Roller Blades / Inline Skates
Good to know
Recreational roller blades - fitness & city skating
Inline skates in this category are recreational inline skates for adults and young people - suitable for fitness and city skating. They are known for their high comfort and good support. Fitness roller blades can be used for short and medium-length distances. They are also good to use as an alternative to running, since you increase your metabolism and build up muscle strength all while doing soft movements that are mild for your joints.
Inline skate specifics
On inline skates, wheels are placed in a line under the boot instead of in pairs like classic roller quad skates. Most fitness roller blades have fairly large wheels with a medium hardness which makes it possible to work up speed while maintaining a good grip. For fitness skating we recommend a wheel size of 90-100 and even 110mm. For skating in the city we recommend smaller wheels with a size of 80-84mm. This will make it easier for you to turn and stop in the city. The boot of inline skates is high to keep the ankle protected which is important for beginners who need extra stability.
For many years roller blades have been the most popular type of skate, and because of the high demand, a range of equipment for roller blades have entered the market.
Rollerblading or inline skating is similar to ice skating in style as well as in technique, and because of this, some people prefer inline skates over classic roller skates. As an example, you can play both hockey on ice skates and inline skates.
Roller blades for various types of rollerblading
There are various types of inline skates - each made for a specific roller sport. If you aren’t looking for a pair of fitness skates but a pair aimed at a specific roller sport, you should take a look at one of our other categories: Aggressive, Speed, Roller hockey, Nordic or Freeskates.
The story behind inline skates
In the 1980's Roces and Rollerblade created inline skates as we know them today. But actually the first documented inline skates can be dated back to the 18th century in London where John Joseph Merlin used them as a publicity stunt for the opening of his museum. The skates had wheels placed in a line like skates today but they didn’t have any brakes and couldn’t turn which resulted in a crash straight into a mirrored wall.
It wasn’t until 1819 that the first inline skates were patented. However, just like the skates of Merlin, these inline skates did not have brakes and could not simulate the movements of ice skates which was the goal. Several attempts to make good, stable, roller blades were made, but when roller skates came out in 1860, roller blades moved to the background. They stayed there until the 1980’s where inline skates as we know them today were developed and marketed into a success.
Roces was the first brand to mass produce inline skates, but through their marketing efforts Rollerblade was the one making sure they gained high popularity and gained ground. This is also the reason why roller blades have become a synonym with inline skates in many countries.
For tips on getting the right model, take a look at our guide Buying roller blades.