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Throughout the years, roller derby has flourished to become a prosperous sporting activity, increasing public interest. Eventually, many companies entered the scenario to fulfill demands. The battle of manufacturing derby skates had been declared long ago.
From hard wheels to heat moldable carbon boots, the best skates for roller derby are filled with today’s latest and most premium features. They are comfortable, rapid, and designed to flow with the trend.
Top Pick: Bont Vegan Roller Derby Skate
After our long research, we recommend this one as our first choice. This is undoubtedly one of the best skates for Roller Derby having features like heat moldable, lightweight, flexible boot, and speedy wheels.
Here we reviewed six of the best roller derby skates, things to be kept in mind while buying a roller skate, and answers to some of the most common questions.
So, let’s see who triumphs!
Related: Top Roller-Skates Brands Review
Quad Roller Derby Skates Reviewed
- Bont Vegan Roller Derby Skate: Best Heat Molded Roller Derby Skate
- STR Seven Men’s Derby Skate: Best for Speed Skating
- Stomp Factor 5 Roller Derby Skate: Best Durable Derby Skate
- Cruze XR Hightop Women’s Skate: Best adjustable Roller Derby Skate
- Roller Star 350 Girl’s Quad Skate: Best Derby Skate for Girls
- Roller Star Women’s Hightop Skates: Best Derby Skate for Women
- Trac Star Youth Boy’s Skate: Perfect Skate for Young Guys
Here I present you a detailed review of the 6 best roller skates for derby players.
1. Bont Vegan Roller Derby Skate: Best Heat Molded Roller Derby Skate
Bont’s Vegan is our first choice if you are looking for the best roller derby skates in terms of comfort and durability. Constructed out of heat moldable boots, these skates are pretty good for skinny and wide ankle skaters. Besides, you can have a custom fit in just 10 minutes with the thermostat in the heel.
Bont skates are fantastic when it comes to roller derby games. Handmade with the best materials, the skates are made lightweight and much responsive for the derby players.
The plate construction is quite appropriate for the skaters and is relatively faster and lightweight than some other plates I have come through. Mode of ballistic urethane wheels, you can feel the skates fairly soft enough for smooth skating not only indoors but also outdoors.
About size, you can order 2 sizes smaller if you are a woman. On the other hand, as a man, order 1 size smaller than US boot size. But, better if you measure your feet, check out the chart and get the right size.
Overall, these Bont’s vegan skates are favorite among the pro derby players so far.
- Hand made boots for maximum control
- Heat moldable boots to make the boots more durable
- Very light and flexible boot for the derby players
- The square toe box is perfect for wider feet
- The wheels are speedy and grippy
- The price might be higher for newbies
2. STR Seven Men’s Derby Skate: Best for Speed Skating
Old school yet trendy, the STR Seven Men’s black quad skate is filled with features. The low-top design, mainly seen in speed skates, allows a better workout for your ankles as you accelerate, increasing agility. On the inside, PU foam and quick dry linings with cushion padding cover entirely ensure solace.
The upper is made up of synthetic leather with ventilation all over. A lacing system is present with a linear velcro strap for an even tighter fit. Reinforced light-weight AMQ Pro nylon frame chassis is used for faster runs and better control, along with non-marking toe-stops for quick and effective pauses.
58mmx40mm thin wheels make STR Seven more of a competitive skate than a recreational one as harder and thinner wheels are swifter and more maneuverable. All these are complemented by Bevo Silver-5 race-rated chrome bearings to assure speed and endurance.
All the above combinations make the STR Seven the excellent roller skate for derby guys at this price point.
- Low-top design for better maneuverability and artificial leather upper with ventilation.
- AMQ Pro nylon frame chassis.
- 58mmx40mm PU indoor roller derby wheels.
- Bevo Silver-5 race rated chrome speed bearings.
- Laced closure along with a velcro strap.
- The inner shoe is removable and can be annoying to re-adjust.
- Insole padding is a bit thin.
3. Stomp Factor 5 Roller Derby Skate: Best Durable Derby Skate
A member of the elite skates section of Roller Derby, Stomp Factor 5, is one of the most competitive skates present in today’s market. Featuring a full-grain synthetic leather upper boot made from AMQ nylon with comfort weave lining, comfort is promised.
The upper is quite soft and feels more premium than other synthetic boots. With anti-abrasion heel and tuff-scuff toe protection, the boot fights bravely against wear and tear. These make the skates safer and more comfortable for hours of hard work.
Quick response aluminum trucks and a high-grade aluminum chassis empower the skate to challenge any condition on the rink. The pre-installed 58mm speed wheels are soft, which enables them to perform exceptionally well outdoors.
Having softer wheels, one needs to worry less about bumps and jerks that may come in your way. At last, silver-5 race-rated bearings and an adjustable toe stop are nothing new to you by now.
- Low cut boots designed synthetic AMQ Nylon upper boot with comfort linings.
- Aluminum frame with quick response trucks.
- 58mm PU softer wheels. Silver-5 race rated bearings.
- Laces and linear velcro support for better lockdown.
- Though softer wheels bring more suspension, they are slower than regular harder wheels.
4. Cruze XR Hightop Women’s Skate: Best Adjustable Roller Derby Skate
Cruze XR Hightop quad-skate by Roller Derby is one of the most vintage skates. With a milk-white composite boot that provides excellent ankle support and comfortable cushioning, you are surely going to get a taste of the 90’s flavors.
The RD Cruze aluminum chassis is lightweight and robust still, allowing good maneuverability for quality trucks. Moreover, 60mmx32mm top-end polyurethane wheels allow you to roll seamlessly, whether you run on the rink or the pavements.
Silver-5 speed-rated carbon bearings are used to smoothen your runs and even speed them better than before. And when it comes down to brake, the toe stops on this pair are adjustable and can be used as per the skater’s need.
Typically, the skates fit perfectly to the shoe size of a woman. If men were to buy, I recommend going one size up for this pair or reading the given instructions carefully before ordering.
- Classic synthetic leather white-boot that supports style with comfort.
- RD Cruze Aluminum chassis is light, sturdy, and motile.
- 60mmx32mm PU wheels for both indoor and outdoor activities.
- Silver-5 speed carbon bearings.
- The ankle support is not the best and is less cushioned on the cuff.
- The lining finish may feel a bit harsh on your feet for a few days.
5. Roller Star 350 Girl’s Quad Skate: Best Derby Skate for Girls
One of the most economical options in this best roller skates list, the Roller Star 350 Girl’s skate, should fit every budget at ease. The boot is designed for freestyle and recreational activities of day-to-day life. Keeping that in mind, it has a well-padded inner lining that will make you feel cozy even if you spend an entire decade wearing them.
A high-cut design provides better ankle and reinforced heel support to the needful feet of your home. Torsion beam chassis installed is enough to withstand the weight and balancing needs of a youngster.
54mm polyurethane wheels are suitable for children to practice recreational skating. Your angel can now dream of flying with Excellerator 608ZB bearings as they are fast and sturdy. A laced closure system reduces unnecessary wobbles while riding and locks the foot at its desired place.
The white-pink combination can make 350 Girl’s love at first sight of your little princess. So, to fuel a longer romance, go one size up while purchasing as kids, and their feet can grow up in no time.
- High-cut design with padded linings and attractive white-pink color.
- Torsion beam chassis for allround support.
- 54mm small (relatively) PU wheels.
- Excellerator 608ZB bearings.
- Full laced closure for a tight fit.
- The boot is scratch hungry.
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6. Roller Star 750 Women’s Hightop Skates: Best Derby Skate for Women
Roller Star 750 Women’s Hightop skates are usually found in three weird named colorways: bubble gum, mint maven, and seafoam zebra. Although all the choices are bright and eye-catching, the seafoam zebra, which comes with mild blue wheels, is my favorite.
Star 750 roller skates are one of the most versatile skates; rink, trails, sideways, etc., you name it, it skates it! A lightweight nylon chassis is what strengthens it on the bottom section.
Thanks to the Kemistry Catium all surface wheels, flexible trucks, and comfy padding, your strides will be way more satisfying than ever before. Furthermore, silver-5 race-rated bearings add icing to the cake. All these together make sure you go fast on rinks and smooth on concretes.
Ankle support from the high-top design is decent. One notable aspect is that the toe box is spacious. So, if you are slightly wide-footed, this skate is definitely for you. The tongue and the cuff are well padded and feel homely. Overall, the skate is perfect for those who want to gather new experiences and adventures in life.
- Hightop design for ankle support and available in three colors.
- Nylon chassis for malleability and strength.
- Kemistry Catium’ all-surface’ wheels.
- Silver-5 race rated bearings. Laced closure.
- Suitable for wide footed individuals.
- May seem too flashy to many for the colors.
- Speed skaters will prefer having a better lockdown.
7. Trac Star Youth Boy’s Skate: Perfect Skate for Young Guys
If you aren’t much sure about the proper size of a skate or you are too worried about the skates becoming smaller within a few days, Trac Star Youth Boy’s adjustable roller skate is what you are looking for. All credit goes to the push-button adjustable sizing chassis for which up to four sizes can be altered.
A high-top design with extremely comfortable cuff lining and padding creates a couch for the young feet to rest in. Most importantly, there is no use of laces enclosure. Rather, cam-lever buckles are used to exclude hassles of teaching lacing to kids and provide a more personal fit.
54mm urethane wheels are used that perform competently on indoor and outdoor surfaces and G-Force 608ZB carbon bearings are equipped for a nice roll. Reinforced polymer frame with non-marking toe breaks and real trucks is used to provide an actual skating experience of roller derby to the young guns.
Oh! One more thing, the shell of the skate is plastic and is rigid enough to endure the cute tumbles and head-spinning rollovers. In conclusion, these are the best derby roller skates for kids.
- Hightop design and hinged shell boot.
- Reinforced polymer frame (chassis).
- 54mm urethane wheels for indoor and outdoor activities.
- G-Force 608ZB carbon bearings.
- Cam-lever buckles for closure; no laces.
- Best roller skate for derby (kids).
- The inner shoe is removable and can be annoying to re-adjust.
- Insole padding is a bit thin.
Other than these skates described above, you can also have a look at Moxi Beach Bunny here.
Facts To Be Kept In Mind Before Buying A Derby Roller Skate 2022
Experts address roller derby to be a simple sport with just a few things to be considered before choosing your pair. A series of quality supplies should be ensured to fulfill your needs from a couple of Derby’s! Some of these essentials are:
The boot is the only part of a skate that attaches you to the rest of it. Therefore, it is the most important part of derby skating. Many types of boots are commonly found in the market. But to keep it simple, we will dissect boots based on two things: Material and Design.
The material of a boot decides its comfortability and even control. Boots are made from 3 types of materials, namely,
Leather – These boots are of premium quality and can adjust to your feet as you gradually break them in. Leather boots have a longer life span than any other type of boot.
Carbon – Sometimes, the outer shell of a boot is made of composite carbon. Those shoes are heat-moldable and provide a custom fit for every individual. The material is pretty expensive and is only seen in high-class boots.
Faux-Leather – Artificial leather is vastly seen in cheaper alternatives. They are inexpensive, less durable, and easily accessible. These boots are comfortable and way more padded than others.
Mainly two types of designs are seen in roller derby skates
Hightop – It covers the entire foot up to the shin offering full ankle support. This spec comes in handy for beginners as they are more vulnerable to ankle injuries.
Lowtop – Leaving your ankles exposed, the low-cut design helps roller derby skaters who love speed and better maneuverability. Acceleration is easier when you can flex your ankles. It is a good choice for intermediate or pro skaters.
It is highly recommended to choose a boot as per your skating level and need while choosing your skate boot.
Wheels are the most significant element in a derby game. Thus, choosing a specific set of derby wheels will affect your performance on the rink. As roller derby is played on rinks, indoor wheels are mostly used in competitive skates, while other recreational roller skates may use outdoor wheels. Wheels can also be categorized based on two aspects –
- Hardness – The difference between indoor and outdoor wheels lies largely in their hardness. Professionals choose wheels as per the surface. If it is slippery, the motive is to use a softer set of wheels to maintain steadiness and restrain from slipping off.
In such cases, wheels of durometer hardness 88-92A are used, which is relatively softer. But on sports arenas and rinks, 93-99A wheels are installed, again somewhat depending on the texture of the skating plane.
- Size – While choosing the wheel size, your personal preference comes into account. Bigger wheels bring more speed, though shorter wheels keep slightly better balance. The most common sizes of wheels are 58-62mm in diameter.
Width of the wheels also plays a role in such aspects. A wider wheel makes turning a lot harder but enhances stability. A standard wheel, with 38mm width, is the equilibrium point for skates. Anything narrower will result in greater agility and easier to twist and turn.
Though it may sound unusual, bearings aren’t of key significance in roller derby. The sport is played in indoor conditions, which doesn’t affect the bearings’ durability by much. Still, bearings are responsible for generating and beholding velocity. Some standard bearings are – ABEC 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.
The ABEC 1 and 3 bearings are seen in lower-end skates. They are cheaper alternatives but good enough to satisfy the desires of a newbie.
ABEC 5 bearings are for moderate or intermediate skaters. Rigid and fast, they promise to go long and stay strong.
ABEC 7 and 9 bearings are found in the top-end high-end models of skates. These are lightning-fast, and one can spend a lifetime using the same set if they are adequately taken care of.
Chassis (Plate):- Most skaters use plates that are made from either of the two materials
- Nylon – Nylon plates come in handy if you have a mass of lower than 200 pounds. They are cheaper, light-weight, and feature in the lower end models. Such a plate is best for beginners and teenagers.
- Aluminum – You will find aluminum plate in most of the best roller skates. Chassis made from aluminum is stiff and begets more strength. The lifespan of these frames is way longer than nylon ones. Even in performance, they exceed others in the competition.
On the other hand, aluminum plates are expensive and may engulf your one week’s part-time wage or more. But the good thing is, they are responsive and follow your movements, for which you will love them.
Nobody would like to find themselves banged on the floor with their organs scattered all around them. So, durable protection gears are essential for roller derby. It is a contact sport for which crashes are way too frequent.
For this reason, protective equipment should be worn and maintained correctly to reduce injuries. The gears should cover large areas of your body, parts that are more prone to be hit, to shield yourself when you fall. In such case, quality wrist guards or gloves, best quality knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet is mandatory to be worn.
Your smile seems devastating without teeth. Therefore, don’t consider risking them unnecessarily and always wear a mouthguard on the rink!
Derby Roller Skates Choosing Video
FAQs Related To Roller Skates for Derby Sport
Q.1)What Is Roller Derby?
Roller derby began its journey in the late 1930s. It is a roller-skating contact sport played by two teams, each containing 15 skaters, but only five players from each can be on track at a time. One team attacks and the other defends simultaneously.
Each team has a jammer and four blockers. The jammer of each group can score a point when they lap or get past a blocker of the opponent while the opposing blockers try to block and vice versa.
Understanding everything about the game at one go can be perplexing. If you want to know more about the game, doodle around the internet and gather more information. (More Roller Derby info here)
Q.2) Are Roller Derby Skates good for beginners?
If you skate regularly but have never played roller derby before, then it could be a good idea to buy a pair of these skates in order to try out the sport. They may not be the best choice for a beginner who has never been on a pair of roller skates before because they require more balance and agility than other types of skating shoes. Also, choose a beginner skate from a brand like Sure-grip who makes beginner derby-friendly skates for many years now.
Q.2) What type of skates are used in roller derby?
Ans: Roller skates are used for derby sport. The wheels are assigned almost similarly as in a remote control car: two wheels parallel on the front, and the rest two on the back gives more steadiness than inline skates. As roller derby is a contact sport, balance is necessary to prevent crashes.
Q.3) Are roller derby skates good for outside?
Ans: Yes, they can be used for outdoor skating too. Thousands of skaters in the world use derby skates as a part of their recreation. So, the skates can also be used to tread your neighboring terrains.
But, using indoor wheels can disrupt your excursions. Changing wheels to a harder one is strongly recommended for an overall better experience and avoiding accidents. The only thing is you have to choose one of the best roller skates from a reputed company and change your wheels to outdoor ones.
Q.4) What quad skates are best for junior (teens) derby players?
Ans: For boys, Trac Star Youth is the perfect option to go for as it has all the aspects for competitive roller derby. And Roller Star 350 Girl’s quad skate for the ambitious little girls. (These are my suggestions and opinions and may differ from person to person.)
Q.5) Can you lose weight roller skating?
Ans: Roller skating can be an excellent way to shrug off a stressful day and even some weight with it. If you don’t desire to spend hours inside the walls of a gym, you can groove around town and discover new places and people while losing weight too.
Skating can also be beneficial not only for losing body fat but also for enhanced stamina, improved breathing, better blood circulation, etc.
Q.6) Should I buy quad or inline skates?
Ans: Both inline and roller skates are popular and contesting sports. Inline skates require better balancing skills and control. They are preferred for speed and agility. Real speed inline skates have a low cut design to generate more power into runs and a higher action rate.
On the contrary, quad skates are used for jamming, dancing, speed-based competitions, etc. Scientifically, balancing on a quad is easier and is more stable than an inline. But that too differs from person to person.
So, there cannot be any clear-cut answer to this question. It would be best if you bought what you like. But the best I can help is that inlines are trickier to balance on than quads. But what you need to master roller derby is to be used to quad skates.
Q.7) Can you play roller derby on high-top skates?
Ans: Most skaters are not wearing high-top skates because of the pressure or difficulties on their heels. There are always exceptions though – roughly 1 in 100 might play in artistic skates.
Read also: Are Roller Skating Rinks Profitable in 2021?
Skates can be very tricky to be controlled, and roller derby is a challenging sport to master. So, buying the proper instruments can pour a few drops of relief in a desert of hardships.
But it must be kept in mind that hard work and perseverance are crucial to success. So, be sure of your needs from a skate, buy the best derby skate, and enjoy the ride.