Start here and read the buyer's guide to choose the perfect skate for you!
If you are thinking about getting into the sport for the first time or even upgrading your current skates, below are some key things you need to know in order to select the perfect skate.
Comfort and performance are what defines a good skate fit. The ideal fit has your toes lightly touching the front of the boot while the rest of the boot feels like a semi-firm handshake around the foot. This snug fit will get a little looser as you break in your skates over time. Going too big or too small on your inline skates can create fit problems in the long run. A sloppy fit delivers poor performance and a skate that fits too tightly can cut off circulation.
How to measure your feet size (Skates)
While inline wheels have grown over the years, the thought process that “bigger is better” doesn’t always apply. Wheel size should be based on skater ability and skating style. New skaters who are getting comfortable on their inline skates will appreciate smaller (78mm) wheel configurations or Hi-Lo (84mm/80mm) setups. More experienced skaters that use skating for a workout tool will utilize a bigger wheel (84mm) that allows for higher speeds. Advanced skaters looking to maximize speed, gravitate towards larger wheels (90mm, 100mm, or 110mm/100mm Hi-Lo configurations). For advanced urban skaters requiring more freestyle performance, we recommend a wheel size of 80mm to blend speed with optimal maneuverability. Aggressive skaters who demand specialized performance for the ramp, park, or street require skates with smaller wheels; the K2 Unnatural comes with a 60mm wheel setup but can accommodate a maximum wheel size of 61mm.
There are two types of bearings found on inline skates; ABEC rated bearings have set the standard since day 1 and ILQ bearings are designed specifically for inline skates. ABEC bearings are rated at ABEC 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. A general rule of thumb for ABEC bearings is the higher the number, the tighter the tolerances, which leads to higher speeds and a smoother roll. ILQ bearings come in many configurations and are geared towards the high-end skater. ILQ bearings differ from ABEC in that ILQ bearings feature 6 balls instead of 5, which increases load rating.
Do you wear a seat belt when you drive? Do you use eye protection when you use power tools? Do you wear pads and a helmet when skating? You should’ve answered yes to all three. Smart skaters wear protection, (helmets and wrist guards at a minimum) to ensure that high abrasion areas are covered. The design of today’s pad sets create protective gear that is light, ventilated, and breathable, keeping you comfortable in a pad set that fits like a second skin. Remember, the right fit is key to any pad set and helmet. Make sure your gear has a snug fit and doesn’t shift while skating.
How to measure your head size (Helmet)