighten all over the foot.

How much you can expect to spend on roller derby skates

Roller derby skates, like most roller skates, are expensive no matter how you look at it. Most roller derby skates worth having start around $100 with higher costs for larger-size roller skates. Some of the very best roller derby skates can cost a few hundred dollars.

Roller derby skates FAQ

Do I have to wear quad roller skates instead of inline roller skates to take part in a roller derby?

A. Yes, in almost every roller derby organization it is required to wear quad roller skates to take part in any portion of a roller derby, with the notable exception of referees who are allowed to wear inline roller skates if they so choose. If your roller derby isn’t overseen by an official roller derby organization then you should check the rules for that roller derby, they may allow inline roller skates to be used.

Where else can I use my roller derby skates besides a skating rink?

A. You can use your roller derby skates just about anywhere outside, though you’ll probably want to use a set of wheels for rough outdoor use and a set for your indoor roller derby matches and practices. Keep in mind that some outdoor locations have laws in place which forbid roller skating in that area, so make sure to double check before heading out.

What are the best roller derby skates to buy?

Top roller derby skates 

Riedell Dart Quad Roller Skate

Riedell Dart Quad Roller Skate

What you need to know: This Riedell roller skate is an excellent option both for those just starting out and for those with a little experience under their wheels.

What you’ll love: The joint securing mechanisms of lace and Velcro strap ensure that these Riedell quad roller skates stay on in even the roughest and most tumble roller derby. The included wheels are of surprisingly high quality and won’t need replacement until they’ve had many months of use.

What you should consider: Some consumers noted that this Riedell quad roller skate doesn’t have the longest lifespan nor the highest levels of comfort for long skating sessions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top roller derby skates for the money

Epic Super Nitro Indoor/Outdoor Quad Speed Roller Skates

Epic Super Nitro Indoor/Outdoor Quad Speed Roller Skates

What you need to know: This Epic quad roller skate is a great fit for those who participate in roller derbies but also want to skate outside of rinks.

What you’ll love: The shoe portion of this Epic quad roller skate is noted as being comfortable with a high maneuverability. The included wheels are of excellent quality for both skating on rough streets and on smooth roller rink floors; they can be changed easily when they wear out.

What you should consider: If you’re looking for a high-competition level roller derby quad roller skate then you’ll need to replace the included wheels — they’re better suited to street use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out 

VNLA Stealth Jam Skate Men’s and Women’s Quad Roller Skates

VNLA Stealth Jam Skate Men’s and Women’s Quad Roller Skates

What you need to know: This VNLA quad roller skate is a great option for those longtime roller derby players looking for their next shoe.

What you’ll love: The included wheels are good enough to use while you break these quad roller skates in or goof around. The hook-and-loop security covers the laces to prevent any accidental tugging. The toe-stop is a lower profile than most quad roller skates, allowing for more tricks.

What you should consider: Like all superior quad roller skates, this roller derby option requires some breaking in to reach its full potential.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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