Skate Outside with Derby Skates

Are Roller Derby Skates Good for Outside? [Type of Wheels You Need]

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There are a lot of debates about whether roller derby skates are good for outside roller skating. Some people believe that they are specifically designed for the inside of a rink and are not suitable for skating on the pavement or other hard surfaces.

However, others argue that they offer more stability and grip than traditional roller skates if you can replace them with outdoor wheels.

So, just replace your wheels with softer and wider ones. And make your derby skates suitable for outdoor skating. And, if you want to learn the steps to make it possible, read along below:

Let’s first learn the features:

Features of a Derby Skates

Roller derby boots are low cut like jam skates. Since it is a contact sport, they are much more padded than any other type of skates out there. Besides, the skates feature a strap as well to help the skaters keep their feet in the right places.

Check out some Excellent Derby Skates.

Features of Outdoor Roller Skates

In outdoor roller skates, the only difference is the use of different types of wheels. For outdoors, you need to choose the wheels having a diameter of 60mm for your skates. Also, 85A hardness is better to put on to skate on harder surfaces.

Things Needed to Make Derby Skates Ready for Outdoor Skating

  1. Outdoor Wheels: Wheels should be made out of urethane, of a good brand. They also need to be soft and durable. 
  2. Bearings: could be like Bionic ABEC-7s
  3. Toe Caps

Steps to Follow

  • Pull off your indoor wheels
  • Pull out bearings and put in new set of bearings into the new set of outdoor wheels
  • Tighten the wheels appropriately so that they won’t spin
  • Then , turn them back by a quarter to make it spin freely
  • Set the toe caps. It will save your toes or skates from any unwanted stuffing or bumping that could happen on the rough terrain or asphalt.
  • Undo your laces that will help follow the above steps easily and make the skates more durable.

Now your indoor skates are ready to run outdoors.

Indoor and Outdoor Roller Skates Explained

If you know the basic differences between indoor and outdoor skates, you will be more confident to skate outside with your indoor skates. Here you go: 

You can get different roller skates for outdoor and indoor use, but many skaters swap the wheels out and use them interchangeably.

Outdoor skates have thicker, tougher soles and higher cut boots at the ankle. These are necessary to allow outdoor skating on rougher surfaces like cement sidewalks, which means they’ll also provide more support for your ankles if you happen to slip.

However, the most obvious difference between the two is in their wheels. Indoor skate wheels are often harder and narrower than those of outdoor skates, meaning that it’s possible to glide smoothly over hard surfaces like a skating rink.

Skate wheels have to stand up to a lot of different challenges, from dirt and gravel all the way down to twigs. You’ll also need a great set of wheels (soft) if you plan on skating on uneven surfaces like concrete or sidewalks.

These soft wheels help in shock absorption, so you can let the obstacles in stride and keep you on moving. They also increase stability.

Top Outdoor Wheels for Roller Skates

One of the top-quality outdoor roller skates wheels is Devaskation’s Bankroll outdoor wheels. It’s a bit pricey around 50 USD for four pieces. But, if you really want to skate outside with your indoor skates, you need to sacrifice for that, change your smooth derby wheels and pick these types of quality outdoor wheels out there in the market. Check out the below table for its features and benefits.

NameDevaskation Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels  
Wheel typeUrethane, Soft
SurfacePerfect for Concrete, Sidewalks, & Roads
Multiple UseBoth Indoor and outdoor
ProsDurable, smooth, good for long-distance skating

Frequently Asked Questions

What are derby skates for?

Derby Skates are a good option for Roller Derby but will not suit those who just enjoy skating for leisure. The product’s durability makes it suitable for the rough nature of Roller Derby

Make sure that you don’t make any mistakes when buying your next skate. The most common mistakes are buying the wrong size or not having enough support for your playing level.

What is the softest outdoor roller skate wheel?

The Pulse comes in at a 78A durometer. 78A is typically the softest wheel you will find on the market for outdoor wheels.

Can you put any wheels on roller skates?

The hardness of the wheel you choose for skating outside will be softer (below 90A). If you skate indoors and need wheels that last, then go for a harder wheel (over 90A).

A softer wheel usually provides a lot of traction. However, if you are on a rougher surface such as steel or concrete, a hard wheel might offer a better roll.

Other Precautions While you go Skate Outside

Falling backward is dangerous while you skate outside. So, practice on it before you move into it. Better if you can admit into a training center to develop your skating basics. Work on footwork, stance and learn how to stop if you are a complete beginner derby player. Other points you can note down:

  • Wear pads and a helmet if you skate outside to protect your head and other body parts
  • Do wipe your skates on a regular basis to make them clean and trouble free.
  • Clean your bearings often times that will make yor wheels roll smooth.


So, roller derby skates are good for outside, if and only you can replace the wheels with top-rated outdoors wheels. However, if you are on the budget to buy a pair of outdoor skates right now, why not give it a try with your existing derby skates! It’s fun, believe me!

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