If your child has a need for speed, it might be time to trade in their pair of roller skates for a pair of inline skates (AKA roller blades). You may even be surprised that there are plenty of inline skates that are great for young kids without any roller skating experience at all. Some people even argue that inline skating is easier to learn than roller skating.
If your child has some reservations on learning how to rollerblade, there are plenty of skates out there that make the transition a little easier by converting from training skates to inline skates when they are ready.
If you are looking for a pair of inline skates for your child, you’re in luck. We’ve got the list for you. Whether your child is super young and ready to get in line or they have some experience under their belt and are ready for a new, faster pair of inline skates, we’ve got something for every kid.
- Types of Inline Skates
- All about Bearings
- Best Inline Skates for Kids
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Bottom Line
Types of Inline Skates
An inline skate is an inline skate, right? Not so! There are a few different types of inline skates. Let’s take a look the three most common types of inline skates.
Recreational. For kids, this is the most common inline skate out there. Speedier than a roller skate, but more control than some of the other types of inline skates we’ll talk about in a minute, recreational inline skates are best for beginners and for kids who will be roller skating for fun rather than sport. Recreational skates can be used both outdoors and indoors.
Hockey. Hockey skates are quite obviously for playing hockey. And when playing hockey, players need speed. Inline hockey skates are much speedier than recreational inline skates and are also better at making sharp turns too. Hockey skates are best for kids with some inline skating experience.
Aggressive. Aggressive inline skates are what you’ll see kids wearing at the skate park. These skates are durable and well padded but are smaller than the above two types of skates. Located between the wheels is something called an h-block which allows the wearer to perform tricks on rails and other obstacles.
While there are a lot of great aggressive and hockey skates out there, for this list we stuck with recreational skates since these are the most commonly used skates for kids.
All about Bearings
You’ll see the word “bearing” thrown around when talking about roller skates and inline skates. And for just cause. Bearings are a very important part to the skate. They allow the wheels to spin, and when it comes to kids’ skates, you want them to roll smooth and fast, but not too fast.
Bearings will allow for some control when it comes to speed which is important for beginner and intermediate skaters. Here’s what you need to know about the grades and types of bearings on inline skates.
Standard Steel Bearings vs Swiss Bearings
Recreational inline skates typically have standard bearings which are made of steel. Since they are made of steel, standard bearings are strong and found not only in inline skates but roller skates and skateboards as well.
Standard bearings do require some cleaning and care. If you do need to replace them though, they are very affordable.
Swiss bearings, on the other hand, are the best type of bearing out there. They don’t require much in the way of care and are made of ceramic or titanium. However, they aren’t usually used in recreational inline skates but are preferred by advanced skaters since they allow for a faster, smoother ride. They also have a higher price than steel bearings.
ABEC Rating System
ABEC stands for Annular Bearing Engineering Committee and the ABEC rating system is the most commonly used rating system for bearings. Simply put, the higher the number, the better the speed and efficiency of the bearing.
Keep ‘Em Clean
Like we mentioned, it’s important to keep the bearings clean. If your child notices that the skates are rolling less than smooth, it might be time to give them a good cleaning.
Here’s a video that’ll show you how to clean the bearings to prolong the life of the skate and get a smoother ride out of the inline skates.
Best Inline Skates for Kids
Like we mentioned before, all the skates on this list are recreational inline skates. Almost all of them are suitable for beginners with some being a little better for kids with some inline skating experience. We made sure to include inline skates for kids as young as kindergarteners all the way up to the teens.
1. Roller Derby Tracer Inline Skates
- Outgrow no more! Adjusts up to 4 sizes...
- Perfect for young skaters! Comfort and...
- Keep it fresh! Washable boot liner....
- Smooth ride indoors and outdoors!...
- Quality components and time-tested...
The best part of the Roller Derby Tracer inline skates is that they adjust to kids fast-growing feet. The small size will adjust from size 12J-1 and the medium size will adjust from size 2-5.
The boot liner and tongue are padded and keep kids’ feet super comfy while the boot itself supports feet and ankles. The urethane wheels with 608ZB carbon bearings will provide a smooth ride and are durable enough to use these skates outside, though they will work great on indoor surfaces too.
- Perfect for beginners, especially younger kids.
- Adjustable sizing for kids’ growing feet.
- Padded boot liner is comfortable.
- Great for indoor and outdoor use.
- Feels a bit clunky. Not suitable for advanced inline skaters.
2. Blade Runner Phoenix Skate
- Bladerunner Phoenix Kids skate by...
- Easy to use 4 full sizes in each skate...
- Quality 72mm clear wheels with tough...
- Designed for outdoor or indoor use brake...
- Real skates providing superior support,...
This is not a toy. For kids with a little experience who want a good inline skate, the Blade Runner Phoenix is a great choice. The ABEC 3 bearing and 72mm urethane wheels are durable and give the wearer a smooth ride.
Available in 3 adjustable sizes (J11-1, 1-4 and 5-8) these skates are durable enough to outlast your kids growing feet. The lightweight but durable frame with high cuff provides the support kids need without weighing them down.
The Blade Runner Phoenix has laces, a ratchet buckle and Velcro strap for a secure fit. Not only are they supportive, but they are also comfy too, thanks to the padded boot liner.
- Good for beginner to intermediate skaters.
- 2 adjustable sizes.
- Durable frame with high cuff.
- The ratchet lock wore out with frequent use.
3. Rollerblade Spitfire XT Inline Skates
- BEST KIDS INLINE SKATE FOR ANY LEVEL...
- KIDS ADJUSTABLE 4 SIZES Spitfire shell...
- COMFORT KIDS LOVE Junior Fit liner makes...
- DURABLE INTEGRATED FRAME is combined...
- ROLLERBLADE PERFORMANCE WHEELS 72mm/80A...
The SG3 bearings in the Spitfire inline skates provide a pretty smooth ride, but more importantly, for beginners, the bearings allow kids to have better control of their speed. So while kids won’t be zooming around super fast in these skates, they’ll get speed plus control, which makes these skates great for beginner to intermediate skaters.
The laces, Velcro strap, and ratchet buckle, as well as the low balance frame, keep kids’ feet secure and stable. These inline skates are also lightweight, so kids won’t feel weighed down by them.
And they come in 3 adjustable sizes: junior 11-1, youth 2-5, and youth 5-8. Adjustable sizing means your kids will get plenty of use out of them and you’ll get more bang for your buck.
- Low balance frame provides good support and balance.
- Comes in 3 adjustable sizes.
- Easy to adjust sizes.
- Very durable. Hold up to plenty of use.
- Somewhat pricey.
4. K2 Raider Skates
- Traditional lacing system
- F.B.I. Skate frame
- Wheel bearings: 70mm, 80a/ABEC 3
- Stability Plus skate cuff
For beginner to intermediate skaters, the K2 Raider Skates has an F.B.I frame that can absorb shock when used outdoors and a high Stability Plus Cuff that works with the F.B.I frame to provide the stability beginner skaters need, indoors or outdoors.
These skates are adjustable and can be switched up to 5 sizes. These skates have a traditional lacing system with ratchet buckle and Velcro strap provide a secure fit.
The 70mm wheels have ABEC 3 bearings for a pretty smooth ride and the entire skate is durable which means they’ll be passing this down to their younger siblings.
- Durable construction.
- High Stability Cuff and provides support for beginners.
- B.I frame absorbs shock on outdoor surface.
- Adjustable up to 5 sizes.
- Adjusting the size is somewhat difficult to do.
5. Chicago Training Skates
- LEARN TO SKATE: Start your young...
- ADJUSTABLE: The Chicago Training Skates...
- COMFORTABLE: With two easy-adjusting...
- STABILITY & CONTROL: Ease your young...
- SPECIFICATIONS: Chicago Training Skates...
For the extra small skaters who may need a little help transitioning to inline skates, the Chicago Training Skates convert from trainer skates to inline skates when they are ready to make the jump. Another skate with adjustable sizing for kids’ growing feet, it comes in two sizes: J10-J13 and 1-4.
These skates are a great value too since it comes as part of a bundle that includes the skates, a helmet, wrist guards and knee pads, as well as a backpack which everything fits in.
The one complaint with these skates is the durability. They aren’t great for skaters who plan on using them frequently. The plastic is flimsy compared to the other skates on this list, but they do make the transition from rollers skates to blades a little easier.
- Converts from training skates to inline skates.
- Great value. Comes with everything kids need to skate.
- Adjustable sizing to grow with kids feet.
- 2 ratchet buckles make it easy to get on.
- Lacking in durability. The plastic is a bit flimsy.
6. Mongoose Inline Skates
- Great skate for inline skating beginners
- Easy and convenient 1 push button to...
- Offers great performance and comfort
- Dual straps for optimum sizing and...
- Great Value
You might be better familiar with Mongoose bikes. And these adjustable inline skates are just as great as their bikes and come at a very affordable price.
The thinner wheels make these skates speedy but also great for quick turns and weaving around whatever’s on their path. The frame of the skate is durable which means they’ll hold up through all 4 adjustable sizes on this the skates.
The small size fits kids 1-4 and the large fits size 5-8.
- Great value.
- Simple, sleek design.
- Durable frame.
- Comfy padded liner.
- May need to replace wheels. Lack of durability.
7. 2PM Sports Vinal Inline Skates
- 4 Sizes Adjustable Inline Skates - Kids...
- 8 Wheels Illuminating Inline Skates -...
- High-end Features Roller - Enjoy a...
- Triple Closure for Kids - Includes Cam...
- Sincere Service - Order with confidence...
Your child will definitely stand out rolling around with these super fun light-up skates. And what’s even better, no batteries required. They are powered by your child’s skating!
The Vinal inline skates by 2PM Sports come in 3 adjustable sizes: J12-2, 2-5 and 5-8. For an affordable price, the quality of the skate is impressive. The bearings are ABEC-7 and the frame is made of reinforced aluminum.
- Lights on wheels are powered by the wearer. No batteries required.
- Durable aluminum frame.
- High-quality bearings.
- Adjustable sizing.
- Affordable price.
- Sizing runs small.
8. Fisher Price Grow With Me Inline Skates
- Size-adjustable to fit child shoe sizes...
- Padded for extra comfort, easy...
- Stage 1: Beginners can walk in the...
- Stage 2: Roll forward only
- Stage 3: "freewheeling" fun
For the young skaters, these will give kids the confidence they need to become comfortable inline skating in just 3 steps. The adjustable skates fit junior sizes 6-12.
The first stage is skating with one wheel lock. The next stage is rolling forwards only and the third is inline skating just like the big kids. And to top it off, it’s easy to adjust from stage to stage.
Also, these skates go on over kids’ shoes and are relatively comfortable once on. The hook and loop closure makes it easy to get these skates on quickly too. The major downside to the Grow With Me Inline Skates is the high price tag.
- Slips on over shoes easily.
- 3 stages to help kids learn and feel confident.
- Adjustable sizes.
- Great for really young kids.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can my child learn how to inline skate?
A: Inline skating may seem daunting. If you don’t know how to inline skate, it might be even more confusing on helping your child learn. Here are some tips to get them started:
- Make sure your child is wearing the right size skate. Skates should be snug, not overly tight.Your child should feel secure and not wobbly. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s sizing chart when selecting a pair of skates.
- Have your child wear protective gear. Get your child into the habit of wearing all the right gear: knee pads, wrist guards, helmet and elbow pads.
- Start in the grass. Have them walk around in their inline skates in the grass so it’s a little easier getting used to balancing on a single row of wheels.
- Learn to use the brake. It’s tempting to go flying down a hill, but avoid them and instead, learn to use the brake first instead.
- Sign them up for classes. Check with your local roller rink or online to see if there are inline skating classes available.
- Practice, practice, practice. Like with any sport, it takes time to master inline skating. Encourage them to get out there and keep at it. You may even want to learn how to inline skate yourself!
Q: Do I need to replace the wheels of inline skates?
A: After a certain amount of wear, wheels will need to be replaced. If the skates are starting to feel a little sluggish and/or you can visibly see the wear on the inside of the wheel, it’s time to replace them.
A way to prolong the life of inline skate wheels is to periodically rotate the place of them. For example, the first wheel and the third wheel can switch places while the second and fourth wheel will also switch spots.
We’ve got a pair of inline skates for every child. Our top choice for kids of all ages is the Roller Derby Tracer Inline Skates. Adjustable, durable and stylish, the Roller Derby Tracer Inline Skates are great for beginners.
Is your little one a little hesitant to make the transition? Then for the younger skaters, we suggest the Chicago Training Skates. Not only will they help your skater build the confidence they need to go to inline skates, but they also come with all the protective gear kids need, making them a great value.