Inline skating is a classic sports trending from the early ’80s. Slowly, speed inline skating gained influence among people of all ages as an alternate means of transportation and even a fitness or refreshment lifestyle.
But which are the best inline speed skates? In simple words, the ones providing more value to your money by offering great specs at a reasonable price.
Here, 9 best skates are enlisted, according to their distinct features and price points, along with a buying guide. Lastly, a sequential checklist is laid out to help you avoid mistakes or missing critical points while purchasing.
So, let’s get started.
- 1 Top 9 Best In-line Speed Skates
- 2 VNLA Carbon Speed Roller Inline Skates
- 3 LIKU Performance 125 3WD Speed Inline Skates
- 4 Ferrari FS 81 Speed Skate
- 5 Pasendi Professional Speed Skating Shoes
- 6 Epic Engage 125 Cruiser Speed Skates
- 7 Bont Luna Inline Speed Skates
- 8 Powerslide Samurai Racing Inline Skate
- 9 Roller Derby Elite Alpha 125mm Inline Skate
- 10 What To Look For When Buying A Speed Inline Skate?
- 11 FAQs About Inline Speed Skates
- 12 Special Checklist For Speed Skate Enthusiasts
- 13 Conclusion
Top 9 Best In-line Speed Skates
- VNLA Carbon Speed Roller Inline Skates
- LIKU Performance 125 3WD Speed Inline Skates
- Ferrari FS 81 Speed Skate
- K2 Skate Mod 125 Inline Skates
- Pasendi Professional Speed Skating Shoes
- Epic Engage 125 Cruiser Speed Skates
- Bont Luna Inline Speed Skate
- Powerslide Samurai Racing Inline Skate
- Roller Derby Elite Alpha 125mm Inline Skate
Skates in this list are purely my personal preference and recommendation. I have shortlisted these 9 from thousands as per what they offer, their price, and value for money. One aspect to be noted is that all these skates can be fully customized. The showstoppers are presented thereby –
The Vanilla or VNLA Carbon Speed Roller Skate lies on the top of most skater’s priority list. The pair has almost everything that a skater can ask for at a moderate price.
The model uses a 7000 series aluminum frame that holds on any amount of stress that comes across. Again, there are different frame sizes available for different shoe sizes. The frame size of 3×100 is available for shoe sizes below five and 4×100 for size six and above.
This rigid pair of skates include 85A medium wheels, which make it great for indoor as well as outdoor activities. The four-wheel setup is the standard setup for any level of skating, which provides higher velocity and better stability. And the use of ABEC9 Vanilla Spec bearings adds more pace to your high-speed runs.
Again, the half-fiberglass and half-carbon ingredients built design makes heat molding easily accessible. Thus opens up gates for obtaining a custom fit, making the shoes more comfortable and attached to your feet.
No doubt, this pair is an excellent choice for both amateurs and professionals.
- Half fiberglass and half-carbon built shoe shell (heat moldable).
- Durable 7000 series aluminum frame with 195mm mounting and variable frame size (3×100 for size five or less; size six or above get 4×100).
- Sturdy 85A wheels for all activities.
- ABEC9 Vanilla Spec bearings for high performance.
- Suitable for racing and intermediate or above riders.
- The outlook of the boot isn’t as satisfying as it’s performance.
- Not the most comfortable skate.
The VNLA Carbon skates are always on the hype so they can be out of stock. In such a scenario, the VNLA X1 Inline skate would be the perfect alternative. It has a leather boot with a carbon fiber heel, which are its only differences to VNLA Carbon. Nonetheless, it is also a great skate to try out.
Though one of the cheapest skates in this list, the Liku 125 3 wheel inline skate (a.k.a tri-skate) is among one of the most comfortable. Made of composite fiberglass on the outside, the structure of the boot remains stable even after massive impacts.
But on the inside, it comes with an EVA cotton liner, which makes it breathable, removable, and washable after heavy usages. Specially designed for freerides, this delivers best cushioning to your feet even when you ride for hours.
Laces and two ratchet other buckle closures provide proper lockdown of your feet inside the boot. High cut design and shock-absorbing sole of the boot also supports the ankle and knees better and reduce chances of injuries.
With 125mm 85A wheels and ABEC bearings, gaining speed is not a big deal. Tri-skate structure also adds on to boost its power on the roll. The golden aluminum frame looks cool and performs cooler, secure even after long term usage.
Lastly, the golden glitches on the matt black structure are worthy of catching the eye of any rollerblade lover.
- Boot made of fiberglass.
- Very comfortable inner liners
- The high cut design provides ankle support, necessary for beginners.
- Triple closure confirms proper foot lockdown.
- 125mm 85A wheels with ABEC bearings.
- Low price.
- Not a well-known skate brand.
- The outer material will feel cheap.
- Ratchet buckle and straps aren’t of the best quality
Probably the most premium rollerblade in this list, the Ferrari FS81 speed skate is merely magical. An inline that completely satisfies the need of a professional skater, the pair offers high standard performance and durability.
Composite carbon fiber shell is heat moldable, which allows the boot to take the exact shape of one’s foot. Speed laces, an adjustable velcro cinch strap, and ratchet buckle for micro-adjustments sum up to supply the best lockdown to your ankles with comforts of lycra lining.
Moreover, a durable 7075 aluminum alloy frame is used with a combination of 85A 110mm wheels, lets you take charge of both indoor and outdoor dashes. Nothing new to tell about the ABEC9 bearings, they aid to make faster runs and sustain them.
Lastly, the pair comes in the two classic signature colorways Ferrari ‘owns,’ red and black. In short, whether you ride a car or a skate, speed and performance are always promised when you choose Ferrari.
- It comes with a fully heat moldable carbon fiber shell.
- 4x110mm 85A wheels for great indoor and outdoor experience.
- Durable 7075 aluminum alloy frames.
- Comforts of lycra lining.
- It is recommended for professionals.
- A bit on the expensive side.
Before starting out with the next review, let’s enjoy a Video of Inline Speed Skating:
The Mod series, introduced by K2 in 2017, is specially made for high end skating like racing, marathon, cross-training, etc. K2 Mod 125 Inline skate comes with a three-wheel rockered setup. (For those wondering what a rockered installation is, please check the FAQ section below.)
A double voided extruded 7000 frame produces excellent stability and flexes for outstanding performance on any surface. Wheels used on the front and back axles are of 125mm, while a smaller wheel of 120mm fits on the center; all have a durometer hardness of 85A. ILQ-9 pro bearings live longer and make your runs smoother and faster.
The frame mounts on a carbon base boot with a ventilated microfiber upper manufactured using K2 Softboot Technology®, allowing more airflow to reduce moisture inside the shoe. Carbon cuff on the back and ultra-long liners with custom-fit foam provide significant support, comfort, and accurate fit just as you keep riding.
But the unique feature of the K2 Mod 125 is the BOA Dial-in closure system with speed lacing and ventilated velcro straps. All these ensure you feel barefoot while striding; heavenly, isn’t it?
- Carbon cuff and base with comfy foam inside for best fit.
- Three-wheeled rockered setup with 125/120mm 85A wheels with ILQ-9 pro bearing.
- Mod 125 double voided extruded 7000 aluminum frame.
- Speed laces and BOA Dial-in closure system.
- Best 3 wheel inline speed skate in this list.
The high cut design allows minimal ankle workout.
The Pasendi speed skating shoes seem to be the most stylish pair of inline to me in this list. Though it is available in two colorways, black and yellow, the yellow one is something that I will avoid 24/7 365 days. While, matt finish on the black version’s upper, complemented by a 45° angular ratchet buckle and speed laces, can outclass any skate by its looks.
Moving forward from looks, the upper has a carbon fiber shell and takes the shape of your leg as you heat (too repetitive). Lower to that is the 13.2” inch long frame with a mounting height of 165mm-195mm. Pre-installed wheels are of 110mm and guess their hardness?
Wow, how unique!!!
ABEC-9 chromium steel bearings, which serves many premium skaters for years. A solid aluminum alloy frame combines the bearings, wheels, and boot so that you enjoy every part of your ride.
With a lower cut cuff design, bigger wheels, longer frame, and long-lasting bearings, Pasendi is something that you can check out as your speeding reliance.
- Carbon upper shell.
- Long 13.2” inch frame with 165-195mm high mounting.
- 85A 110mm wheels with ABEC-9 bearings.
- Stylish design and color.
- Mid-budget ranger.
- Not a popular brand.
- Microfiber upper doesn’t feel premium.
Launched primarily as a fitness skate by Epic, they are quick and running on any surface. The Engage 125 Cruiser offers you a high cut hard shell boot for superior ankle support with comfort fit lining and lever buckles. The comfort padding inside the boot feels pretty good and standard but stiff at the first trial.
Epic ABEC-7 precision bearings are inside gigantic 125mm 82A wheels, smoothens your on-road trebles. Such wouldn’t have been possible without the flex and stiffness of the aircraft-grade 195mm mounting 3-wheel aluminum frame.
But the biggest drawback of this boot is the lack of carbon fiber, which makes it non-heat moldable, same as the Liku Performance 125. In reality, both Liku and Epic come up with almost the same specs and colorways.
If you are confused about which one to choose, I suggest Epic as it performed a bit better and looks way more attractive than the Liku. Also, Epic is a more renowned brand in the skates world, and I think 8/10 will certainly choose Epic over Liku. But if one is out of stock, the other is the best alternative for fulfilling your desires.
- Tri-skate with high cut design hard boot shell.
- Aircraft-grade 195mm mounting aluminum frame.
- 125mm 82A wheels with ABEC-7 bearings.
- Best inline speed skate at its retail value.
No carbon, no heat molding.
Overall built quality, except the liner, may feel economic.
“Fast, sleek and built to win,” these are the three attributes Bont used to describe this skate, and, as per my opinion, their statement justifies its performance. Bont Luna has been one of the mid-budget rattlers in the industry since its arrival and ensures the best value for money.
This handcrafted skate is the only mid-ranger to have a one-piece constructed upper, a technology only seen in elite models. This technology makes the entire unit pretty lightweight without compromising durability.
It also has a carbon base for heat moldability and speed laces, velcro strap, and a ratchet buckle for micro-adjustments to obtain a custom fit. The inside of the shoe has memory foam padding, making the boot a treat to your feet.
Coming down to the frame, it’s an icing on the cake. The 6061 aluminum frame is 11.25” inches long and has a mounting of 195mm. Wheels that come along are 4x100mm 85A elemental wheels with ABEC-5 bearings.
In conclusion, this is the best under $300 skate you can ask for, except if you can upgrade the bearings yourself. Other than that, it is a ‘shut up and take my money’ deal.
- One-piece construction technology is used.
- Carbon for better strength and personalized fit.
- Light yet sturdy 6061 Aluminum frame.
- 4x100mm 85A Elemental wheels.
- ABEC-5 bearings.
- At this price, I expect better bearings.
Powerslide is well known as a producer of high-grade professional skate accessories, and the Powerslide Samurai is a professional inline skate (i.e., tri-skate) of their line. They are made to serve professional skaters in competitive races, marathons, etc. The Powerslide Samurai is a beast when it comes down to performance.
High-quality PU (PolyUrethane) leather over a carbon shell and microfiber lining on the inside makes the boot stiff, ultra-lightweight and extremely durable. Molding the boot to your foot shape for multiple times by heating is never an issue, thanks to the MYFIT technology and 100% 3K carbon fiber used.
The frame used is Powerslide XXX 12.8” inch, which is a 7005 standard aircraft aluminum and has a mounting of 195mm. It is the highest quality frame made by the company and thus guarantees peak level performance.
Matter Image 125mm F1 wheels are installed with the combination of Wicked (WCD) Japan ball bearings to make your rolls and runs faster than ever. These wheels are made from heavy-duty PU, powering it to move lightning quick in any condition. These Japanese bearings run kilometers after kilometers.
In short, this is a premium grade inline skate for which its price is staggering. But if you aspire to be a record-breaker and want to take your skill and speed to the next level, you and Powerslide Samurai are made for each other.
- Boot made of carbon shell with microfiber lining and PU leather upper.
- Powerslide XXX 12.5” inch 7005 aircraft aluminum frame.
- Matter Image 3x125mm F1 wheels.
- WCD Japan bearings.
- The best speed inline skate in this list.
- Expensive; can dig a hole in your pocket.
Established in 1936, Roller Derby is one of the leading skate brands in the United States. Their Elite edition of inline skates is for severe skating, and the overall configuration of the skates advocates their point.
With a 125mm 85A tri-skate setup, this fitness skate is a speedster. World Record Racing US-made wheels by ‘Momentum’ are seen in this unit and are of supreme quality. Bevo Gold-7 race rated chrome bearings let the motors circulate as you tread along.
The frame that holds everything together is made of standard aluminum (what a surprise!? -_-) and has quick-change axles, to be operated by an Allen wrench that comes with the skate.
Did I miss something?
Oh yes! The construction of the boot. Hard fiberglass is the composite material that makes the shoe suitable for wear and tear. Furthermore, the inside of the boot is well fabricated with padding and probably lycra lining that can recreate the feeling of a new couch.
A high cut design with excellent ankle support and two ratchet buckles and lacing system for proper foot lock seems to me to be a decent closure.
Other than the absence of a carbon fiber shell, I got no more complaints as the skates run rapidly fast. This boot is well-balanced and is overall a good buy. Still, you miss carbon!
- Fiberglass hard shell with no carbon.
- 3x125mm 85A tri-skate wheel setup.
- Bevo Gold-7 race rated chrome bearings.
- Very comfortable interior with proper padding.
- A moderate budget inline skate.
- Carbon fiber isn’t accessible.
What To Look For When Buying A Speed Inline Skate?
Are you buying an inline skate? These are some common and essential aspects you need to keep in mind.
Type Of Skate
Inline speed skates have many categories. 2 wheels, 3 wheels, 4 wheels, and even 5 wheels inline speed skates are present in the market. But a battle of confusion occurs mainly between the 3-wheel and the 4-wheel skate setup. There is a long list of things that can be mentioned on this topic, but I tried my best to keep it short and straightforward.
- 3 Wheel Skate – A 3 wheel skate or tri-skate is an inline skate with 3 wheels. For those who are shorter and have a smaller shoe size, i.e., less than US 6, can go for three wheels for better performance.
For bigger wheels and a higher phrase, it can be difficult to stabilize on a tri-skate at first but a piece of cake later on. Taking turns also can prove to be challenging.
- 4 Wheel Skate – With 4 inline wheels under your feet, speed and balance are vital. A four-wheel setup begets a longer frame, resulting in better equilibrium and control. Shorter wheels bring you closer to the ground and make it easier to take turns. For a rookie, a 4 wheel inline skate is appreciable.
Choose the type of skate that best fits your priorities and level of experience.
The best inline speed skate is the one with the best boot. It is the most significant and expensive component in an inline skate. It directly affects your performance and user experience as it is the only part of the skate that will have an intimate connection with you.
Therefore, you should be pretty sure about what are the best available boots, your preference, and what you are buying. But a typical inline skate boot has a lot of complicated stuff that complements it and may take an encyclopedia to describe. So, we discuss the two most significant ones to avoid confusion.
- Material – The type of material used in the construction of the boot is of immense importance. It indicates the basic structure of the boot and how versatile it will be. Nowadays, the most common speed skates have shells made with two prime aspects –
- Fiberglass – Boots made from fiberglass are hard and reliable from the outside. The shell of the boots are robust and can withstand the dirtiest skating blows. Fiberglass is quite cheap and is mostly found in the budget speed, fitness, or recreational skates.
These skates are way more comfortable than professional speed skates as they are well padded, have more massive liners, and better ventilation.
Liners also differ in quality. But the best are those which provide a custom fit and stable support, e.g., memory fit, gel-padded, custom fit, etc. liners.
- Carbon Fiber – The best inline speed skates are of premium carbon. There are two primary objectives behind this-
- Carbon fiber is strong and durable but lightweight at the same time. For this, the boots made are indestructible yet feather-light, elite-level performers.
- When carbon gains heat, it becomes moldable. Thus, the skater gets a more personal contour than provided by any liner or so. For particular grade carbon, heat molding can be done unlimited times whenever you feel going loose.
Carbon fiber is expensive and found in high-end speed skates, which focus on performance than comfort. The boots are stiff and made of inelastic components. While fiberglass is relatively cheaper, the boots fluffy inside, are highly comfortable, but moderate performers.
So, if you are a newbie, go for fiberglass. It will fit in your budget and last long. You always have the chance to promote yourself to better gears once you learn what it takes to skate.
There are mainly two cuff types available for inline skates, these are
- High Cut – High cut cuffs cover the entire ankle and up to the shin. This supplies better ankle support, lifesaver for newbies, and allows them to stride seamlessly. They are found in fitness and recreational skates.
- Low Cut – Lower cut cuffs are found in racing rollerblades. Leaving your ankles uncovered, they permit to unleash the power of your ankles on the race tracks.
Going fast can never be accomplished without the perfect set of wheels. They make sure that you gain maximum momentum from your strides with minimal friction. Things you should ensure while choosing wheels for your rollerblade are –
- Size – Average inline skates wheels range from 90mm to 125mm. The bigger the wheels, the faster you go, i.e., a 125mm wheeled skate will be faster than a 100mm wheeled skate.
But the more extensive the wheels are, the more energy you spend on balancing because bigger discs are much more unstable than shorter ones. I strongly recommend beginners to choose a smaller circle until they learn to balance precisely.
- Hardness – In simple words, the softer the wheel, the more friction it induces. A harder wheel, on the other hand, has lesser drawbacks and maintains better speed. Durometer 85A hard wheels are a go-to option for most skaters.
- Raw Material – Most wheels these days are made of PU (PolyUrethane), which are far better than plastic wheels in case of durability and performance as well. Again, PU has different standards for which the quality of wheels differ. So, check the product description thoroughly before purchase.
Although the smallest part of a skate but an essential one, bearings are responsible for the rotation of your wheels. Having a new set of bearings can multiply your speed instantly by almost 20%. So, investing in bearings surely enhances your performance.
Over the years, substantial advancements have been visible in bearing making technology to sustain speed and obtain the best outcomes. Bearings have a lot of variety and so, harder to recommend. But, anything above ABEC-5 chrome bearings, will do justice to you.
Frames these days are made of steel, high-category aluminum, and even carbon. As aluminum is relatively lightweight, stiff yet inexpensive, it is widely used to construct skate frames. Special aircraft aluminum is used in advanced as well as some intermediate skates which are affordable and suitable for all.
Remember, whichever frame you choose should be rigid yet flex on massive strides to add more power to your pace.
Not one of the elements seen in intermediate or professional rollerblades, brakes come in handy for beginners. If you are new to the sport, twisting and turning to stop isn’t feasible. And here arises the need of brakes for a novice.
Some skates come with a built-in brake, while other boots have the option to add brakes if required. Brakes are sold in retail, just like bearings, wheels, and frames. Once you start pushing your rolling limits, brakes will seem to be useless and nothing but extra weight.
FAQs About Inline Speed Skates
- What is a rockered setup?
Answer: A rockered setup is the installation of two different sizes of wheels on a skate. A skate that has all similar size wheels is called a flat wheel setup. But when two different sizes are used in the same skate, it is called rockered. In 3-wheel skates, like the K2 Mod 125, the front and back wheels are of the same size while the one in the center is smaller.
On the other hand, in 4-wheel setup, the front and back axles have smaller wheels, and the center two shafts have the larger wheels. Such rockered skates are used to perform advanced tricks like freestyle slalom.
- Which Skate Setup Is Best For Beginners?
Answer: Primarily, a 4 wheel inline skate is a wise option for a beginner. A high cuff boot with mesmerizing padding and liner for hours of intense practice, along with 90-100mm 85A wheels, a robust aluminum frame, good pairs of bearings, and a brake on the back (optional) can satisfy any newcomer in the industry in my opinion.
- Can You Lose Weight Rollerskating?
Answer: Yes, you can reduce your weight by rollerskating. Rollerskating can be a very fruitful act for lowering pressure and can burn approximately 600 calories in an intense riding session. There are many other health and physical benefits of rollerskating as well like, balancing and additional steadiness related improvements are inevitable.
Moreover, rollerblading in the open environment is a more viable option for me than exercising close door at home or gym. Skating works on your entire body, especially the leg muscles, as you try to push.
- How to heat mold a skate?
Answer: Heat molding can be done to carbon shell skates as they can change shape to provide a personalized fit. Remove the frame, laces, and all other detachable parts. Then heat your boots for around 15mins at 185°F in an oven so that they soften. Once ready to take your feet in, they will adjust to your foot shape.
If you are too afraid to use an oven or do not have one, getting, a glue gun can be reasonable. Just wear the boot, notice where the extreme pressure points are, and mark them. Apply heat by the glue gun on required areas to perform heat molding successfully.
- Are safety gears necessary for skating?
Answer: Hell yeah! Skating is an activity that is indulges balancing on wheels at speed. Thus, there are vast possibilities of crashing and bashing. As a result, safety equipment like a helmet, gloves, knee pads, elbow guard, etc., should always be worn while on the wheels. These may increase your lifespan by protecting you from simple bruises or even fatal blows.
Rollerskating safety gears are also very lightweight, a relief for those worried about carrying heavy shields on their body, as they also need to ensure that the skater doesn’t feel restrained, instead feels agile and active.
Special Checklist For Speed Skate Enthusiasts
Anyone who wants to purchase a speed skate can follow these 9 steps to ensure you miss nothing essential and make the best deal-
- Fix your aim (Decide what you want to do with a rollerblade. Want to work on fitness or go for races, freestyle competitions, etc., set your priority.)
- Calculate your budget (How much you can or want to spend?)
- Check market price
- Shortlist a couple of skates
- Know details about the skate (Type of skate, material, cuffs, wheel size and hardness, bearings, frame, ventilation, etc.)
- Check available sizes (Size availability is a big issue, especially while buying online)
- Make up your mind (Come to a conclusion and decide which one to buy.)
- Pay and receive
- Happy skating!
While ordering online, make sure you are precise about the size of your feet. Every company has a different size chart, measure your feet and order according to that.
Also, rollerskates aren’t sneakers or loafers. Maintaining a tight fit is necessary to gain maximum even from the tiniest movements.
However, before learning basic things about skating, never ever go with speed skating.
Read Also: Aggressive In-Line Skates
At the end of the day, even the best inline speed skates won’t do any better if your skills and technique are weak. Practice and perseverance are crucial to success and not the latest gears.
Make sure you have a calm head and focus on reaching your goals, putting efforts when necessary. Then, once you feel ready, pull up your socks, and compete to be the ultimate inline skater, you always dreamed of being.